Sunday, January 31, 2010

The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

"The River of Doubt Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey" by Candice Millard

I absolutely loved this book. It is well written and riveting.

The author brings the characters to life with histories and background information on each throughout the book, allowing us to get to know each of them as if we were travelling the River of Doubt along with them.

This glimpse into Roosevelt's life has inspired me to pick up "Mornings on Horseback" by David McCullough to learn more. He is a fascinating central character in this book, but is portrayed as a man who was truly liked and loved by most all who met him. Although full of self confidence and bigger than life, he did not hold himself up as someone who is unapproachable or above those he travelled with.

The Amazon was described in fantastic detail, bringing the vegetation and it's human & animal inhabitants to life in beautiful and terrifying vividness. Steven King could not have imagined or created more terrifying scenes or creatures. The river full of flesh eating fish & cayman, millions of insects and flies carrying untold potential for disease, the jungle of millions of species of floral & fauna that seems to exist as a single organism. Descriptions and truths that make the readers' skin crawl.

The story is told beginning with the failed run for a 3rd term as President, presenting Roosevelt's frame of mind as the trip to South America presents itself and the potential for adventure and exploration. We are introduced to the main characters and the serious flaws in planning. After the trip down the River of Doubt the author continues with short synopsis of each main character quite nicely wrapping it all up with a bow.

I highly recommend this book. It's a good read taking you to a place you may never had been before.

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