February 6th, 2011
Episode 309 of 428 episodes
James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to journalist Tim Butcher about his bestselling travel book Blood River. When Tim Butcher was appointed the Daily Telegraph's correspondent to South Africa in 2000, he became obsessed with the Democratic Republic of Congo. This vast country dominated a map of Africa on his office wall and he began to plan a journey following in the footsteps of a famous predecessor - Henry Stanley. Stanley, of Dr Livingstone renown, had travelled along the route of the River Congo in 1876-77 whilst Africa correspondent for the same newspaper. Tim Butcher says in Bookclub that he lost all rationality - people who knew the country well told him his proposed trip was suicidal. The DR Congo stretches the same distance as Paris to Moscow and is one of Africa's most dangerous countries. Although it has immense economic resources, the DR Congo has been at the centre of what could be termed Africa's world war, and this has left it in the grip of a humanitarian crisis. Part adventure story, part travelogue and part history, Blood River tells the account of Tim's own journey along the river in 2004. We hear about the hardships and generosity of the people he met, as well as the fear and the practical difficulties of travelling in a country that has been ravaged by war and neglected for so long. A group of readers quiz Tim about his experience, and James Naughtie chairs the programme. March's Bookclub title: Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah Producer: Dymphna Flynn.
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.