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"Swimming in the Congo" by Margaret Meyers is a very amazing novel that reads like a collection of short stories. It is told in the first-person by a girl, daughter of missionary parents, growing up in the Belgian Congo, circa 1960. The stories are focused on the narrator and her memories of her parents and the local people (Congolese and ex-pats) in and near missionary communities. Problems the seven-year narrator with contain the mix of American Protestant and African traditional beliefs she encounters; the meaning of the equator and scientific reality; and White racism towards the Congolese. Meyers' writing reads well and is simple to like. It would be interesting to see her story continued.
... you'll love SWIMMING IN THE CONGO! This is a collection of short stories that reads like a novel. In it, young Grace Birggen, the daughter of an agricultural missionary to the Congo in the 1960's, comes of age along the banks of the Congo River in what is now Zaire. The stories are beautifully written and the descriptions of her childhood in an emerging third-world nation are compelling. It is POISONWOOD without the poison. Yes, there are incidents of imperialism and racism, but those incidents are filtered through Grace's eyes, in much the same method that Scout narrates Boo Radley's and Tom Robinson's stories in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and so will you.
and although I grew up in Nigeria, during the 80's, this book brought back so a lot of memories. Not only were her descriptions of the continent breathtakingly vivid, her pre-teen thoughts on topics like the unforgivable sin and sexuality also brought back memories. There is more to being a missionary kid in Africa than the "wildness" and Meyers captures the subtlties with grace and fluidity. Absolutely gorgeous.
A unbelievable book, for all the reasons previous reviewers give. My own kids spent some growing-up years on the Kasai, a huge tributary of the Congo and had some lazy afternoons in a swim hole where we were beautiful sure there were no crocs due to the quick running water. Our time in Congo/Zaire began a few years after the moon landing, after Mobotu changed the names of cities and rivers. Fortunately, I cannot think of any missionaries in our zone who fit the "Madame of the Hard Mouth"! She would not have lasted long where we were--at the invitation and supervision of the national church. But no doubt this may have been a real experience in other mission enclaves in earlier years. It is interesting that the author locations this story toward the end of the 60s, that period following national independence when the power gradually shifted and Hard Mouths were no longer tolerated. Interesting also that she locations one of her first childhood stories, of daydreaming of being Henry Morton Stanley's Girl Friday ("I recognized the devoutly Christian soul beneath his cruelties, his grandiose boastings, and in return he trusted me.") in contrast to one of her last, of the 75-yr-old gardener, Wizamo, who had his hand sawed off as a teenage slave by King Leopold's enforcers on the rubber plantations. Stanley was Leopold's right-hand gunman in opening up the Congo River basin to Leopold's reign of terror. (see King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild) Grace's coming of age when she leaves childhood behind is also in Wizamo's story, her enlightenment of the true history. Wizamo tells a frightened Grace: "They no for almost killing me, you understand, but I have for sixty years because I didn't work hard enough as slave labor on the mondele's [white's] rubber plantation. I have pulled weeds from your mindele [whites'] gardens and thought of murder. It is well for you, all of you, that you are too strong to be touched." I look forward to reading her 2014 book.
Margaret Meyers, the daughter of a missionary family, grew up in The Congo in the 1960s, and this 1995 collection of short stories was part of her later MFA Thesis at the University of Virginia. Through them, she introduces her lead character, Grace, who views the globe with the freshness of childhood and shares her experiences with the reader. Her father tells her the equator goes right through their property and, at the age of six, she searches for it as if it would be a clearly marked path. Her favorite pastime is swimming in the river, a river she will miss terribly when she is sent off to boarding school a few years later. Her protestant Christianity is unquestioned and she's always exploring her own spirituality as well as making keen observations about the people around her. There are some memorable characters here, from her loving parents to the native Congolese who laugh at the foibles of the missionary families. There are the two spinster women with a secret, an unhappy former ballerina who has problem adapting to her life in Africa, and a Frenchman who loves his garden almost as much as he loves his constantly changing women. Through Grace's young eyes we see the cruelty of racism and the stirrings of independence as political changes are event in the 261 pages this is a quick and enjoyable read, one that I gobbled up in two sittings, letting myself travel to the lush globe of Grace's Congo and view it through her child's eyes. Mainly, it's about the people and she stays away from political analysis. She tells her stories simply and creates an atmosphere, and brings the reader right into her world. If I have any criticism at all, it is that some of the characters appear in just one of the short stories and I wanted to hear more about them as the book went on. But, alas, this is a book of stories, not a novel. I loved this book; it was a little trip into a globe that is now gone and which I will never obtain to know except for my reading. And it sure was an enjoyable journey. Recommended.
