Sunday, 28 September 2008

How I found Livingstone

The Official Blurb

Sir Henry Morton Stanley is famously quoted for saying “Dr Livingstone, i Presume?”. Born in Wales, he migrated over to the United States at the age of 18, he eventually became an overseas correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1869 Stanley was told by James Gordon Bennett Jr to find Livingstone, a scottish missionary and explorer. When Stanley commented on the cost Bennett’s reply was: “Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE.” How I Found Livingstone is Stanley’s personnel account of his trip from Zanzibar to Lake Tanganyika on this quest, including time spent exploring the area with Livingstone.

My Review

Here we have not a work of fiction but the actual account by Stanley of his journey to find Livingstone, and yes it does include THE famous line. We get to hear about the trials and tribulations of the journey across africa. The swamps, the jungles, the river crossing and even the wars Stanley had to get himself involved in just to reach Livingstone.

After the adventerous journey the book also relates the happenings of the time they spent together and finally the trip back to the coast.

This is not a novel and does not contain action at every turn, it is a serious retelling of the actual events as they took place.

I'm a sucker for this old world expedition stuff, such as Roosevelts trek down the River of Doubt and the various Pole journeys so I loved every minute. I found myself facinated in the details of such journeys such as how much bully beef they needed to carry, how many men they needed to carry it and what gun works best under various conditions.

My wife on the other hand hates this kind of stuff, so you'll have to take my review with the understanding that I love that kind of thing.

Reading 2/3
Production 2/3
Story 2/3

Total Score 6/9

Get it from Librivox

Here is the first chapter.