Thursday, May 16, 2013

Congo by Michael Crichton

Deep in the African rain forest, near the legendary ruins of the Lost City of Zinj, an expedition of eight American geologists are 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 San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot works with Amy, a gorilla with an extraordinary vocabulary of 620 "signs," the most ever learned by a primate, and she likes to finger paint. But recently her behavior has been erratic and her drawings match, with stunning accuracy, the brittle pages of a Portuguese print dating back to 1642 . . . a drawing of an ancient lost city. A new expedition--along with Amy--is sent into the Congo, where they enter a secret world, and the only way out may be through a horrifying death . . .
I liked this novel despite the technical mumbo-jumbo, of which there was a lot. I am easily distracted and there were quite a few times when descriptions of things went on and on and I started to imagine it sounding like the adults in Peanuts cartoons "woh wah wah woh wah wah wah..." I mean, I'm glad Crichton put so much effort into researching things, but could we get back to the gorillas, please?

Now on to the good stuff. I loved Amy the gorilla (but who wouldn't? She's awesome!). The action scenes were what made me keep coming back and not want to put the book down. Karen Ross often goes between someone I liked and disliked, which worked for me because if you have a character in a book you can't stand you just want them to die a horrible death... or is that just me? Overall it's a book I would recommend people read even with the boring over detailed parts.

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