The Grotto Of The Formigans-Daniel da Cruz (1980)

daniel da cruz-the grotto of the formigans

Story about a hidden civilization in the jungle of Zaire is a combination of humor, horror and adventure. This was a lot of fun.

Dr.Maynard Griggs is hired by an outfit looking for diamonds in Zaire. He’s an anthropologist and agrees to act as a cover for their activities so he can study the Magenda of Zondo tribe. After three years no diamonds are discovered and it’s time to go. The diamond group leaves and now Maynard is packed up.

Maynard goes into a trunk to check his three years of journals. The termites got there first. His dreams of money and world acclaim are also so much dust. He spots a helicopter about to crash and goes to investigate.

Out of the chopper comes Consuela Milan, a Major in the Cuban army. The pilot is dead and she thinks Maynard is one of the rebels that shot them down. She starts shooting at him. Finally Maynard gets to tell her he’s not a rebel and she’s not in Angola. They don’t know they’re being watched.

Back at Maynard’s camp they get to really know each other. Consuela says she was the paymaster. She and the pilot decided to take all that money for themselves. Now she wants to go back to the chopper and retrieve it. When they get there the chopper’s gone. They head into the jungle only to be surrounded by strange looking humanoid/insect type creatures.

Maynard and Consuela open fire, use up all their ammo and are eventually taken to Queen JEH. She’s a huge creature who communicates through thoughts. She can only make contact by looking into Maynard’s eyes. When he turns away she can’t get into his head. The insect like creatures are an old civilization that have a caste system. They’re called Formigans. Music is one of the most important factors in their lives.

They live off fungus and even have an extract that can take away memory. One caste remembers everything from what they’ve absorbed from people that stumbled into their grotto over the past three thousand years. Maynard and Consuela’s lives aren’t threatened but they do have a purpose. They find that out in the Hall of Ancients.

Through it all Maynard can’t stop thinking about winning a Nobel and making a ton of money. Consuela finds diamonds but doesn’t tell him. This is well worth picking up and is a great combination of scary stuff and humor.

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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