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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 (3107 )
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4.5 (1998 )
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4.5 (1983 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lynn 06-01-13
    Lynn 06-01-13 Member Since 2010
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    "needed an editor"
    Would you try another book from Candice Millard and/or Paul Michael?

    Possibly, depending on the topic.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story was very interesting and gave me a new perspective on Teddy Roosevelt and his family. But the book was filled with so much natural history and detail about every living creature in the Amazon that there were hours when I was incredibly bored and had to turn off the narrative. I only kept turning it back on because I wanted to see how Roosevelt emerged from this nightmare journey.

    The book was well researched but there were many passages and possibly, pages, that I would have cut if I were her editor.
    She presents historical and well researched information in a personal way as if she were living at the time. She provides lots of details about other events of the time, political and otherwise that put things into perspective and bring them to life. This was both a strength and a weakness when carried to extreme.


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

    He was very good. His pronunciation of the South American names sounded really authentic, although I wouldn’t know.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Candice Millard’s life?

    If you mean Teddy Roosevelt, not in this book.


    Any additional comments?

    This is worth reading, but I think I would recommend buying the actual paper book so you can skim through the boring parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JACK RENO, NEVADA, United States 05-20-13
    JACK RENO, NEVADA, United States 05-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Amazing that it is all true."

    Always like true adventure. Amaizing that this expedition survived. Historical and very engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catie Scarlette 05-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "It's hard to comprehend the scope of this trip!"
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    compelling, terrifying, inspiring


    What did you like best about this story?

    The descriptions of absolutely everything. Others might find them tedious, but I found they better let you feel the danger, the desperation, the elation in each situation. The dangers involved in traveling through an exotic, unknown land are very hard to make real when we have many antibiotics and anti-venoms not yet even discovered in some cases. I have always had a certain fascination for Teddy Roosevelt, but this story sealed the deal. I will be reading more about him in the future.


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

    They each held their own appeal, but Kermit Roosevelt and George Cherrie were my two favorites.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    An adventure you won't believe is true!


    Any additional comments?

    Very nicely narrated by Paul Michael - he used different voices for many of the people but they were very subtle, not distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-19-13
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "great story"

    keeps you in it. its long but well done. you go rough rider!

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vernon ROYSE CITY, TX, United States 04-17-13
    Vernon ROYSE CITY, TX, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Chasing another like this one"
    What made the experience of listening to The River of Doubt the most enjoyable?

    This was my first audiobook, and I've been chasing similar ones ever since. Well done book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared Oceanside, CA, United States 03-19-13
    Jared Oceanside, CA, United States 03-19-13

    Oside Surfer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engaging"
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, informative, incredible


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story has a good cadence and doesn't get too bogged down in dry details that sometimes accompany documentaries. There are numerous quotes from written accounts by many characters within the story that add a sense of credibility and different perspectives.


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    Like good acting you just don't notice it. You get caught up in the story and the characters and forget an actor is acting. That is the way I feel about this narration, it was good enough that I didn't even notice it and just got caught up in the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Against all odds!


    Any additional comments?

    I feel this book not only provides a great story, but also provides a good look at one of the most beloved political figures in the past century at one of his most challenging periods. At times I was astounded at the incompetence and recklessness that admittedly makes this an amazing tale of adventure, luck, coincidence and human will power. While there are individuals described in this book with extraordinary character there are also those of exceptionally low character to counter balance the forces of good and evil. There is sufficient description to get a good sense of what the characters encountered on their journey and how they felt about it but not so much that the story gets bogged down. For those with a thirst for adventure and exploration this is a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    badgerfan 03-15-13
    badgerfan 03-15-13
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    "Raise your kids like Teddy Roosevelt"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it says so much about character and how when the circumstances are dire, true character shines through. It says a lot about moral fiber, how to treat your fellow man, and you learn a lot about nature and history in the process. Fascinating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning so much about the character of Theodore R. Although he started out as a weakling boy, he set his mind to improving himself until he actually had robust and unflagging stamina. He raised his kids to never grumble, whine and always share and take a back seat. Very cool to learn about the Amazon too.


    What about Paul Michael’s performance did you like?

    Nice, smooth voice. Great execution on the accents too.


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

    Made me gasp in some parts!! Made me want to read even more on Teddy R.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed PATASKALA, OHIO, United States 03-11-13
    Ed PATASKALA, OHIO, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "An Excellent Book!"
    If you could sum up The River of Doubt in three words, what would they be?

    If you're a TR (Teddy Roosevelt) fan, then you've got to have this book. The story reveals the passion and commitment of the former president and his desire to leave the world a better place than he found it. The story was so realistic ... I could "see" myself in the canoe floating down the river in the rainforest with TR. What a battle for survival, yet what an adventure. Excellent!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew NEW CUMBERLAND, PA, United States 03-02-13
    Matthew NEW CUMBERLAND, PA, United States 03-02-13

    Pajing

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    "Teddy and his explorer spirit!"
    What made the experience of listening to The River of Doubt the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed listening to Teddy's adventurous spirit and tales of near death experiences - for EVERYONE in his party! I think he was an amazing man that snatched life up and lived it to it's fullest every day! This story has so many interesting events that will keep you listening, it did for me! Some people might find it a bit slow and repetitive, but he accomplished something truly amazing here and knowing just how dangerous and deadly this adventure was is imperative.


    What other book might you compare The River of Doubt to and why?

    Hmmm, maybe Into Thin Air - both have elements of near death experiences, adventure, and perseverance.


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

    No, I haven't.


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

    No, not really. I did enjoy going back to it each time though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chester K. Smyth Salt Lake City 02-25-13
    Chester K. Smyth Salt Lake City 02-25-13 Member Since 2012

    Cheap Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "True Adventure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend for people who like outdoor adventure.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Both Roosevelt and Rondon. Roosevelt for his back story of having lost his Presedential bid and gone to Brazil. Rondon as a native who rose to high leadership through intelligence, perserverance, and character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Running the rapids in the dugout canoes.


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

    Roosevelt's son's persistence in making sure his father returned home safely.


    Any additional comments?

    Descriptions of Amazon symbiosis and Indian culture were eye opening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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