The Robber of Memories
Townships alongside it have experienced some of the worst massacres in South American history. In 2011, Michael Jacobs travelled its whole length to the river's source high up in Andean moorlands controlled by guerrillas. In spellbinding prose, he charts the dangers he negotiated - including a terrifying three day encounter with the FARC - while uncovering the river's history of pioneering explorations, environmental decline and political violence.
As Jacobs delves into the history of destruction and decay along the river, he also makes a deeply personal exploration into memory and its loss: not far from the river's banks lies a group of townships with the highest incidence of early onset Alzheimer's in the world. Jacobs reflects on the lives of his father, and his mother - sufferers respectively from Alzheimer's and dementia - as he travels upstream towards what comes to seem like a heartland of mystery, magic and darkness.
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