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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

The River of Doubt

With the exception of maybe going into space, I’ve never had a great desire for exploratory travel. Paddling down unknown rivers in the deep dark with disintegrating clothing due to the humidity and hardships holds very little charm. I think it’s impressive what others do on their adventures as they go into uncharted territory, but there’s something about a bed and a bathroom that floats my boat. Still though, I have nothing against reading a good book on the subject.
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard is a story of the president’s discovery trip along a major river through the Amazon Rain Forest, the River of Doubt. It is now known as the Roosevelt River, or Rio Teodoro to Brazilians, after the journey that left the whole team emaciated, and barely clinging to life in many cases, to explore and chart a river that only local Indian tribes really knew.
Much of what gripped me, through Millard’s great research efforts, is how so much of the story is told in the words of those who did it. Sure, she has great backstory and side information, but so many lines were pulled directly from the diaries of the men who made the difficult journey. And to hear it from them really made it a great and personal story and one that I had a difficult time putting down.
Millard does an excellent job piecing together all of the information that she’s gathered from what seems like thousands of different sources to tell an amazing story. I was really captured with this, and her writing, from the start in the prologue, and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. And even then, I had some second thoughts and desired more as it was so well done. The River of Doubt really is an excellent read and one that I would put at th etop of most any recommendation list.

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