I may be one of the only people (besides my sister) who truly enjoys the movie Congo. I know, it’s bad, but a talking gorilla, priceless! I had hoped the love would carry over to the book the movie is based on. And in theory, the Michael Crichton Congo should have been better. Basically, the novel should be more plausible and less corny. And, I suppose it was both of those things. But I still came away disappointed.
Congo begins with the disappearance of a research team in the heart of Congo, caused by strange gorilla-like creatures attacking their camp. A second team is sent in by the technology company that sent the first in. This team is lead by young Karen Ross, eager to prove herself and acquire the blue diamonds her company is so desperate for. Along for the ride is zoologist Peter Elliot and his tamed gorilla Amy, who has been taught American Sign Language. Congo is in political unrest, there are cannibalistic natives, and the gorilla-like animals that greet them among the diamonds are ruthless trained killers.
The book spends a MASSIVE amount of time discussing technology, which now seems ridiculous and ancient, considering it was written in 1980. But, I’ll forgive them for that – books can’t be blamed for dating themselves. However, there were so many digressions from the plot that the story dragged and dragged. Explanations of politics, technology, and primates add up to more of the book than the story about a talking gorilla. Which is all we really want to read about, isn’t it? I was hoping for excitement, and instead I felt like I was reading an outdated textbook. What a shame!