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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 (2804 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Elise 11-01-12
    Elise 11-01-12 Member Since 2014

    I ENJOY BIOGRAPHY AND NON-FICTION. I LIKE TO LEARN FROM STORIES.

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    "Amazing suspense story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely...I learned so much about the Amazon's remarkable creatures which include many frightening species.


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

    Learning about the stellar character of Theodore Roosevelt throughout the perilous voyage


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    He kept it calm, clear and suspenseful.


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

    I might want to, but it is too long for that


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita San Francisco, CA, United States 09-10-12
    Anita San Francisco, CA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A real adventure; more interesting that fiction"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 09-01-12
    Mary 09-01-12
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    "enthrawling"
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    HEARING IT AGAIN


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

    So many, only one moment, is impossible to choose


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    excellent, easy to listen to


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

    T. Roosevelt's humanity, If only there were a presidential possibility like him now!


    Any additional comments?

    I did not want it to be over, I am listening again, following along with a map. Just incredible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis 08-13-12
    Dennis 08-13-12
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    "A MUST READ FOR ANY HISTORY BUFF"
    Where does The River of Doubt rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top of the list.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first experience with any audio book. I am definitely hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk Anderson, IN, United States 08-06-12
    Kirk Anderson, IN, United States 08-06-12

    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.

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    "Rive of Doubt was a Journey of Discovery"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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