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Entirely unnecessary book, if you read the original "Bruchko"
on January 17, 2014
I am utterly baffled as to why this book was written.
When I purchased it, I expected it to be a sequel, of sorts, to the original autobiographical book "Bruchko", written by the eponymous missionary Bruce Olson. The original is a gripping, engaging, fascinating tale of one man's quest to bring Christianity to the Motilone / Barí natives of South America. If you are like me, you read the initial book "Bruchko" start to finish, without putting it down. If you are like me, you felt like you were right there with Olson, staring death in the face multiple times, experiencing the heartache, the confusion, the ecstasy, the terror, the elation, as he strives to follow what he perceives to be God's calling for his life.
This is exactly why I found this second book to be an almost complete waste of time and resources.
Rather than picking up where the first book leaves off, this book spends 80% of its pages merely retelling the exact same story--without any of the engaging storytelling or exciting narrative. The bulk of this book is devoted to retelling all the exact same stories from the first autobiographical book--in a style that is dry, uninteresting, and detached. Furthermore, the book jumps around chronologically, which makes for some terribly boring storytelling. It reads more like a meandering conversation with a friend--"tell me a couple stories of your time in the jungle, Bruce"--than any sort of interesting narrative.
The worst part of this book is, it contains almost no new material. Perhaps 20% of the pages have anything at all to do with what happened after the first book was written--that is to say, after the 1980s. This is ironic, given the fact that the subtitle is "how Bruce Olson brought a stone age tribe into the 21st century". If you were hoping for a book devoted to what has happened with the Motilone / Barí people and their adopted kinsman Bruce Olson, you will be VERY DISAPPOINTED with this book.
I am utterly confused by the fact that this book was even published. The more cynical side of me suspects that it was simply a shameless money grab by the publishing company. All the life and soul have been drained out of the original Bruchko story with this one; this book is neither a re-release of the original tale nor a sequel to it. It fails on both accounts.