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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest expedition of recent years
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...
Published on 9 Jun. 2011 by A. J. Humphreys

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful achievement - not very good book
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,...
Published 10 months ago by Damian Murphy


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful achievement - not very good book, 7 May 2014
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This review is from: Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. The Impossible Task. The Incredible Journey (Paperback)
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest expedition of recent years, 9 Jun. 2011
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written account, 15 Sept. 2011
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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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 13 Sept. 2011
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breathtaking adventure, 3 Sept. 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.
EPIC!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the Series, 16 Aug. 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Adventure, 26 Jun. 2011
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Mark Taylor - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling true-life adventure read, 25 Aug. 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fair Dander, 7 Nov. 2014
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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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant achievement and accompanying book, 22 Jun. 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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