The Explorers

The Explorers

A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success

Book - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
The story of Sir Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke--their friendship, bitter rivalry, and the two thousand year search for the source of the Nile--is almost too good to be true.
Imagine a story in which two daring adventurers set off to solve the greatest and oldest of geographical mysteries: the source of the Nile. Their journey begins with great fanfare. The young friends travel deep into a forbidding and uncharted wilderness. Their path is fraught with peril: poisonous snakes, deadly spiders, man-eating beasts, and cannibals. Their bodies are wracked by disease. But there is also pleasure, for the explorers are to the liking of the jungle women.
In the end, the mystery is solved.
But there's a catch. Each man has come up with a different answer.
They fight. Their friendship shatters. They split up in the heart of Africa and race back to civilization, each man striving to be the first to announce his findings to an adoring public. The man who wins the race is lionized as a national hero, only to have his claims publicly repudiated when the second explorer straggles home. The feud becomes an international sensation. A master showman arrives on the scene, one who decrees that the answer will be decided with a single public debate. It will be a massive spectacle, in the manner of a heavyweight prize fight. The answer will literally change the course of history.
The world is watching and waiting, eager to know the outcome. The loser will be disgraced. The winner is guaranteed fame and riches.
But the result is far more dramatic than anyone has a right to expect.
This, written with thrilling, page-turning, novelistic verve, is that story.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Bond Street Books,, [2014]
Description: x, 291 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780385677820
Branch Call Number: 916.204309 Bur


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Apr 23, 2018

This was an awful book: zipping across continents and across centuries, makes numerous references to historical events and scientific findings but with no notes or bibliography (its further reading section is incredibly short too). There is a mention of two great books "The Blue Nile" and "The White Nile"; it mention only one (and not a very good one) biography of Richard Francis Burton (the best short biography is "The Devil Drives"; his works and a list of biographies and reviews of them as well as copyright free old biographies, one should go to burtoniana dot org).

Apr 18, 2016

Can't put this book down. 5 stars!!

Aug 27, 2014

Really interesting, particularly all the little asides in the foot-notes.

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