Crossing the Heart of Africa

Crossing the Heart of Africa : An Odyssey of Love and Adventure

3.61 (518 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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"This rapturous adventure narrative...shows that love really does conquer all." -Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder

"Charming, wise, and captivating." -Dean King, bestselling author of Skeletons on the Zahara
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 20mm | 279g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0061873470
  • 9780061873478
  • 681,932

Back cover copy

The amazing true story of Julian Smith, who retraced the journey of legendary British explorer Ewart "The Leopard" Grogan, the first man to cross the length of Africa, in hopes of also winning the heart of the woman he loved.

In 1898, the dashing young British explorer Ewart "the Leopard" Grogan was in love. In order to prove his mettle to his beloved--and her aristocratic stepfather--he set out on a quest to become the first person to walk across Africa, "a feat hitherto thought by many explorers to be impossible" (New York Times, 1900).

In 2007, thirty-five-year-old American journalist Julian Smith faced a similar problem with his girlfriend of six years . . . and decided to address it in the same way Grogan had more than a hundred years before: he was going to retrace the Leopard's 4,500-mile journey for love and glory through the lakes, volcanoes, savannas, and crowded modern cities of Africa.

Smith interweaves both adventures into a seamless narrative in Crossing the Heart of Africa the story of two explorers, a century apart, who both traversed the length of Africa to prove themselves . . . and came back changed men.
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Review quote

SOCIETY OF AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITERS WESTERN WRITING AWARDS WINNER: GOLD PRIZE (TRAVEL) -- No Source BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK COMPETITION WINNER: SPECIAL JURY MENTION -- No Source AMERICAN SOCIETY OF JOURNALISTS AND AUTHORS AWARDS BEST-BOOK WINNER: MEMOIR -- No Source "Grogan would have been a fitting protagonist for Shakespeare ... an insightful and often uproarious romp. ... memorable ... sheds light on Grogan's monumental feat, which is worthy of a revisit." -- Boston Globe "Julian Smith, a talented travel writer, evokes Grogan, his adventures and his world with both insight and panache." -- Washington Post "An extraordinary love story . . . [an] absolutely fascinating adventure" --
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About Julian Smith

Julian Smith received a Banff Mountain Book Award for Crossing the Heart of Africa and has written for Outside, Smithsonian, Wired, Men's Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Discover, and the Washington Post.
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Rating details

518 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 18% (91)
4 36% (189)
3 36% (189)
2 8% (43)
1 1% (6)
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