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Summary

With foreword by Daniel Radcliffe.

I heard the rustle again, too close and too real to ignore. I clutched the flashlight, stuck my head out of the mosquito net...and found myself face-to-face with a jaguar.

Four travellers meet in Bolivia and set off into the Amazon rainforest on an expedition to find a hidden tribe and explore places tourists only dream of seeing. But what begins as the adventure of a lifetime quickly becomes a struggle for survival when they get lost in the wilds of the jungle.

The group splits up after disagreements, and Yossi and his friend try to find their own way back without a guide. But when a terrible rafting accident separates them, Yossi is forced to survive for weeks alone in one of the most unpredictable environments on the planet.

Stranded without a knife, map or survival training, he must improvise shelter and forage for wild fruit to survive. As his skin begins to rot from his feet during raging storms and he loses all sense of direction, he wonders if he will make it back alive. It's a story of friendship and of the teachings of the forest, and a terrifying true account that you won't be able to put down.

©2008 Yossi Ghinsberg (P)2016 Audible Studios

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Beware

Firstly, dont listen to this if you are a vegetarian/vegan or cant stand to hear about animals (monkeys, a dog, eggs with chicks inside and more) being treated badly, trapped, killed, skinned, etc. etc.
Secondly, although I love a good survival account I think the story could have been much shorter. He went into far too much detail at boring parts of the story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Si
  • 21-03-21

An idiot abroad

Here we have the story of how two complete idiots, a narcissist animal abuser and, for balance, a relatively normal person strode off at random into the jungle and came to regret their decisions. The author, for the record, was one of the idiots.

What become quickly clear is that the author appears to have no personality or self-awareness. In retrospect his head is full of good intentions but his actions don't support this claim; he is little more than a cardboard cut-out of a person, remarkable only for his idiocy and failure to act. He was, for instance, happy to stand by a do nothing whilst his psychopathic guide took a weak, starving, dog from a village and dragged it by its neck across stones and rough ground in an effort to get it to walk. When this failed he (the psychopath) repeatedly kicked the dog and beat it with a tree branch. The dog was forced to walk through the jungle with them for days until it collapsed, unable to walk a single step further. At this, the psychopath kicked it some more after which the group, laughing and joking, left it in the jungle to die. Later, we're treated to a paragraph clearly inserted at the demand of the publisher; recounting how the group arrived in a village and hey presto, there was the dog relaxing under a tree, healthy and happy! We're not stupid; that didn't happen. The dog died in the jungle. The only response of the author to all this is to eagerly enquire when they'll be able to kill some more animals, a jaguar being top of his list.

The 'normal' member of the group, for the record, is called Marcus. He is routinely bullied and then shunned by the author and his chum for the crime of being - and I quote - 'too nice'.

We hear about how one brain-shy decision after another left the author alone and stumbling around by a river. This represents the totality of the adventure. He staggers about, whining incessantly about his feet, and occasionally falls in the water. One time he gets stuck in mud. I've had more excitement climbing Ingleborough. It's absolutely stultifying. Indeed, there's so little action that we're forced to endure lengthy recountings of the author's puerile fantasies which involve stalking a pretty girl in a foreign city and winning big at blackjack.

Aside from interesting events, there is another noticeable omission in the book. Humour. The author appears incapable of doing anything but recounting facts (or should I say, alleged facts) and feelings. Even when he falls over and gets impaled up the tradesman's by a sharp stick he can only represent it in a serious of turgid descriptions; it bled, it hurt, he wished he'd been more careful.. Give us strength.

Just prior to him being rescued I'd had enough, not least because I'd like to imagine him still in there. Consequently I apologise if, in the event the last 10% of the book diverges wildly from the initial 90%, I have leapt to judgement. Somehow I think I'll be OK on that score.

And if that's not enough, the narrator is insufferable. He sounds like he's telling a bedtime story to a six year old.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book

Brilliant audiobook. I listened to it all within a few days whenever I got the chance. The narrator does a great job and is a pleasure to listen to, the book is really engaging and keeps you hooked until the end. One of the best audiobooks I have listened to and I have listened to a lot.

5 people found this helpful

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Touching the Void in the Jungle

Well written and well read. Vivid and believable, although hard to imagine he could remember everything in such detail. I expect to have nightmares.

3 people found this helpful

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Pleasantly surprised

I accidentally came across this book and was pleasantly surprised.
sometimes the reader's character voices annoyed me but the story was interesting. It gripped me and kept me listening, keen to find out how the story unfolded.

1 person found this helpful

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fascinating book, well read, incredible to the end

I smashed through it as desperate to know what happened next. loved it. incredible story of survival.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration spoiled it for me.

I listened to this on the back of Endurance & Unbroken. Probably a mistake as I don’t think either of those books can be beaten. The story for this took a while to get into and even then I wasn’t moved or gripped like previous books. For me, the narration didn’t suit the story at all. It felt far too amateur dramatic and a little whimpery with the characters. With a different narrator I’m sure I’d have been more involved with the actual story instead of wincing a bit at the voices.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RH
  • 12-08-21

Brilliant

I love this book, I first read the book over 10 years ago and loved it, such a great story of adventure and survival, so excited when it came up on here and have enjoyed reliving it all with them. Definitely, definitely recommend this book.

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Squeezing worms out your head

Great story of survival and will to keep going. Finished this book way too quickly it was a page turner as such. Well done Yossi and poignant words at the end about walking towards fear.

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will read again

Good pace. Good story
.found this story through the film which is also very good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-21

AMAZING

Such a good book and definitely worth a listen!! The narrator was also really great