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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Congo by Michael Crichton

The best way to find your way around a city is to be shown by somebody who was born there.  What if the city you're interested in is a 'lost city'?  That makes it interesting but, as Karin Ross and Peter Elliot come to find, it's not impossible.

I have long been a great fan of Michael Crichton and his pioneering use of the sub-genre of the Techno-thriller.  Much like many of his other works, in Congo, Crichton builds a scenario  where technology is the bait, the trap and possibly the means of escape for those who wish to employ it.  As formulaic as that sounds, Congo proves that it is anything but.  The story starts off as a quest that, as characters are brought in, becomes larger and more intricate.  This sort of layered progression keeps the pace of the story at a high tempo without feeling too exhausting.

This also accommodates the introduction and exposition of characters.  Crichton uses interpersonal interaction to show depth of the main characters very well.  It's a nice variation of the writers' adage 'Show, don't tell."  Witnessing a characters react in support of their motivation is more compelling even than that character stating their motivation.  We get to see the quite a bit in this book.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn't point out there are some failings with some of the authors use of technology and tech terms.  I spend my days dealing with the very guts of the what makes modern technology work so, I tend to notice these things right away.  I won't go into detail but, suffice it to say, Mr. Crichton takes many liberties with technology and misuses a few terms throughout the book.  This is a book that was set and written in the late 1970's so, they probably could get away with those things more than they ever could today.  Besides, this is Sci-Fi in more ways than one, so, I usually just chalked some of those miscues to that side of it.

This is yet another "it's much better than the movie" stories. There is quite a bit of violence and language throughout the book so I think it should land in the safer section of PG13 rating.

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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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4 People left their mark' :

  1. Michael Crichton is an author that I've always wanted to try. I've seen a few of the movies made about his books and I enjoyed them. I figured if the movies are good, the books have to be better, right? Maybe one day I'll finally get around to trying him. I'm trying to branch out my reading more and get away from the standard urban fantasy that I keep getting drawn to.

  2. Love the review! I've only read his Jurassic Park series, but am interested in reading more for him. This seems like it'd be a good start.

  3. I am doing an author study for school and I chose Michael Crichton. After reading Congo and Jurassic Park I knew choosing him was a great choice. In both of the books I read Michael could use characters (dinosaurs and gorillas) and have them interacting with the humans in the novels. While using animals he made the situations in the book as if they were real-life situations. While having some moments that were PG-13 or possibly worse, as a 7th grader I was still able to know what was happening and stay interested in both of the stories.

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