Facing the Congo: A Modern-day Journey Into the Heart of Darkness

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Three Rivers Press, Oct 1, 2001 - Travel - 260 pages
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Faced with an identity crisis in his work and his life, seasoned traveler and journalist Jeffrey Tayler made a bold decision. He would leave behind his mundane existence in Moscow to re-create the legendary British explorer Henry Stanley’s trip down the Congo in a dugout canoe, stocked with food, medicine, and even a gun-toting guide. But once his tiny boat pushed off the banks of this mysterious river, Tayler realized he was in a place where maps and supplies would have no bearing on his survival. As Tayler navigates this immense waterway, he encounters a land of smothering heat and intense rains, wary villagers, corrupt officials and dead-eyed soldiers demanding bribes, jungle animals, mosquitoes, and, surprisingly, breathtaking natural beauty.

Filled with honesty and rich description, Facing the Congo is a sophisticated depiction of today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country brought to its knees by a succession of despotic leaders. But most mportant, Tayler’s stunning narrative is a deeply satisfying personal journey of fear and awakening, with a message that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt compelled, whether in life or in fantasy, to truly explore and experience our world.

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About the author (2001)

JEFFREY TAYLER is the author of Siberian Dawn: A Journey Across the New Russia. He writes for Condé Nast Traveler, Spin, Harper’s, and other publications and is a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered. Two of his essays appear in the inaugural edition of The Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Russia.

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