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The Man Who Swam the Amazon: 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
On Sunday, April 8, 2007, a 52-year-old self-described fat man in a Speedo by the name of Martin Strel swam 3,274 miles of the Amazon River. The Fish Man, as he was called by locals, almost died in the process several times. At the finish his blood pressure was at heart attack level, his entire body full of subcutaneous larvae, and besieged by dehydration and diarrhea and ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Lyons Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Paul
The Amazon is the planets mightiest river at 6,437 km long. Only half of this is navigable though, and it is this distance that Martin Strel is intending to swim. He is no stranger to long distance swimming; he holds a number of records and firsts, including being the first to swim from Tunisia to Italy without being killed by sharks.

This was to be his longest and most challenging swim. The Amazon river contains a number of animals that se the lone swimming human as a source of lunch. As well a
...more
Jason
What an amazing accomplishment, Martin Strel is some kind of superhero. He is not your normal athlete, he isn't the finely tuned machine you'd expect to see when a person announces he is going to swim the Amazon. He is in his 50's and slightly fat, he breaks the number one rule of swimming, he'll have breakfast/lunch maybe a couple of beers or a glass of wine and then he'll start swimming, there is none of that "waiting 1 hour after eating before you go in". He seems unfazed with the predators ...more
Samir Dhond
Sep 04, 2009 Samir Dhond rated it really liked it
What an amazing book! Highly inspirational!

The most appealing thought was reading about the reason for Martin to undertake these endeavors. He says that he wants to protect rivers, save water, help build awareness about Nature and help conserve nature. His swimming endeavors bring all these rivers that he has swam in a spotlight, it highlights, the forest, the nature, the animals and the eco system around these rivers. People start appreciating the role of nature, water in their lives and that c
...more
Shyam Sundar
Apr 01, 2015 Shyam Sundar rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
The book, The Man Who Swam The Amazon, is a narration of Martin's journey from the headwaters of the Amazon in Peru to its gaping mouth 3274 miles later at the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil. The narrator is Matthew Mohlke, himself a world class long-distance paddler, who joins Strel's support team for the 3rd time (the 2 others being his swim of the Paraná and the Mississippi).


Mohlke presents the journey in a day to day diary format. It's not just about the swimming, though. Mohlke offers raw insight
...more
David Camacho
Mar 07, 2011 David Camacho rated it it was ok
This was a very interesting and inspiring story that was unfortunately not very well written. The book collects a series of two to four page diary entries glossing over the highlights of each day as the crew follows Mr. Strel on his amazing swim along the Amazon. Since the diary entries belong to one of the guides, the reader never has the opportunity to get into the actual swimmer's mind and therefore misses out on understanding his daily plight along the river. Instead, we are treated with ...more
Sarah
Jun 13, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs
Was quite disappointed. This book is not a biography nor an autobiography, instead it is simply a book that talks how he watched the swimmer swim. There is really no depth to the characters and the writting is more matter of fact like a newspaper article. The description of this book does not truly represent the book itself.
Naomi
Feb 09, 2015 Naomi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately I feel like this book really under uses it's potential. The underlying fact of a man swimming the length of the amazon is astonishing and should be an easy and engaging topic. Instead we have a rather humdrum account of the privations of a long remote voyage told with little consideration of what the reader would want to know.

