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The River of Doubt Audiobook

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: It's a rare audiobook of any genre that keeps me on the edge of my seat. But a history book? Yet, as I listened to this impeccably researched biography/adventure, I could feel death around every bend of the Amazon. I really didn't know whether TR's quest for glory would be his last. —Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2862 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew NEW CUMBERLAND, PA, United States 03-02-13
    Matthew NEW CUMBERLAND, PA, United States 03-02-13

    Pajing

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    "Teddy and his explorer spirit!"
    What made the experience of listening to The River of Doubt the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed listening to Teddy's adventurous spirit and tales of near death experiences - for EVERYONE in his party! I think he was an amazing man that snatched life up and lived it to it's fullest every day! This story has so many interesting events that will keep you listening, it did for me! Some people might find it a bit slow and repetitive, but he accomplished something truly amazing here and knowing just how dangerous and deadly this adventure was is imperative.


    What other book might you compare The River of Doubt to and why?

    Hmmm, maybe Into Thin Air - both have elements of near death experiences, adventure, and perseverance.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Michael’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I haven't.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, not really. I did enjoy going back to it each time though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chester K. Smyth Salt Lake City 02-25-13
    Chester K. Smyth Salt Lake City 02-25-13 Member Since 2012

    Cheap Reader

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    "True Adventure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend for people who like outdoor adventure.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Both Roosevelt and Rondon. Roosevelt for his back story of having lost his Presedential bid and gone to Brazil. Rondon as a native who rose to high leadership through intelligence, perserverance, and character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Running the rapids in the dugout canoes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Roosevelt's son's persistence in making sure his father returned home safely.


    Any additional comments?

    Descriptions of Amazon symbiosis and Indian culture were eye opening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fictionwriter Massachusetts 02-07-13
    Fictionwriter Massachusetts 02-07-13 Member Since 2012

    I'm a writer of everything from children's picture books to fiction to memoir. I usually listen to nonfiction, mostly history, on Audible simply because I prefer to read novels on the page. The only exception to that rule is short stories and I'm partial to the Selected Shorts Anthologies.

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    "A brilliant look at a courageous president"

    TR was a brave man and this story of his trip down the River of Doubt removes all doubt about that. Fascinating aspect of a president about whom so much has been written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad West Chester, PA, United States 01-28-13
    Chad West Chester, PA, United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "They Don't Make Presidents Like They Used To"
    Where does The River of Doubt rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rondon. I am a Theodore Roosevelt fan, so I had an idea what to expect. But I enjoyed learning more about Rondon and his leadership style.


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    He is a good story teller. He captured the drama of the adventure without exaggeration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, there is a lot of detail (which is good) and so I enjoyed listening to it in pieces.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great adventure book and I have recommended it to many friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    California Dreamer United States 01-21-13
    California Dreamer United States 01-21-13
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    "Intriguing story with historical significance"
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    Good description of characters and events as TR challenged the dangers of the climate, terrain, and culture of the Amazon region.


    What other book might you compare The River of Doubt to and why?

    Powell's The "Down the Great Unknown". Dangerous river journey with tragic and triumphant outcomes.


    What does Paul Michael bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The opportunity to close my eyes and imagine the details described as the story was narrated excellently.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wanted to, yes, but too lengthy for a single listen; however, able to re-enter the story without difficulty.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best audio books I have purchased. Would be interested in other books narrated by Paul Michael.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Layton 01-03-13
    L. Layton 01-03-13
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    "Great exploration of South Americ book"
    What did you love best about The River of Doubt?

    The challenges the group had to overcome on their journey under life and death situations.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marisa Dover, NH, United States 12-26-12
    Marisa Dover, NH, United States 12-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "excellent story and excellent naration"
    What did you love best about The River of Doubt?

    the story moves along quickly. this is definately a great conversation book because the characters are covered so well and the author brings plenty of fun anectodotes into the telling


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Snyder Otsego, Minnesota 12-20-12
    Shane Snyder Otsego, Minnesota 12-20-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Slow Beginning, Fantastic Ending"
    What made the experience of listening to The River of Doubt the most enjoyable?

    The trek down the river was by far the most enjoyable part. The first part of the book, where the author detailed the trip to the river, seemed a little slow.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The River of Doubt?

    The successful completion of the exploration! After all these men went through it's amazing how few casulties there were. A true testament to the will and charecter of these men.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Michael’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I listed to him read Destiny of the Republic (another Candice Millard book). He's a very capable reader, but not much of an actor. Regardless, it definately doesn't detract from the experience of the audio book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Rodney 12-18-12
    Rodney 12-18-12 Member Since 2015
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    "O.G. Vin Diesel"

    All I can think of since reading this book is seeing Teddy Roosevelt as an obnoxious X-gamer if he was alive today. This book is another amazing book by Candice Millard, it's what I consider to be the History Novel format, in that it's real history that reads like a novel -- that is by far the highest compliment I can pay a history author, there are very few that can do this well. The reader does a tremendous job, the story moves at a good pace and the whole thing never gets boring - I really enjoyed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ingrid Napa, CA, United States 11-05-12
    Ingrid Napa, CA, United States 11-05-12
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    "Fantastic story but became a bit of a drudgery...."
    Would you listen to The River of Doubt again? Why?

    No


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The River of Doubt?

    The beginning when the stage was set for the former President's ability to weather his struggles


    Have you listened to any of Paul Michael’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but he was great.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Sadness for native peoples


    Any additional comments?

    A good read, but the on-and-on of the slog that was the journey got to me after a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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