Redmond O'Hanlon found few experienced adventurers willing to accompany him on his four-month trip up the Orinoco river and across the Amazon Basin. He wondered why... Was it perhaps the fear of contracting dysentery, rabies or river blindness? Or maybe it was a disinclination to meet peckish jaguars, vipers, anacondas and 640-volt electric eels? Surely it couldn’t possibly be reluctance to swim among giant catfish, with their relatively harmless penchant for nipping off a person’s feet? Fortunately, an old friend volunteered, having absolutely no idea what he was letting himself in for. But then O’Hanlon didn’t have much idea either. How the intrepid ornithologist and his sidekick managed to survive some serious travelling trouble makes for gripping, and hilarious, reading.