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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing and truly admirable undertaking, but why the digs at Tim Butcher?, 26 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Canoeing the Congo: First Source to Sea Descent of the Congo River (Paperback)
This is a great account of a frankly amazing journey through one of the last bastions of a truly wild and often dangerous area, with both natural hazards and some altogether more human ones. Mr Harwood clearly knew how to look after himself on this journey, and was clearly no mug when it came to people trying to extort him (Which i am sure a large percentage of us would also do given the desperate situation that so many people are in in this part of the world). The book does grip you from start to finish if you have the slightest interest in this tragically failed state, or indeed this general part of Africa. It is also an incredible story of Harwoods determination to reach the Atlantic, in a canoe, down the second most powerful river system in the world.

I have took one star off for one or two things that irked me a little bit about the book, his lack of writing experience may have contributed to this though, so it is forgiveable. Firstly, Tim Butcher comes in for a bit of stick twice in this book. I really don't see the justification for this, Tim Butcher's Blood River is a completely different book to this... and also a fantastic read to boot. In Butchers book, he spends more time in the Eastern provinces near to where the post Rwandan genocide refugee crisis was centred (And what is still by far the most dangerous part of the DRC). I won't go into the other thing that got on my wick, it's probably irrelevant to most readers anyway besides I've already spent too much of this review highlighting my point about Tim Butcher and i don't want to detract from what is a fantastic story and achievment.

In a nutshell, what Harwood accomplished is of no less importance than any of the recent polar/mountain/sailing expeditions that get so much media exposure.
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Initial post: 30 Apr 2014 10:56:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2014 10:57:14 BDT
'I won't go into the other thing that got on my wick' - then why mention it? And how do you know it's not relevant? Stop being a tease, we want to know. Other than that, I agree that Harwood should have left out the digs at Butcher, but disagree with your reasoning: Blood River is by no means "a fantastic read" (I can't recall one solitary moment that excited me). As for its being a "completely different" book, only insomuch that its central character was as drab as his non-journey (the helicopter ride, for instance, was a total cop out). Harwood was spot on when he said Butcher over-dramatized his achievements.
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