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Three Men in a Raft: an Improbable Journey…
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Three Men in a Raft: an Improbable Journey Down the Amazon

by Ben Kozel

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Three kids (ie, each well under 30 years of age), with limited planning, limited funding and limited equipment, follow the Amazon from a mountainous Pacific Coast tributary all the way to the Atlantic. They get overwhelmed by rapids, shot at by Shining Path rebels, stopped by countless Peruvian military authorities (who shake their heads in dismay or laugh in contempt when they find out the goal of the quest) and get all the requisite fungal, insect and GI diseases. At one point Ben is shocked to hear roaring from the forest. He'd appparently never been south of Mexico and had never heard Howler Monkeys before. Rookie.

The maps and photos are a real nice touch.

Predictable adventure fare, worthy of a predictable 3 1/2 stars. I've added an extra 1/2 star for the sheer adventure and sheer size of this amazing odyssey. Well done, kids! ( )
  Sandydog1 | May 16, 2011 |
The author and two friends travel the Amazon river - from source to sea in a small white water raft.

Ben Kozel is a good travel writer and the book is interesting and easy to read. The most striking thing about his tale is the casualness with which the three undertake their adventure. Inadequate planning, research and preparation should have conspired against them, but despite all this they complete their trip.

The book contains stories about the people they met, things they saw, being mistaken for drug runners, shot at by guerillas, and various encounters with wildlife and nature in general.

Anyone who enjoyed this book would enjoy Kozel's second book - the story of a much better planned trip along Russia's Yennisy river. People who read this second book first may be disappointed by the Amazon book's focus on the river, as it does not feature as much interaction with locals as its sequal does.

The pictures are great. I think that a few plates of pictures are always a valuable addition to this type of book. ( )
1 vote Sassm | Jan 24, 2007 |
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When Ben Kozel casually accepts a friend's invitation to raft down the Amazon he's setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. Over five months of adventure they endure dangerous whitewater, wild storms, venomous insects and reptiles - not to mention being chased by guerrillas or being mistaken for drug smugglers.… (more)

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