Saturday, October 20, 2007

River of Doubt, by Candice Millard

This audiobook was found at the Alachua County Public Library, came on 10 CDs, and was narrated by Paul Michael.

When my customers find out what an audiobook junkie I am, they sometimes make suggestions to me from their own reading. This year, someone told me about "River of Doubt" and I was immediately intrigued because I am a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt. I could not find this title for awhile, and even now it is unavailable at But one day a search on the library website turned it up, and I put it on reserve. It was waiting for me when I got back from vacation.

This is a wonderful mix of history, biography, and suspenseful adventure. Any one of those descriptions is enough to lure me in, but all three, combined with Theodore Roosevelt risking life and limb in the Amazon jungle as a form of post-election therapy makes this unforgettable. Candice Millard takes you there with research that would rate as overkill if it were about anyone else.

It's both gripping and sad, as it also turns into a father and son examination. TR and his third son, Kermit, near-lethal hardships and acquit themselves admirably. Kermit was very much his father's son when it came to physical endurance and toughness in the midst of calamity. But away from the snake and cannibal infested testing ground, they were two totally different men.

I will avoid the spoilers and say that this is a 4 star delight, whether you are a history buff or and adrenaline junkie.

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