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  • River of Darkness

  • Francisco Orellana's Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon
  • By: Buddy Levy
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21

In 1541, the brutal conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro and his well-born lieutenant Francisco Orellana set off from Quito in search of La Canela, South America's rumored Land of Cinnamon, and the fabled El Dorado, "the golden man". Driving an enormous retinue of mercenaries, enslaved natives, horses, hunting dogs, and other animals across the Andes, they watched their proud expedition begin to disintegrate even before they descended into the nightmarish jungle, following the course of a powerful river.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing!

  • By Karen on 02-17-18


5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-17-18

Where does River of Darkness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely in the top ten - up there with 1491 (which I have listened to several times)....

Any additional comments?

Conquistadors were people too. It was so interesting to hear the story of conquest from the perspectives of the people who became conquistadors. It reminded me of today's youth who join the military to get ahead financially. Also, the socio-economic context in Spain was interesting - it was not static as I used to think, but evolved. But above all it was an adventure story. Mainly about Orellana - but also focused quite a bit on the Pizzaro brothers. I had never heard the story of Pizzaro's turning on the authority of the king...
Really fantastic! I just wish it was longer - only 9 hours - could have easily been 29. The narrator was also one of the best I have ever listened too. I am starting Buddy Levy's other book Conquistador book tonight.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Wolf of the Deep

  • Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama
  • By: Stephen Fox
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

In July 1862, Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes took command of a secret new warship. At the helm of the Alabama, he became the most hated and feared man along the Union coast, as well as a Confederate legend. Now, with unparalleled authority, depth, and a vivid sense of the excitement and danger of the time, Stephen Fox describes Captain Semmes's remarkable wartime exploits.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling and excellent (with minor reservations)

  • By margot on 06-09-12

Wolf of the Deep

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-07

This book starts out well - very interesting descriptions of the ship construction in England - how preparations for war were completed - how workers were taken to sea then recruited to become privateers with the promise of riches. Unfortunately (from my point of view) the narrative lapses into tedious descriptions of the captain's personal life - for example; how his wife committed adultery and how the family covered it up (I think it was OK to mention this in passing, but the author spends eternities dissection letters, etc... MUCH MUCH MORE TIME that is ever given to a battle description!) For someone interested in the intimate details of southern life during the civil war - THIS IS YOUR BOOK! But for someone who is interested in detailed descriptions of battles and strategy - you will have to wade through a lot of extraneous and tedious personal information. I should mention that I stopped listening after I could not stand the personal details any longer (about a third through the book) - so it might get better. I will also mention that I have listened to every book on the history of sea war/travel that audible has - and this is the first book I stopped listening to.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful