Michael Crichton

Cover of Congo

Rank: D
No. Times Read: 1
Last Read: Summer, 1995

Author Name: Michael Crichton

Review: I want to go on record as saying, officially, that them monkeys is no good!

Why, I wonder, can’t a research team peacefully enter the African jungle to obtain a mysterious diamond that will give its owners unspeakable power, obtain said diamond, and leave without incident? Why, indeed! The answer in Congo appears to be these monkeys that really have it out for people that try to disturb them. They seem to have taken possession of an ancient city where the precious gem is kept, so, I suppose, there was bound to be conflict. Rather than brokering a tentative peace accord, the monkeys and scientists go at each other. Action, action, action!

As a linguist, I should comment on the gorilla Amy that can use sign language. This book was written in 1980, but that’s no excuse. Apes can’t use sign language efficiently, and can certainly not use it to communicate with other apes (a new species of apes) to figure out what they want. Further, the silver gorillas apparently have their own “language”. Right. And Noam Chomsky has actually done something useful in his academic career.

So…I guess that’s it. There was a movie made of the book. In fact, I have a special story about the movie. I had a girlfriend at the time, and we somehow tricked our parents into letting us go see the movie by ourselves (how naughty!). It was at the old Super Saver theater in Rossmoor, where you could see movies that were about a month old for $2. It used to be $1.50, and before that $1. Sadly, the theater was put out of business. It was a fun theater (lots of disco lights), and I went there all the time (in fact, I went there by myself to watch The Truman Show once). I was greatly saddened when it closed, and am fairly certain no theater like it will ever grace that orange-colored county of mine ever again. And who’s to blame? That’s right: Michael Crichton. He’s responsible for my favorite theater closing forever. If it weren’t for him, there never would have been a movie made of Congo, and it would never have been shown at the Super Saver, and its reputation never would have been permanently ruined for showing such a terrible movie. Michael Crichton, for that and that alone, you are my sworn enemy. Make your time!

Oh, and by the way: Donnie Darko sucks.

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