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Publisher's Summary

Everywhere hailed as a masterpiece of historical adventure, this enthralling narrative recounts the experiences of 12 American sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815, captured by desert nomads, sold into slavery, and subjected to a hellish two-month journey through the bone-dry heart of the Sahara. The ordeal of these men - who found themselves tested by barbarism, murder, starvation, death, dehydration, and hostile tribes that roamed the desert on camelback - is made indelibly vivid in this gripping account of courage, brotherhood, and survival.

©2004 Dean King (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Haunting

One of the most amazing true stories ever told. I'm a fan of real life survival stories and this one is among the top. It's not just the hardships and suffering the men endure but the constant tension imposed by the rule of their harsh masters. At any moment of any day a wrong move, word, or jester could mean instant death. Meanwhile, bandits and the unrelenting Sahara threaten the lives of both master and slave. Add to this the fascination of a tribal culture born of the necessities of living where no life should exit, and you have all the ingredients of a story that will live with you long after the last word.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best story I've read

The story is beyond belief. Captain Riley is full of passion, brilliance, and invention. The landscape is jarring and lunar. The people incredibly foreign, yet evoking of love and disdain. Read this!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Fascinating story

Amazing tale that demonstrates the abject cruelty that mankind can inflict on other humans, punctuated by flashes of nobility. Has anything in human nature really changed in two centuries?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dusty roads
  • SAULT SAINTE MARIE, MICHIGAN, United States
  • 02-03-16

Great book

Definitely worth your time and money, fantastic book, amazing story. I can't believe I'd never heard of this before.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

words can't come close to explaining this amazing story. It's probably the best work written about Rileys shipwreck and slavery. For a combines all the books before it that have been told and told the story over and over again. This is it accumulation of all those books it is wonderfully written what a man Raleigh was he has his blessings in heaven now I'm sure

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • Brightwood, Virginia, United States
  • 08-22-17

An incredible Story

Dean King has done an excellent job with this story by weaving together two accounts by the survivors to portray a vivid picture of the ordeal of the survivors of the brig The Commerce. It is well narrated. A true account, it is written like an adventure story with twists and turns, deceptions among the Arabs and boldness and risk taking by Captain James Riley whose daring saved them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jd
  • 06-19-17

Amazing tale

I truly enjoyed this and recommend it to anyone who enjoys maritime history. An amazing story of human suffering and endurance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Startling Story

How could a ship wrecked crew remain alive under conditions unthinkable for most of us? This book shows the power of determination and will. Read it. You won't regret it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

An Inspirational Story of Survival

This book will make you appreciate every little luxury in life you have. I cannot imagine myself in these men's shoes throughout their perilous ordeal. The book is hard to get through, at times, especially when they author goes into detail about the effects of thirst and sun exposure on the frail men. However, it skillfully paints a haunting picture that truly immerses you in the sufferings of their arduous journey.

I initially didn't care for the narrators voice. However, after hearing the background of the captain and crew, his voice fits perfectly. He speaks with a New England accent, and it sounds like a briny old Connecticut ship captain like James Riley is narrating it himself.

Overall, this true story will make you realize to the incredible lengths humans can persevere in the most terrible conditions, and how cruelly humans can treat one another. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in adventure or survival stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cool story. Not very engaging for me

The story in general was good but this was not a page turner for me. I was pushing through to get to the end instead of anxious to get back to it…

1 of 1 people found this review helpful