Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Wanderlust meet escapism
on 5 February 2008
Plus- The journey up and down the congo river is an interesting one detailed with observation and anaedotes, it would appeal to those who like travel stories.
Minus- Lack of meaning of his travel turns into an escapism, failed to dig deep into the heart of congo people and tell us their story.
Jeffrey Tayler, an American lives in Moscow, sensing his under-achievement and loss of purpose and direction, to quote his word 'The wanderlust that had impelled me to travel happily throughout my twenties had made me a terrible misfit in my thirties' Hence laid his decision to take some action, to travel, and he come upon Congo.
Then started the narrative from preparation to embarking his journey up the Congo river, from the rather peaceful Central African Republic to the eventful and dangerous Congo, with abundant stories of corruption, cannibalism, war, killing, expat life of diamond dealing, etc.
However, the fact that it is well written only qualifies the book as a standard travel story, a good narratives without meanings, it does not demonstrate his courage (though it demonstrate his rationale on safety precaution), does not deliver new insights nor offer us a new perspective on the lives of congo river. The story are dim throughout the book, and it does not answer any of question.