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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey | [Candice Millard]

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

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.
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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

4.3 (2194 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Suzanne 08-12-10
    Suzanne 08-12-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    49
    9
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    Overall
    "Very Interesting!!"

    I didn't know much about the Amazon, or it's early explorers, so I found this interesting and worth listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    igoriokas 07-15-10
    igoriokas 07-15-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    66
    6
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    Overall
    "Great book"

    Fascinating and very well narrated

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Selma, NC, United States 06-24-10
    Robert Selma, NC, United States 06-24-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
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    Overall
    "One of the most engaging audio books"

    I recently reread this book and it is fantastic. The narrator is excellent and the story is enthralling. I disagree with the reviewers who did not like the "tangents" about Belle and the endless detail. I think the "tangents" humanized the characters and gave some context. The detail is fascinating and allows learning. It also piques my interest and I would look up what happened to Kermit and Kermit's son (CIA agent in charge of overthrowing the elected leader of Iran and installing the Shah).

    I highly recommend this book to history buffs, and people who like true stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel BerlinGermany 02-24-10
    Daniel BerlinGermany 02-24-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    16
    5
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    "Very interesting."

    Very interesting account. Being a Brazilian myself, it was sometimes hard to hear the terrible pronunciation of the several Portuguese names throughout the book, but nothing that damaged it's great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Birmingham, AL, United States 02-20-10
    Lisa Birmingham, AL, United States 02-20-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Interesting!"

    It's almost cliche to say 'this non-fiction reads like fiction', but this non-fiction is as fast-paced as fiction.

    It's interesting throughout, exploring not only Teddy Roosevelt, but also Roosevelt's son Kermit, and Brazilian explorer Candido Rondon.

    The narrator is unobtrusive and pleasant voiced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Duluth, MN, USA 09-19-08
    Elizabeth Duluth, MN, USA 09-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    9
    3
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    "well researched, amazing story...tiring detail"

    The sheer danger and adventure that Roosevelt and his men sought in the Amazon was amazing to learn about. I have not "read" much biography and it made me feel closer to such an interesting president and fascinating man.

    The details of the trip began to bore me however, and it was difficult to listen to for more than an hour at a time. I don't know how many times the author listed the numbers of boats, how much they weighed, etc. Maybe that's the genre or maybe it's lack of editing. I had a hard time getting through but am the better for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L 01-21-08
    L 01-21-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "rushed ending"

    gripping story of an epic adventure. the only problem is pacing: it draws out the preparations and first part of the journey, then rushes through the last half.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia K New York State, USA 12-21-06
    Cynthia K New York State, USA 12-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative and entertaining"

    I knew nothing at all about this expedition prior to this book. It is one of the most fascinating tales I've read, is easy to listen to (time passes quickly, except when the writer deliberately slows things down so you "feel their pain" and despair). The wrap-up at the end gives important closure to this amazing true-life adventure that beats anything on the Discovery Channel. It is suitable for family listening, and my 15-year-old nephew loved it as well. I will admit, though, I am no longer in such a hurry to visit the rain forest of South America!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cranberry 11-13-06
    Cranberry 11-13-06 Member Since 2010
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    "Good"

    This was a very interesting book and despite the fact that several times I found that my mind was wandering, I never really seemed to miss anything that took away from the story. Interesting history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Folsom, CA, USA 10-04-06
    Patrick Folsom, CA, USA 10-04-06
    ratings
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    1
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    Overall
    "River of Doubt"

    Fantastic audiobook. Very compelling, interesting, educational. One of my favorite audiobooks in 2+ years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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