I was expecting an album of African music, ala "Missa Luba". What I got was renditions of a couple of well-known Christmas songs and a few African songs. A lot of the album consisted of Earth Kitt reading African folk tales. That's alright if that's what you're looking for, but it's disappointing if you're buying the album to hear the specific kind of melody for which the Troubadours du Roi Baudouin are known.
If you're looking for something various in terms of holiday music, check out this CD reissue of the 1963 recording Christmas in the Congo, originally issued on the Philips label. Included are 16 Congolese songs performed by Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin, a boys choir formed by Father Haazen shortly after he arrived in Africa in the early 1950s. Following a tour of Europe, Les Troubadours became world-renowned, resulting in a recording contract with Philips. This was their second release and, since it’s less than 30 minutes, the additional zone has been filled by “Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa," narrated by the one and only Eartha Kitt, which should please young and old alike. - See more at: [...]
My parents played this album throughout my childhood every Christmas, and it brings me such joy to hear these songs now. It was an interesting time in America in the early 1960's, when people were exploring melody from other countries often for the first time. For me, this album equals Christmas spirit!
I have had a fascination with the Congo since I first visited it in the 1960s. I was there roughly the same time as when Belgium missionaries were killed and ritually cannibalized. Over a period of a couple of years I observed conditions that are unchanged today according to this book. For example, on the airport terminal stairwell ascending to the second floor restaurant was a bathroom. When I first saw it the stairwell was pockmarked with bullet holes and blood spatters and the bathroom toilets were non operational and overflowing; two years later nothing had changed but the toilets were in everyday use. I required a Congolese drivers license which necessitated a trip to the outskirts of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa); the troops camp where I got the license was patrolled by kid soldiers carrying rifles. The tragedy is that nothing has changed in 50 years; in fact they may have worsened. Yet this country and it people fascinate me and it tugs at my heart strings. A sad, memorable and extremely well written book about a people that the globe has written off. A amazing read.
I was drawn to reading this book because I was specifically looking for a memoir by a person of color from the West (not of African decent) writing about Africa. This came recommended after Anjan's appearances on TV. While he is not a US citizen, He does lend the perspective of being privileged (educated and having the means to come to the Congo) in this zone of the world. I was hoping there would be more detail about how he had to negotiate or learned more about his own marginalized identity in his travels, and there are moments where he meets other Indians living in the Congo and talks about that. And (spoiler) how difficult it was to search an embassy to take him in at the end. I feel that it very much is more journalistic than a memoir as I am really left to react emotionally to what he is experiencing. He has some interesting detail at the top about what he left behind to go to the Congo, but I feel he has missed an opportunity during the more stressful opportunities of the action, to not address regretting having gone there and leaving his old life behind. I appreciate that he talks about how small this region is reported on and paints a picture of exactly what a journalist must endure to work out there. I just want I had more emotional detail of what he was experiencing. I am giving 4 stars because I think he is an ambitious person to have done this.
An interesting memoir of Sundaram's experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Having completed school as a brilliant mathmetician, Sundaram gives this up and moves to the DRC to be a journalist. With no training and limited finances, he works his method through DRC hoping to search success as a journalist. Interesting, well-written memoir which provides an examination of DRC much various than the experiences I am having.
Most authentic Congo memoir I've read. Although the author is well educated, he doesn't write condescendingly. I doubt he is really short on funds, though he lives like it. Interesting to hear tidbits about the immigrant populations/minority groups in the Congo - other that those from neighboring countries. I especially enjoyed this book because the author did not stop the story every few pages to copy/paste a list of facts, figures, and dates that sound like a reference book, but rather he cleverly worked them into the well-written chapters that don't read like journal entries. Thank you Anjan! I look forward to reading your next book.
