Paperback of the week


Crazy River: A Plunge into Africa, Richard Grant, Abacus, £9.99

The extreme traveller Richard Grant was last seen battling Mexican drug barons in the Sierra Madre. In this new book he set out to travel the length of the Malagarasi River across Tanzania and Burundi – which no one appears to have done before, and with good reason.

Part roaring torrent, part clogged-up puddle, the river plays host to a range of rabid life forms, from biting insects through baleful crocodiles to trigger-happy poachers. Grant begins with a stint in dodgy nightclubs in Zanzibar. He closes in Rwanda, where he interviews the dictator-president who has, temporarily, transformed that country into a model of sobriety and economic growth.

Self-centred and opinionated, Grant is not an entirely trustworthy narrator, but he’s a terrific writer, offering a warts-and-all portrait of modern Africa, from the dependence on foreign aid to the murderous trade in albino body parts (human) and the rampant overgrazing that has decimated wildlife. David Attenborough it ain’t.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.