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4.6 out of 5 stars125
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2011
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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on 26 June 2011
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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on 3 September 2011
what an amazing book!!! From beginning to end i couldnt put it down. By far it is the best book about adventure i have ever read and i was sad to have finished it. The documentary about eds journey following the amazon was shown on tv in june(which by the way is nowhere near as good as the book) and having seen that i thought i must read the book. If your looking for a book about adventure friendship determination and life threatening situations then this is the book for you.
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on 7 May 2014
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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on 16 August 2011
Bought this book after watching one of the Series on TV. Just couldn't engage with it on the TV, however the book draws you in completely and is so absorbing finished it in about 3 days, couldn't put it down. Subsequently have read it again and found new insights into how the trip was achieved. Brilliant comments about tech, particularly about lugging a LapTop around, when these days a Pad device would have done. Get this book you will not be disappointed.
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on 25 August 2011
No-nonsense style and genuine narrative from an amazing journey. Especially liked the honesty of the author in dealing with the inter-personal conflicts which threatened to spoil the whole expedition. The guy is 100 percent the real deal and the account is a page-turner which I really enjoyed. Much more realistic than your average expedition story!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 November 2014
I found this book very hard to put down when I started reading it. Eds trek along the Amazon has to be one of the great feats of human endurance both physically and mentally. The book describes the hardships, the uncertainties and the frustrations involved in this huge undertaking but overriding all that, describes the joy and the great sense of achievement which came with it.

I have become a big fan of Eds exploits, he has taken the survival medium to a new level. He manages to do this with humility and respect and comes across as a very likeable character. In a world where we are bombarded with survival programmes carefully scripted and presented by ex special forces 'He Men' Ed Stafford manages to show them all the way, without ever looking like he's showing off.

What a guy.
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on 22 June 2011
This is an excellent account of the expedition and has a little bit of everything (friendships, animosity, danger, relief, blood, sweat and tears), as you might expect from and two and half year endeavour. The writing style is easy and you are carried effortlessly through the trials and tribulations of the expedition from inception to finish. I had read the blogs at the time and found the book tied the whole thing together brilliantly by providing an overview of each stage in a way that only hindsight can.

If I had a criticism I would say that (whether decided by author or publisher) the race through Brazil to the end comes across as a race to finish the book. I would have enjoyed more detail of the routes, the differing uses of the former forest and more detailed accompanying maps.

At the end of the day Ed has achieved a spectacular world first and gives us a brilliant, down to earth account of it.
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on 20 January 2014
It is a backdrop for a great book. However, I found it very plodding and dealt far too much with the personal and non Amazon specific issues. I could have done with a lot less on personal issues with the former partner, guides along the way, soggy boots & bad kit, etc and much more of the spectacular things encountered along the way. Seemed like 80% complaining and 20% Amazon adventure. I quit 60% finished, which rarely happens. So, caveat is that the remaining 40% could be much better. However, my sincere congratulations for the incredible accomplishment of the feat itself.
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on 5 May 2014
I had been listening to a podcast and the interviewee (Les Stroud) mentioned how he had become fed up with so called "Explorers" and "survival specialists". Ed Stafford was one of the very people Les Stroud regarded as a true original, someone who brought home the realities and genuine excitement of undertaking challenging expeditions. Google being only a few keystrokes away, I looked up Ed Stafford and found out about his amazing journey across the Amazon. The book is a wonderful account of Ed's journey and you won't be disappointed in the slightest. There have been some snobby reviews about Ed's style of writing, if you want Dostoevsky then you won't find it here. This is an unashamedly authentic and honest account of the ups and downs of a trekking adventure that takes Ed and his companions, notably "Cho" Ed's unintentional Amazon buddy, along a the dangerous and sometimes tedious path of the entire Amazon, the mental and physical punishment they endure, the people and tribes they meet, the inter-personal conflicts, the generosity of strangers and so much more. The kinship and that develops between Ed and Cho is wonderful. I read the book within 4 days, it is fascinating and just mind boggling the sheer scale of this particular journey that Ed & Cho tackle. I'm reluctant to give too much away but you won't forget "Walking The Amazon" in a hurry. No-nonsense style, genuine narrative about a physical and mental journey.

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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