From Publishers Weekly
The 16,000-mile Pan-American Highway runs from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, interrupted only by the 54-mile Darién Gap, a dense jungle along the Panama/ Colombia border. Few cross this lawless wilderness, where drug traffickers and guerrillas hide out. When British botanist Dyke and London banker Winder met in Mexico four years ago, they teamed up to tour the Gap, despite the region's danger. Dyke hoped to find rare orchids, while world traveler Winder sought a new challenge. After six days, they were ambushed by a guerrilla group near Colombia. Held hostage, they encountered flesh-eating worms and considered escape possibilities, amusing themselves by nicknaming their captors, listening to BBC World Service and entertaining the guerrilla camp with a performance of Eric Idle's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." The fun was short-lived. Baffled by Tom's orchid-hunting enthusiasm, the kidnappers believed the two were CIA agents or drug dealers and came from great wealth. When a $3-million ransom was requested, the authors refused the demands and were eventually released with no explanation. Written with humor and suspense, this is a vivid account of their nine-month ordeal. Dual first-person viewpoints are seamlessly spliced together, and the format provides a prismatic presentation of contrasting attitudes, allowing each author to comment on the other.
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"Clearly, surviving a nine-month jungle kidnapping requires courage and endurance. But Hart Dyke and Winder came equipped with something else in addition: pluck. It's that quality, crackling on every page, that makes The Cloud Garden one of the strangest and most satisfying adventure reads in recent memory."--Men's Journal magazine
"Written with humor and suspense, this is a vivid account of [Dyke's and Winder's] nine-month ordeal. Dual first-person viewpoints are seamlessly spliced together, and the format provides a prismatic presentation of contrasting attitudes, allowing each author to comment on the other."--Publishers Weekly
"Told in alternating voices (which works surprisingly well), this is a well-written adventure story filled with intrigue and hope."--Library Journal
"Readers will find themselves turning pages and delaying dinner while Winder and Dyke slowly blossom into the heroes of their own misguided adventure."--BookPage