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Editorial Reviews

Set in the wilderness of the Australian outback during the author's teenaged exploration of a remote river, Swimming with Crocodiles is one part coming-of-age tale and one part adventure story. Alongside descriptions of the author’s nuts-and-bolts struggle for survival, listeners are treated to expanded musings on life and the natural world, and fascinating tidbits of history and science. Performer John Rubinstein's dramatic delivery, combined with the author's smooth, matter-of-fact style, lends this audiobook the smooth feel of a documentary.

Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Into the Wild, here is the riveting story of a young man seeking his own truth and finding adventure in the awesome, unforgiving power of nature.

Will Chaffey is 18 when he boards a plane in New York bound for Australia. Taking time off to work and travel, Will meets an enigmatic wanderer and herpetologist. Together they cross the inland desert to the tropical northwest coast, home to the saltwater crocodile, a known man-eater and a predator who has been hunting since the age of the dinosaurs.

They devise a plan to explore the remote Prince Regent River, a trek so dangerous it had never been attempted by outsiders. Passing through harsh, primeval country, shadowed by their own exhaustion, and physically worn down, they find themselves locked in a life-and-death struggle when their food runs out and, unable to leave, they are stalked by a hungry crocodile.

Filled with scenes of great natural beauty, Swimming with Crocodiles is at once the affecting account of a journey into adulthood and a hair-raising epic of survival.

©2008, 2011 Will Chaffey (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ryan
  • Logan, Utah
  • 02-12-14

An easy, interesting listen...

Any additional comments?

Swimming with Crocodiles was an interesting listen, probably best suited for casual adventurers. It is the story of Will Chaffey's experiences while traveling in Australia, which ended up being more of a lesson in self-discovery than anything else.
The story itself is interesting, although it is fairly anticlimactic and tends to cover up this fact by telling short scientific stories about various Australian reptiles. Nevertheless Chaffey's adventure is enough to keep your attention throughout, even if it is somewhat predictable.
Without spoiling the story for any prospective listener, the most interesting aspect of the book is the lesson that Chaffey reiterates throughout, which is that not all education occurs within a classroom or walls of a university - a lesson I felt the author delivered with tact and power.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • Salley, SC, United States
  • 07-12-13

Survival, adventure, true grit and determination.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The best true adventure/survival story I have ever read.

What other book might you compare Swimming with Crocodiles to and why?

No comparisons.

What about John Rubinstein’s performance did you like?

Everything. He is one excellent narrator.

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

Danger, excitement a true survival story against all odds in the wilds of Australia.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting book

Narration excellent. Good story. Looking for more from author. Epilogue was a little over the top for my taste and preference.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • Putnam CT
  • 09-13-17

This book title is misleading

What disappointed you about Swimming with Crocodiles?

I listened to this book for 6 hours and there was no swimming with crocodiles, it is just the main character living in Australia right out of high school. The summary says one thing and the book is totally different.

What was most disappointing about Will Chaffey’s story?

The summary is misleading, when you click on the cover to see what the story is about it makes you think that its a story about surviving in Australia against crocodiles, there was no struggle for the first 6 hours, just Will surviving in a different country, it was also originally published in 2008.

Which character – as performed by John Rubinstein – was your favorite?

John Rubenstein is a master, he is the reason why I purchased this book. His performance was not the problem.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Swimming with Crocodiles?

I expected the book to be one thing and turns out to be something else. Swimming with Crocodiles would imply that there would be swimming with crocodiles, I lasted 6 hours of no crocodile swimming. The survival comes from surviving in the hot Australian climate.

Any additional comments?

The book summary is what makes or breaks the description, do not say its going to be one thing and then make me wait 6 hours of daily struggles before anything exciting happens. If you write a book with the title that says..Spaceships Invaders and the book is mostly about farming corn, then the title should be Farming Corn.

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Great tale

What an engaging listen. More please from this author and Rubenstein always pleased
Nothing boring In this coming of age tale. Nature is the best teacher

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  • Paul Steele
  • 09-28-16

nothing happens except they don't take enough food

why is this a book? it's a half hour anecdote, if you're a close friend.