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Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. The Impossible Task. The Incredible Journey Hardcover – 9 Jun 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (9 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905264569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905264568
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"

Walking from the Pacific, over the Andes and along the entire length of the Amazon to the Atlantic is truly extraordinary. No one has ever done this before and the pundits considered the route impossible. If the distance wasn't challenge enough, the dense forest, biting insects, snakes, bogs, wilderness and uncertainty of what lay ahead would daunt the staunchest explorer.

To do all this in more than 800 continuous days with just a backpack puts Stafford's endeavour in the top league of expeditions past and present.

" (Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE)

"Is this Britain's most intrepid explorer since Scott of the Antarctic?" (The Daily Mail)

"All generations need heroes; it's lovely to have a real one for a change." (Antonia Senior The Times)

"Ed Stafford is the real deal." (The Times)

"Totally, completely and utterly mad." (Michael Palin)

Book Description

'Walking from the Pacific, over the Andes and along the entire length of the Amazon to the Atlantic is truly extraordinary... To do all this puts Stafford's endeavour in the top league of expeditions past and present' - SIR RANULPH FIENNES OBE

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damian Murphy on 7 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, I have to say that Ed Stafford's achievement must rank as one of the greatest expeditions of the past 100 years. Amazing and hats off to him.

However, the book was almost as much of a slog as the journey. It is poorly written and doesn't convey many of the experiences Ed went through very well. His descriptions of the environment, plants, animals, etc. are almost completely none existent and he devotes more time in the book to the tech he is carrying with him. Another issue I had reading it was that it comes across as a long moan, about the conditions, the people, the tech and on and on. My wife asked me what I thought and I summed it up as "Walked today, moan moan moan, walked today, moan moan moan." For me the book needed a ghost writer and/or a really good editor.

For me, Ed didn't come across as very likeable either, and when the book is focussed on him, that is a big problem. There is virtually no humour in the book and when it is attempted it is contrived and to be honest, a little offensive, for example "about as welcome as an autistic maths teacher" is an attempt at a joke which misses the mark by a long way.

There are other books out there which show a greater writing capability than Ed possesses, (Walking Home by Lynn Schooler for example) and I'd recommend them over this.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Humphreys on 9 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is no exaggeration when I say that I do not know of a single expedition in the last five years that required more dedication, pig-headedness and refusal to quit than Ed's Amazon walk.

Ed's book sounds like he is in person (I have heard one of his brilliant lectures) - humble, down-to-earth, amusing.

In the age of ridiculous celebrity "expeditions" this is the real deal. Hardcore. Impressive. Well worth a read.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By KH on 13 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt at all that the accomplishment of spending over two years walking the length of the Amazon deserves high praise indeed. The book is an excellent idea and I'm glad that Ed Stafford took the time to write it, as the story of his adventure is gripping, fascinating and massively inspirational - to would-be adventurers or otherwise. However, Stafford does not seem like a naturally gifted writer and there were few visual descriptions of his environment to please me as a reader (perhaps because I like lengthy descriptions of what people and places look like). The narrative is often 'he said, I said, we did' which read a little like a copy of a journal.
There were plenty of details of the logistics of such an extreme challenge which may be useful to fellow adventurers hoping to create an adventure of their own.
What was wonderful was Stafford's own personal reflections of his emotional states as the journey progressed - from elation, to despair, depression, anger, frustration, fear, apathy, boredom - he seemed genuinely open about his emotional experiences, which was surprising and refreshing to read. You can see how his personality went through some significant changes as the two years passed; he learnt more about himself and how he relates to others, which made the book most interesting for me.
An inspiring story and worth having a read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Taylor on 26 Jun 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The first I was aware of Ed Stafford's trek was when it was over, and shown in the two episode series on Discovery. But how could a two episode series do a trek of almost 3 years justice? In short, it couldn't, and it felt like reading the Cliffs Notes. Therefore I was really happy a few days ago to spot that Ed had released a book of his adventures, and I bought it instantly. I read it in three sittings, because it was hard to put down. The book inevitably expands on all the detail of Ed's journey, including amazing anecdote after anecdote about travelling through Chile, Peru, Colombia and then finally Brazil (I hope I got the first three countries in the correct order). It's a fascinating study on the reality of trekking for month after month, and what kit works and doesn't, even if that means you end up wearing welly boots and Crocs. That Ed navigated large parts of his journey in Brazil using Google Earth via a satellite Internet connection beggar's belief, but he had no alternative and always just got on with the "job". I was amazed by Ed's stamina and motivation in the TV series, and was only more so with the book. He doesn't hold back though within the book, and often self analyses his feelings about the journey, as well as those who accompanied him. That self analysis was fascinating from the perspective of how it changed both him and his attitude to life. Aside from the incredible tales within the book it's also really well written, and flows very nicely. My only criticism would be the recurring hardship faced in the basic jungle trekking: mud, thorns etc. But perhaps I'm being harsh, and this was the reality that underpinned the trek? Recommended for anyone who enjoys non-fiction tales of amazing achievement. My hat's off to Ed for this amazing record.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Riquito on 6 Oct 2011
Format: Hardcover
Just a really good book - Well written and brings the excitement that I had expected...

All in all a very good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By formidible on 15 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm surprised not just by the scale of this adventure and the obvious gusto that Ed brings to it, but by the fact that it is in actual fact a very well written book by someone with limited experience in travel writing (so far). Refreshing is Ed's willingness to use swear words and common phrases when needed to convey his emotion and attitude to a situation, instead of rephrasing or ommiting. Ed does a great job of pulling the reader in to the adventure and you constantly feel like you are there amongst the big picture. His prose are very descriptive at times, honest and unconveluting, and its his ability to use observational description of everything he sees around him to brilliant effect, whilst still focusing on the eventual goal, that does the trick and makes this a memorable read. I found large sections unputdownable. Well done.
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