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I vividly remember these adventure stories by Willard Price from when I was a girl. I was gripped by the relentless thrust of the narrative always leading on to the next close shave, in a way that girls' books of the time rarely, if ever, seemed to manage. The stories were exciting, and set all over the world, in fabulously exotic locations. So I was delighted to re read it with my son, who was about 11 at the time.
He thoroughly enjoyed it - Price knows how to pile on the action, and the Hunt brothers (heroes of the stories) are appealing young heroes - with the sort of exciting lives that most of their readers will envy. Travelling with their father (whose job is the politically incorrect one of collecting animals for zoos) they get to visit amazing locations, of which the Amazon is only one.
Re-reading from my current advanced age, these stories are quite formulaic, although they do have a fairly broad appeal for children (more probably boys) who like adventure stories, and they are located in a range of great settings. There is undoubtedly a much greater range of books now available for the pre-teen or young teenage reader, but if you are trying to encourage a boy to read more then this is definitely worth a look, not least because if he does like it, then there are plenty more to steer him towards.
You can currently buy "Amazon Adventure" from Amazon for £4.49, or for just £5.59 you can get it combined in one volume with "Diving Adventure," they have plenty of other Willard Price titles available too.
Amazon Adventure is the first book in Willard Price's Adventure series. It tells the story of Hal and Roger Hunt, and their father John, on a trek down the river Amazon hunting and collecting wild animals for animal collections and zoos.
Willard Price (1887-1983) was first and foremost a natural historian, and this is apparent when reading his books. A wealth of information about a wide variety of animal life in the Amazon basin is presented in every chapter; I haven't checked every fact out online, but I did verify a number of facts as I was re-reading this story, and so far they've all checked out.
Written and set in 1949, the story is slightly out-dated in places; particularly, with over 50 years of inflation, the value of the animals collected seems far less impressive than was originally intended.
This book is primarily intended for younger readers, but while the plot seems slightly weaker fifteen years after the first time I first read it, I would still recommend this to anyone of any age interested in reading a light hearted adventure and learning a little about the wild-life of the Amazon basin.
Amazon Adventure by Willard Price is one of the most treasured novels i've ever recieved. A Christmas present from my aunt, this book successfully fueled me for a week of intence reading, and can only be described as 'a truely gripping novel'.
Willard Price created a series of classic adventure novels, each individual and unique - though Amazon Adventure remains my favourite.
Other stories including, 'South Sea Adventure' and 'Volcano Adventure' can be bought from any leading book store (E.g Waterstones).
Each novel stars two rather 'adventurous' brothers, Hal and Roger Hunt - following their wild and wonderful, endless trecks into countless endangered environments. Remarkably, they always seem to escape relatively un-harmed.
Amazon Adventure is about Hal and Roger's fierce attempts at capturing some of the world's most terifying animals, which only exist in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
And, the reason for all this... their father's animal collection ofcourse.
Guided by some friendly locals, Hal and Roger set out to un-cover an uncharted course of the Pastaza River... but they're not the only ones out in the open.
Despite the novels flexibillity to suit any age above ten, death doesn't easily escape this stories plot. Making it as gripping as ever. You never really know what to expect around that next meander.
Amazon Adventure is very well put together. The text flows gracefully through each page, never seeming to tire, glueing your eyes to paper and forcing them to read on.
A fast, sleepless reader could broze through this book in a well spent evenings silence - at just 271 pages in the paper back form, theres a whole lot of detail crammed onto every page.
Overall, I couldn't spot any grammer defects throughout the whole novel, making it a superbly thoughtful read.
A book which can be read and has been read by all ages of people - a book which I feel should be read by many more people to come.