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Crazy River: Exploration and Folly in East Africa [NOOK Book]

Overview

NO ONE TRAVELS QUITE LIKE RICHARD GRANT and, really, no one should. In his last book, the adventure classic God’s Middle Finger, he narrowly escaped death in Mexico’s lawless Sierra Madre. Now, Grant has plunged with his trademark recklessness, wit, and curiosity into East Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of an unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid in Zanzibar by thieves, whores, and a charismatic former golf pro before crossing the Indian Ocean in a rickety cargo boat. And then the real ...
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Crazy River: Exploration and Folly in East Africa

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Overview

NO ONE TRAVELS QUITE LIKE RICHARD GRANT and, really, no one should. In his last book, the adventure classic God’s Middle Finger, he narrowly escaped death in Mexico’s lawless Sierra Madre. Now, Grant has plunged with his trademark recklessness, wit, and curiosity into East Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of an unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid in Zanzibar by thieves, whores, and a charismatic former golf pro before crossing the Indian Ocean in a rickety cargo boat. And then the real adventure begins. Known to local tribes as “the river of bad spirits,” the Malagarasi River is a daunting adversary even with a heavily armed Tanzanian crew as travel companions. Dodging bullets, hippos, and crocodiles, Grant finally emerges in war-torn Burundi, where he befriends some ethnic street gangsters and trails a notorious man-eating crocodile known as Gustave. He concludes his journey by interviewing the dictatorial president of Rwanda and visiting the true source of the Nile. Gripping, illuminating, sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, Crazy River is a brilliantly rendered account of a modern-day exploration of Africa, and the unraveling of Grant’s peeled, battered mind as he tries to take it all in.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Richard Grant was born of British parents in Malaysia, and spent much of his childhood in Kuwait, before his family moved to London. From those experiences, he seems to have inherited a sense that cultural boundaries are lines that are meant to be crossed. In his God's Middle Finger, now in its eighth printing, Grant thrust himself into the vortex of the lawless Sierra Madre and at least one reviewer was surprised that he survived. In Crazy River, he ventures even deeper into the dangerous unknown, following the route of Victorian explorers into the heart of East Africa. There he rafts on an uncharted Tanzanian river teeming with flesh-eating crocodiles and sleeping sickness carrying tsetse flies. His adventures are perilous, but even more fascinating are his encounters with the motley crew of eccentrics who he meets on his travels. One of the best travel essays of 2011. A paperback and NOOK Book original.

From the Publisher
"To discover Africa is a quest that has burned away at the European soul since Ptolemy. Richard Grant goes on his own by bus, boat and foot to reach the source of the (White) Nile and find out what really drives Africa." —San Francisco Book Review

"To discover Africa is a quest that has burned away at the European soul since Ptolemy. Richard Grant goes on his own by bus, boat and foot to reach the source of the (White) Nile and find out what really drives Africa." —San Francisco Book Review

Library Journal
Ah, the mighty Malagarasi River! Few people have heard of the second-longest river in Tanzania; when Grant (God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre) learned about it, he became a bit obsessed with rafting the river from its headwaters to Lake Tanganyika. After two years of planning, Grant finally got his chance to follow in the footsteps of fellow British explorers, including his personal favorite Richard Francis Burton, and set out across East Africa. From Zanzibar to the Tanzanian mainland, Burundi, and Rwanda, Grant encountered a former African golf pro, prostitutes, expats, NGO workers, big-game hunters and guides, government officials (mostly corrupt), poachers, and refugees; interviewed the president of Rwanda; met many Africans struggling to stay alive; and tried to survive his East African adventure. VERDICT For those of us who like our travel stories realistic, humorous, with a dash of history, and filled with a cast of crazy characters, places, and situations, this book will not disappoint. Highly recommended for a wide range of readers.—Melissa Aho, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Minneapolis
Kirkus Reviews

Fear and loathing in East Africa as travel writer Grant (God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre, 2008, etc.) traverses the ravaged continent in search of a mysterious river and the source of the Nile.

The Malagarasi River in Tanzania had not been fully traveled by either Westerners or Africans. So, the tradition of 19th-century British explorers, first and foremost Richard Burton, who became his spectral travel companion, Grant set out to do so. But his adventures on the river—disease and disappointment, danger from crocs, hippos and bandits—became but part of his larger story about what Africa is and how to make sense of it. The author narrates his stops in Zanzibar, where he befriended a golf pro (on an island where there is no golf course), across Tanzania to Lake Tanganyika and on to Burundi and Rwanda, both ravaged by genocide and ethnic civil war. The journey nearly destroyed him: "Africa had ground away at my sanity and well-being." In Grant's Africa, verdant plains had become a "devastated moonscape" due to cattle overgrazing, mammoth slums overwhelmed cities overseen by corrupt leaders who got fat on the spoils of the Western "aid industry." He concludes that Africa "was a shambles and a disgrace." This may be a selective and overly harsh conclusion, but he tempers his indictment with an unerring eye for detail that imbues those he meets with dignity and humanity. The hustlers and whores of the dive bars he often frequented are seen, if blurrily, with compassion, and Grant marvels at the hope and enthusiasm of so many in the poorest nation in the world, Burundi. The joy of Congolese pop music and the craze for the country music of Kenny Rogers reassure him that resilience and resurgence may also be part of Africa. The source of the Nile, it turned out, was merely a "moss-fringed rabbit hole with a thin dribble of water leaking out of it."

Dyspeptic, disturbing and brilliantly realized, Grant's account of Africa is literally unforgettable.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439157640
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 392,760
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Grant
Richard Grant is an award-winning travel writer who has published his work in Men's Journal, Esquire, and Details, among others. He is also the author of American Nomads and God's Middle Finger. Grant currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2014

    Great adventure reading

    Loved this adventure book about the author's travels inAfrica. I found it a joy to read, and wish I could have been there with him. This book was the next best thing. Really great reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Vi

    Walks in. "Hi."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Alice

    Hiya!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    Social Studies

    Social Studies here!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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