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on 13 August 2014
A very good read although I don't know why they punished themselves so hard. Those who have read this might also enjoy John Man's book Survive written in collaboration with Jan Little whose true story it was.. Jan was blind and deaf yet survived the death of her daughter Rebecca and husband Harry and was left alone in the snake ridden jungle to fend for herself. How she survived marriage to Harry is equally miraculous.. Another great read, again, based on truth and with an Amazon background, is Petru Popescu's book Amazon Beaming, researching Loren McIntyre's quest to find the source of the Amazon.
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on 11 May 2013
Brilliantly written, funny in parts, kind of frightening in others, and also sad at times, I totally loved it.

I learned so much about the history and the economics of the area too.

Thanks to the author for sharing his journey, what a privilege.
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on 24 November 2011
An absorbing adventure. At times it became a little repetitive in the middle of the journey, but this was only a reflection of what happened. It certainly made it possible to experience every nuance of this extraordinary undertaking. Thoroughly recommended reading for those who love travel and Amazonia in particular.
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on 9 February 2013
Into the Amazon
I like travel but do not usually read travel books but am delighted that I decided to read this one. It is probably wrong to refer to it as a travel book for it is really a true life adventure story told by a serious explorer. On this occasion John Harrison is accompanied by his wife Heather, the fact of which, at times, adds extra stress to a stressful journey. This journey takes them down rivers and rapids and hacking through dense jungle with all the risks laid bare and clearly described just to get from Molocopote, in the Brazil upper Amazon region, over the French Guiana mountainous hills to Maripasoula a small town in French Guiana. To do this amazing trip all they had was a lightweight canoe, a shotgun, a fishing line and a very poor map.Indeed the poor map nearly resulted in a tragic end for both John and Heather but they made it. The book is well written and includes extracts from previous trips as well as extracts from Raymond Maufrais' notes from a similar journey which cost him his life. I found the book informative, interesting, amusing and very easy to read.
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on 24 December 2012
Personally I like an author who tells warts and all stories, this doesn't disappoint.
Some of the descriptive work goes a little too far but it's an easy read.
After printing such "delightful" points about his wife I did wonder if they remained together after publication

Like he says himself times of stress do bring out the worst in people and it does tend to show here.
The way previous and historical material is included really adds to the effect you can tell he's a survivor
If Godzilla and he went into an alley I wouldn't bet on Godzilla coming out.
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on 17 April 2015
An absolutely fantastic read, they must have been mad to have even thought about doing it! An incredible story fraught with danger from all points of view, snakes, insects, hostile natives, hostile locals, wasps, hornets and heaven knows how many others, all life threatening, i could not put my Kindle down it was that good and exciting read. Highly recommended
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on 4 November 2012
It took me a little while to get into this book but I got there. It's a good combination of adventure and excitement with some hardship, in the Amazon (river not website). John Harrison and his wife set off to paddle up the tributaries and sub-tributaries of the Amazon. They battle upstream over fallen trees blocking their way, and cut paths through the jungle to circumvent the rapids. Sleeping in hammocks and under mosquito nets to stay above and cocooned from all forms of insect and mamallian threat.

Their objective is to cross the watershed between Brazil and Surinam, then descend the rivers of Surinam and French Guinea. Unfortunately that means they have to portage their canoe and supplies through the Brazilian jungle and over the hills, machetes in hand to cut a route. Back and fro they go searching for the right way through, thwarted by marshes and starting from the wrong place was not a great help either. Then repeated journeys through the jungle to establish camp and backpack all of their necessary supplies. Phew! Lost or nearly lost more than once, and contemplating admitting defeat. The book is dotted with pointant extracts from the diary of Raymond Maufrais the young Frenchman who perished in the same Brazillian jungle in the 1950's.

This is not a tale of unrelenting hardship and misery, it is saved from that by John Harrison's witty writing style. It is a very enjoyable account of a rather tough way to spend a few weeks.
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on 8 November 2012
Being an arm chair traveller I have read a number of adventure books and travel literature.
I would put this in the top half dozen without doubt. The suspense and humour, together with
the ups and downs of mental state make it a compelling read.
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on 13 April 2013
Great story of a journey that to those not obsessed with doing something different probably seems a bit insane. The authors wife, fed up with her husband disappearing for months at a time into the Amazon on pointless quests, decides to accompany him on a pointless expedition with no back-up whatsoever in the depths of the rain forest. What results is an entertaining and at times both gripping and hilarious journey trying to cross some badly mapped hills on an old Indian trail through the forest between two rivers. The authors sometimes curmudgeonly attitude almost destroys their marriage, but he's not the only one having dark thoughts about their partner.
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on 8 May 2015
I gave up reading this due to the animal cruelty aspects of this book. Author claims to be a naturist and feels guilty about hunting monkeys etc, but does it anyway, rather than eating the boring staples....the number of animals that had to die for them to make this trip is really selfish and unnecessary. They didn't HAVE to go, or HAVE to kill wildlife but they chose to, so it's very fickle to say they felt guilty about it. The author makes much of the excitement of killing fish and they even took 'revenge' on a swarm of bees!? They invaded the bee's habitat and they get stung - what did they expect? To then kill them by spraying them with bug spray for this is cruel, childish and environmentally irresponsible. They may have made an epic journey but they also killed an awful lot of wildlife to achieve it.
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