AMAZON EXTREME: Three Ordinary Guys, One Rubber Raft, and the Most Dangerous River on Earth

Colin Angus, Author, Ian Mulgrew, With with Ian Mulgrew. Broadway $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7679-1050-7

If the word "ordinary" in the subtitle was changed to "irresponsible," it would be a more precise description of this wild tale of three young adventurers who decide to become "the first to extreme raft the Amazon." Beginning with a description of the team's disastrous dehydrating hike to the river, just "three gringos in a foreign desert, slowly dying," first-time author—and one of the trio—Angus presents himself as a none-too-intellectual buccaneer, "a doer, not a couch potato or an Internet geek." But a little time on the Internet would have helped Angus, since the entire trip is marked by the trio's inability to correctly calculate how much food and water they need, their almost total lack of mapping or directional information, a somewhat condescending attitude toward the poverty-ridden locals they meet on the river and a complete disregard for the dangers of the trip itself, especially the possibility of running into the members of the revolutionary Shining Path, who don't take kindly to strangers. Angus's "Wow, isn't this weird!" journalism is strangely undercut by knowledgeable factoids and historical descriptions of the Amazon's people and landscape that suggest Angus has more "geek" in him than he's let on. But if the adventuring naïf conceit doesn't quite hold up, the well-paced, hair-raising tale should still please outdoor adventure junkies—if they don't get fed up with the lunatic arrogance of its heroes. (Apr. 9)

Reviewed on: 04/08/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-385-66009-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7679-1051-4
Open Ebook - 171 pages - 978-0-7679-1114-6
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