Blood River

Blood River

A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
A compulsively readable account of a journey to the Congo — a country virtually inaccessible to the outside world — vividly told by a daring and adventurous journalist.

Ever since Stanley first charted its mighty river in the 1870s, the Congo has epitomized the dark and turbulent history of a failed continent. However, its troubles only served to increase the interest of Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher, who was sent to cover Africa in 2000. Before long he became obsessed with the idea of recreating Stanley’s original expedition — but travelling alone.

Despite warnings Butcher spent years poring over colonial-era maps and wooing rebel leaders before making his will and venturing to the Congo’s eastern border. He passed through once thriving cities of this country and saw the marks left behind by years of abuse and misrule. Almost, 2,500 harrowing miles later, he reached the Atlantic Ocean, a thinner and a wiser man.

Butcher’s journey was a remarkable feat. But the story of the Congo, vividly told in Blood River, is more remarkable still.

Ever since Stanley first charted its mighty river in the 1870s, the Congo has epitomised the dark and turbulent history of a failed continent - from colonial cruelty under the Belgians to the kleptocratic chaos of Mobutu Sese Seko and the post-apocalyptic riot of robber-baron politicians. This work tells the story of the Congo.

Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2007
Description: xvi, 363 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780701179816
Branch Call Number: 916.751 But


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ChristchurchLib Apr 10, 2016

In this enthralling travelogue, British journalist Tim Butcher recounts his perilous six-week trip retracing both the 1874 expedition of explorer H.M. Stanley and the 1950 genteel trip of his mother along the Congo River. Traveling alone in the war-ravaged country that inspired Joseph Conrad to write Heart of Darkness, Butcher uses an assortment of vehicles (including a motorbike and a dugout canoe) and is aided by unlikely helpers (ranging from U.N. aid workers to a pygmy-rights advocate). Blood River is a "brilliant account of a broken land" (Kirkus Reviews) that anyone interested in the Congo Region should devour.

Sep 06, 2013

Enjoyed it this more than 'Heart of Darkness'. Great work here.

Jun 28, 2012

Mind boggling account of the life along the Congo River with enough history to help explain how things could go so horribly wrong for country.

Feb 14, 2012

I'm surprised I checked this book out but I'm really glad I did. The book held my attention. The author not only described his journey but included a lot of history since the late 1800's of the Congo region. This is truly a very sad place.

My only criticisms would be not enough pictures (I did go to his website for more pics) and it is hard to believe he didn't have more trouble than he wrote about.

m2 Feb 03, 2011

Wow! Get the true story of Africa's Heart of Darkness. Heartrending.

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