A story of Wealth, Ambition and Survival and a true adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast.
I have an interest in this time in American history and in the men who forged their names in history as the men who built America and John Jacob Astor is without doubt one of the most interesting men of this time.
The book Astoria is an unfolding adventure over the course of three years, from 1810 to 1813, a tale of the harrowing times in American history and shows the incredible hardship in the wilderness and at sea that these men (and women) endured in their quest to discover and establish empires. Over one hundred and forty members of the two advance parties that reached the West Coast, one crossing the Rockies the other rounding Cape Horn, nearly half died by violence and many lost their Sanity, The expedition successfully established Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River. Though the colony would be short-lived, it did however set the footprint for what would become know as the Oregan Trail.
I listened to this one on audio and while the narrator was good I did feel I missed out on reading a hard copy of the book as to follow the route of the expedition I had to google maps which I believer are included with the hard copy and are really needed in order to follow and understand the book. The Hardcopy also has a list of characters and I felt this was also important as there quite a few people to keep track of.
Having said that the book is an amazing and an interesting adventure story with unforgettable characters and a wonderful sense of time and place in the vast unexplored wilderness. I was totally horrified by the hardship the expedition endured to the clashes with the Indians.
The book is very well written and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea I recommend it to those who enjoy adventure stories and for those who like reading about American history, I would however recommend purchasing a hard copy of this as opposed to audio version to get the full experience.