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Congo Mass Market Paperback – October 28, 2003

366 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, October 28, 2003
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Editorial Reviews Review

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 a sign-language-speaking simian named Amy, follows the original team's tracks only to be subjected to more mysterious and grisly gorilla attacks. If you can look past the breathless treatment of '80s technology, like voice-recognition software and 256K RAM modules (the book was written in 1980), you'll find the same smart use of science and edge-of-your-seat suspense shared by Crichton's other work. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Ingenious, imaginative" Los Angeles Times "Thrilling" New York Times Book Review "Fascinating" The Washington Post "Dazzling" People --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (October 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060541830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060541835
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (366 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,447,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Crichton was born in Chicago in 1942. His novels include Next, State of Fear, Prey, Timeline, Jurassic Park, and The Andromeda Strain. He was also the creator of the television series ER. One of the most popular writers in the world, his books have been made into thirteen films, and translated in thirty-six languages. He died in 2008.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Sheldon on October 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The film adaptation of this novel was criminal. Do not let that movie turn you off from this fantastic novel (my personal favorite from Crichton). The overall plot is the same: a research team disappears after an apparent attack by gorillas. A second team is dispatched to discover what happened and comes under attack from the same violent gorillas. Like other Crichton novels, this contains a lot of description and explanation of various sciences and technologies that surround the characters. Unfortunately, the technology is dated because of the 1980 publication date. Nevertheless, the action and suspense in this novel are first-rate. This was the first Crichton novel I ever read and it made me a fan instantly. I've read almost every Crichton novel since because of this book. This is one of those books you can't put down until you finish it. When you're done, you just want to read it again.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bryon Butler on December 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found myself on vacation with no book...tragic. I remedied this with a copy of Congo.

As I read Congo, the story of diamond hunters in, yes, the Congo, I realized how much has changed since 1980. A cutting edge computer thriller, it has references pinball machines, five-inch floppies, 256Kmemory and portable cassette tape players. Yet it was also current, with its talk of DNA testing and the competitive threat of both the Japanese and Chinese in the world markets.

Congo has it all: competing international diamond hunters, the Congo, African pygmies, cannibalistic tribes, various warring countries and factions, lost cities of bygone centuries, active volcanoes, sign-language gorillas, geographic history, gorilla history, African and Congo history, a possible new species of gorilla with its own agenda, communications satellites, plane crashes, hot air balloons, and, well I'm sure I'm leaving something out. Michael Crichton's deft writing brings it all together for an enjoyable action romp that works....almost. If anything suffers in the book it is the characters. So much is packed into the story that the characters do not develop, and are almost relegated to following the action, which never ends. The author has to explain a lot to the reader so that we can follow along. He does this as the narrator and often includes it in character dialogue. So much information is presented as dialogue that I get the picture of very educated people, stuck in the Congo with killer gorillas and dead bodies, finally snapping and pummeling each other to the ground yelling, "Why are you being so redundant? I KNOW all this stuff!" The reader often won't, however, making it important but at times slowing the book down.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I read. Michael Crichton does a good job displaying realism in this realistic science fiction novel. He creates a story in the darkest region of the Congo, near the Lost City of Zinj,where an eight-person expedition dies brutally in a matter of seconds. At the home base back in Houston, supervisors watch a gruesome video transmission of the ill-fated team: dead bodies, tents crushed, and a blurred dark moving image. A new expedition is sent to the Congo. Some are in search for diamonds while a primatologist is taking his gorilla Amy, who knows sign language, back to her home in the Congo. During the expedition they encounter trouble with the native tribes and man-eating gorillas. Many people die and there is a lot of action in this thriller. Life threatening creatures and jungle weather creates a setting which makes this book so entertaining. This book can be compared to "Jurassic Park." Both display great action scenes and interesting stories by the same author. I recommend this book greatly if you are either a science-fiction or suspense thriller fan.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bhavin Trivedi on February 7, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are going to be at the beach , then Congo is clearly the book for you. Congo is a good old-fashioned jungle adventure yarn. The author, Michael Crichton, was clearly inspired by the adventure stories of H. Rider Haggard but with a slight dose of Conrad. And since this is a Crichton novel, the reader will read about technological ruminations, which provoke Crichton's favorite theme - man meddling with nature when he probably shouldn't.
A rescue team, funded (and partially staffed) by a U.S. based technology corporation, is sent to the middle of the Congo area of Africa to determine the mysterious disappearance of a prior team. On their extraordinary journey, they encounter rebellious armed forces of central African nations, fabulous cities with lost treasures, strange tribes tucked away in the forest, cannibalistic groups and some unknown force that appears to kill. Crichton keeps the pace swift so you will keep the pages turning.
This book is a delightful read because Crichton delivers on his trademarks. He blends well-researched topics from diverse sciences - Congo covers biology, anthropology, archaeology, as well as descriptions of high-tech equipment (for 1979). Crichton effectively increases the suspense by giving the locations scale and a powerful perspective. The mountains, "unending virginal forest", and "thousands of miles of unexplored territory" dwarf his human characters. Finally, Crichton's storytelling gift of framing the story as a true account (along with an extensive bibliography) lends the verisimilitude that so often elevates Crichton's work.
You will not be disappointed with this quick read.
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