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Nonfiction Book Review of Jungle
Jungle Book


By Yossi Ghinsberg

Jungle is an adventure book turned survival book as the pages turn. It starts with three unlikely companions deciding to take what they believe to be the adventure of a lifetime. The three of them decide to join a man named Karl into the unknown, a trip into the Bolivian jungle with little knowledge of their destination and route. The pressure of the jungle and mounting personal conflicts begin to tear the group apart. Adventure quickly turns to nightmare and survival begins.

The story is compelling and decently written, but for me it didn’t quite click. I found myself a bit frustrated with all four adventurers because of their constant bickering and poor choices. I know that a lot of this was due to their inexperience and the cloying jungle, but it didn’t give me much compassion for the four of them. For me, one of the most important factors in a successful survival book is a bond with the main character or characters. Jungle misses on this; I felt disconnected from the characters and this made it difficult for me to feel compassion and worry for them.

Yossi’s writing style is simple, effective, and easy to read. A lot of adventure books are written by experts in their field, whether it is mountaineering, diving, or wilderness adventure, but Jungle is written by an adventure layman so to speak. The good part about this is it simplifies the writing style and keeps the reader from having to sift through a lot of details.

Overall Jungle is a fair read that I would recommend to hardcore wilderness survival fans. It does have a haunting intensity to it and is an amazing tale of endurance and survival. I can’t say it was a real page turner for me, but I had no problems reading through it either.

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Side Note: The Discovery Channel made a really good documentary series called I Shouldn't be Alive. One of the first episodes is this story by the title of "Escape from the Amazon."

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