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Walking the Amazon: 86...
 
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Ed Stafford
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Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time.

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  458 ratings  ·  77 reviews
As seen on "Discovery Channel," a riveting account of one man's history-making journey along the entire length of the Amazon--and through the most bio-diverse habitat on Earth
In April 2008, Ed Stafford set off to become the first man ever to walk the entire length of the Amazon. He started on the Pacific coast of Peru, crossed the Andes Mountain range to find the official...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Plume Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Melody
The story of Stafford's grueling journey on foot is begging to be told. By someone other than Stafford. He needed a ghost writer. Or a team of iron-stomached editors. Stafford just plain can't write worth a damn.

His journey is a fascinating one- but he rarely pulls his head out of his ass long enough to tell the reader anything about the wildlife, the people he meets, or even the scenery. We spend a lot of time inside his head, which is a dank and dolorous place. Stafford is clinically depressed...more
Kim
The first thing - Ed Stafford is crazy. I want to travel around South America but no way would I do this. Everyone said he'd never make it and he is probably lucky to have survived - floods, infections, hostile people, dangerous wildlife. Not to mention his mental state as he spent such a huge portion of the trip depressed. A monumental adventure and a first in a world where there aren't many great adventure firsts left.

I would love to visit a lot of the places he went but I'll take a plane or a...more
Lisa
Another book that took me a very long time to read. Let me explain. I went into reading this book with high hopes and excitement. I mean, stories of the Amazon and the rainforest, talk about exciting. But, Stafford is not a writer. Sure, his expedition was astounding and the fact that he accomplished it was amazing. And, I definitely want to go travel more in South America, especially in Brazil. But, the same feeling that Ed had about a month before he finished is the same feeling I had when I o...more
Christine
This should have been named "A narcissistic moron manages to survive a lame expedition against all odds." He gives no credit to many of the people who helped him, failed to appreciate the very jungle he claims to love, and has no understanding (and no apparent interest in) the local people and how they manage to survive in these remote communities. And then he not only depends on them for food and shelter many times, he EXPECTS it! Still, go ahead and read it because it really is unbelievable ho...more
Georgia Smith
Truly epic. Stafford's journey is truly wonderful.
I always know it's an adventure novel when I get near the end and feel strong pangs of longing to go back to the middle, to escape in that feeling. This book had that. It has a sort of vivid wistfulness running through it that tangles neatly with the forcefulness of the plot.
Of course, Stafford's no D. H. Lawrence. His writing is factual and to-the-point, much like I an imagine him as a person to be. But that's OK - he's not trying to prove anyth...more
Jim
A mediocre book about a singular accomplishment. It has the potential to be an epic story, but Ed Stafford can't write for beans. No detail is too trivial to be included, especially if it's what he had for dinner. Getting through this book is a lot like trying to walk through the Amazon.

And for a book about a trip through the Amazon, there's not a lot about the Amazon. The river, the flora and fauna, the people who live there, even his initial partner Luke - all are treated as mere obstacles to...more
Martinxo
Enjoyable and impressive account of a 860 day hike from the source to the mouth of the Amazon. Stafford writes better than most of the current crop of 'adventure' writers, i.e. he doesn't feel the need to use adverbs every second sentence or go on and on about the life changing wonderfulness of what he is doing or make unfunny quips etc etc.

Have to say I became a little bored towards the end:jungle,mosquitoes, hunger,jungle,mosquitoes, hunger,jungle,mosquitoes, hunger, etc. Not my idea of fun re...more
James
Despite not being a prolific author Ed Stafford has written a great book here documenting the first walk of the entire length of the Amazon finished just earlier this year.
I thought the primary danger in such a trip would be the terrain, wildlife and risk of infection and disease. Although these clearly were an issue the major challenges that faced Ed were the native peoples and his own mental state. Ed and his fellow walker doggedly dodged drug traffickers (narcos) and battled depression during...more
Nick

