Congo

Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,975 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Deep in the African rain forest, near the legendary ruins of the Lost City of Zinj, an expedition of eight American geologists are mysteriously and brutally killed in a matter of minutes.

Ten thousand miles away, Karen Ross, the Congo Project Supervisor, watches a gruesome video transmission of the aftermath: a camp destroyed, tents crushed and torn, equipment scattered in the mud alongside dead bodies - all motionless except for one moving image - a grainy, dark, man-shaped blur.

In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot works with Amy, a gorilla with an extraordinary vocabulary of 620 "signs," the most ever learned by a primate, and she likes to finger paint. But recently her behavior has been erratic and her drawings match, with stunning accuracy, the brittle pages of a Portuguese print dating back to 1642…a drawing of an ancient lost city. A new expedition - along with Amy - is sent into the Congo, where they enter a secret world, and the only way out may be through a horrifying death.....

Congo was adapted to the screen and directed by Frank Marshall.

©1980 CrichtonSun LLC (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,610
  • 4 Stars
    961
  • 3 Stars
    328
  • 2 Stars
    62
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,661
  • 4 Stars
    721
  • 3 Stars
    259
  • 2 Stars
    56
  • 1 Stars
    23

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,478
  • 4 Stars
    794
  • 3 Stars
    345
  • 2 Stars
    75
  • 1 Stars
    23

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic - better the second time around

I originally read this 20 years ago and have recently started re-listening to Michael Crichton books this year. Congo is one of the best books, in my opinion, that Crichton ever wrote. Great character development, realistic mix of science / fantasy, and steady plot development.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good not Great

Any additional comments?

I found this particular novel from Crichton to be less interesting that the others of his that I have read. The story itself was good, and it had his scientific details that really help to absorb the reader into a world where the events are actually taking place. But the story seems to be a ton of build up to about 50 pages (or about an hour) of rap-up. The story seems to focus most of its content on the preparation and trip to the Congo, and falls a little flat there. The technology discussed is particularly interesting to me, but I can see it further discouraging other readers. I would recommend it, and I will likely read/listen-to it again, but before you dive in, manage your expectations. This will likely not end up on your top 100.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good

I really liked the story. The narrator did a decent job, although it took some effort to get through the male voices. Definitely worth it, however.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Iteresting read with great narration

Really liked the narrator, she was very even and did a good job of making the long explanations that while interesting, are not blended into the story line very well, more enjoyable to listen to.
Fascinating story that was very well researched of course which helps blend the science and fiction seamlessly.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the best of Crichton with excellent narration

Popular opinion on Crichton's Congo has always been divided--some feel it's one of his better novels while many feel it's the opposite. I'm one of the former. I love this book. And while the Jurassic Park movies remain among my favorites, I didn't love the books nearly as much--they were good, interesting, but failed to sweep me away like Congo did and continues to do, and for that reason, I put it well above the Jurassic Park and Lost World novels. Amy, the gorilla, in particular is a gem. I always forget how much I love Crichton's sense of humor. Amy is marvelously rendered and a fabulous character. The other characters are well drawn and interesting--no one is one-dimensional, no one is perfect, everyone is interesting.
The narration is superb, and I need to spend a sentence or two on that because when I was trying to decide whether or not to buy the audible version, I very nearly didn't because of the many negative reviews of the narration. One in particular shreds her performance of Peter, saying he sounds like a sulky teenager. I honestly have no idea where they got that. Julia Whelan does a magnificent job with all elements, particularly the sciency bits where Crichton veers off into massive amounts of exposition/history/etc that no fiction author should be allowed to get away with and yet he DOES and somehow does it really well--Julia Whelan does a masterful job with those sections making them every bit as interesting to listen to as the action sequences. As if often the case with cross gender reading, Whelan does sound a little strained with the male characters. But I've heard far worse, and it's not distracting. And she's spot-on perfect with the overall narration, the female voices, and Amy.

