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River of Darkness
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* Targeted outreach to history organizations, websites, podcasts, and publications.

* Social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads giveaways.

* PR campaign with print, radio, and digital interview targets, including NPR and all major national television stations.

About the Author

Buddy Levy is the author of seven books, and his work has been featured or reviewed in The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Daily Beast, and The A.V. Club. He was the co-star, for 25 episodes from 2010-2012, on HISTORY Channel's hit docuseries Brad Meltzer's Decoded, which aired to an average of 1.7 million weekly viewers and is still airing as reruns today. In 2018 he was an on-camera expert on the 4-part TV Series The Frontiersmen: The Men Who Built America (HISTORY, Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio). Levy was a contributing writer on the 2018 documentary film The Weight of Water, based in part on the book No Barriers, which Levy co-authored with blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer. Levy's most recent book is the Banff Adventure Travel Award-winner Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition. Levy is the author of the National Bestseller No Barriers: A Blind Man's Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon (with Erik Weihenmayer); and Geronimo: The Life and Times of An American Warrior (co-authored with Coach Mike Leach). His other books include the critically acclaimed and Amazon #1 Bestseller Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs; American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett; and Echoes On Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge. His books have been published in seven languages.

Reviews

Praise for Buddy Levy and River of Darkness


"In River of Darkness, Buddy Levy recounts Orellana's headlong dash down the Amazon. Like Mr. Levy's last book, Conquistador, about the conquest of Mexico, River of Darkness presents a fast-moving tale of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. . . . Though impromptu, the expedition was one of the most amazing adventures of all time."
-Wall Street Journal

"River of Darkness immediately takes its place as the definitive book on one of the great voyages into the unknown of all time, Orellana's accidental first descent of the Amazon. Not only is it a solid contribution to the scholarly literature on Amazonia, but it is a riveting and irresistible read, narrative history of a literary quality rarely encountered that compares with Alan Moorehead's great books on the Nile. Bravissimo!"
-Alex Shoumatoff, contributing editor, Vanity Fair; publisher, DispatchesFromTheVanishingworld.com, and author of In Southern Light, The Rivers Amazon, and The World is Burning

"In River of Darkness, Buddy Levy proves that the scariest stories are the true ones. Filled with fascinating details and the terror that comes with exploring something for the very first time, this is history coming back to life."
-Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The Book of Fate and The Inner Circle

"Buddy Levy's compulsively readable book about the first European descent through the Amazon puts us right next to the vampire-bat-and-mosquito-bitten conquistadors and on a wild ride through the mighty river and a force of nature down to the Atlantic Ocean."-Andres Resendez, author of National Book Award Finalist The Other Slavery and Conquering the Pacific


"Buddy Levy is one of those rare and gifted authors whose books are virtual time machines that effortlessly transport us back through centuries. In River of Darkness, we participate in one of history's signal explorations, Francisco Orellana's descent of the Amazon River. We see blood, smell smoke, hear screams of joy and agony. Levy's impeccably researched book is at once harrowing adventure and revealing history. Better than any in recent memory, River of Darkness sheds new light-and reveals the darkest aspects-of the Conquistadors' brave and bloody New World forays."
-James M. Tabor, Author of Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth

"In this fluid account, Levy narrates the story of the conquistadors who become the first Europeans to navigate the length of the Amazon River. After plundering the Inca empire, Gonzalo Pizarro and Francisco Orellana set out from Quito with an expedition of soldiers and Indian slaves in search of El Dorado. The two explorers became separated and the expedition quickly became lost in the jungle, then decimated by disease, starvation, and native attacks. Desperate, Orellana and the remaining conquistadors built a large boat and sailed downriver. Realizing that he would be unable to wait for Pizarro, Orellana set his sights on the Atlantic Ocean thousands of miles away. Levy does a fine job of organizing an enormous amount of historical material and balancing the accounts of Orellana and Pizarro after they separated. As one conflict follows another in rapid succession, they tend to blur into each other, though Levy provides enough descriptive detail and pacing to differentiate between the various native groups and aspects of the river. He also addresses the new archeological research that is changing our understanding of the cultures of the pre-Columbian Amazon Basin."
-Publishers Weekly

"An exciting, well-plotted excursion down the Amazon River with the early Spanish conquistador. . . . [A] richly textured account of the rogue, rebel and visionary whose discovery still resonates today."

-Kirkus Reviews

"A rollicking adventure . . . Levy successfully conveys the Amazon's power and majesty, while shedding light on the futility of humanity's attempt to tame it."

-The A.V. Club

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