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Michael Crichton
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3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  118,493 Ratings  ·  1,365 Reviews
If you saw the 1995 film adaptation of this Crichton thriller, somebody owes you an apology. While you're waiting for that to happen, try reading the vastly more intelligent novel on which the movie was based. The broad lines of the plot remain the same: A research team deep in the jungle disappears after a mysterious and grisly gorilla attack. A subsequent team, including ...more
Audio Cassette, Abridged
Published by Random House Trade (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Feb 29, 2012 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blood-and-danger
i'm having a little trouble with myself right now. i just gave this one 4 stars and Inner-Snob Mark is getting very twitchy, almost trigger-happy, ready to take control of my favorite hand and bump this one down to 3 stars. never fear, i have a tight rein on Inner-Snob Mark and have carefully compartmentalized him away tonight. but he does have a few good points. my God, i gave the timeless classic The Last Unicorn 3 stars. i gave Room - which wrecked me emotionally and had me crying like someon ...more
Michael Fierce
Apr 29, 2015 Michael Fierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of cryptid adventures and for those who love giant apes & gorillas

First off, I've always gone bananas over books and movies that have giant apes & big gorillas in them, going way back to when I was a kid, particularly with movie classics like, King Kong and Mighty Joe Young, that were a blast for me and my brother to watch together.

Reading books and watching movies about big apes helps me reconnect with those experiences I will always hold dear to me.

I've been going ape over everything & anything simian fiction-related ever since.

When I first saw the
Dec 28, 2010 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Crichton's work should be considered the epitome of geek literature (AKA science fiction, genre fiction, or speculative fiction), but was somehow embraced by the mainstream -- so much so that even if the academic crowd doesn't take him very seriously, Crichton still addressed Congress. Genre fiction is such a dismissive term, so Crichton was given his own genre: it's not geek; it's a "techno thriller."

Congo, published in 1980, has all of Crichton's geekiest motifs, including a heroine wh
Jul 08, 2007 Cpd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whativeread
I saw this on Chris' list and it triggered an old, funny memory. Now, I did read this book -- back in high school I went through a Michael Crichton phase and his books being as they are, I managed to read through his -- dare I say oevure? -- in a summer (don't recall which summer, tho')

The odd memory that Chris triggered however, has to to do with the movie Congo. I had a good friend in high school, wonderful fella, still a great friend. About the time we were seniors, he started dating -- or as
Mike (the Paladin)
Not bad in places...other times it's sort of a "puleez" book. Again Crichton has one that could have been better. The best I suppose I can say wasn't as lame as the movie. So full of PC political rhetoric it seemed to me that any story got lost.

************ Spoilers below Line ***********

(view spoiler)
Michael Sorensen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ramkumar  R
A science fiction novel by Michael Crichton.It is about an expedetion investigating the mysterious deaths of a previous expedition in the dense rain forest of is a fairly realistic story (other than the trained killer apes aspect of course). There was much research put into this novel and if you have any interest on the subjects that Crichton tries to educate us on, you may be interested.
Feb 27, 2015 Rade rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
what could have been a great adventure book turned out to be a barely mediocre writing effort on behalf of Crichton. Not that it is bad, it was just boring for me. Even the scenes where they were attacked were pretty boring. I know the author tends to dedicate a big portion of the book on background research but in this case I just did not care much for any of it.

I felt the ending might be building up to something big but it got resolved in what seemed like to be a page or two. I felt let down.
Jun 20, 2015 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What did I think?

What did I think?!?

This book has:

-Talking monkeys
-Sinister Japanese businessmen
-Laser guns
-The actual phrase "laser gun"
-African revolutionaries
-Hippo attacks
-Blue diamonds
-Wildly inaccurate predictions about the future of supercomputing
-Speculation on the nature of language
-Gorillas bred to kill
-Milquetoast academics forced by circumstance into acts of badassery
-Sky-diving gorillas
-An ancient lost city called Zinj
-A volcanic eruption

and a flippin
3.0 stars. Not his best book but much better than the movie made it appear to be. Overall, a decent read.
Mar 19, 2008 Wyatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book,
but don't read under this or it will ruin the story for you.

