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The Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness [Audiobook] [MP3 CD]

Peter Matthiessen , Stefan Rudnicki

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Book Description

Dec 2009
A classic work of nature and humanity, by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning "The Snow Leopard" and the new novel "In Paradise" Peter Matthiessen crisscrossed 20,000 miles of the South American wilderness, from the Amazon rain forests to Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, down to Tierra del Fuego and back. He followed the trails of old explorers, encountered river bandits, wild tribesmen, and the evidence of ancient ruins, and discovered fossils in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. Filled with observations and descriptions of the people and the fading wildlife of this vast world to the south, "The Cloud Forest" is his incisive, wry report of his expedition into some of the last and most exotic wild terrains in the world.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; MP3 Una edition (Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441710639
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441710635
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm

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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Matthiessen was the cofounder of the Paris Review and is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Indian Country, and The Snow Leopard, winner of the National Book Award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye openning 21 Aug 2000
By T.C.Tompkins - Published on Amazon.com
Matthiessen always teaches,in a quiet sober way.The extent of his experience coupled with a wonderful style has always made his subject fascinating.The Cloud Forest is no exception.From ornothology,Buddhisum,indigious peoples,spirituality,the environment,to his fiction... on every subject he gives the reader a clear insight.Quammen, Lopez,Finnegan,Mcgune,Proulx et al,all in one.Simply the best.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventures through the Pongo on a raft 11 Sep 2001
By Gary Sprandel - Published on Amazon.com
What I like about Matthiessen's account is that he has no clear destination (e.g, through "some remarkably bad planning, I crossed the Andes nine times in five months")., and hence open to adventure and experience. He writes of what he sees and what affects him. He also is reflective about how he effects the local residents or native Machiguenga guides. I have some sadness that the tribes he encountered (1960's) may no longer be there. He writes honestly, not claiming superiority, for example he takes pistol shots at crocodiles. His adventure down the Urubamba was particularly compelling ... would he find the giant crocodile bones, would he find the lost city ruins? Along the way he manages to accomplish something remarkable (the traverse of the Pongo), and as any proud adventurer, tries to understand if his adventure was historically unique. For bird watchers, there is an added enjoyment of trying to identify some of the birds he describes along the way. This travel journal sets a standard for other adventurers and for my own daily journals.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's with Ginsberg? 8 Dec 1999
By Chuck - Published on Amazon.com
Macchu Picchu, a giant fossilized mandible, steam ships, and Allen Ginsberg. What can be wrong with a book that features all that. Seriously, this is a great book. Good culutral anthropology without all the anthropology to get in the way. From his depiction of the natives to his own almost childlike desire to explore and see, Matthiessen conveys a great story in a great way. Not exactly up to the Snow Leopard's level, but a great read.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazonian and Altiplano Travelogue 9 Nov 2006
By George C. J. Fleck II - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because, having extensively traveled in Peru and horse-packed in the Peruvian Andes, I was interested in what the book had to say. Although the book was written 24 years before I first went to Peru, it was interesting to see how little had changed in those ensuing years. Not having been in the Amazon basin, I cannot speak to Peter Matthiesen's observations about the Indian tribes in the area, although I detected a lot of "gringo" condescension on his part. I flat out disagree with his characterizations of the "altiplano" indians, finding them warm, humorous and interested in "turistas" and travelers. The young children are amazing! They have no creature comforts, tend llamas, alpacas, and spin wool at the tender age of three or four, yet have the most beautiful smiles and natures! Peter Matthiesen is obviously a expert, dedicated birdwatcher, and naturalist, detailing many of his sightings. Matthiesen's encounters with Peruvian "artful dodgers" are well told and his many travails, particularly on the Urabamba river are exciting.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but Racially Insensitive 19 Nov 2008
By David Holman - Published on Amazon.com
Matthiessen's account is an honest travelogue of South America, dedicating much of its time to the Peruvian jungle. His narrative portrays a paradoxical mix of racial insensitivity, ignorance, enlightenment and progressive views. He refers to some cultures as almost subhuman, at one point proclaiming that one tribe would be better off killed at birth than living their miserable lives while at other times sympathizing with and even trying to interact with the indigenous peoples he encounters. He dislikes both Evangelical and Catholic attempts at "civilizing" the Indians thinking them more dignified when left alone and away from outside influences but he abhores the Quechua and Aymará ascribing them all manner of derogatory traits which teach the reader more about his own prejudice than about these cultures. Matthiessen refers to numerous prior works on South America and the Amazon and it seems that many of these colonial 19th century views on race have influenced his own. As someone who has lived in Bolivia for many years, I find his adventures fascinating, his accuracy and prose commendable but must also strongly caution readers that many of his derogatory descriptions of entire cultures are both wrong and offensive.
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