Synopses & Reviews
On an unforgettable journey of discovery, Facing the Congo
transports readers into the lush jungles and crocodile-infested waters of sub-Saharan Africa. Climbing the river on a barge teeming with merchants, deckhands, prostitutes, mothers, spiritual followers, fishermen, and children, Tayler participates in the lively banter of this floating marketplace, and at night drapes mosquito netting over his cramped sleeping space, relishing a few hours of solitude between days wrought with adversity and suspicion.
Yet, the climate of Tayler's trip shifts drastically when he steps off the boat packed with jeering travelers, and launches his quest to confront and vanquish this legendary waterway by descending its longest navigational stretch in a hand-carved pirogue.
"Desi [my guide] and I looked at each other, then turned to the river. Eleven hundred miles to Kinshasa...my heart was thumping and sweat stung my eyes. Raising his hands, Desi faced the blackness and began muttering a prayer, an invocation in Lingala punctuated with the French for salvation, mercy, the grace of God... We stood for a moment, as if to let the words take effect. Then we grabbed our oars and climbed aboard I at the bow and Desi astern--and pushed off."
At times lost in the fog-covered backwaters, at others faced by hostile tribes whose ancestors were murdered by those with white skin, Tayler wrestles with anxiety as he prepares for the dangers that lie with each turn in the river. Anyone possessing even a hint of wanderlust will be swept along by the whirling currents of this astonishing tale.
Tayler's haunting travel adventure chronicles his 100-mile trip up the Congo River on a barge teaming with merchants, deckhands, prostitutes, mothers, spiritual followers, fishermen, and children. Taylor's comfort level is pushed to its limits, transforming his adventure into a journey of discovery.