4 out of 4 stars
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From his adventures in the forbidding Amazon Forest, Johan Dempers presents A Journey through Many Worlds, a hair-raising travel memoir that captivates and enlightens in many ways.
In 2002, Dempers, a South African photographer answered an advert in a local newspaper. Joe Brooks was looking for a photographer who would accompany him to South America and the Amazon Forest for a six-month expedition. Dempers could never have imagined what lay in store for them. From exploring the majestic Machu Picchu and learning about the Inca legendary characters, Brooks and Dempers begin their suspenseful journey. In the deep jungle of the Amazon, they will be kidnapped by an Indian tribe that has been known to have cannibalistic tendencies, survive on both delicious and stomach-turning cuisines, spot the death-dealing anaconda, and sample the rich biodiversity while cheating death on too many instances.
One of the best features of the book is the style in which the story is told. Dempers includes many funny remarks in his narration. He pokes fun at different reactions by locals including the complexities that arise from the language barrier. In one instance, Dempers mistakes a “thin dog” for a jaguar and for many moments, he remains transfixed at the same spot waiting for the jaguar to pounce on him. In the end, the dog turns and Dempers recognizes the familiar animal. At this point, he has had enough and turns back to where he had left Joe for fear that “a real jaguar” may emerge from the bushes at any time.
The book also contains many gripping moments that make reading it both entertaining and fascinating. At one point, the vehicle Brooks and Dempers hitched a ride with gets stuck in the thick mud. After various events transpire, Dempers ends up alone in a tent. In the dead of night, he hears scratching noises. Something or someone wants to get into his tent. At this point, he is clueless what the source of the noise could be since there are so many predators.
Dempers shares snippets of explanations regarding the animals and birds that they come across. He also shares bits of history of different towns along their travel route. This makes the content not only great for entertainment but also important for the purpose of information. The inclusion of various cuisines, landscapes, cultures, and biodiversity added to my knowledge of the region.
The book is expertly edited and I could not identify any grammatical errors. However, a few photographs included seem misplaced since they do not directly relate to the content.
I rate A Journey through Many Worlds 4 out of 4 stars. Any reader who appreciates adventure will love this book. Readers who do not prefer reading about real-life escapades may not enjoy it.
a Journey through Many Worlds
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