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Amazon: An Extraordinary Journey Down The Greatest River On Earth Hardcover – 9 Oct 2008
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Praise for Tribe:
'A fascinating companion piece to Bruce's brilliant TV series. Written with all the fizzing enthusiasm of the show . . . An absolute must-read.' News of the World
'I don't know anyone who hasn't fallen for the honey-stealing, boar-spearing, goatherding, frog-poison-resisting, hard-partying world-saver Bruce Parry (also increasingly known as 'lovely Bruce')' Sunday Times
About the Author
Bruce Parry started out his adult life as a Royal Marines officer. He then worked as an expedition leader, and now combines his love of the outdoors and film with his award-winning documentaries.
Top customer reviews
The book is an insightful accompaniment to the show, delving deeper into the characters that we meet only briefly on screen.The photography provides candid shots of both Bruce,the landscape and the indigenous tribes he meets.
I would highly reccomend this book for anyone who has an interest in the enviroment and what is happening in the Amazon. It is also a great Christmas present for any fans of the charming Mr Parry!
Bad points: too much emphasis on humans, and very little on the actual Amazon forest or its wildlife (I didn't see the TV series so didn't know what to expect). A little depressing as the scale of the damage in the Eastern Amazon becomes apparent, because of past policies now running amok.
Overall: enlightening, as it gives an insight into different sides and the complications of reality over rhetoric.
The journey begins at the officially recognized source of the Amazon, although the river isn't actually called the Amazon at that stage. It takes the author and his crew three months to reach the point at which the word Amazon is applied. By that time, a vast number of tributaries have converged on each other. Still, the source looks quite spectacular, with water gushing out of the side of a cliff at a very high altitude.
The author and his production team illustrate with words and pictures the contrasts between those areas that were unspoiled at the time and those areas that have been affected by modern civilization. Affected sometimes means devastated, but it isn't always like that. Conservation projects have met with varying degrees of success, as at least some of the locals have learned to control fish stocks. The author discusses some of the industries that have moved into the area - oil, gold, drugs, logging and rubber among them - and the impact they've had. The rubber industry is gone now, but left its mark anyway.
The author also discusses how the locals spend their leisure time. He does not have a huge amount to say about the wildlife, but I was amused to read that the Uakari is sometimes called the English monkey, because its red face reminds them of sunburn. I had never heard of these monkeys, let alone known what they looked like, until I played Zoo World on Facebook. Yes, I can confirm their blood-red faces do make it look as if they are permanently sunburnt.
The author does not get overly political. He is in any case constrained by what he can say as he has to toe the BBC line and present what he sees, leaving others to interpret what it all means. I like it that way as I prefer to make up my own mind about things. The Amazon environment clearly has problems, but they can be solved if the will is there. If the will isn't there, people will have to adapt to whatever the consequences may be.
This book is well written with plenty of great photographs, some of which are full of fun while others are more serious - some very serious indeed. The Amazon is a unique river that tries to hide many secres, but a few of those secrets have escaped into this book.
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