The River of Doubt; it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.
After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil's most famous explorer, Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.
Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.
From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt's life, here is Candice Millard's dazzling debut.
©2005 Candice Miller; (P)2005 Books on Tape
"Millard...nails the suspense element of this story perfectly, but equally important to her success is the marvelous amount of detail she provides on the wildlife that Roosevelt and his fellow explorers encountered on their journey, as well as the cannibalistic indigenous tribe that stalked them much of the way." (Publishers Weekly)
I enjoyed the book very much. The research and the various asides offered much information about South America that never knew, I became aware of how much I have missed and how my ignorance, like the ignorance of my Grandfathers continues to cost the inhabitants and the creatures of the rain forest.
Very well read. A fast paced, well conceived adventure story that happens to be true. Kept my interest to the end.
This was a very good and interesting book. I had just finished reading the print version of TRex and this just carried along the story in a very nice transition. Reads very much like a novel.
The story of Teddy Roosevelt's last expedition is so gripping you'd think it was fiction; but it is fact. The writing is crisp and compelling. For example, the author clearly portrays the heartache felt by the men on this expedition when, thinking they've seen the last of their canoe portages, they have to do port their gear yet again to get around another set of rapids. The description of the jungle makes you feel like you're there (even if you're listening on a bus). It's a wonder that TR, his son Kermit, and the rest of the expedition made it out alive. The narration is excellent, and the story moves quickly.
This is a very interesting book that tells a great story about my favorite historical figure. Unfortunately I think this book needs to be split in two, one book on the expedition and the other on the history of the Amazon basin. The author tries to weave both of these narratives together and unfortunately I think the story about the expedition is damaged because of it.
All and all an entertaining read but be ready for the misguided ride.
Teddy Roosevelt is an amazing historical figure and this story shows yet another dimension to his greatness and his character. A well read and well written book!
This historic novel draws the listener in and moves at an entertaining pace. There is enough detail to satisfy your curiosity, but does not become long winded. Who knew what an exciting life an ex-President could lead?..and you have to love the danger of exploring the Amazon Jungle brought to life.
What a literary accomplishment! I am so impressed with the amount of work the author did to put out such a wonderful piece of work. All I can say is WOW. This is the best book I've heard since I've been with Audible. I feel like I just took an incredible trip down the Amazon.
I didn't know much about Roosevelt except that he was considered a great President. This' and the title of the book intrigued me. Once I embarked on this journey I couldn't stop listening. Roosevelt's unique and obsessive personality, the journey with his son and the exotic and highly dangerous elixir of the Amazon jungle all mix together to form a wonderful human tale of adventure and heroism. And there's a twist of tragedy thrown in for good measure. A great read.
This is a book with many good features but perhaps the best is the author's seamless weaving of the geography into the narrative. The rain forest comes alive but it is not the rain forest of hippie bumber stickers. The law of the jungle prevails from the mightiest of flora and fauna to the most insignificant. What appears to be an overabundance of life masks a vicious struggle to survive. And into this seething cualdron is cast one of our greatest presidents.
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