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Jonathan Yardley…a lively and informative, if somewhat disorganized, history by a former newspaper reporter and energy specialist. Kryza has spent a lot of time in Africa (he first went there in 1963, when he was in junior high school) and knows it well; he also obviously has spent a lot of time in libraries, researching the copious literature of African exploration. The "race" to Timbuktu he describes seems more a storytelling device than a matter of historical fact, and he does a good deal of hemming and hawing before finally bringing Laing onto center stage, but these narrative shortcomings can be forgiven.
—The Washington Post