This book takes place in many continents starting in the USA. First with an American team of ERTS who search for important geological parts of the earth for which they can extract important minerals or deposits. They have anonymous companies hire them to retrieve these resources that they need in neutral and allied countries. In this book Congo they are searching for type 11b Diamonds with a boron coating on them.
Apr 08, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
would have given this book five stars but i've seen the movie which traumatized me with it's badness. although i literally finished the book in the parking lot of the theater the weekend it came out so it was very fresh in my mind and ready to be compared for all its shortcomings. was it fair to the movie? no. was it fair that they actually charged people to see that piece of *expletive deleted*? no. i say that makes us even. my problems with the book. not too many. it did what it wanted to do. ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Ruben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Congo wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it seems to read like a typical Crichton book: Lots of detailed build-up; a climax that comes and goes faster than a Kardashian marriage/divorce; perfunctory wrap-up; acknowledgements.

So far, the books I’ve read of Crichton’s get me excited with intriguing concepts and storylines, but then leave me feeling that he didn’t do as much as he could have with the “ingredients” he had in place.

[spoiler alert…but do you really need the alert after this many
Ah Congo. You are Joe's first Crichton (you never forget your first), and a god in the pantheon of semi-sciency adventures. Swashbuckling and debonair, you seamlessly blend "When Apes Attack" with "If I Could Talk With the Animals," and we are mightily entertained.

Stuck in O'Hare (again, shocker), I bought me another Crichton book to wile away the hours. I think this may become something of a tradition, as Jurassic Park was purchased in the same terminal H bookstore and with the same raging weat
Amy Wochos
Aug 27, 2008 Amy Wochos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would give 1/2 a star if I could. He gets that simply because he managed to get words on paper. I have never hated a book so much in my life. I was actually angry at it throughout, but kept going hoping it would get better. I thought it was ridiculous, had bad character development and a boring plot. I can't believe they even THOUGHT to make it a movie, but am not surprised that stunk as well. It is a credit to Mr. Chrichton, however, that it made me realize how good his other books have been. ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Farhad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
an outdated sci-fi is never a good written sci-fi. as an IT expert it was such a pain reading through false promises of technology and some how bold yet compeletly wrong & dumb visions of future.
of course as usual with Crichton, he just can't seem to finish his books properly, so yes, another totally underwhelming ending. strongly not recommended for reading.
Enjoyed this immensely! I have vague recollections of the movie, group goes to the Congo, take a communicating gorilla, bad gorillas attack, volcanic eruptions and Tim Curry haha but the book is so much better. I loved the amount of detail, the science parts, the historical parts and the 'atmosphere' that the author evoked of being in the Congo, brilliant!
May 08, 2008 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody.
Amy good gorilla! Amy good gorilla! Yikes. The book is NOT that much more intelligent. The only thing worse was the movie. Starring Laura Linney. Go figure.
Benjamin Stahl
A Heartbreak Hipster Review

Congo is definitely the most boring and disappointing Crichton book I have read so far.


That's right, nineties Dad. It was boring.

I had expected this one to be rather silly, but also fun. I haven't seen the movie, and I can't say I'm in any hurry to do so, either. The only thing I did know about this book, was that it involved a talking gorilla, a bunch of scientists, and an unknown species of hostile primates.


Fucking horrible creatures. But gorillas are okay.


