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A book about a great adventure like this one should put the reader into the jungle right alongside the participants. Well written books like The River of Doubt by Candice Millard, Into Africa by Martin Dugard, Shadows in the Jungle by Larry Alexander, do exactly that, from cover to cover. The Darkest Jungle however, never rises to the story, fails to transport the reader's imagination into the jungle and never elicits suspense nor sympathy for any of the many characters. This is not a well written book, and worse, it is very poorly constructed. The author front loads the text with biographies on all the characters, before the reader has a chance to know or care who any of the people are and why any are to be important in the later narrative. Better books find a way to paint the characters as the story progresses. The end of the book falls off with many chapters of postscript that could have been woven into the text if properly edited. The narration, while credible, fails to deliver any excitement and is read as if the narrator is in a hurry to finish the project. All in all, this is not a great effort.
I was expecting more of a true life adventure but this was extremely slow and boring. I only listened to one half and could not finish. Dont waste the credit on this one.
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What disappointed you about The Darkest Jungle?
Narration is just dreadful. I listen to a lot of audio books and have never heard such monotonous reading. Stupidly didn't listen to a sample first; big mistake. All this is compounded by an extremely slow first hour or so which covers the background to the main protagonist's life in mind numbingly tedious detail, such that I just couldn't bear to listen to any more.
What was most disappointing about Todd Balf’s story?
The begining (first hour or so) is very boring. I didn't listen to any more.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Massively. Monotone delivery which just droned on in the most tedious way.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Darkest Jungle?
Certainly the begining is far too detailed and slow.