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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars193
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 November 2014
good
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on 18 November 2013
I got this book for one of my children who is studying 'A' level English and this is what they are required to read and so far it is helping them.
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on 3 July 2008
A brilliant book mixing adventure travel with history, geography and anthropology. The author describes his brutal journey across the enormous expanse of land that is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tracking Stanley's exploratory expedition, the book is shocking and horrifying in what it reveals about this destitute country. It is a great read that's filled with humour and compassion for the Congolese people. As someone about to travel to the DRC, this was an insightful introduction to an amazing country - all of its wonders and dangers. Now that I have safely returned from the Congo I have recommended this to all my family and friends.
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on 11 August 2009
Anyone interested in the dreadful situation in the Congo can only be grateful that people like Tim Butcher have the courage and tenacity to go there and tell it like it is. I particularly appreciated the way he contrasted the situation as he found it with the way it was in the 1950's and even the 1930's. Having lived in next-door Zambia, if I hadn't read this book, I wouldn't have believed that things had got quite so bad so quickly. Needs to be read by anyone concerned about African development. What hope is there, unless some form of law and order can be restored - but who can do it now except the Congolese themselves?
Kate Nivison
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on 23 November 2008
Quite simply I gave this book top marks because it gave such a clear and shocking insight into the DR Congo. Before reading this book I had not been aware of how depraved and destroyed this country is and has continued to be for so long. Whilst outside countries continue to pillage this wonderful country it will remain one of the most saddest stories of world history. The fact that most of the wildlife has now been destroyed across this country gives a good indication of how desperate the people's lives have become. Thank you Tim. Good luck people of DR Congo.
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on 18 July 2008
This is a page turner, no doubt. The details of his journey are mildly interesting, the people he meets much more so. But there are better books on the DRC and much of this feels over familiar and repetitious. Butcher writes well enough but lacks the ability to convey a deeper understanding. He aint no Kapucinski. But a worthy effort and hats off to him for meeting such a daunting challenge. More than I've ever managed. But, hey, I'm just an interested but slightly disappointed reader.
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on 19 July 2007
The book was fantastic.

Even better is the review by Mr Walter, "courage of a mountaineer and a poets eye", awesome stuff.
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on 25 November 2007
I could not put this book down. I was gripped from start to finish. It had my heart racing the whole way along and only when the next helpful local provide some hope could I relax until the next terrifying ordeal presented itself. It reads in part like a fictional adventure but the reality is that Tim Butcher lived his ambition/ordeal first hand. The sadness of the book that the country and it's people have to endure this life everyday.
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on 14 June 2009
The logical sequel to Tim Jeal's 'H.M.Stanley' and Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' Blood River is a fascinating,depressing and wholly understandable account of a journey in what must be the most apalling area on earth.It reinforces the opinion that Central Africa is many centuries behind Europe in terms of civilization and there is very little hope of anything changing in the foreseeable future.It is a MUST read for anyone interested in Africa.
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on 14 January 2012
I found this book to be a really good read. It was a real page turner, and both exciting and compelling.
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