AMAZON STRANGER by Mike Tidwell

AMAZON STRANGER

A Saga of a Rainforest Warrior
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 From deep in the Ecuadoran rainforest, from the heart of the Cof†n Indian lands, comes Tidwell's (In the Shadow of the White House, 1992, etc.) spirited firsthand report on the indigenous peoples' struggle to survive. Eastern Ecuador perhaps defines the notion of biodiversity, a natural habitat agog with every manner of creature, and the home of the Cof†n Indians. It is also the resting place of petroleum products, which Texaco wished to exploit as far back as 1965 and which are now eyed covetously by the Texas-based Maxus oil group. Tidwell paid a visit to the rainforest to gauge the effects of ecotourism and fell for the place wholesale, rapt in the ``macaws and kapok trees, dolphins and sherbert butterflies.'' He was equally smitten by Randy Borman, son of white missionaries and now leader of the Zabalo Cof†n, and his efforts to protect the diminished Cof†n acreage from further assault by oil interests. But this is not just a David against Goliath story--though it is a blow-by-blow account of the canny Cof†n challenge to forays by the government-controlled Petroecuador into their territory. It is also the sad tale of ruined Indian villages, where wildlife was out and oil spills were in. Amid all the mayhem caused by the oil companies, Tidwell treats readers to the episodic theater of the jungle, with one fantastic siting tripping over another. By turns wry, morose, upbeat, and blue, Tidwell writes with admirable restraint (it must have been hard not to go ballistic when confronted with all the outrages) and with an appealing personal touch: He was always crushed when the quixotic Borman treated him brusquely. A tale with enough punch to turn a few heads and enough storytelling talent to keep the converted charmed. (First serial to Reader's Digest)

Pub Date: May 6th, 1996
ISBN: 1-55821-406-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Lyons Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996




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