The novel The Congo by Michael Crichton is about an advanced technologicalcompany that sends an expedition into the Congo jungle in Zaire to search foran ancient city. The novel began in Houston, Texas where Earth ResourcesTechnology Services, Inc. is located. E.R.T.S. had just discovered that ateam they had sent into the Congo had been destroyed. Karen Ross, who was oneof the field supervisors at E.R.T.S., was chosen to lead a new expedition intothe Congo to discover what had happened to the first team and to find the LostCity of Zinj. This was an ancient city, which was said to have a huge depositof Type IIb diamonds. These diamonds were going to be used to power verysophisticated new technological computers and weapons. Peter Elliot was a professor who was the head of Project Amy. Project Amywas designed to teach a gorilla named Amy American Sign Language. Manypeople, however, complained that Elliot and his group was harming Amy. Elliotfound it best to leave the country for a while to escape the media. KarenRoss called him and offered for him to come to the Congo with her. Heagreed, and soon they were on their way to Africa. When they arrived inAfrica, they first had to find Charles Munro who lead expedition groupsthrough the jungles of Africa. After skydiving into the heart of the Congo,the team had to march for many miles to reach the Lost City of Zinj and thediamonds. To shorten their trip, Munro decided to navigate down the CongoRiver. After they narrowly escaped the hippos in the river, they soon arrivedin the lost city. Once they reached the city, they encountered their mostdifficult obstacle. The team discovered a new species of gorillas that hadbeen trained to kill. These gorillas protected the lost city and during thenight, the gorillas attacked the camp many times. In the final attack, Elliot
used a tape he had made of the gorillas speech to tell the gorillas to leave.After about ten minutes of attacking the gorillas responded to the tape andleft. The next day, the team made its final venture into the ancient city tofind the diamonds. Once they found the mines, Ross insisted on using minorexplosives to remove the diamonds from the rock. The explosions caused thevolcano to erupt and they were forced to abandon the whole mission and flee tosafety. After being attacked by some of the local Indians, they found enoughpropane gas to fly their hot air balloon out of the jungle and back intocivilization. The plot in The Congo was very detailed but sometimes confusing and some ofthe ideas that it mentioned were hard to believe. The detail in the book andbackground information on each topic were extremely well researched. Thegreat amount of knowledge the author had on this subject was clearly showthrough his writing. The only problem with his vast knowledge of the subjectwas some of the ideas that he spoke of were very complex and hard to follow atsome points. Also, when he used the technical type of the computer, it wasvery had to distinguish what he was trying to say. The characters in thenovel were believable, but some of the other thoughts about animal thought andcommunication were hard to believe. The novel stated that gorillas seemed toshow far superior intelligence to the human race. Also, due to the fact thatthe book was written at the very end of the nineteen seventies, the bookstated that by the nineteen eighties all wars would be over in a matter ofminutes. This was going to be due to all of the advancements in technologythat would be available by the use of the new Type IIb diamonds. Although atsome points, the book was hard to follow due to technical jargon, The Congowas a very well written book and I advise any reader who enjoys other MichaelCrichton novels to read it.