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Journalist Morrison has covered conflicts ranging from the political to the environmental in areas from Afghanistan to India to Uganda and beyond. While covering the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, he planned a trip not known to have been made in decades-travel up the White Nile from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea. Morrison's friend Schon Bryan accompanies him on part of the trip, his first travel outside of the States. The journey, planned to take three months, required six and was more land travel than river voyage. From Uganda, through Sudan and Egypt, the Nile has become undrinkable, overfished, dammed by hydroelectric plants, choked with water hyacinth, and traveled by warships. Morrison's narrative combines reporting and travelog in a way that brings readers to this most unlikely destination, a place of complexity, tension, struggle, and pain, where shreds of tradition and community are still visible. Verdict Morrison's account transcends the travel genre to provide authentic and timely information on a complicated part of the world. Highly recommended.-Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Morrison and a buddy embarked from Lake Victoria with the goal of descending the Nile River to the Mediterranean Sea. This was in 2006, when civil wars in countries on their route Uganda and Sudan had recently subsided. So prospective dangers awaiting the travelers included river rapids, wild animals, malaria, and armed and suspicious men. Solving their first problem, obtaining a boat, the duo discover that their craft is less than seaworthy; as its woes mount, Morrison merrily narrates landings at riverside villages and bargaining for food and accommodations. When his pal has had enough of equatorial Africa and returns to America, Morrison, now boatless, presses on via barge and bus. With sympathetic acuity about the personalities, tribal societies, and mechanical ingenuity of those he encounters, Morrison crafts impressions that will teach travelogue readers much about contemporary Sudan. There's enough amusement to balance the seriousness of politics, such that when visa problems interrupt Morrison's journey, his audience will stay to see if he reaches the sea. Recommend this title to readers who enjoyed Tim Butcher's Blood River (2008).--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist