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)
The book tells an interesting story of Teddy Roosevelt's final adventure: charting a 1,000 mile, unnamed river that runs through the Amazon Rain Forest. This story has it all: nature, politics, family and cultural struggles. I learned a lot about Brazil and it's development and it helped me to better understand the politics and environmental concerns related to the rain forest today.
This well written and well-narrated book reads like a story even though it is an historical account.
Every character had a distinct voice and the straight narration was pleasant to listen to as well. It took me a while to get used to the voice used for Roosevelt, but by all accounts his voice was peculiar so perhaps the narrator went for historical accuracy. Otherwise, all the narration was wonderful and enhanced, rather than distracted from, the story being told.
The accounts of the trials faced by Roosevelt and his party once they entered the rain forest are so vivid, you can almost feel the heat, the bugs and the splendor of this complex environment.
I also enjoyed the parts for the book detailing the happenings before and after the expedition. They give great insight into life in the U.S. during the early 20th century. The book also made me want to learn more about Roosevelt and his interesting family and life.
All of part 2.
It is an extremely well written book and it is one of the best readings I have heard on Audible.
Avid reader until vision impairment set in. Now an avid listener!
Best: Details about flora and fauna of Amazon landscape. History of rubber farming. Background on Brazilian Indian tribes, telegraph survey, military training. In short, most things except the central narrative itself.Worst: The book's overpowering tendency to redundancy. Repetition of facts from one chapter to the next with mind-numbing frequency. The author's tendency to precede narration of new event by dramatic foreshadowing--especially annoying when the events aren't particularly dramatic. The central topic is not made to seem especially compelling because the pace of the narrative is so tedious.
The overdramatization of the story. The redundancy that felt as if the author was padding out the material to make it a book. It would have been much better as an essay.
No, but I thought he was a good--if at times slow--narrator. He made Portuguese sound like the most beautiful language in the world.
No, I don't think so. It's ultimately tedious listening. Reading a book, one can skim over the numerous redundancies. Listening forces you to hear each one.
What the story needed most was a good editor not afraid to tighten up the narrative.
I loved Ms. Millard's book about James Garfield, and this book was a wonderful story, but by the end I thought the explorers had been in the jungle for about three years! Detail is great, but this book was bulked up with too much florid language. I was riveted but then I couldn't wait for the end. Good narration.
I did not learn to read until I was in my twenties. Have not stopped since. The two most important things to learn are reading & chess.
My husband and I listen to this book while traveling via car. It is spell binding. We learn so much we did not know about Roosevelt and the history of that time. This should required reading in schools. I am looking for to Candice Millard next book.
Exciting story about very driven men under unbelievable circumstances. Enjoyed the fact that the author includes an epilogue to the main characters.
Theodore Roosevelt was a man's man. If there ever was a true Renaisance Man after the fact it is TR. If you enjoy Lewis and Clark and Henry M Stanley then you will truly enjoy this real life adventure. Edmund Morris certainly gives longer and more detailed accounts about the life of this great man, but The River Of Doubt deals with an event that is largely unknown because it happened during the Great War and everyone's eyes remained fixed on the fate of Europe. I was disappointed with the details on the Rain Forest and the evolutionary description. This took away form the historicity of the story and did not seem to fit. The story stalled in its effect during these often unfortanate diversions into poor Science.
This is one of the best books I have listened to this year. The true life adventure is more exciting than most fiction, and I enjoyed learning about this little bit of history. Sure Theodore Roosevelt is a fascinating subject, but I was even more interested in his Brazilian co-leader of the expedition who spent much of his life working for the rights of the indigenous people of the Amazon. This is one of those books that brings to life an important part of history and is fun to listen to as well.
Mostly non-fiction: biographies, history, science, etc.
An engrossing, nail-biter of a true story of Amazonian exploration, privation, murder, and survival. It reveals our former president to my a unique scholar-adventurer. Further, it reveals the unexplored Amazon at that time to be fascinatine, dangerous, and challenging.
This is a modern era, non-fiction "Heart of Darkness"
Very good narration.
The story was both exhilarating and true! It was written and read in a manner that was both informative and exciting. I really enjoyed the fact filled adventure, and wish that it was longer!
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