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Congo - Michael Crichton Apes with giant stone paddles murder a bunch of high tech wiz-kids who find themselves in the African rainforest on a super-secret mission involving some kind of espionage. There is also a group of completely different high tech wiz-kids in the same rain forest, on a similar super-secret mission, but they are the "bad guys" because... um.. their company is greedy(??) Anyhow, you know they are the bad guys because they have cooler equipment, and appear better-funded, so of course it is more of a surprise when the good guys actually win!! I think mail fraud is also involved at some point, but really... it's not contrived at all.This book would have been much more enjoyable if: a) the setting were more removed from present day, like maybe a science fiction book set on another planet. (Planet of the Apes, for instance)b) it were written as a full-on fantasy. (say with talking animals, leprechauns or magic) Oh! there is no possible way this book would not have been better with leprechauns!! If you don't like that idea, I was also thinking Congo wouldn't be half bad as a rough draft for a revamp of the Dr. Doolittle series, recasting him as an ass-kicking secret agent. c) it was a comedy. In fact, that should probably be at the top of this list, because the whole time I was reading this, I kept picturing one of the characters (don't ask me to remember any of their names, or anything about them) as Leslie Nielsen.Maybe it's the apes that jog my memory, but reading this book recalled that exact moment in time when television became ruined for me... sitting next to my sister on the sofa in my grandmother's house, watching the Six Million Dollar Man fight Bigfoot, some unseen tipping point was reached, and like a jolt of electricity it hit me: "Wait a second. This is completely ridiculous."