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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  166,421 ratings  ·  2,292 reviews
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 t
Paperback, 442 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Avon Books (first published 1980)
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Amy Wow, it's been 44 days since you asked this but no one answered yet so here you go. There are a few animal deaths but they are not without reason (sel…moreWow, it's been 44 days since you asked this but no one answered yet so here you go. There are a few animal deaths but they are not without reason (self defense without ruining too much) and there's definitely a lot more people who die than animals. The book definitely does not condone animal cruelty. If you are an animal person, you probably will like the story about Amy the ape. She's based on an ape in real life (I think her name is koko). (less)
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Shane Duquette You're thinking of Michael Crichton's State of Fear. The scene you're describing happens to a minor character near the end of the book.…moreYou're thinking of Michael Crichton's State of Fear. The scene you're describing happens to a minor character near the end of the book.(less)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  166,421 ratings  ·  2,292 reviews

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mark monday
Feb 29, 2012 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
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of cryptid adventures and for those who love giant apes & gorillas
Shelves: apes, creature, thriller

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 p
Rohit Enghakat
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was interesting in the second half with the first half using lot of technical jargon which almost made me abandon it halfway. Once you overcome the first half, it becomes interesting and edgy. The author has described the African jungles so vividly that you visualise it right before your eyes. All about an organisation's quest to explore blue diamonds which sends a woman, Karen Ross accompanied by a primatologist, Peter Elliot who becomes the central character along with his pet gorilla ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, thriller
German review here.

A little over two decades ago this was my introduction to Michael Crichton. It‘s also the first novel that someone had ever gifted to me, if I remember correctly.

So, thank you aunt Ilona. I became a fan of the author immediately.

Reading this again in 2019, this time in it’s original language, it was once more a lot of fun. Even though much of it is very dated and in fact was already dated when I first read this back in 1995.

In 1979 a Congo expedition gets attacked and killed i
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Michael Crichton called this book a continuation of the tradition of H.Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines. The book didn't impress me all that much.

A field expedition dies mysteriously in minutes,in the darkest region of Congo.In San Francisco,an extraordinary gorilla,named Amy,with a 620 sign vocabulary,may hold the secret to that carnage.Thankfully,however,the gorilla does not speak English.

Another expedition is sent to investigate.After that comes the lost city of Zinj,fights with gorillas
Vimal Thiagarajan
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A seriously good techno-thriller which had me wondering for the most part. Of course, it being written in the eighties not all of the technology that Crichton uses to construct the story are still relevant, but their canny placement in the narrative to resolve tangles or deliver surprise twists was simply too neat. The characters where typical thriller material - not sufficiently developed, but not boring either. Amy the talking Gorilla simply stood out, and I learned a good deal about the tropi ...more
Dave Edmunds
Jul 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
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"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."

Congo by the late, great Michael Crichton.  This book took me by surprise and it really shouldn't have.  I was slightly put off by the tacky movie.  But as we all know, you should never judge a book by the movie. It's my third book f
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Janete Fabricio ON  SEMI HIATUS
DNF. In this book, there are too many technical expressions and descriptive parts; and little emotion and action. This book sounds like an encyclopedia and not like a novel. I've even tried reading this book with the help of the audio, which usually gives me more desire to finish a book; but this book is so annoying, that though I read it while I was listening to the audio, it hadn't me motivated. ...more
Karl Marberger
Crichton loved to go into intricate, technical detail with all of the little scientific specifics in his writing. Often they’re informative and interesting. But in a novel, this only lasts so long before it actually gets a wee bit repetitive and even annoying.

One example in this book; at one point, you’ll spend 3 pages reading about the biology, habitat, and behavior of hippos in order to build up to a 1/2 page confrontation with a bull hippo.

Often, Crichton spends to much time on these lectur
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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
Manuel Antão
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Battle of the Sexes: "Congo" by Michael Crichton

(Original Review, 1980-11-15)

Here is how Michael Crichton describes Amy, the principal love object in "Congo": "She could be coy, she responded to flattery, she was preoccupied with her appearance, loved make-up, and was very fussy about the collar of the sweaters she wore in the winter." Although she is quite short, Amy weighs 140 pounds. She has a vocabulary of 620 words, which is remar
Michael Chrobak
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going into this book, I’ll admit I was really excited. I had heard so many good things about Crichton, and though I don't recall reading any of his books, I’ve most likely watched all of the movies based on his books. For the most part, I loved it!

