Explorer Bruce Parry heads on an epic 6000km journey down the great River Amazon, giving an insight into the lives of people who live and work along its banks. With lots of photos and written in a diary entry format.
This is a good light read but is sadly nothing spectacular. There is a lot of scope for depth and discussion of the plight of all the peoples living around the Amazon, from tribes who have their homes and livelihood affected by new hydro-electric dams to the farmers caught between law enforcement and drug barons. These issues and others are glossed over to the point where one begins to wonder: exactly why write a book about these topics if they aren’t going to get much of a mention?
The main problem being the format for the book. Whereas Michael Palin(for example) excels in the diary format because he tends to have a short muse on the topical issues, Parry is aiming for so much more but fails due to the very nature of the book structure. What he attempts to cover in a short space is to the detriment of the warmth and humour of the aforementioned Mr Palin.
With Television being dumbed down the way has been in recent years, presumably the attitude has been adopted that the public wouldn’t get anything that is to insightful and complex, so what we get in reality are Bruce’s (very) short views on big and important topics, that have ramifications not just for the people of the Amazon but also world-wide.
Still it is a good primer for people who want a fair view of what is going on along the Amazon (although it could do with a decent map), definitely a springboard for those wanting to go on to a more substantial book about the same subjects.