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Congo Journey (Penguin audiobooks) Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audio Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged
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About the Author
Redmond O'Hanlon lives in Oxfordshire. He is the author of INTO THE HEART OF BORNEO and IN TROUBLE AGAIN.
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What makes this book more serious, and in this reader's humble opinion better, than ITHOB and CJ, is the manner in which the problems of the Republic of Congo are explored. The three characters named above are related, but very different in outlook. Each presents their own particular picture of Congo, and O'Hanlon is not afraid to extrapolate from this to the wider issues facing the nation as a whole.
If this makes it sound boring, sorry, but it ain't. Not at all. Still funny, still exciting, and most of all, as another reviewer has mentioned, very, very frightening. Buy it.
My favourite travel book, I read it soon after returning from Africa and went on to read all four of Redmond's travel classics. He is inspired by the 19th century naturalist-explorers; a scholar of Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, and Joseph Conrad. Fittingly his own African journey also has a Heart of Darkness: from pre-departure chaos to sex-mad Africans to malarial hallucinations. All his work is also hilarious and humane.
This is hard travel. The author presents himself as a bumbling Brit; his American companion is recovering from multiple sclerosis. All hale the African sky god that they persevere.
P.S. I recommend Redso's entire oeuvre. He documents dying hunter-gatherer ways of life from Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja, through In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon, to Trawler: A Journey Through the North Atlantic.
Some amazing things happen, and you really hope it is still not like this in the Congo. The gorilla part broke my heart. I've never read a travel book before thats this... hardcore, for want of a better word.
Only bad thing - it was a very abrupt ending! I knew this would happen after reading anothers review of this book. And they were right. Its like Redmond ran out of time and bungled a few words together at the end. At least the photos in the middle of the book answer some urgently needed questions that he fails to put in. Don't let this put you off though.
Will definitely read other books by Redmond O'Hanlon
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