A British journalist retraces the legendary 1874 expedition of H. M. Stanley in this “remarkable marriage of travelogue and history” (Max Hastings, author of Armageddon).
When Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to Africa in 2000,. he quickly became obsessed with the Congo River and the idea of recreating H. M. Stanley’s nineteenth-century journey along the nearly three-thousand-mile waterway. Despite repeated warnings that his plan was suicidal, Butcher set out for the Congo’s eastern border with just a backpack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots.
Making his way in an assortment of vehicles, including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of characters from UN aid workers to a pygmy rights advocate, he follows in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurer. Butcher’s forty-four-day journey along the Congo River is an unforgettable story of exploration, survival, and history come to life.
“Quite superb . . . a masterpiece.” —John le Carré, #1 New York Times–bestselling author
“Do NOT try to repeat Tim Butcher’s audacious and terrifying Congo journey. If you do, you will probably die.” —The Guardian
“[Blood River] keeps the heart beating and the attention fixed from beginning to end.”—Fergal Keane, international bestselling author of Wounds
“It is the wit and passion of the writing that keeps you engrossed.”—Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland