Blood River - A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

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9780099494287
 
Not only a history of many men's efforts to chart the Congo, but also also a thrilling travelogue as Tim Butcher follows in their troubled footsteps.
Blood River tells of author Tim Butcher's unbelievable solo journey down the river Congo, through the heart of Africa. Ever since Henry Morton 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 current post-apocalyptic riot of robber-baron politicians. However, its troubles only served to increase the interest of Daily Telegraph correspondent, Tim Butcher, who was sent to cover Africa in 2000. He remembered his mother's stories of her own genteel river journey there in the 1950s and his connection deepened when he discovered that Stanley's expedition was funded by the Telegraph. Before long, he became obsessed with the idea of recreating Stanley's original expedition - but travelling alone.
Despite warnings from old Africa hands that his plan was 'suicidal', Butcher spent years poring over colonial-era maps and wooing rebel leaders before making his will and venturing to the Congo's eastern border with just a rucksack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots. Almost 2,500 harrowing miles later, he reached the Atlantic Ocean a thinner and a wiser man.
His extraordinary account describes a country with more past than present, where giant steamboats lie rotting in the advancing forest and children hear stories from their grandfathers of days when cars once drove by. Butcher's journey was a remarkable feat. But the story of the Congo, told expertly and vividly in this book, is more remarkable still.
More Information
Weight 0.305000
Author Tim Butcher
Availability IP
Department Travel Writing
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780099494287
Pages 384
Published 03/01/2008
Publisher Chatto & Windus
Section Travel Writing: General
Size Unfolded 13x20cm
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