I bought this book for my fresh kindle after hearing Anjan Sundarum on the Jon Stewart show. So glad I did. A few years ago Sundarum, a math student at Yale, of Indian descent and born in Dubai, decided to change his path and immerse himself in the Congo, aka the Belgian Congo under King Leopold and Zaire in the reign of Mobutu, who had assassinated, with CIA approval, Patrice Lumumba, the country's best hope for a true democracy. This is the Congo backstory that Sundarum uses as his ndarum chose a living arrangement with a family in one of Kinshasa's slums (he had no for a amazing hotel room, nor did he wish one), slowly developed his contacts, and became a stringer for the Associated Press, traveling to locations in the lawless gold and diamond-rich country where necessary journalists never ventured.What he produced in "Stringer" is far more than a tale of a young man's adventure. It is an illuminating acc of how, and why, one African country blessed with amazing natural riches has continually failed to lift its people out of poverty. The causes are complex. Occasionally I found Sundarum's reasoning a bit too pat. But he succeeds brilliantly in explaining the Congo like no other writer I've read.
This honest and disturbing acc of a young man's determination to place himself where things were happening, i.e., in the situation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where greatest danger lay, to establish his career as a journalist. It info the unfortunate effect of the Congolese determination to push back versus outsiders who would exploit the region's rich resources and simple path to leadership for those who promise to do that and quickly enrich the country's not good -- who, when elected, are quickly corrupted by the absolute power and wealth available to those who collaborate with the exploiters.
I was astonished at the method Orv and Rub were able to take care of 20-40 children, days away from supplies, meet their academic needs, as well as emotional needs. Rub found that her memories of her mother's meals, cooking from scratch, were helpful. And Orv had a lot of an ingenious way of keeping the school supplied with protein, thanks to his growing up on a farm. Inspiring!
In 2006 at 22 years of age, having just graduated from Yale in mathematics and being offered a lucrative career in a financial institution, Anjan Sundaram becomes of aware of the amazing carnage of the battle in Democratic Republic of the Congo (often referred to as Congo) and being young idealistic and unaware of his own mortality decided to embark on a career as a journalist and room with the brother of a woman who worked at his bank. Sundaram bought a one method ticket to Congo without having secured a position for a news ringer starts with Anjan chasing a boy through the roads who has stolen his phone. He is unable to recover it and things go from poor to worse. The memoir becomes The Perils Of Anjan in the Congo. I wanted to encourage him to go home and assure him that his parents would welcome him and a life in a financial institution couldn't be all bad. He did however stick it out and he did start to search success as a journalist even though he continued to search himself in risky situations he didn't back away.I did search his description of life, politics and globe dynamics interesting and enlightening:"We currently live in what some say is the Fourth Amazing Pillage--others call it the Fifth or Sixth. The globe now needs cell phones, and Congo includes 60 percent of known reserves of an essential metal called tantalum. It is the curse: each progress in the globe produces some fresh suffering."I encouraged anyone interested in the Congo to read this and if you are interested in learning more about this book and author has a website in which you can access other articles written by him and videos in which he appears.[...]
Even though this is a fairly short book I had problem getting into it. It was reviewed positively on NPR and recommended by Fareed Zakaria; you can't obtain much higher in my view. Sundaram does a amazing job of conveying the tedium of reporting in Congo, until it becomes terror. So the tedium of the first part of the book was frustrating, but was compensated for by a amazing second part. Sundaram is to be congratulated for staying with his original pursuit.
The author hits the ground running and then next thing you know, you've reached the end. It is a collection of unusual and shocking happenstances for the journalist. While the stories aren't really similar in a through and through storyline, they do come together to give a very true (seeming) acc of a "day in the life" in Congo. The fact that the author was always hustling to search and stories back in the West gave the experience a relatable tone. A nice divergence from such day to day accounts from mission trips and NGOs.
Anarchy is not merely the absence of government. It is a method of organizing a group of people and has remarkable stability, particularly if outside powers largely control it, or at least war over it. Think of a group of predators fighting over the kill. The only thing certain is that the slay stays dead. The book is the direct private experiences of Anjan Sundaram, a young man apparently from a privileged and sheltered background who launches his career of would be international reporter by just going to the Congo with very small to help and protect him. His contemplations as well as his day to day experiences seem honest and very well written and hence very compelling.
