The novel The Congo by Michael Crichton is about an advanced technological company that sends an expedition into the Congo jungle in Zaire to search foran ancient city. The novel began in Houston, Texas where Earth Resources Technology Services, Inc. is located. E. R. T.
S. had just discovered that team they had sent into the Congo had been destroyed. Karen Ross, who was one of 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 Lost City of Zinj. This was an ancient city, which was said to have a huge deposit of Type IIb diamonds. These diamonds were going to be used to power very sophisticated new technological computers and weapons. Peter Elliot was a professor who was the head of Project Amy.
Project Amy was designed to teach a gorilla named Amy American Sign Language. Many people, however, complained that Elliot and his group was harming Amy. Elliot found it best to leave the country for a while to escape the media. Karen Ross called him and offered for him to come to the Congo with her. He agreed, and soon they were on their way to Africa. When they arrived in Africa, they first had to find Charles Munro who lead expedition groups through 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 the diamonds. To shorten their trip, Munro decided to navigate down the Congo River. After they narrowly escaped the hippos in the river, they soon arrived in the lost city. Once they reached the city, they encountered their most difficult obstacle. The team discovered a new species of gorillas that had been trained to kill.
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These gorillas protected the lost city and during the night, 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 gorilla responded to the tape and left. The next day, the team made its final venture into the ancient city to find the diamonds. Once they found the mines, Ross insisted on using minor explosives to remove the diamonds from the rock.
The explosions caused the volcano to erupt and they were forced to abandon the whole mission and flee to safety. After being attacked by some of the local Indians, they found enough propane gas to fly their hot air balloon out of the jungle and back into civilization. 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 and background information on each topic were extremely well researched.
The great amount of knowledge the author had on this subject was clearly show through his writing. The only problem with his vast knowledge of the subject was 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 was very had to distinguish what he was trying to say. The characters in the novel were believable, but some of the other thoughts about animal thought and communication were hard to believe.
The novel stated that gorillas seemed to show 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 book stated that by the nineteen eighties all wars would be over in a matter of minutes. This was going to be due to all of the advancements in technology that 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 Congo was a very well written book and I advise any reader who enjoys other Michael Crichton novels to read it.
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