Review

Well, Stafford wrote this book in a similar fashion to how I wrote my Europe Trip blog in 2007: long, very detailed, very wordy, often whiny and petty, with a pretty sad love life. What he didn't do, and what I did, was include some sort of artistic form; no joking Bill Bryson, no lyrical prose, no dreamy or thought-provoking side-stories, just monotonous, detailed explanation and fairly immature sounding thoughts. Immature in that he generally alternates between complaining about people i...more
Chuck
Oct 14, 2012 Chuck rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chuck by: Katie Hocevar
I love to read true life travel adventures including Krakauer, Thesinger, Theroux, Rawicz, Shackleton, Conrad, Bryson, Heyerdahl, etc., but this adventure makes many others look like a bird walk in Central Park. From the shores of the Pacific Ocean over the Andes Mountains to the leaking spring headwaters of the Amazon River is where this story begins. It ends with a walk through the Amazon Basin which includes floods, insects, snakes, mosquitos, botflys, thousands of miles of mud, meals of unto...more
Tuck
ex-uk military guy, kicking around doing adventure tours in bolivia, got a gig in helping united nations do elections in afghanistan (where they were run out of the county) then comes up with an off the wall idea: what about walking down the amazon river? some him and english buddy (world adventurer kayak and mountain climber dude) say yeah, let's do it. they start in pacific ocean in peru, head east, into the red zone, rather lawless area mostly run by shining path and lots of indian land, and...more
Erin
Really, I'd like to give this two and a half stars. On the one hand, it's an amazing story. Walking the length of the Amazon river, across the entire South American continent, is pretty damn impressive. Stafford has some great stories about his trip and the planning that went into it. I found it interesting that even though the physical challenge was overwhelming, it was the mental challenges that gave him the most trouble. Boredom, panic, worry over bad decisions that cost time and money, and s...more
Ricki Ward
I'm feeling kind of "meh" about this one, so I'm giving it 2.5 stars. The adventure aspect was interesting, but I often found the author's attitude toward the native people of the areas where he was traveling to be very condescending and at times he struck me as arrogant, but I guess one would have to be somewhat arrogant to even dream of hiking the entire length of the Amazon. About two-thirds of the way through the book I started to feel like I was stuck in a "lather, rinse, repeat" cycle, onl...more
Mimi
don't read this to find out about the flora and fauna of the rainforest or even much about the local people who live there. What this is is a mind-boggling account of the author's Guinness record walk of the entire Amazon area from the Pacific coast in Peru to the Atlantic coast in Brazil. He talks about the pure boredom of walking that far in spite of the dangers and discomforts and how he slowly developed a way to control his mind. He is mostly accompanied by a Peruvian man who becomes a great...more
Patricia
I am going to like this book! He is ironic and cusses. Excellent combination.


It wasn't as good as I hoped at the beginning. The adventure was amazing. But Mr. Stafford is not a especially good writer. And pretty self involved. Could have used more details on the invironment and the indigineous people and less on his foul self involved moods and bad treatment of his companions.
El
Totally fun adventure book. This guy is in the tradition of those crazy Brits of the 19th century, who go to far off lands, just for the hell of it, even if it will kill them. Travel for guts and glory. It is a kind of dumb goal, that has not real point. But, goddamnit, he makes it, he walks the whole Amazon in two and a half year. The only crazy person to do so.
Cara
Couldn't put this one down all weekend... I found myself scouring the internet for more information on the Amazon for days after. Stafford's journey will open your eyes to the power of human will.
Suman Kumar
Ed Stafford's achievement is mind numbingly phenomenal but he should not attempt writing again.
Helen Dunn
It felt like it took 860 days to get through this book!

This was an incredible feat by Ed Stafford and his companion Cho but this book is awful. The narrative is choppy and hard to follow, the descriptions of the Amazon are meager and fail to paint any kind of picture for the reader, and Ed Stafford himself is really an unpleasant guy.

Most of the book is him whining about one thing or another, belittling the people of Peru and Brazil (who are, according to him, feeble minded, fat, drunk and corr...more
Neil Wright
In 2010, Ed Stafford, a british explorer, completed a record breaking trek of the full length of the Amazon river. Parts of his journey took him through areas of the Amazon rainforest that had never been walked before. An amazing achievement which puts him up there with some of the best and the bravest explorers in history.

If hiking and the outdoors is your thing, you will love this book. The accounts if the trek itself are the best. The personal battles Ed faced with his state of mind are fasci...more
Vera Marie
It isn’t the hostile natives, or the jaguars or the poisonous snakes or the ba-zillion mosquitoes that pose the greatest danger. It’s boredom.

