The hard evidence amounted to a grainy photo published in a 1929 London newspaper. Sitting on a packing case, propped up with a large stick, was what purported to be the body of a giant ape—the “Mono Rey.” It was said to have inhabited the dense jungles of northern Bolivia, around the Madidi river—but the last person to explore the region, the redoubtable Major Percy Harrison Fawcett back in the 1920s, had since disappeared without a trace. For Simon Chapman, however, the jungle is the only place to be, and the denser and more remote the better. Which is why Chapman, along with two eccentric companions, took an all-too-collapsible canoe into the swamps and rainforests of Bolivia to find the mythical monster of the Madidi. By turns gripping, comic, and touching, and with a superb awareness of the natural world, The Monster of the Madidi marks the debut of an exceptional new travel writer.
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