I began to read this book not having very high expectations, but in the end it turned out to be very good. It was a slightly comical (im not sure if that was intentional) face paced, descriptive book. It is intended for teenagers, but can be enjoyed by older people as well.
This is one of the easiest books I have read in a really long time. I literally breezed through it, and found it charming. But what is truly surprising is not that the book is so easy, but the fact that it manages to be so even while painting pictures of lands which draw you into them, while detailing characters to an extent that you can really empathize with them, and while conveying a dozens and depth of emotions that is highly commendable. That's a formidable task for any writer, but Shyam Selvadurai continues to impress with his literary capabilities even today just the method he had done with his perfect first novel "Funny Boy".The book is set in Colombo, during a hot and humid lazy summer vacation in the life of 14-year old Amrith. The vacation begins uneventfully and promises to have no bigger highlight than practicing for a school drama till Amrith is suddenly confronted by his past, and much to his complete surprise, is very soon overjoyed and completed absorbed by it. As the days go by, however, Amrith's emotions go through a roller-coaster ride as he learns more about his family and friends, but above all, about himself. The vacation period turns out to the coming-of-age one for Amrith, and he finally comes to terms with his fresh discoveries and ere is no dearth of coming-of-age books, and a lot of might be better, or at the very least, more poignant, but that should any deter you from reading another book on this widely dealt with subject, for the combination of the locale, the protagonist's situation, and Mr. Selvadurai's writing create this a book worthy of it's own put on the bookshelves of ly, I'd like to create particular point about this book: I really don't think of it as a "young adults" book at all - it is a book for everybody. It is a lovely piece of writing, and will surely leave a positive tag on your literary journey, irrespective of who you are.
I'll admit, I found the first 90 or so pages slightly slow, but once Niresh shows up things got a lot more interesting. I loved Amrith's affection and feeling of possessiveness toward his cousin, emotions Amrith justifies with the fact that his parents were taken from him when he was young and his extended family turned their backs on him because of scandal surrounding his parents' marriage. Niresh's fierce, bold, wild-child attitude is the excellent contrast to Amrith's quiet, reserved one. All characters are likable and three-dimensional, but Amrith was especially empathetic. When he began to feel as though he were losing his cousin to the attention of his sisters, I felt his pain. When he was struggling to balance his increasing inner turmoil (regarding his feelings for Niresh and discovering his sexuality) with competing for an necessary part in the school play, I felt his anguish. His is a hero simple to root for. I enjoyed learning about Sri Lankan culture, the ways its traditional roots compared and contrasted with its westernization. The author's voice was just mesmerizing, putting me into an almost sedative state as I read this charming novel.
The story, set versus the backdrop of Colombo during the monsoon season, is about Amrith, a fourteen year old orphan who lives with his mother's best friend, her husband and two daughters. Amrith is very much a part of their lives, as he is more of a son and a brother to them than a ever, Amrith still feels alienated and different. He explores these feelings versus a rising darkness within him and memories of his mother and his past. He attempts to forget and focus on his acting skills at drama society in school, and typing at his adopted father, Uncle Lucky's office, but as fate would have it, his past lands on his doorstep in the guise of a cousin from rith finds a fresh found happiness in Niresh, his maternal cousin, and intrigue in a life so various from his. Somehow along the way, his relationship with Niresh is threatened, and Amrith begins to blame his adopted family. In the midst of the rising past, he with his own turmoils of awakening and e story is intended for young adults, but like Harry Potter, even adults will search pleasure reading it.