Greg Cummings
Although the scenario is somewhat naive - an unknown mutant subspecies of gorilla has for generations defended a lucrative diamond mine in the heart of the Congo jungle - this book played a big part in my career in gorilla conservation. In it Crichton describes the use of satellite data to prospect for the Lost City of Zinj in the central African jungles. With uncanny synchronicity, at the same time as I was reading about it, NASA was imaging the gorilla habitat in central Africa using radar onb ...more
Jul 09, 2009 Sarai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Kirkus Review: Entertainer-educator Crichton, that clever devil, has done it again - by dressing up one of the oldest book/movie scenarios around with enough capsulized science, history, and geography to keep readers happily on their toes. It's an expedition to darkest Africa, to the northeast corner of the Congo rain forest in Zaire, in search of a lost city (Zinj) full of diamonds and danger. Old hat, right? Wrong. Because this expedition, led by Karen Ross of Earth Resources Technology Servic ...more
Ingrid Espinosa
I hadn't been reading within my favorite genres for a while, and this was a welcome return.

As always, Crichton leaves you hanging a every chapter, and I couldn't help but read Congo in just a few sittings (if i read it in one, would it count as a short story?). The threat of the gorillas breathing genuinely kept me on my guard from the beginning.

My critique though, is that I thought the resolution of the killer gorilla mystery was a little unimpressive - i was getting my mind prepared for some r
Madhulika Liddle
In June 1979, a party of geologists searching for industrial blue diamonds in Congo's dense jungles of the Virunga area is savagely attacked and wiped out by something. Back at headquarters in Houston, geologist, geek and sometime child prodigy Dr Karen Ross insists on setting off on another expedition, to get to the diamonds and discover what happened to her colleagues. This results in her approaching a primatologist named Dr Peter Elliott, who has spent several years teaching sign language to ...more
Caprice Hokstad
I give it a 2.5, which rounds to a 3, but I only barely liked it more than Prey. I was annoyed by the omniscient narration, but my hyper-sensitivity to that is probably related to being a writer. I also had a bit of a hard time finding a protag to root for besides Amy, the signing gorilla who was hauled on a trip to her homeland for nebulous reasons having very little to do with her. Her human companion Elliot was likeable enough, but he had almost no means of moving the plot and was basically d ...more
Jun 19, 2015 Niah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I do not say this lightly: Michael Crichton is brilliant. This novel is brilliant. (For those who don’t know, Crichton is the author of Jurassic Park among other works).

The beginning of this book is slow. So much so that I didn’t think I would like the rest of the book. Boy, was I wrong. Crichton’s prologue was so intense and ended in so much suspense that I believed it could get better. At times he packs in overly-technical writing. These were the times it got lengthy. Frankly, I don’t care muc
L.M.Mountford L.M.Mountford
I bought this book for two reasons:

1 - I love the Movie

2 - It was on sale for 1 at Asda, and after reading it I'm glad i got it on offer.

This was not a disappointing read, I read it in less than a fortnight and found it relativly satisfying. However, I'd say this is one one of those rare books whichinspired a movie that is just about supperior in every way, the primeape version of jaws movie and book comparison if you will. If i had never seen the movie i may have have given it 5 stars.

As i was
Mark R.
A privately funded expedition heads to the Congo in search of valuable blue diamonds. The diamonds are located in a legendary lost city, which recent reports suggest is not simply a myth, as previously believed. Along for the ride is a gorilla trained in sign language, whose recent finger paintings closely resemble the reported lost city.

With that setup, “Congo” isn’t as thrilling as it should be. Michael Crichton mixes plenty of science fact in with his science fiction, but the blend of the two
Jan 30, 2008 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
If you're interested in gorillas this is definitely for you. Come to think of it, if you're also interested in the future of data transfer speed and diamonds, this is definitely for you.
The big star in this story is Amy, a gorilla with a 620 sign vocabulary. After reading this, you will want a gorilla for a best friend.
Andre Dumas
I always admire Michael Crichton for the in your face shocking moments. In Jurassic Park, it's when the nurse opens the door to find a dinosaur gnawing off a baby's face. And in Congo, it's when the guy thinks Tree Monkey's are throwing berries at him when in fact it's a HUMAN EYEBALL. Those kinds of things really make these novels thrive. However, I found that after that moment, Congo kind of flat-lined on the monitor for me. I was expecting way more crazy Gorilla action here, but surprisingly, ...more
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Michael Crichton (1942–2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Douglas ...more
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