Excerpt from Blood River by Tim Butcher, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Blood River

The Terrifying Journey Through the World's Most Dangerous Country

by Tim Butcher

Blood River by Tim Butcher X
Blood River by Tim Butcher
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2008, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2009, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Fiona Lorrain

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The result is one of my most haunting images from the Congo, showing me crumpled and empty-eyed from dehydration, surrounded by a mass of earnest, unsmiling faces. The picture could be straight out of the 19th century - the white man, offered the best seat in the house, surrounded by curious but watchful natives.

There was little time to talk, but I did take down the name of one English speaker, a man who described himself as an English teacher, Kabinga Sabiti, who said, 'Thank you for coming. Since the war came we have not seen many outsiders. The UN came here once, but only by helicopter and they touched down and left in just a few minutes. Please help us find peace.' There was nothing I could do to help Kabinga. I felt ashamed.

The next 200km-long stretch was grim. My backside had moved into a painful phase; I learnt to lean on one side and then the other to alleviate the pressure, but it was agony. Much worse was my thirst. With only two bottles of drinking water left, I rationed myself to a gulp every 15 minutes, so, instead of watching the landscape, I started to examine my watch, urging the hands to sweep round to the quarter-hour so that I could take the next gulp.

By the time darkness came I was slumped half-asleep against Odimba's back. Every so often, I would lean over and stare at the odometer trying to count down the kilometers until Kasongo. There were times when, as I stared at the little numbers on the meter, my mind played tricks, convincing myself they were going backwards.

Night fell. I had lost all sense of time when I suddenly spotted a much brighter light up ahead. We were still moving, and it kept disappearing between trees and bushes. It was an electric light, the first for 535km. We had reached Kasongo and the modest house maintained by Benoit's aid worker colleagues from Care International. I remember little about the arrival, apart from the vast jug of filtered water that I gulped down and the smell of the previous night's hut on my mosquito net, in which I wrapped myself before collapsing.

From Blood River by Tim Butcher. Copyright Tim Butcher 2007. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Grove Press.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.