Absolutely unbelievable writing--decriptions that are so vivid that you can taste the foods and smell the spices of the tropics. Set in Sri Lanka in 1980, it is the story of 14 year old Amrith, an orphan being raised by his Aunt Bundle and Uncle Lucky. (Yep, those are really their names) His life is forever changed when his cousin, Niresh, arrives from Canada. The story in intertwined with Shakespeare's play Othello, as Amrith copes with his jealousy as he falls in love with his though Amrith's sexuality is part of the story, there is nothing inappropriate as a Young Adult novel.Highly recommended
The dust jacket makes it seem like this novel is just about a boy falling in love with another boy, but really, Amrith's love for Niresh is only peripheral to the plot. More necessary is Amrith's reconciling his feelings about his dead parents and the problem in their families, and his adoptive parents and sisters, whom he both loves and hates. All the main characters in the story are fully real, and Amrith's growing maturity is well ever, this book did have some flaws. It was overly didactic -- obviously written for a Western audience that had no notion of Sri Lankan life, there was a small too much explaining about customs and architecture and the weather. The other, bigger issue (in my mind) is that method too much was told rather than shown, particularly about Amrith's feelings. It was as if the author didn't trust the reader to draw the correct conclusions and had to spoon-feed them everything.I would give this book a B, and might be tempted to pick up more of this author's work in the future. I hope he works out his showing-telling problem.
I have been following these brave ladies for a number of years now. I had heard parts of the story, but I was really not prepared for the whole story as presented in the book. This is a story of survival and determination versus seemingly impossible odds and almost constant danger. You won't be able to place this book down. Go ahead and an additional box of Kleenex. This and one of the attractive bags these ladies sew would create a Christmas bonus that would hold on giving.
The story of the women and their families that is told in this book is eye-opening, thought-provoking, motivating, and heart-touching. It is a captivating story written in an interesting style that kept my attention and created for a relatively fast read. Major themes in the book are: community; friendship; faith (religious and otherwise); plight of refugees; poverty; family ties; sacrifices created by mothers; life with a physical disability; hope in spite of fear. Despite the book’s descriptions of the tragedies and hardships that Argentine, Mapendo, and their families have lived through, their resilience and hopeful attitudes created it an uplifting story; the book left me with a pervasive feeling of hope and faith for my own life and the world, no matter what the future holds. There are thoughtful discussion questions at the end of the book that would be amazing for use by a book-discussion group.
Prepare to be amazed by this heartwarming story of courage and love. The women of Shona Congo are remarkable. Their strength versus such wonderful odds is breathtaking. Through so much adversity, their joy and faith shine through. Their story inspires me to be a better person and hopefully will inspire you as well!
I have been following the Shona women's stories for a number of years. What a privilege to read more of their story of courage and resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. If you wish to know what it looks like to have faith when the globe is falling apart, to lean into family and relationships when resources are scarce and survival is paramount, to be brave when danger is all around you, to be joyfully resilient when you are surrounded by battle and suffering, to grieve what is lost and throw yourself wholeheartedly into an unknown future, to learn to do what no one thinks you can do, to make art in the middle of a war, to believe in the power of love when you see only destruction, to truly live...then read this awesome story of these awesome women. To know their story is to be changed. And if you are anything like me, you will want you lived next door to them to just soak in even a small of their joy, love, and strength.
I fell into the pages of this book and the story it told. I love the writers' style. It couldn't have been more perfect. Telling a tragic yet hopeful story with simplicity of words, it was able to impact and move my heart like no book has for a lot of years. Clear. Honest. Inspiring. Beautiful. Current. Miraculous. Am now buying more copies to give as gifts. Will read this book again and again.
"I laughed and cried and remain in awe of this strong saga. This real story, for me, is nothing short of miraculous- a testament to human (and especially female) strength, power, ingenuity and unfailing this book. Keep these women in your heart. Learn from them."Joyce Buonfiglio
I’ve been buying Shona Congo bags for years and getting compliments every time I have one with me. I’ve generally known these ladies’ stories from their website, and I ordered the book when it first came out.I just started reading it today and could NOT place it down!!! Learning more about these women create me love them all the more. Their faith, hope, and courage are never ending and incredibly inspirational. This is a book that will stay in my bookshelf forever, to be read over and over again.
Um Bongo. The 6th of Johnny Weissmuller’s forays into Jungle Jim’s khaki shorts proves to be a damp squib. It’s low on ideas and crudely constructed by director William Berke. Ok, lets not beat around the jungle bush, for the very young movie fan there is more than enough here to hold them rooted to the sofa. From hilariously poor spider designs to recycled animal fights, there’s no denying that young eyes can have fun whilst feasting on their burgers. Hell, the plot even has some intelligence to it, even if it’s a touch bonkers as drug lords seek to extract narcotic tinged glands from the Okongo, a half horse/zebra/antelope thingy that the makers have created up. But this is all told one of the weakest of the series and feels old hat as regards familiarity breeding contempt. 4/10
It was illuminating to read about the "Broken Heart" syndrome vindicating the the wisdom of poets and philosophers over the ages concerning the link between the heart and life's happenings that can literally and figuratively "break your heart."Paul J. Kiell, M.D..
Awesome story of overcoming overwhelming odds, in the past her life has been about doing swims no one has ever done, versus all odds, this story is about life and death, rediscovering joy and passion in life not just recovering but exceeding all expectations of the medical world. An inspiring story that we all can learn from when the pain and hardships in life overwhelm us, Lynne's story proves that there is always hope through love. Love this book ! Love Lynne, she is an encouraging angel!
Anyone who has read SWIMMING TO ANTARCTICA will be cheering for Lynne as she confronts a daunting fresh challenge. She's a world-class athlete every step of the way. And reading her first-person description when she is in the water is the golden nugget.
I've read every book written by Lynne Cox, a globe class swimmer and a globe class is is her inspirational acc of overcoming the odds in the face of private and health struggles. It's full of lots of insights we can all learn from.I couldn't place it down, and will probably read it again soon.I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lynne Cox, for your book, _Swimming in the Sink_. This cuts right to the heart of what it means to be human and vulnerable and powerful and courageous. Your struggle to heal from aFib and with the grief of your parents' and your dog Cody's passing is so honestly, humanely described that it brings me to tears...and laughter too, as you retain your vitality of spirit and humor. Having gone through the loss of my parents, I know that pain, know the grieving a runner and swimmer, I know how well that training has served me in difficult times--and yet at the same time how hard it is to allow go and acknowledge vulnerability when we wish to focus on our strength. You do that with such sensitivity and grace!
I like the method that Lynne Cox describes herself and her journey in her very introspective manner. Her cold water swim journey seem almost superhuman to me like she was just born to swim. I've followed her career for a long time and have always been in such awe of her. I think it's amazing that she shares her frailties with us.Her book was a amazing companion to another book I read by an begin water swimmer, Mile Humphrey who humorously explains the struggle to achieve his begin water goal as well as his failures in achieving them.
CONGO (1980) follows the exploits of a little high-tech squad of explorers, in an international super-stakes race to search a unique diamond mine in the remote jungle, following up an advanced squad of explorers that was completely wiped out before is story is interesting in its own right - but provides an extra benefit of a history lesson into the Silicon Valley mindset of the computer high-tech world, in 1980 during the beginning of the Microprocessor Revolution (at the height of the Z-80 based CP/M and Pac-Man computer era, just before the world-changing introduction of the IBM PC using Microsoft DOS the next year... other than with specialized Video Android games built for expensive, Arcade-based consoles, costing a quarter for just about 3-4 mins of playing time, it was a "text-based" computer screen globe - with Windows based computers not gaining a full foothold with Windows 3.1, for another dozen years).
Congo is another science fueled adventure by the Crichton. It is engaging, interesting and keeps you wondering what is going to happen next. Like most of his books, it is well researched and is filled with scientific facts. At the same time it is accessible and does not bog down. Rather, the facts are woven through the story in a manner which enhances the plot and moves it forward. The characters are well developed and rounded in that he avoids simple, one trait, flat characters. I only discovered Crichton and this is my 4th novel. It compares well with the excitement and adventure of Jurassic Park, The Lost Globe and Sphere.
It is a amazing book that encompasses all the perspective of the colonization of gives a clear picture of slave labor and the effects of the industrial revolution had influenced the acquisition of natural resources.
This book is beautiful good. For when it was written I can't say I know dozens and dozens about other books that were popular. I can say that almost everyone I know has a powerful dislike for the movie they created based on this novel. I however, always held the film as a classic silly favorite. That being said, the book felt a small boring to me. Maybe it's because I read it right after reading jurassic park, maybe it's just because its boring. In any event, if you're on the fence about reading this one, I'd say go for it anyway. The science aspect of the story is certainly cool. I just don't know that I'd ever read it a second time.
I just got done reading the book and i have never read a book by Michael Crichton. I really enjoyed the film when I was small and thought hey why not test the book because the book is usually better than the movie. it is definitely better than the movie. I have no complains about the book. the only poor thing i will say is that the end allow me down a bit and seemed a bit rushed but over all the book was awesome. It kept me coming back and wanting to know what happened next and it actually had some really cool facts in it as well. im now reading Jurassic Park and am loving it. really glad my mate told me about him and his books. if you're looking for a book and a amazing story i would definitely obtain it. hope this helps
This novel is undoubtedly well-written, though I felt the characters were more like sketches than true people, and the book far surpasses the film version. While the premise of the novel may seem ridiculous at times, it was fun (and educational in a lot of ways) to follow. Chrichton obviously does his research. I enjoyed his Jurassic Park novels more in terms of content, but the story here of a group of people (and one "talking" gorilla) trekking through the Congo to search out what happened to their colleagues on an earlier expedition is entertaining enough. There are a lot of over-the-top scenes and a bit too much conflict (civil war; a volcano on the verge of erupting; risky indigenous tribes in the jungle; dangerously-competitive corporate rivals; mutant, murderous gorillas; etc.), but if you can overlook the melodrama, it's a amazing read.
Outstanding read! This book was written in 1980 at the relative beginning of Crighton's writing career, but you can see already the level of genius in the meticulous crafting and attractive story telling that Crighton has become known for in his writings. In some ways, this novel could be regarded as a precursor to some of Crighton's later blockbusters such as Jurassic Park and Lost Globe as it is truly an exciting adventure book which takes us into the mysterious and unknown lands of Africa. But what makes this book a true masterpiece is the level of research and actual facts that Crighton has incorporated in this novel, giving it a sense of reality. I highly recommend this book.
Though the language is a small dated at times (eg: saying Orientals for Asians) that doesn’t diminish the narrative at all. The story revolves around a young female gorilla named Amy who’d been brought to a lab as an infant after her mother was killed in the wild. Amy was taught to use sign language by Peter, a researcher, and could “speak” fluently. An expedition was formed to locate the ruins of an ancient town in the Congo rain forest and Amy and Peter were brought along. Various members of the expedition had different agendas for participating - scientific, exploratory, political, and amazing old fashioned financial - and were often at odds with each other. Ultimately the group finds much more than they anticipated. It’s a gripping read with exciting elements and unexpected twists that kept me fully mesmerized.
I love Michael Crichton. You read this mesmerizing story, turning page after page. When you are done, you realize that you have learned something. Something about something Huge - and important. I love that talent and caring. I am sure a lot of people in this globe miss this man. Long May YouRun, wherever you are.
I would have given this 5 stars but throughout the book there were pages i skipped because something was being explained in detail that actually had no bearing on the story. I'm not very technically minded but wouldnt mind reading about computer programmes they were using BUT at the beginning of the book, it nearly lost me as i struggled through several pages of computer jargon that wasnt necessary. For all that though the story was a amazing one, i just couldnt give it a 5.
I have read most of Michael's books, and have seen all the movies created from them as well. I hadn't read Congo, but had seen the film, which was almost universally panned. I liked the film, but after reading this well written, researched and intense book, agree a bit with the film's critics. This story is so well written and so researched, it is a amazing read on a lot of levels. I read this one beautiful fast, as it kept me engaged completely. Michael is really missed by myself, as he had so much more to give us. Highly recommended!
In both vignettes and travel journal format, Irene tells of her Peace Corps experience in Zaire and Malawi, Africa. The imagery she provides makes you feel you are there as she crosses a bamboo plank bridge into her African experience. The book will create you feel wonder and amazement at the rugged beauty of the African continent, and the resilience of its people. At age 46 and later at age 69, Irene gave up a settled prosperous lifestyle in Key West, Florida to create a difference in the lives of others less fortunate by joining the Peace Corps. Through her thoughtful and humor filled writing your eyes visualize her experiences, and you too are there living vicariously through her words. This book is both informative, enjoyable, and will definitely excite your adventurous spirit. Have fun reading it as I urel Borgia, Ph.D.