There is so much that could be in this: insight in to Martin Strel's technique and psycology of the endurance athlete; descriptions of the amazon, it's wildl
...more
Amy
Sep 25, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what I was in for when I started reading about Martin Strel but, after only a few pages, I felt swept up in his adventure down the Amazon. The author, Martin's trusted river guide, is so open about the experience that it becomes easy to picture yourself right beside them, feeling both exhilaration and terror. Much more than just a long swim, his world-record breaking journey took him through multiple countries, cultures and crises. His resolve to continue on despite a myriad of ...more
Jdmguitar
Feb 13, 2009 Jdmguitar rated it really liked it
Having grown up on a River, the relatively tame Ohio River, I enjoy river stories. The Amazon is certainly a world away from the Ohio. This is an enjoyable account(diary/log book) of an amazing accomplishment. Swimming in a river where one can be eaten by predators large or small is crazy. Swimming 3,274 under any circumstances is also crazy. What can you say about a person who does both. Crazy and inspirational. One more proof about the amazing things we humans can do when we intently focus. A ...more
Chris Caputi
Oct 26, 2012 Chris Caputi rated it really liked it
i think the book was very intresting and it kept me hooked the whole time reading, i recommend this to anyone who likes a good adventure book. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars cause it was a easy read and I enjoyed it but there some parts like the begining that could be more intresting. I enjoyed the speed of the book, there were not any slow parts. One part i didnt car for was the very first part of it when it was least boring. Any one who like adventure should read this book because its filled ...more
Josh
Nov 10, 2008 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't quite as good as I expected it to be. I was expecting to learn more about Martin Strel, the incredible swimmer, but was let down at the sparse background story. It also seemed that the book was quickly written so that it could be released just as Strel finished his record breaking swim. This can be seen in the many grammatical errors. Overall it was an interesting and inspiring story but I wish that there would have been more focus on the swimmer instead of the expedition.
Alex Schwerdt
Feb 16, 2013 Alex Schwerdt rated it liked it
Very interesting and fun to read, but it's a journal and just that. No writing that inspired, but I loved hearing the real life stories. No glam or cover to it. I love stories of swimmers and this one was an incredible feat. I still can't fathom swimming 60-70 miles in a day and waking up to do that day after day after day. I was a little disappointed to read that he was swimming with fins, but for the amount of mileage he made, I'll allow it.
Damon
Sep 03, 2014 Damon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was OK and enjoyable enough that I read it in a day. But it was essentially a blog in paperback form, and I got the sense that the brief was for 250 words every day, regardless of what happened on that day. Potentially interesting issues and items are skimmed over while other mundane facts are elaborated. Still, it's about a guy who swam the Amazon, and that's a compelling story no matter how it's written.
Stacia
Dec 18, 2011 Stacia rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, latin-america
Although this is not the most well-written book, just reading about Martin Strel's swimming feat is pretty amazing in & of itself. I'm in awe of Strel. I wish the book had been told from Strel's point-of-view rather than from the POV of someone alongside him. Some of the author's diary-like entries get repetitive in their descriptions. Even so, I continued reading to find out about Strel & am amazed by his journey.
Carly
Feb 05, 2011 Carly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-book-list
It's the Amazon trip everyone dreams about: remote villages, untouched jungle, nothing around for miles other than pink dolphins, piranhas and the occasional pirate. The truth is that very few people are cut out for something like this in reality, and I'm just talking about what the support team had to go through, never mind the swimmer himself. I know I'm not. I loved reading about it though.
Jamie
Jan 03, 2011 Jamie rated it liked it
It is a fascinating subject, but unfortunately the book isn't particularly well written. It is a quick, easy read, and it is fun, but it could have been so much more. I have heard there is a documentary that is difficult to find, but I would love to see it as Martin seems like a fascinating character.
Cherie
Sep 07, 2014 Cherie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
B Okay, so you're not reading this for the writing - you are reading it for the story. Wayne and I loved "Big River Man" - this is the book telling the adventures Strel and his crew had in the Amazon is very great detail. Strel swam the entire length of the Amazon (and nearly went crazy in the process). I wish I had his pain and mind tolerance.
Paolo
Oct 26, 2012 Paolo rated it it was amazing
I gave it a rating of five stars because i found the story of Martin swimming adventure interesing.I enjoyed reading the problems that Martin and his crew had to over come. i would recommend this book to any that swims cause this book will inspire you
Linds_e
Feb 16, 2009 Linds_e rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
This book was not very well-written, I thought, but the story itself is so fascinating. I was left wanting to know more details about what happened afterward and also about his mission to call attention to deforestation and river pollution. Both subjects were barely touched in the book.
John
Jan 02, 2012 John rated it liked it
This was a rather interesting true account of a man who swam the length of the Amazon River (3274) miles. The account was mildly interesting but the character was not likeable and the writing was not very well done. Overall I was somewhat disappointed but interested enough to read it through.
Javier DaBeast Santillan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dgoll
Feb 08, 2010 Dgoll rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book. I am currently reading it to my kids. It is amazing what some people want to do and then go and do it! Better him than me!!!
Emily
Emily rated it really liked it
May 27, 2011
Jolene
Jolene rated it it was ok
Sep 22, 2014
Meg Claire
Meg Claire rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2014
Nicole Amburgey
Nicole Amburgey rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2012
Kevin
Kevin rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2008
JoR
JoR rated it liked it
May 09, 2015
Camilla
Feb 21, 2009 Camilla rated it liked it
An interesting book to read, not particularly well written (or proof read)
Luke
Luke rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2014
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