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The River of Doubt Audiobook
The River of Doubt
Written by: 
Candice Millard
Narrated by: 
Paul Michael
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 (2738 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scott 05-06-12
    Scott 05-06-12
    ratings
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    28
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    Story
    "A Wonderful Adventure Story - And True!"
    Would you listen to The River of Doubt again? Why?

    Absolutely. This is a tremendous adventure story and very well told.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Teddy Roosevelt of course. His central leading role in the story and the way he pushes this adventure along is incredible


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Impossible to say


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Tequesta, FL, USA 05-04-12
    Alan Tequesta, FL, USA 05-04-12 Member Since 2007
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    3
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    "Impeccable"
    Would you listen to The River of Doubt again? Why?

    Candice Millard's books are impeccable and, Paul Michael does a superlative job as well. If you haven't already read her Destiny of the Republic do yourself a favor. It too is enlightening and, totally enjoyable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Philomath, OR, United States 05-02-12
    Sandra Philomath, OR, United States 05-02-12 Member Since 2004

    I like unabridged novels. When I first joined Audible, many were abridged. That has changed. Non-fiction, politics, bios are favorites

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great, unknown story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a fascinating story, well told


    What did you like best about this story?

    TR is always interesting


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

    Can't say


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

    Liked it from start to finish, the description of the rain forest was so unexpected


    Any additional comments?

    I can' wait to hear her newest book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle DAINGERFIELD, TX, United States 04-28-12
    Kyle DAINGERFIELD, TX, United States 04-28-12 Member Since 2016
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    "One of the best books ever!"
    Would you listen to The River of Doubt again? Why?

    Yes. This book is not only an adventure story, but part of the life of Theodore Roosevelt, a very interesting and important personality indeed. It also provides background information on TR before and after this event.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    TR, of course.


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    He is one of the best.


    Any additional comments?

    I also recommend "Destiny of the Republic" also by Candice Millard and read by Paul Michael. It tells the story of President James Garfield.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Morgan Tennesse 04-20-12
    W. Morgan Tennesse 04-20-12 Member Since 2005

    I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic storytelling and narration!"
    Would you listen to The River of Doubt again? Why?

    I don't generally re-listen to audiobooks unless they are educational, for example some of the Modern Scholar series. Don't let that be a knock on this fantastic story - which I could enjoy a second time - but life is only so long!


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

    The vivid description of the horrific ailments and various maladies that were inflicted upon the expedition by insects and disease remains vivid. Also the general spirit of Roosevelt and company - just their amazing constitution and determination in the face of so much hardship - and all in the name of science and exploration.


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

    I listened to Destiny of the Republic which was wonderfully read - I'd say they are comparable.


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

    Perhaps Roosevelt's determination to end his own life rather than burden the expedition and endanger the others. Also Rondon's pacifism towards the native people who were often so brutal and had tried to end his own life - his indomitable moral code.


    Any additional comments?

    This was simply a great story involving one of our great presidents which displayed his great character and determination. The expedition was made up of interesting people on an incredibly perilous journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Boise, Idaho, United States 04-20-12
    Jon Boise, Idaho, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2014

    PatchDog

    ratings
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    25
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    Story
    "What an Adventure!"
    What made the experience of listening to The River of Doubt the most enjoyable?

    The idea of an ex-president risking his life in the way Roosevelt did in the rain forest of Brazil boggles the imagination!


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

    The thought that the cannibals wee stalking the party with TR as its main target is hard to believe.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Clark, NJ, United States 03-22-12
    Gary Clark, NJ, United States 03-22-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Detailed acct of TR and his group on their Journey"
    Would you listen to The River of Doubt again? Why?

    This book is so detailed there are probably many elements that I would pick up the second time that I did not get the first.


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

    TR was injured and sick and he was thinking of committing suicide so he would not slow down the crew.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Michael – was your favorite?

    TR of course!!!


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

    The crew started a over 100 people and by the end of the journey, there is less then 25 left. The one member who was banished because he was constantly stealing food, later was found like a wild man. He tormented himself.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to history fans and fans of TR and people who are interested in the history of Brazil.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAC 03-18-12
    CAC 03-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Non-Fiction That Reads Like Historical Fiction."
    What made the experience of listening to The River of Doubt the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This well written and well-narrated book reads like a story even though it is an historical account.


    What about Paul Michael???s performance did you like?

    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.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia Petaluma, CA, United States 02-22-12
    Alicia Petaluma, CA, United States 02-22-12
    ratings
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    1
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    "Couldn't turn it off."
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    Addicting.


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

    All of part 2.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Michael – was your favorite?

    Roosevelt.


    Any additional comments?

    It is an extremely well written book and it is one of the best readings I have heard on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dulce USA 02-17-12
    Dulce USA 02-17-12 Member Since 2016

    Avid reader until vision impairment set in. Now an avid listener!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Book Is In Here, Screaming to Get Out"
    What did you like best about The River of Doubt? What did you like least?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Candice Millard???s story?

    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.


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

    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.


    Was The River of Doubt worth the listening time?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    What the story needed most was a good editor not afraid to tighten up the narrative.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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