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Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival Hardcover – September 1, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Simply breathtaking. Yossi s story of survival haunted me for weeks. --Bryce Courtenay, author of The Power of One<br \><br \>A powerful story of self-discovery, survival in the wild. --The Los Angeles Times<br \><br \>Told simply and yet with a novelist s eye for structure and drama, the story unfolds like a nightmare movie. --Sun Herald

A powerful story of self-discovery, survival in the wild. --The Los Angeles Times

Told simply and yet with a novelist's eye for structure and drama, the story unfolds like a nightmare movie. --Sun Herald
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Boomerang New Media; 1st ed edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977171906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977171903
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my favorite genres of books is true-life survival tales. After deliberately searching for a new read, I found "Jungle". Jungle is the story of a young Isreali backpacker who falls in with a Swiss guy, a German guide and an American who decide to go on an adventure through the Bolivia. At one point, the group becomes separated and the story follows the Isreali as he struggles to survive in the rainy season in the Bolivian jungle.

The book is very interesting - you get glimpses of life as a backpacker/tourist floating through South America, a look at rural life in Bolivia, and raw survival from the narrator. I couldn't put the book down. It is a little gruesome/graphic at points, so all readers may not be tempted, but an overall great read.

Other great survival tales I have enjoyed include:

1. The Long Walk (by Slavomir Rawicz) - bordering on fiction - Polish prisoner breaks out of Siberian prison camp with a team after World War II

2. We Die Alone (by David Howarth) - American soldier flees across occupied Norway in World War II

3. Adrift (by Steven Callahan) - Sailor survives in life raft for over 2 months.

4. Skeletons on the Zahara (by Dean King) - shipwrecked crew taking as slaves by Sahara tribes

5. Touching the Void (by Joe Simpson) - man crawls down a mountain alone after serious accident

6. Alive (by Piers Paul Read) - soccer team survives plane crash in Andes

7. Endurance (by Alfred Lansing) - south-polar expedition runs into trouble

8. Into Thin Air (by Jon Krakauer) - Mt. Everest trek goes badly awry

9. (added in 2013): Unbroken (by Laura Hillenbrand) - amazing WW II airman is not only shipwrecked, but survives POW camp in Japan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jungle has Yossi, an Israeli, hooking up with two companions and a guide to experience the jungles of South America. The tale of their survival, particularly Yossi's survival when he becomes lost, is captivating and difficult to put down. The backdrop of human nature adds an emotional element to the story.

It was survival of the fittest, and in this situation, the weakest link became despised. The disappointing factor is that at the time when Kevin and Yossi began to despise Marcus, the journey's difficulty seemed minor.

After the emotional abuse, I found it difficult to care for the author's plight. One can only imagine the suffering and confusion that Marcus felt at the betrayal of his friends during a painful and difficult journey. It must have been painful for Yossi to tell his story honestly.

The book would have benefited from photos, even if they were not photos of the actual journey but of the return trip or group shots before the journey.

ADDED:
I originally gave this book only 3 stars but I've changed it to 5 stars. After all, it was very engrossing, well-written and, above all, honest. At the time I wrote the original review, Yossi's treatment of their companion caused me to deduct 2 stars. However, non-fiction books should not be reviewed based upon whether the reader likes the turn the story takes, right? Life isn't a Hollywood script.
4 Comments 61 of 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
There is rarely a true survival story with great twists and unbelievable coincidences, so I was quite surprised by this book. The story is of four unrelated men, that meet each other in South America and decide to go trekking through the jungle together. They get separated and some barely make it out, and some don't. The author's amazing survival is matched by the coincidences in his journey as well as twists in the plot all the way to the end (which I won't give away here). Because of this, you realize, by the end, that every detail the author gave you was important. He also tells the story very honestly, often willing to show himself in a bad light. This helps make what is already a great book even greater.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gets a 3 on quality, but a 5 on easy read. It makes great airplane reading, or other times when you don't have quiet chunks of time for deeper reading.

The main character of this story is a bit of a dope, and it is hard to feel sorry for him at times. He comes off as a bit hard-hearted, and he makes some crazy mistakes and decisions (I would probably make them too, though!).

Compared to some of the better true-life adventure books out there, I was not impressed. Still, the story had some educational merit. It might keep me from wandering around in the Amazon.
1 Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Author Yossi Ghinsberg along with Marcus and Kevin agree to accompany Karl to Indian villages in the South American rainforest thinking it will be the backpacking adventure of a lifetime: what they don't realize is Yossi will find himself alone in a struggle to survive in the heart of the Amazon. Jungle: A Harrowing True Story Of Survival is his autobiography of a survival challenge few others will face. Yossi Ghinsberg provides first-person high drama from its first page telling of his meeting with Marcus and others to his struggle to traverse the Amazon alone, without knowledge of wilderness survival methods. His first- person journey creates a 'you are there' atmosphere throughout and makes Jungle: A Harrowing True Story Of Survival impossible to put down.
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