Crichton is such an fantastic storyteller. The pace of the book is near perfect, and the progression of events throughout the first 90% of the book kept me more than intrigued. In fact, this was easily one of my fastest reads and could have been comple
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)
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This one read like an edge of your seat Indiana Jones movie. It was indulgently entertaining. Chimps really are a horror story. It took a little while to get going but I really got into it and enjoyed the ride.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is one of my favorite from Michael Crichton. The treasure hunting, the crazy adventure. I especially touch by the relationship between the chimpanze and human. Above all the adventure is really setting the heart pace on a wild rate.

I also like the movie.
Wayne Barrett
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was ok

Just as bad as the movie.
Edward Lorn
I read this for my new series Book v. Movie. Episode One airs July 28th here: ...more
Another intriguing tale by the late Michael Crichton, and Congo was way ahead of it's time.

After an expedition of geologists are brutally killed deep in the rainforest of the Congo, the replacement team, led by the Project Supervisor Karen Ross, along with primatologist Peter Elliott and his female gorilla Amy, who is able to communicate with humans through the use of sign language. Unknown with what they are up against, accept for the video transmission of the aftermath, a camp destroyed, equi
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Congo was written in 1980 by Michael Crichton. With a few, very minor details (such as gushing over how awesome it is to have a comuter with 256K memory) this is a tale that reads very well to this day.

In 1979, due to the increasing demands of the computer industry there were a large number of companies that were seeking to find industrial grade diamonds, as opposed to the jewelry type of diamonds. Specifically they were looking for Type IIb boron-coated blue diamonds used to build a variety of
Twerking To Beethoven
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Despite all the big chunks of info-dump dung, - Those come with every other Michael Chrichton's book anyway, you just can't avoid them. It's as if the man couldn't help lecturing his readers. That was his thing, you know. But I'll tell you what? That has never annoyed me to the point of driving me to a rage-quit rampage - it's an entertaining and satisfying read. Four stars.

Oh, btw, the movie is shit. Don't watch it.
Baz MW
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Congo is very well researched (which is clear from the bibliography alone). And while some of the information is outdated now (forty years after the book was written), it was certainly ahead of its time.

That being said, this might just be the last Michael Crichton book that I read. While his writing has certainly improved since reading The Terminal Man (published 1971), his archaic personality that he inputs into his narration unfortunately has not (though I held out hope).

His (obviously persona
Dec 02, 2013 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.
Michael Sorensen
Apr 15, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I actually really like the infamous movie adaptation of this book. It's the perfect example of a so-bad-its-good campy movie. The book was fine. I always love Chrichton's concepts but struggle with the execution. Meh. ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I was at Costco the other day and saw the cover art for a book that looked a lot like Jurassic Park, then did a double take when I saw Michael Crichton’s name on it. Apparently Mr. Crichton is the Tupac of fiction, now with his 3rd book released since his death. I was nearly intrigued enough to buy the book and then thought to myself, “how many of his books have been out for decades that I haven’t even read yet?” Remembering I had Congo sitting on my shelf for years, I decided to finally read it ...more
Bodosika Bodosika
'The more experience and insight I obtain into human nature, the more convinced do o become that the greater portion of a man is purely animal'-Henry Morton Stanley,1887.
Only prejudice, and a trick of the Mercator's projection, prevents us from recognizing the enormity of the African continent.Covering nearly twelve million square miles,Africa is almost as large as North America and Europe combined. It is nearly twice the size of South America. As we mistake its dimensions,we also mistake
Benjamin Stahl
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
A Heartbreak Hipster Review

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

I expected this to be silly but also fun. I haven't seen the movie and I can't say I'm in any hurry to do so. 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 apes.


Fucking horrible creatures. But gorillas are okay.


According to Dr Naan - one who is seemingly incapable of giving a straight fucking answer wh
Jorn Kerkhoven
3.5 stars
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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 Doug ...more

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