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Congo

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  99,992 ratings  ·  1,178 reviews
Deep in the darkest region of the Congo, a field expedition dies mysteriously and brutally in a matter of minutes...

At the Houston-based Earth Resources Technology Services, Inc., a shocked supervisor watches a gruesome video transmission of that ill-fated team - and sees the grainy, moving image of a dark, blurred image...

In San Francisco, an extraordinary gorilla named A...more
Paperback, Alternate cover 0-345-37849-0, 316 pages
Published January 1993 by Ballantine (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
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
Darth Fierce
Aug 12, 2014 Darth Fierce rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of cryptid adventures and for those who love giant apes & gorillas
  description

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...more
Cpd
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...more
Ryan
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...more
Michael Sorensen
Michael Crichton books all start off with this huge technological hook and are excellent at grabbing you by your ear and dragging you along, but somewhere along the way he fizzles. It's like he has this great idea, but can't figure out a way for his protagonists to create a successful ending. Andromeda Strain, the virus floats off into space--woo hoo. Sphere--the whole adventure was imaginary, woo hoo. Congo, earthquake wipes out all the lovely evidence and negates the whole adventure...boo hoo....more
Stephen
3.0 stars. Not his best book but much better than the movie made it appear to be. Overall, a decent read.
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 is..it 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)...more
Amy Wochos
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
Wyatt
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....more
Jason
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
Ruben
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...more
Lisa
May 08, 2008 Lisa rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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
Sarai
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...more
Justine
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...more
Bill
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.
Carol
I wanted to be impressed/enthralled....truly had expected to be. Characters and plot fueled by greed, timelines, and fear. Had expected thriller entertainment, mixed with high tech of the times. The tech part delivered, the plot bogged down at times. Could not develop any emotional ties to the main characters....other than the charming Amy, girl gorilla extraordinaire. Had it not been for my concern of Amy's welfare, I might have given up on this book. OK, I lied...I did have an emotional tie to...more
Benjamin Stahl
Congo is definitely the most boring and disappointing Crichton book I have read so far.

description

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.

descriptiondescription

Fucking horrible creatures. But gorillas are okay.

descriptiondescription

According to Dr Naan - one who is s...more
Gerald Givens
If you've only ever seen the movie (in all of it's pure 90's awesomeness), then you haven't treated yourself to the greatness that is Michael Crichton's novel Congo. I fell in love with Crichton's writing about eight years ago upon reading Jurassic Park. Like the movie, Congo follows Peter Elliot and his sign-language speaking gorilla, Amy, as they search for an ancient lost city called Zinj. That's about as much as the book and movie have in common. Action and science meet in this techno-thrill...more
Mumbo Gumbo
This is the first Crichton novel I have read, but it will not be my last. I completely enjoyed the book, which is a nice mixture of history, suspense, drama and technology.

The story concerns an expedition sent by the company Earth Resources Technology, Inc., into the deep rainforests of the Congo in search of blue diamonds. The expedition discovers the lost city of Zinj, but on the night of the discovery is completely wiped out. The destruction is caught on video, which records a grunting, heav...more
Nicholas
Don't judge me.

I read Jurassic Park as a kid and remember loving it since I didn't have the money to go see the movie when it first came out, but I was an undiscriminating twelve years old at the time. I felt the stirrings of adventure covering Stanley's escapades in Africa teaching imperialism and decided to give Congo a go, and man was I impressed. I don't think I fully appreciated Crichton's attention to scientific detail in anything I've ever read of his before. Congo tells a story that's at...more
Mohamed Ateaa
ف صغري قريت الرواية الكاملة مترجمة للعربية و انا ف مكتبة الكلية اعتقد
وقريب قريت تاني ترجمة د احمد ليها ف رويات عالمية
حاسس ان د احمد ليه خلطة تقريرية كده
بتعجبني و بتناسب كتير من الرويات المملة ف وجهة نظري
يعني كونغو ممتعة ف الاصل بس في كتير من تفاصيلها بتشلني
بس لما قريت ترجمة د احمد ليها حسيت انهش ال كتير من ده
وركز بس ع الغوريلا و علاقتها بالدكتور بتاعها
وشرح كتير علاقة المال و السلطة في جزء قائدة الفريق و الكابتن اللي قابلوه هناك
وصراع اليابانين مع الغرب ع التكنولوجيا

الكتاب حلو جدا خلصته ف جلسة واح...more
Patrick Reimann
Mar 11, 2008 Patrick Reimann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: African and Ape enthusiasts.
Honestly, the amount of research and detail that is put into this book is has to be at the top of the list. For this reason, the book deserves at least a 3/5. The originality behind the book is also unique and Michael Crichton's ideas for an animal/human species breed is amusing. However, I thought that the character development got lost in the story and the ending did not live up to my expectations. I did learn a decent amount about African history and ape behavior, but the story could have bee...more
Punk
SF. A long trek through the African jungle punctuated by infodumps, gorillas, and little else. This is Crichton before he got a handle on integrating background information into the narrative. Instead he uses footnotes, excerpts from scholarly articles, and his extremely removed omniscient narrator to just pour facts straight into the reader's brain, which makes this book a weird mix of fiction and non-fiction and it's not always easy to tell them apart.

Two stars. Basically this book is one lon...more
Sekarlangit
This book centers on an expedition searching for diamonds conducted by some scientist and a well-trained gorilla, Amy. Then it also leads to a fact that those scientist have to investigate the mysterious deaths of a previous expedition in the dense rain forest of Congo. This book shows perfectly fine how is the real-life condition of Congo. I know that there is a movie version of this book, but like rotten tomato says it is worth one-star only. But it is always different by the book! The book ve...more
Duncan Mandel
SUMMARY: Deep in the African rain forest, near the legendary ruins of the Lost City of Zinj, an expedition of eight American geologists is mysteriously and brutally killed in a matter of minutes. Ten thousand miles away, Karen Ross, the Congo Project Supervisor, watches a gruesome video transmission of the aftermath: a camp destroyed, tents crushed and torn, equipment scattered in the mud alongside dead bodies -- all motionless except for one moving image -- a grainy, dark, man-shaped blur. In S...more
Brian
Congo isn't Michael Crichton's best work, but it's good, and it's good in that special Crichton way -- heavily researched, fast-paced, tense, and exciting -- that makes it better than most books of its kind. It's about an expedition into the African rainforest, to the Lost City of Zinj, where apes or ape-like creatures brutally kill anyone who comes near. If it had stuck to that premise all the way to the end, I'd probably be giving this an extra star. But Crichton goes off a tangent at the last...more
Markirah Shaw
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
I was seriously disappointed with this book for numerous reasons. I will go into some of them here but, ultimately, if I was to list all the reasons it would take an hour to read.

The story could, and should, have been a straightforward and entertaining killer-gorilla related romp with lots of frightened scientists and mercenaries fighting for survival against the odds. Instead what we got was poorly written, erratic, nonsense-riddled, technology-obsessed trash.

An American research team in the C...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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“No one escapes from life alive.” 144 likes
“The purpose of life is to stay alive. Watch any animal in nature--all it tries to do is stay alive. It doesn't care about beliefs or philosophy. Whenever any animal's behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes exinct.” 79 likes
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