Skeletons on the Zahara

A True Story of Survival
By: Dean King
Narrated by: Michael Prichard
Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (912 ratings)

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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

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What listeners say about Skeletons on the Zahara

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

25 people found this helpful

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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?

10 people found this helpful

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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!!

15 people found this helpful

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I survived the narration!

It was very difficult to get past the flat and dull narration which spoiled the whole book. My review might have been higher with another narrator that could have brought life to the story. I plodded through but found my mind drifting to other things.

3 people found this helpful

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interesting story, narrator a bit dull

A solid but not great book. I enjoyed the story, but found Prichard to be a bit monotone and dull.

3 people found this helpful

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riveting

The beginning: I struggled. Each player in the story was given an extensive background and I knew I couldn't possibly remember it all.
By the time the story began, I read hooked. The end was gripping and an emotional ride for me. I said "oh no" or lord more than once!

3 people found this helpful

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Great story, Sterile performance

I loved this story of human endurance in the face of great suffering. However, the performance and reading was so sterile that it was distracting at times.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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The survival is in the listening

This sounded a little different for me but I made a rookie mistake - I didn't double check the narrator before I purchased! Michael Prichard's nasal monotone can ruin anything for me, so I suffered through it but it's my last from this narrator. The overall story was not as good as it sounded either.

2 people found this helpful

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Moving story of trials, tribulations and triumph

This was an excellent story of shipwreck and journey through the Zahara desert. Beautifully written with detail that makes you feel you are there with the men in the story. I look foward to reading more from the author. Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful