06 October 2015
Five Weeks in the Amazon: A backpackers journey: life in the rainforest, Ayahuasca, and a Peruvian shamans ancient diet by Sean Michael Hayes
Title: Five Weeks in the Amazon
Genre: Memoir, Biography, Travel
Status: Did Not Finish
I gave up at 48%. I honestly tried, and I hate not finishing a book, but I can’t read this book anymore.
“Five Weeks in the Amazon” is tedious. It was supposed to be a story of self-discovery, but it’s a story about… I don’t even know, random things happening to the author. How he goes to sleep, how he wakes up, how he eats, walks down the streets, skates with strangers, chats with strangers. Everything aforementioned could be interesting when told well, but the author of “Five Weeks in the Amazon” is a weak storyteller. He’s not making his story gripping, he’s not telling me of an adventure in one of the most daunting and dangerous places in the world. He’s just talking and talking and talking non-stop about random, routine things from his present and past.
I was excited to receive this book from my friend and fellow blogger Leiah from So I Read This Book Today. She didn’t have the time to read and review “Five Weeks in the Amazon” and kindly lent it to me for a review. We both were sure this was going to be a great trip to Amazon, but alas, it wasn’t. I don’t understand why the author thinks I need to know about every single detail that happened to him on his way: that he woke up in someone else’s room in the hotel, that he took a taxi, that he met random people, that he read books. And most importantly, how many times and in what quantities he took drugs. If I knew the author was going to do drugs for the first 1/3 of the book, then take another type of a drug for the rest of his adventure, I wouldn’t touch this book with a ten foot pole. Just not my topic. Not a story I care about.
Drugs. Hanging out with random people. Drugs. Hanging out with other random people. Drugs. Going to a village somewhere near the Amazon. Meditating about life. Experimenting with Ayahuasca. I can’t take this anymore. I understand that his journey is important to him, but I also think that a book, when published and made available to the public, should follow some of the basic rules of storytelling.
I am a firm believer that every story has a potential and the right to be told. “Five Weeks in the Amazon” isn’t bad per-se; if done right this might have been an exciting read. The author does have a story and an experience to share. But in its current state this book is unreadable. And I’m not even talking about the typos and grammatical errors. There were so many errors I wished to get my hands on the Word Document and proofread it. Publishing a book riddled with grammatical mistakes is disrespectful. I don’t know if the author did the editing himself or had a bad editor, but he should have gone through the book once more before clicking the “publish” button. Kindle has a text-to-speech option, which is really helpful for catching well-hidden typos.
I really wanted to like this book. I was ready to love it! Depression is not an unfamiliar word to me; I know how it feels and what it turns you into. I invested a lot of time in this book, but life is short. No one said that writing a book was easy. Kudos for trying.
Amazon negative review memoire biography self-discovery
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