For twenty thousand miles, Peter Matthiessen crisscrossed the South American wilderness, traveling from the Amazonian rain forests to Machu Picchu high in the Andes, down to the edge of the world at Tierra del Fuego and back. In the course of his journey, he followed the trails of old explorers; encountered river bandits, wild tribesmen, and the evidence of ancient ruins; and discovered a fossilized snout of a giant unknown crocodile hidden in the depths of the jungle on the wild mountain rivers of Peru. Filled with observations and descriptions of the people and the fading wildlife of this vast world to the south, The Cloud Forest is Matthiessen s incisive, wry report of his expedition into some of the last and most exotic wild terrains in the world.
Peter Matthiessen chronicles the wildlife and cultures he encountered during a lengthy trip through South America. His eloquent prose and unique descriptive talent make one think one is hearing a novel. First published in 1961, this book reveals some outdated attitudes, as when the author calls the indigenous people "savages" and describes children as having a "dirty-brown color." The baritone voice of narrator Stefan Rudnicki booms at a crisp pace. He capitalizes on the author's tendency to exploit alliterative phrases and pronounces the abundant scientific names with ease. However, to read a book about South America, a narrator should have a better ability with Spanish names and places. Also, audiobooks have no graphics, and that's disappointing in view of the extent to which flora, fauna, and geography dominate the account. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine