Lost in Tanganyika

Lost in Tanganyika

One week later, a fisherman’s boat carried them to the Island where two British soldiers escorted the visitors to the Consulate of Lieutenant Colonel Hamerton, His Majesty’s Consul and East India Company’s Honorable agent. – Lost in Tanganyika

I hate to say this but I found Lost in Tanganyika to be rather bland, boring, monotonous and the pacing was just unbearable. Let’s see the characters were single dimensional people with no development or any depth, they were just there to carry on the story, we had Williams and Elizabeth falling ill from time to time in the good old 1850s but no way near where I can feel for them. I felt like I was reading a history book with an encyclopedia and that too in a fictional theme, I loved history in school because it was factual and not a figment of an inspired event from someone else’s journeys.

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By evening, stormy winds subsided and swells diminished, but pitching lasted through the night

There were too many facts and too little explanation or description about the surroundings. I mean how am I supposed to know every tribe, place, territory and history of a land as rich as Africa. Some explanation is due, right? I mean I was so lost and wandering in the book that I didn’t feel bad for Williams and Elizabeth as much as I felt bad for myself. Please explain to me the landscape, the people, nature and the atmosphere surrounding the Williams and Elizabeth in detail and not just in a vague way. I should know about Williams and Elizabeth so that I can enjoy and suffer with them like reliving their terror and quest for freedom. As far as I am concerned the most knowledge that the majority people have is from the Discovery Channel.

“People of Uganda are the Waganda, and Wa-Khutu possessions are also U-Khutu. Of course, many tribes have migrated and through wars or slave trade occupied territories of another name. Uzinza, for example, is ruled by two Wanguana chieftains.”

I also read that Thomas Thorpe was inspired by the journeys of several individuals. God bless them but the thing is that his book, Lost in Tanganyika,  should be inspired by their journey not a word by word account of their adventures, the way I see it is like enjoying others journey then describing them in such a way that the readers can journey together in this awesome land Africa but what do I get? I get a very dull book. Now, of course, some will say that I tend to read the romance genre, I like to point out that some books like John Grisham’s are also inspired by law or events relating to it but it’s the flair of the storyteller that keeps me glued to the book. Although Thomas Thorpe has a rich vocabulary and good command of the language he failed to deliver the masterpiece. He had an abundance of information and facts that can be exploited for the benefit of all but still what was presented was just an inspiration that in my opinion missed the mark by a great distance.

Here, cuts in the ravines revealed granite and coarse sandstone, brown and green with sun-blackened strata tilted up to outcrops. At higher elevations, the ground was overgrown with shrubbery of mimosas and other thorny gums. 

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I hope that the effort put in Lost in Tanganyika is appreciated by others and maybe they see the light at the end of the tunnel or the end of an epic adventure, me not so much. All the best to the others, it was a very boring read and required loads of effort from my side.

Rating: 2 Stars- Stars are mostly for the effort

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