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Congo Mass Market Paperback – November 23, 1992

4.0 out of 5 stars 407 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, November 23, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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


"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: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 23, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345378490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345378491
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (407 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,454,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Paying attention to anecdotes and rumours can get you a long way - not just in developing fictional plots, but in anticipating by decades "discoveries" in science, such as the finding of the mysterious deadly hunting great apes of Congo near Bili, "found" and reported by actual scientists in 2004. The similarities to what was described in Crichton's book are notable.

Cite is from BBC Science News 12 Oct 2004 (based on an article in New Scientist):

"Primatologist Shelly Williams is thought to be the only scientist to have seen the apes.

During her visit to DR Congo two years ago, she says she captured them on video and located their nests.

She describes her encounter with them: "Four suddenly came rushing out of the bush towards me," she told New Scientist.

"If this had been a bluff charge, they would have been screaming to intimidate us. These guys were quiet. And they were huge. They were coming in for the kill. I was directly in front of them, and as soon as they saw my face, they stopped and disappeared." "

She also mentioned that some of them had gone gray, apparently fairly early in life, and completely gray rather than the gray-and-black of known gorilla species. The locals say they are very deadly, hunt cooperatively and silently, and will kill lions.

That doesn't mean they talk -- just thought Crichton's research abilities should be commemorated with some clips from this discovery.

UPDATE: In response to the comment asking for an actual review -- what, three stars wasn't 'nuff said? I have Crichton favorites: Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.
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