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Congo by Michael Crichton Review

I bought this book for two reasons. The first reason was after reading the Pirates book he half wrote, I was left feeling disappointed after having Michael Crichton hyped up to me so much. The second being, I wanted to get home from the book store and couldn’t find anything else. My Wife picked it out for me, so I read a bit of the back and decided to go with it.

Crichton does an incredible job at establishing a foundation for an engaging premise and versatile characters. By the end of the Prologue I was excited. I was thinking, this is the book that gets me hooked on Crichton. Despite other reviews stating it wasn’t his best. For me, this is it. Without the use of time travel I had no means to tell the Stephen who thought that, he will be in for a very long and uneventful journey reading Congo.

I will give Crichton some props though, the science in the book is very interesting and most of it does have relevance within the actual story. When it came a time to actually make me care for those characters and furthering the plot with any semblance of fluidity, he slacked off. Perhaps my expectations caught the best of me as I was expecting an over the top book filled with lots of excitement. In essence a hybrid of Planet of the Apes and Indiana Jones. What I got was far less exciting, suspenseful or Indy-riffic.

I was in the hope that something interesting would happen, that something of consequence would happen to our 3 main characters to wet my appetite. But, nothing happened, in such a high stakes expedition, nothing happened. They all survived, pointed out the obvious and really seemed to have no effect on each other’s lives. I don’t expect them to start having a threesome or anything. But, when you spend that long in a strange place, you expect they will connect on some level. I am not even sure why Amy went there, for the most part she was a complete pain in the ass. You wouldn’t take a child to look for a Lost City would you? No one died and everyone got back home safely, the characters as far as I know never interacted with each other again. This expedition became a mere foot note on their lives.

I probably wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. Unless I really disliked them or wanted to prove a point. I don’t think I am ready to give up on Michael Crichton yet. In fairness to him the two of his I have read are hardly known as being his best. It may be awhile to recover from this one before I read another though.