When people think about the discovery of fresh species for science, they tend to imagine some huge expeditions, with huge teams, help crews, cars and fancy field stations in the middle of the jungle. While this would be the dream for any field biologist, most of the times these discoveries are created in very harsh conditions, turning what one would think it is a "scientific expedition" into an adventure "a la Indiana Jones".With years of experience in some of the most pristine, biodiverse but also unknown and difficult locations on Earth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eli Greenbaum presents a terrific first hand acc on what is to do science in the depths of the jungles of the Congo, facing venomous snakes, militia and the not good conditions of a country that has suffered from battle and diseases for far too long. The private accounts by Eli combine perfectly with the passages and chapters about history of the region, the popular scientific works of Dian Fossey with the Gorillas, the history of the scientists that studied Congo's fauna, is is the kind of book that capture you from the first page to the last, and will be of amazing interest to anyone interested in science, adventure (!), history of Africa and history of science. Definitely a book that future historians of science will read in to understand how was science done in Africa in the early twentieth first century.Highly recommended!
I absolutely loved this book. I chose it because I am very interested in the history, culture and people of the DR Congo. I bought it despite thinking it would be primarily about biology and I'm so glad I did. Greenbaum does an perfect job of explaining the dire situation of forest conservation and species extinction in the Congo, but he also explains a lot about the history and politics of the country. His descriptions of the people, the land, the villages, the animals - it was all simple to read and so so interesting! My favorite parts were those where he was interacting with the Congolese people, but this book also created me care, in a much more specific way, about the plight of the little and huge animals of the Congo and also the forests and rainforests. A amazing page-turner! Full of adventure - I highly recommend!
I had asked Amazon to remove this item, because of the incorrect info in it. The introduction is filled with incorrect information. I am the only authorized biographer of William Stamps Cherry, and I know a BS product when I see it. Please remove this item from your inventory and from the find engines.
A unbelievable narrative of field experiences as a herpetologist in the Democratic Republic of Congo! Greenbaum shares his exciting and daring accounts while discovering and rediscovering exotic species. As a herpetologist and evolutionary biologist, Greenbaum stresses the importance of these discoveries as the destruction and conflicts of DCR could lead to the lost of multiple t only does Greenbaum share his extraordinary accounts of adventurous and often sketchy encounters with corrupt-stricken regions of the Congo, which makes for an exciting read but, he also doesn't shy away from science aspect of his work and the importance of understanding the genetics of the species he works with.While reading this book I found my heart racing in anticipation of fresh discoveries in Greenbaum's quest to search fresh species in Congo’s unexplored regions. This book ranks there up right along the narratives of other amazing biologists of our time like Jane Goodall, E.O. Wilson and George Schaller, just to name a few. The book was in itself a thrilling adventure that consumed my being and love for the field and is on my bookshelf as a fresh favorite! A must read for biologists!
Eli Greenbaum brings the Congo to you in his book. A super exciting read to experience his journey as a herpatoligist, the undiscovered wildlife, and the surrounding local violence that you just can't phase out. If you wish to travel from home I HIGHLY recommend!
The vast majority of monsters and plants in the Congo Basin remain uncatalogued and unobserved, even in the age of satellites and smartphones. Thankfully, a few scientists like Greenbaum brave the tangled dangers of this region to gather and protect what they can."Emerald Labyrinth" proves to be an exceptional acc of the author's journeys, mainly focused on finding frogs and snakes. Along the way, the reader is shown much of the Congo's dark and multilayered history, Greenbaum's private experiences in the field, the tragic effects of poaching and warfare, and the complicated mix of hope and danger regarding the area's the final chapter, he does veer off to speak on the global urgency of climate change, which seemed to belong in a various book. Nevertheless, the whole volume serves as a strong reminder that we are called to be courteous stewards of this attractive planet and all the wonders it has to offer. Highly recommended.
Masterful storytelling from a scientist and adventurer who has dedicated his life to saving the herpetofauna of a remote and highly risky region. There is never a dull moment in the story, which reads like an adventure novel, yet is the real acc of a biologist’s ongoing conservation efforts.
This is a very informative, short book--or long essay, depending on how you look at it--written in a poetic style. Alice is a hugely gifted writer, writing of her experiences as an activist and the devastation she has encountered abroad in Palestine and Africa.