I was not aware of this South American exploration by former President Roosevelt, and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative. The author provided very good background information on the historical backdrop of Roosevelt prior to the expedition, on the people, and on the Amazon itself. The narrator also presented the story in a way that kept you listening. Once I started this book, I found it difficult to stop.
The tale will make you think twice if you have ever considered taking part in an Amazon expedition. Let's just say that I will never "relieve myself" in a river again. The unique challenges of an Amazon expedition are described in detail, and these help you understand what a monumental achievement the men accomplished. Roosevelt may not have died in the Amazon, but it's clear he carried the effects with him for his short years afterwards. I also very much liked the addition of an epilogue, which tells what followed in the years after the expedition.
Recommended for anyone who loves a true tale of exploration!
Loved the book. I love adventure stories based on real-life adventures, and if you have a similar taste you will want to read this book.
The focus is not only on the legendary lost city of Z, but on the mystery surrounding Percy Fawcett who disappeared in the Amazon without a trace in 1925. The book provides a lot of historical background of the times and about the men who took on the challenge. The book is well-researched and you want to continue reading to see how it will end.
As you might expect from Jon Krakauer if you have read his works before, the book is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Once you begin the story, you want to continue listening to the end. The book is well-written, and the narrator does an excellent job of relating the saga. There is some harsh language in a few places, but it does not seem excessive.
I have never read a book on this particular subject before -- that is, what drives a person like McCandless to seek an isolated wilderness experience that is "back to the basics". At times I have also followed the urge to experience the wilderness solo, and I have had a few such minor experiences. However, the book helped me to understand the difference between "the extreme" McCandless and myself. The book identifies McCandless' primary motivators as "youthful enthusiasm" and an "enthrallment with a fantasy image of nature". I would even call it a form of "nature worship". Others (as myself) appreciate nature and love to experience its pleasures and hardships, but our experiences are tempered by reality and wisdom... not immersion in a fantasy.
Anyway, an excellent read. Recommended.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 8 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile and also read a great deal.i play chess,cook,love world music and embrace the outdoors at every opportunity.My favorite listens have all been adventure driven,but I can also appreciate stuff related to science,business and even fiction.
The author offers a first hand account of what homeless people do to survive without a job by becoming homeless and winning the confidence of modern hoboes,who divulge secrets about raiding the KFC dumpster after closing to get chicken,simply eating someone's left over pizza,getting meals or living at a shelter for three days at a time and enduring a religious sermon in exchange for food and temporary shelter.
It made me feel less sorry for homeless people,but at the same time more understanding of how difficult it must be to have nowhere to live,no money and nothing to eat.
I picked this one up,since I really have enjoyed travel on trains in China and also really enjoyed Paul Theroux's titles previously.Instead I came away feeling once again,that Ted Conover has a keen eye for details and putting things in an easy to follow narrative that is captivating and well thought through.