The big surprise revealed in Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time. turns out to be a fundamental of brain science. Even when every move you make has to be calculated to help you survive, if you’re doing the same thing every day for more than 800 days running, your mind says, “Enough already!” It craves novelty.

Ed Stafford, a wilderness expediti...more
Sara
May 12, 2013 Sara rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Monitor
As the title of this book implies, the author spent 860 walking the entire length of the Amazon, the first person to ever do so. He was warned about wild animals, unfriendly villages, and drug runners that he could run into, and despite bouts of depression, food shortages, and other problems along the way, he made it through unscathed. Throughout the entire journey, he blogged about his adventures to followers around the world. In this book, he shared snippets of his writings during the journey...more
Catherine
One man walks across South America along the Amazon and in doing so holds the record for being the only person in history to attempt this incredible trek. This is a tale that is rare in this day & age. As a reader I delved into this trek with the author imagining being taken to some of the most remote areas of the world through the eyes of this adventurer. While there is plenty to admire about this man's perseverance and tenacity in spending over 2 years completing this mission, his writing...more
Laurent
One extraordinary expedition and an amazing memoir to complement it

Ed and Cho's achievement in crossing the Amazon (alive and with all limbs intact, no less) is one of human's truly great accomplishments and for that I cannot commend them highly enough. The will-power, strength of character, determination, vision, ingenuity and sheer audacity of the successful expedition ranks in my mind as one of the greatest human-powered journeys of all time. The suffering, doubt, boredom and pain they went t...more
David
It was a highly interesting book from a regular guy that decided to walk the entire length of the Amazon from the source to the Atlantic Ocean. Is he a great writer? No, but that is not the point of having written the book. He wrote his story of what happened during this amazing trek. He could have kept walking all the way to Africa and I would have stayed with him. What he did took an enormous amount of courage, guts, physical stamina, psychological stamina and most importantly, the determinati...more
Kirk Alter
I find the extremely rancorous and critical reviews interesting. I take this book for what it is, a long slog by an individual with extraordinary dedication to his goal. No, Stafford isn't a good writer in any sense, but I don't think he pretends to be. What he has that I don't have, nor do I suspect those who criticize him so eloquently, is the desire or commitment to spend 860 days doing something that no one else has done. I think he sought great adventure, and possibly fame, and instead foun...more
Robin Massey
Jun 16, 2013 Robin Massey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Yes, for hard core travel adventure fans.
Shelves: travel
This book puts me in a quandary. Yes, it is absolutely an amazing achievement. The endurance under such extreme physical and mental conditions is mind blowing. Covered daily in welts from mosquitoes and plant spines, the ever present danger of pit vipers, doggedly fighting recurring negative thoughts (about finances, travelling companions ….), Ed never really seems likely to give up.
I almost wished he would as he describes, with occasional wry humour, the discomforts and difficulties.

On the othe...more
Tanner Oleksiuk
Ed Stafford is an ex-military man who has always loved adventure and danger, so it’s no surprise that once he starts talking about walking the entire Amazon River across Peru, Colombia and Brazil, it’s no surprise that he takes action and sets up an expedition. Although many people have kayaked the river before no one has actually taken up the chance to actually walk it. After having many, many troubles you can see this is not an easy task, especially for a white man. You may think that since Ed...more
Kelly
I first learned about Ed and Cho's journey from watching a documentary on television. The movie was riveting, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. The book was tremendous. I loved Ed's honesty, every step of the way. He showed insight as well, realizing when he was at fault. Reading about the two and some years in the jungle gave me a real appreciation for my bed, my shower and my meals. Ed and Cho accomplished something truly incredible, and I'm glad that I got to share in it throug...more
Amy
3.5 stars.

A book about a crazy travel journey where the author actually completes the challenge? No way! I can't even begin to think of doing something as crazy and elaborate as walking the entire length of the Amazon River, so I'm glad someone else did it and wrote a book about it. What I found most interesting was Ed Stafford's honesty in talking about how difficult the journey really was, as well as talking about some of the emotional hardships he encountered. Obviously something of this magn...more
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