This was an easy 5 stars and I will definitely be re-listening to it many times in the future.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Roller coaster

This book was incredibly fun to listen to, with some great narration to boot.

If you love Crichton, this is about as classic as it gets.

"Amy good gorilla."

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not his best

This book spends way too much time on events leading up to the final conflict and technical jargon. I purchased it as a cheap buy to tide me over until next month's credit, but I struggled with wanting to finish it in many places. The narrator did a good job differentiating between different characters and it was entertaining, albeit frustratingly slow in places. I recommend his other novel, Prey, over this one, but it's not a terrible choice.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

SLEEP WROTE

THAT'S A B8 PROBLEM
Written in 1980, Crichton was just getting his feet wet. This is a mass amount of facts and figures. While some of these tidbits of information are interesting, the book as a whole is lacking. No character development, with the exception of Amy the Gorilla. The story was not compelling. You want to skip this one.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Worth reading.

It was good just not great, I can't quite put my finger on it but it was missing something.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Bad Performance

This is a typical Crichton novel, a nice mixture of adventure and science. Not one of his better works but still an enjoyable read. Unfortunately it is not a enjoyable listen. I found the narrators attempts at accents to be distracting and would have preferred if she didn't even attempt them.

4 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Colin
  • Colin
  • 10-21-15

Better than Jurassic Park!

Don't be put off by the average at best 1995 movie, the book has plenty of story lines not included in the film, plus an excellent presentation. 5*

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AReader
  • AReader
  • 04-19-20

Slightly dated but still good

I didn’t have a problem with the narrator at all as others have suggested. There are some longeurs where Crichton starts explaining some point of science or geography. The whole ‘heart of darkness’ thing may be hackneyed. But some of the ideas are still important - animal rights, do animals have consciousness, man versus nature, etc. I grew very fond of Amy! Listened right to the end which is not always the case.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for thomas miller
  • thomas miller
  • 04-15-20

Good story. Somewhat predictable.

Good story. Somewhat predictable however this is my first foray into Michael Crichton and there was enough here to make me jump into another.

Good performance but seemed like the 'Ross said' were dubbed after the fact. Sometimes off putting.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-20

Excellent Narrator

Narrator was spot on 👍🏻 I enjoyed her voice overs of mixed characters . Clear and crisp . Excellent book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris
  • Chris
  • 03-28-20

great narrator, naff story

chrichton has a habit of injecting his own opinions, a mark of a bad author.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr M McGougan
  • Mr M McGougan
  • 11-07-19

I don’t remember that technology in the late 70s!!

A moral tale of greed set in some kind of futuristic dystopian 70s. I would have bought into it more if it had been set in the early 2000s.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for peter regan
  • peter regan
  • 05-18-19

Great read!

I loved every minute of this book.Totally absorbing storyline from beginning to end. I just couldn’t put it down. Excellent narration from Julia Whelan too. Would highly recommend it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-14-18

Good book overall. Thoroughly enjoyed.

It's a very good book sometimes the story can drift and you might get a bit lost but overall it's a enjoyable story. At first I struggled with the narrator but in fairness it is told in a interesting and gripping way.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Scott C.
  • Scott C.
  • 04-02-18

great listen

was a great listen, had me gripped from start to finish. Good narration. some of the narrators sound effects had me in hysterics.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr Stuart E Truman
  • Mr Stuart E Truman
  • 08-20-16

Good Story but too much useless information

This is undoubtedly better that the movie but the narrator is not very good at a male voice and would have been better not trying.

There are far too many tangent details that happened in 79-80 which of course is a product of the time it was written. But the details the author goes into takes too much away from the story path and I found that I would lose concentration of the story and got bored. I liked the story but not all the technical details given.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miyuru
  • Miyuru
  • 01-03-17

A little underwhelming

Really good story but I was underwhelmed by the ending - it had a lot of promise but left too many lose ends and questions unanswered

1 person found this helpful