Pat Young’s clear voice brings alive the world of Israeli best-selling author and motivational speaker Yossi Ghinsberg’s fascinating memoir Lost in the Jungle. Ghinsberg - who had no survival training - and three travelers journeyed into the Amazon rainforest in search of adventure, but ended up lost in the lush landscape. A rafting accident left him alone, without a knife or a map, and he had to fight to find food and shelter on his own. As his feet began to rot from exposure to storms, he lost hope that he could make it back to civilization. Somehow, he triumphed over the elements to return to tell his harrowing story.
Four travelers meet in Bolivia and set off into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, but what begins as a dream adventure quickly deteriorates into a dangerous nightmare, and after weeks of wandering in the dense undergrowth, the four backpackers split up into two groups. But when a terrible rafting accident separates him from his partner, Yossi is forced to survive for weeks alone against one of the wildest backdrops on the planet. Stranded without a knife, map, or survival training, he must improvise shelter and forage for wild fruit to survive. As his feet begin to rot during raging storms, as he loses all sense of direction, and as he begins to lose all hope, he wonders whether he will make it out of the jungle alive.Lost in the Jungle is the story of friendship and the teachings of nature, and a terrifying true account that you won’t be able to put down.
©2009 Yossi Ghinsberg (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I love a great survival story, but this one is merely satisfactory.
There's a lot of "this happened, and then this, and then that" in Ghinsberg's tale. He shares many icky details about parasites and infections (what happens to his feet is truly disturbing) that bring the ordeal to life. He doesn't spare his ego at all, describing one highly embarrassing injury (ouch!) and a couple of gross-out moments involving soiling himself. You really do feel for the guy, and his increasing frustration and despair is obvious. Almost everything goes against him, and even though we know he survived, it does seem doubtful at many points in the story.
But ultimately, there's not much depth here. I like survival stories that have something to say about the human condition, and while Ghinsberg touches on topics like religion and talks about a special talisman given to him by a relative, it is "interesting" rather than "significant".
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