Columbus, Magellan, Lewis and Clark, Shackleton, the history of mans struggle to know the world around them is not complete without the Stanley and Livingstone. Amazing story, and it was all done with so little.
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
"Dr. Livingstone I presume"
I would say I was in ahhh of all the things that can possibly go wrong and did.
Small segment of history most people know little about.
I might recommend the book to certain friends, but I would suggest reading rather than listening. It's an intriguing and important story in history. The characters are worth following. However, I felt at a loss without a map of their respective journeys and frequently felt the urge to "flip back" to find out which time period I was in and what was revealed about that person previously. I would suggest at least reading up on the history of Livingstone and Stanley to know the outline of the story before trying to listen to it in this format.
It's hard to pick one favorite. My favorite scenes in true life adventure stories are at the points where I think the people can't possibly survive what is happening to them, even though the reader knows they will. Stanley calmly facing the men conspiring to kill him, Livingstone persisting through one tropical affliction after another. I was also moved by the procession that carried Livingstone's body to the coast so it could be returned to England.
I would appreciate that, because it was difficult for me to picture the both landscape and the scale of the expeditions moving through it. It could be an excellent movie. Benedict Cumberbatch as Stanley; Jim Broadbent as Livingstone.
I love geographical exploration, especially in this time period and the details were captivating. I have difficulty reading about the mistreatment of animals and/or people, so I appreciated how Duggard handled those few instances and focused on the exploration.
I've always wanted to know the story behind these two men. The author explains everything from the point of view of several of the key players. The story revealed some very interesting and surprising facts about these two men and some of the people involved.
I'm not qualified to say if it was well researched, but I found the book fascinating and gut wrenching. Thoroughly enjoyable history lesson about real life high adventure.
As a result of this book, I am now interested in finding a book about the global newspaper industry of the era.
Livingstone and Stanley in Africa should be a gripping story. Unfortunately, too many historians manage to get so lost in their details that they forget a story ever took place. Not so with Martin Dugard.
Dugard has a great command of the art of storytelling, and he manages to incorporate so many details and so much information along the way that I feel I learned more about the subject than any ten textbooks could have taught me -- but without the pain.
Lee's reading is clear and entertaining -- his accents are sometimes accurate and sometimes amusing, but always kept me wanting to hear more.
Well worth a listen.
A good book for anyone intrigued by Livingstone and his travels, it gives in-depth account of Livingstone's last journey which uses sources from the period including Livingstone and Stanley's journal entries. However the book does have some significant negatives.
The main negative for me was the spasmodic layout of the narrative - the story jumps jumps back and forth unnecessarily in the timeline and characters appear abruptly, are flooded with backstory and then drop out of the narrative only to reappear at random.
The narrator was good overall but manages to over-annunciate every single word which eventually drove me slightly insane.
I was looking for an adventure book and thought this would be a perfect choice. The book however, was more of a History lesson most of the time. It often jumped from time period to time period and person to person than it was a linear adventure story. It did go into details eventually, more so in the later part of the book, of the actual African voyage where Livingston sought to find the source of the Nile and Stanley to find Livingston.
I admit there were several times early on that I considered abandoning the reading entirely. Not because of John Lee -I felt he did a great job narrating, but because my expectations were geared more towards an adventure in Africa and less of the entire History lesson surrounding Stanley and Livingston and everyone they had ever come in contact with. The bouncing around from the multitudes of people and dates got tiresome for me which mostly, but not entirely, happened in the first half. I stuck it out though and learned a great deal about a lot more than I bargained for. I only wish I had a book report due or something.
To sum up the experience; don't get this book if your looking for a linear adventure written as a fiction piece as events unfold. Get into this reading with the frame of mind that it is a History lesson told from a third party as an outsider looking in who is reading from the journals of Livingston and Stanley. Then be prepared not to get to the meat and potatoes of the story until the second half of the book.
The incredible strength, endurance, and persistence and of the human species. How was it possible under conditions that are so far below basic survival needs, the human spirit can still excel. This audiobook should be mandatory listening in every history class in America. This audiobook renewed my faith in the wondrous abilities of human spirit. We ARE an incredible, tenacious and gifted species. All we need to do is persist.
Humanity is not really a couch potato.
I started listening to to this audio book because I wanted to know a little more about Dr Livingston and Stanley and a river called the Nile. I heard the basic story we were told in school, but I wanted to learn the details. Little did I know how many emotions I would feel while listening. Triumph, despair, pride, sadness, sheer joy, wonderment, hope, and a deep respect for those explorers who forged ahead through seemingly impossible odds, to discover and document unknown parts of our wondrous planet. Narrated perfectly by John Lee, who lends a very special quality. Not only is the book cleverly written, but John Lee leads you on an emotional roller coaster of every possible emotion as proficiently as a virtuoso plays a violin. He is the perfect narrator for this book. I give a special thank you to John Lee.
A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.
I am into explorer stories and learning about Africa so this book was on my list of reads and I am happy I can finally cross it off the list. I don’t see this book appealing to most. It reads like a history text book and at times my mind would wonder off and I would have to hit the go back key to keep up, which is a rarity for me. I wish it would have been written more like a story instead of statements or facts for it would have been more enjoyable. There is a lot of rape, murder, torture, sickness and other gross topics so it’s not for the young or faint at heart. Unless you’re really into explorer history I would use my credit on something more enjoyable!
An amazing story, told extremely well. John Lee's narration is superb and Martin Dugard's storytelling is very skilful; it's hard to stop listening. Great work.