Cover image for The lost river : a memoir of life, death, and transformation on wild water
The lost river : a memoir of life, death, and transformation on wild water
Bangs, Richard, 1950-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Sierra Club Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 266 pages 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1220 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 11 27 Quiz: 20298 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV780 .B36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A memorir of the author's rafting adventures.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

With straightforward storytelling, Bangs recounts a nearly 30-year obsession with rafting some of the swiftest, most dangerous waters on earth. Bangs (Rivergods), editor-at-large of, Microsoft's online travel service, tells his tale with the ease of a worldly relative who swoops in for Thanksgiving dinner and regales the table with stories that keep everyone's attention. Readers will especially enjoy the descriptions of Africa in which Bangs makes both the water and its wildlife bristle with peril. Even a pair of marabou storks acquire a sinister aspectÄ "with their bald red heads, dandy gray feathers edged in white, fleshy pink necks, rattling bills, and wings folded into an oval, they looked like undertakers in morningcoats." And the lugubrious undertones are not mere exaggeration: in the 1970s, two of Bangs's rafting partners, one his closest friend, drowned in the course of their adventures. The title refers to Ethiopia's Tekeze River, which Bangs and his friend had intended to run together and to which Bangs ultimately returns. Though Bangs occasionally falls prey to macho clich‚s ("I felt I had to prove to myself that I had the right stuff") and hackneyed constructions ("So much water, so little time"), readers will meet such instances like rocks in midstream: distressing for a moment, but easily passed, and hardly enough to ruin an otherwise enjoyable trip. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Travel and adventure writer Bangs rafted on the Potamac in high school and worked as a river guide on the Colorado during college summers. After graduation, his passion for rafting adventures took him to many distant waterways, most often to crocodile- and insect-infested African rivers. Bangs's writing effectively captures the thrills, chills, and spills that make rafting such a popular, albeit sometimes dangerous, recreation. Two separate fatalities make poignant incidents, especially the second, in which his best friend drowned in a freak accident on the Blue Nile in 1975. The final third of this book is based on Bangs's diary of a 1998 excursion that he organized to fulfill a promise to his friendÄto raft an unrun 150-mile stretch of Ethiopia's Tekese River, which flows through a gorge a half-mile deeper than the Grand Canyon. Highly recommended.ÄWill Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Return to Edenp. 3
2 White Magicp. 7
3 Time Banditsp. 19
4 The Roof of Africap. 31
5 The God Sobekp. 39
6 The River Awashp. 51
7 Capsizep. 61
8 The River Omop. 71
9 Capital Punishmentsp. 83
10 Lost on the Barop. 89
11 Hippo Alleyp. 97
12 The Blue Nilep. 105
13 The Empire Strikes Backp. 113
14 A Death too Soonp. 123
15 Deliverancep. 127
16 Water Worldp. 135
17 The Man with Missing Fingersp. 145
18 The Last Boy Scoutsp. 153
19 Puzzle in a Mazep. 165
20 Virtual Adventurep. 171
21 Prime Timep. 181
22 Into Thick Airp. 189
23 The Tekeze Foundp. 197
24 Jungle Feverp. 205
25 Riders of the Stormp. 211
26 Thirst for Truthp. 223
27 The Temple of the Arkp. 233
28 The Hot Zonep. 241
29 Lords of the Fliesp. 249
30 The Infinite Voyagep. 257
Epiloguep. 263