Crichton, Michael Congo

ISBN 13: 9780060541835

Congo

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9780060541835: Congo

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 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 fingerpaint. 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 . . .

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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

From the Inside Flap:

Deep in the heart of the darkest region of the Congo, an eight-person field dies mysteriously and brutally in a matter of minutes....

Ten thousand miles away, at the Houston-based Earth Resources Technology Services, Inc., supervisor Karenn Ross watches a gruesome video transmission of that ill-fated team: a camp destroyed, tents crushed and torn, equipment scattered in the mud alongside bodies and -- the grainy, moving image of a dark, blurred shape ....

In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot works with Amy, a gorilla with a 620 "sign" vocabulary and a fondness for finger painting. Her recent drawing matches, with stunning accuracy, the frayed, brittle pages of a Portuguese print dating back to 1642 -- a drawing of an ancient lost city. Immediately, a new expedition is sent into the Congo, descending into a secret world. where the only way out may be through the grisliest death.

Judith Ivey's film credits include Alice, Brighton Beach. Memoirs, and In Country. She starred on the television show "Designing Women."

Disclosure, Rising Sun, and Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton, are available from Random House AudioBooks. Sphere and The Andromeda Strain are available as Random House Price-Less Audios.

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