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Drums Along the Congo: On the Trail of Mokele-Mbembe, the Last Living Dinosaur Paperback – June 28, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; First Edition edition (June 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395670713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395670712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,117,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Being more interested in chasing a dream than in the precise diameter of a footprint, I'm here to substantiate the obscure," says explorer Nugent, who takes us on an energizing, entertaining spin through the Congo in pursuit of a prehistoric creature purported to be still roaming the rain forest: the legendary dinosaur called Mokele-Mbembe, the God-Beast. Along the way, a witch doctor takes Nugent's money, strips him naked, covers him with a foul-smelling jellied substance and exorcises his devils. Nugent tangles with government bureaucrats to obtain necessary travel permits, he meditates on the African notion of river spirits and on animism, suffers from diarrhea and scorching heat, witnesses a celebration in honor of a girl's first menstruation, tries to coax music and magic out of a set of bongos, hunts and eats crocodiles (he finds that a roasted croc steak is tasty but very greasy), and is threatened by Pygmies with bows and arrows. From a distance, Nugent finally spots the God-Beast. But the natives are spooked and, by gunpoint, prevent him from getting closer; he only sees a vague image and, he relates, even the experts who examine his photographs later in New York aren't sure what Nugent has captured on film. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June) Nugent's The Search for the Pink-Headed Duck , about his quest for a rare bird in India, is a June paperback reprint from Houghton Mifflin, $10.95 *
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Nugent, in his second travel tome, continues his quest for the unknown and unreachable. His Search for the Pink-Headed Duck (Houghton, 1991) took him deep into the wilds of the Himalayan kingdoms. In his latest travel adventure, Nugent takes his captivated readers to Lake Tele, deep in the heart of the Congo, in search of a dinosaur-like creature named Mokele-Mbembe, a legendary deity that exhibits all the frightening qualities of the Loch Ness Monster. The author, once again employing his sublime sense of humor and adventuresome sense of the outrageous, visits with local witch doctors and tribal chiefs while making his way through the Cretaceous-period jungle and the threatened rain forest. He provides us with a fascinating account of an almost unexplored and wild region.
- Melinda Stivers Leach, Wondervu, Col.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A good read but an even better document to the pursuit of dreams (well, maybe not dreams, but dinosaurs) by an adventurer. I couldn't help but think of Indiana Jones, except with a lot of modern red tape and government bureaucracy. Just being able to go after the dinosaur is a miracle, and Nugent paints a great picture for me. So many modern "adventures" are media-hyped, corporate events that pass as "sports" but this guy goes into the dark of the Congo and no one seems to care except the people he has to bribe and barter with along the way. Definitely check this one out.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A truly great book for anyone yearning for adventure! Nugent brings the wilds of the Congo into startling clarity. So vibrant are his descriptions, so compelling his pacing, that I couldn't put this book down for a moment once I began reading. I was so moved and inspired by Mr. Nugent's adventure looking for the Mokele-mbembe, that I spent a year searching for Bigfoot in the forests of the Pacific Northwest! Very few books have ever had such an impact on my life. I loved it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The author has an amazing account to tell and he does it with great skill -- drawing his reader into the world, not only of primeval jungle and native folklore, but of the vibrant social structure of African life, where a visitor's knowledge of American television shows becomes a better item for trade than a pocketful of gold. As I finished the last, breathtaking chapter (it took every ounce of willpower not to peek ahead to it), I was ready to quit my job, pack up my bags, and set sail to Congo to go looking for the legendary beast myself. What a great read
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Format: Paperback
When Rory Nugent started in search of Mokele-Mbembe, he was pretty sure he was searching for a real animal that either existed or had in recent times existed, a dinosaur still living in the rain forest of Africa. By the time he reached his goal, Lake Tele in the Congo, he was not quite as certain...perhaps it was a story, a vision, a legend, a spirit or a god...or maybe it was a real animal that rose briefly from those placid waters to reveal itself in an infuriatingly Nessie-like fashion. Since there is no dinosaur living at the National Zoo, no photos in the Natural History Museum of New York, or stuffed carcass at the Smithsonian, I am not revealing any spoilers in writing that Nugent was not as successful as he would have wished in his quest. And, yet, despite its nebulous and debatable conclusion, he was not at all unsuccessful, nor do I think I wasted my time in accompanying him on his adventure, and adventure it was, funny and scary, quixotic and gritty, noble and base. As every hero making a quest eventually discovers, it is not attaining the goal that changes you, but the journey, the people you meet along the trail, the places you see, the perils and obstacles you overcome. The Rory Nugent we meet at the beginning of the quest, before he sets off on his transformational quest, it not the same man we see at the end. He did not, perhaps, find the dinosaur he sought, but he did find something worth finding -- himself.
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By pistol pete on August 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rory Nugent was so close to me in actual footage for so many years here in my home town of New Bedford. Only hearing stories of some cat who live in one of the city's old textile brick building mills. Stories of his adventure lost at sea and adrift for weeks before Coast Guard planes see this impossible little spot...stranded.
Strange how I never new him until he's long gone on the other side of the planet when I read On The Docks...Pink Headed Duck....and this beauty.
Well done classic scenario appealing to every human being. The great unknown and the quest in search of is a long way from our modern day touch of a button, but.......after all it's in our cellular makeup/DNA. It wasn't too long ago in human history when we were all "on the road" if you will...in order to survive...and educate ourselves.
Rory's a throwback in a good and completely useful way.
Buy the book man.....what are you thinking about?
pistol
pete
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More About the Author

Nugent is an American writer and explorer. His work takes inventory of the more neglected shelves in the communal warehouse,those areas riddled with deep shadows due to stock, especially cultures and traditions, gone missing and about to go missing. He has published numerous newspaper and magazine stories, along with three books: THE SEARCH FOR THE PINK-HEADED DUCK (Houghton-Mifflin, 1991); DRUMS ALONG THE CONGO (Houghton-Mifflin, 1993); and DOWN AT THE DOCKS (Pantheon, 2009).

Nugent was born in New York. After graduating from Williams College(1975), he went to sea aboard freighters and sailboats. He made his bones, though, in 1976, the youngest American competitor in the Observer Singlehanded Trans-Atlantic Race. Although he finished out of the money, he stayed in the game and went on to make three more solo Atlantic crossings. His fifth attempt ended halfway,when he was shipwrecked by a rogue wave. He was rescued five days later and twenty-eight pounds lighter.

Not wanting to swim anymore, Nugent took to field research. He mounted one man expeditions in search of remnants from an earlier era, like the Pink-Headed Duck of India or Mokele-Mbembe, the bronto of the Congo. His travels took him down great rivers (Nile , Sobat, Uele/Ubangi, Sangha,Congo,and Brahmaputra),through the clouds (into the Himalayas--Nepal, Bhutan,Tibet, China, Sikkim) across deserts (Africa and MidEast), and through jungles (Africa and S. America). His first two books, DRUMS ALONG THE CONGO and THE SEARCH FOR THE PINK-HEADED DUCK, document part of his journey.

In 1992, Nugent switched gears and became a full time journalist, his beat: the nightmare; his quest: those missing elements allowing it to prosper.For the next ten years,as a freelancer and staff writer for Spin Magazine, he tracked nitwit generals and their lousy wars in Europe, Asia and Africa. Along the way, he became intimate with the prophets of intolerance and bore witness to the insanity of killing fields the size of Texas. Some of his stories remain standards, including his reports from inside the IRA and his
dispatches (1994-95)from the wheelhouse of radical Islam while the officer corps drew the maps for the course ahead.

After finishing an assignment in Iran/Iraq in 2002, Nugent exited the gloom, refocused on America and gathered notes for his book, DOWN AT THE DOCKS. A new book is underway

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