The River of Doubt

  • by Candice Millard
  • Narrated by Richard Ferrone
  • 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. The River of Doubt; it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.
After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil's most famous explorer, Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.
Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.
From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt's life, here is Candice Millard's dazzling debut.


What the Critics Say

"Millard...nails the suspense element of this story perfectly, but equally important to her success is the marvelous amount of detail she provides on the wildlife that Roosevelt and his fellow explorers encountered on their journey, as well as the cannibalistic indigenous tribe that stalked them much of the way." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Couldn't put it down!

This is a wonderfully written book about an amazing adventure - a journey down an uncharted and unexplored river of the Brazilian rain forest, led by the middle-aged ex-president of the United States. The explorers encountered privation, injury, disease and death in seeking the river's outlet to the Amazon; the two-month journey was nearly Roosevelt's last.
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- Kathleen

Terrific Story

This is an account of Teddy Roosevelt's search for adventure after leaving the White House. He decides to tackle the charting of "The River of Doubt" an unexplored tributary of the Amazon. This is just a great story which fleshes out the biography of TR that I have carried in my head for so long. The former President, his son, and a partner set out on this "adventure" and all sorts of things happen along the way.

In addition to enlightening the listener about the post-presidential activities of TR, this book is wonderful for two reasons. First, the narration is some of the best that Richard Ferrone has recorded. Second, I purhcased the Abridged version. I usually avoid abridgements because they read like "cut and paste." This abridgement made me wish I had rented the full version.

The final section of the book informs the reader of what happened to TR and his son after the South American exploration. That is quite touching and informative as well.

Hooray for Candic Millard. I hope that she authors much more to come.
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- Roy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-21-2005
  • Publisher: Random House Audio