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)
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
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.
I like unabridged novels. When I first joined Audible, many were abridged. That has changed. Non-fiction, politics, bios are favorites
Yes, it is a fascinating story, well told
TR is always interesting
Liked it from start to finish, the description of the rain forest was so unexpected
I can' wait to hear her newest book
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.
TR, of course.
He is one of the best.
I also recommend "Destiny of the Republic" also by Candice Millard and read by Paul Michael. It tells the story of President James Garfield.
I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.
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!
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.
I listened to Destiny of the Republic which was wonderfully read - I'd say they are comparable.
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.
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.
The idea of an ex-president risking his life in the way Roosevelt did in the rain forest of Brazil boggles the imagination!
The thought that the cannibals wee stalking the party with TR as its main target is hard to believe.
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.
TR was injured and sick and he was thinking of committing suicide so he would not slow down the crew.
TR of course!!!
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.
I would recommend this book to history fans and fans of TR and people who are interested in the history of Brazil.
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.
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