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)
If you are at all a fan of TR, this is a must read. This is a wild story, literally and figuratively. The book seems extremely well researched so as to convey a very realistic sense of the Amazonian rain forest in 1914. The characters are every bit as interesting and well defined as the environment. It's a great adventure and I highly recommend it.
HEARING IT AGAIN
So many, only one moment, is impossible to choose
excellent, easy to listen to
T. Roosevelt's humanity, If only there were a presidential possibility like him now!
I did not want it to be over, I am listening again, following along with a map. Just incredible
Top of the list.
Excellent factual story of adventure involving Teddy Roosevelt and his exploration party. The main characters of the story were artfully and fully developed; this coupled with an excellent description of the Amazon environment gives the listener a ring side seat from which to enjoy an amazing journey.
The detailed description of the biological science of the Amazon jungle would be cumbersome to read. Paul Michael's narrative however was easy to absorb.
I initially only downloaded part of the book to CD's to take with me on a trip. By the time I had listen to those CD's both my wife and I were wishing I had downloaded the whole story.
This was my first experience with any audio book. I am definitely hooked!
Actually not Deborah, but Donald. My wife opened the Amazon account and suddenly my Audible account became hers. I'm a basic 63 year old type guy who runs a lot and listnes to books as I run. It was a dark and stormy night ... but I still did 5 miles.
Theodore Roosevelt was a president that I always liked and was never really sure why.
This story of his last great adventure was totally unknown to me. The story itself is gripping. Millard used the story to flash backward and forward in history to give snapshots of Roosevelt and other characters in this story. The snapshots were almost always interesting and gave a better understanding of the characters.
It was one of the best listens of the last five years for me.
The positive: the story!! It's powerful in telling. Amazing in the sense this could be the story of a man who was president. Enlightening in helping me understand how people of the period and of different cultures think. All of this done in a very engrossing story.
Any cons? Well, sometimes I wondered if the dramatic moments might be a tad overstated and at the same time thought perhaps not. In a few sections I thought the author gave me too much side information -- but that may reflect more on me than the author.
oh definitely yes. Listing to this book was a great way to learn a bit about history, the Amazon, and this amazing President. I highly recommend it. The narrator was true to character as he moved from Teddy Roosevelt, to his son Kermit to the other characters. it was just right. Many times the narration can be over dramatized but the narrator found just the right spot in this fantastic nonfiction book.
Truman and John Adams because both are about former presidents and both are very good books and excellent audiobooks.
I do not recall.
When Kermit goes wayward, and when Julian turned nasty, both make me very sad.
most excellent listen.
Yes, it draws you in and keeps you listening.
Knowledge of the Roosevelt family.
No, just enjoyed it.
Excellently written. Candice Millard did an outstanding job in providing information which leads you into the knowledge of the Roosevelt family as well as the time period and the Amazon Jungle. I was disappointed however in the lack of discovery on the trip up the river. In fact, other than the trials they endured, the men saw very little other than trees, mosquitoes and other insects, as well as few monkeys. Virtually no Indian sightings either.
One must ask why Roosevelt would hazard his own life and the life of his son for a trip that other men could take that were unable to contribute to American society as the Roosevelt's had and could.
The quality of the writing was not good.
Stop switching back and forth between past and "present"
I'm not sure.
The story is interesting and worth recounting in its own right. But the author's frequent digressions into how things evolved in the jungle to produce what the Roosevelt team were experiencing were a distraction. The author kept referring to how complex the jungle is...but this is an argument totally opposed to evolution. The chances of such an incredibly complex ecosystem developing by means of evolution are astronomical. Furthermore, there is no tangible evidence of this sort of development as many evolutionists like Sir Julian Huxley and others will openly admit in their more candid moments. Thus, listening to this book became rather painful in places there every other sentence was how this or that thing in the jungle evolved. Sorry, it just does follow. I think the evolution thing is a distraction...and filler that would be best left out of this or any other story. For this reason I would hesitate in recommending this book to anyone else.
I love reading, have since I was very little. Reading to me is fun, relaxation, acquiring knowledge and so much more. No particular preference for a genre or writer, I will read anything well written. Once gripped by somebodies style of storytelling & writing, I am likely to read everything he or she has written.
I've always been interested in men and women who shaped history. Theodore Roosevelt certainly is one of those. I read David McCulloughs' "Mornings on Horseback" some years back, also fascinating by the way, and found TR as interesting as I had expected, but felt there was probably more to be told about him then McCullough did in his book.
C. Millard tells of another side of Theodore Roosevelt and does so in the most compelling way. The story drew me in and left me not wanting to put it away. TR must have been an absolutely fascinating man and have left an indelible impression on all those who met him.
It's not just TR one gets to know better through reading this book. The other characters too are well researched and given their rightful place in the account of the exploration of the River of Doubt.
The fact that CM also takes time to give us background on exploration of unknown territories in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, evolution of the rain forest and its' peoples makes for an even greater understanding of the incredible journey the exploration of the River of Doubt has been.
The narrator P. Michael deserves credit too; he did a great job. A pleasure to listen to!
For anyone interested in Theodore Roosevelt and/or exploration of unknown territories this book is a must!
Absolutely. This is a tremendous adventure story and very well told.
Teddy Roosevelt of course. His central leading role in the story and the way he pushes this adventure along is incredible
Impossible to say
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.