Angus, Colin 1971-
ANGUS, Colin 1971-
ADDRESSES: Home—Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Office—Colin Angus Adventures, 212-2288 West 12th Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 4R2, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Sailor and writer.
(With Ian Mulgrew) Amazon Extreme: Three Men, aRaft, and the World's Most Dangerous River, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2001, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Lost in Mongolia: Rafting the World's Last Unchallenged River, Broadway (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Cruising World, Globe & Mail, and Comox Valley Free Press. Cocreator of documentary films, including Amazon: Source to Sea and Yenisey: River of Extremes.
SIDELIGHTS: As a teenager, Colin Angus was already planning for life as an adventurer. At the age of nineteen, he bought a twenty-seven-foot sailboat and then spent the next five years sailing the high seas. When he returned to his home in Canada, he was already planning his next adventure, to raft the world's largest river, the Amazon. As he had already proven, once Angus set a goal, it was as good as done. With two fellow adrenaline junkies, Scott Borthwick and Ben Kozel, Angus set out in September 1999 to become the first to travel the entire Amazon River in a raft.
The trio's adventure is recounted in the book Amazon Extreme: Three Men, a Raft, and the World's Most Dangerous River, which Angus coauthored with Ian Mulgrew, a feature writer and columnist with the Vancouver Sun newspaper. The trio's story begins long before reaching the Amazon, as they travel across a blazing desert. As recounted by Carol Harrington for an article on the CNEWS Web site, Angus wrote in a letter, "The toughest part of our hike came when we left the Majes Valley behind to cross the desert." Not only did the three adventurers have old and unreliable maps, but they nearly ran out of water and almost died of thirst. They finally reached the town of Camana on the western coast of Peru. From there they hiked through the Andes mountains and across the continental divide, another trek that nearly defeated them. At one point shepherds provided them with a meal in their mud hut. "I looked at our hosts with a deep respect," Angus told Harrington. "To be able to cope with the harsh mountain conditions, thin freezing air, and loneliness in a hut with a mud floor, open fire to cook on and a few llama skins for furniture, makes for some pretty tough people."
The trio finally reached the Apurimac River. From there they traveled to the Ucayali, which empties into the Amazon. "This is the story of all the things that could and did go wrong along the way," wrote a reviewer for the Boating Channel Web site. "From near death by dehydration to near drowning by rapids, Angus takes the reader on a wild, breathtaking adventure." Traveling in a thirteen-foot whitewater raft, the adventurers encounter near fatal snowstorms, treacherous rapids, insufferable heat and mildew, an army of mosquitos, and even guerrilla gunfire. Angus also writes about the history of the Amazon and a discussion of some of the myths surrounding the mighty river.
Writing in Library Journal, Joseph L. Carlson compared Amazon Extreme to the best adventure and travel books, which have adventurers whose personalities "become just as important as their quests." He noted that the reader not only is given an inside look at the adventure itself, but also "are witnesses to constant bickering, personality clashes, and plain old testosterone eruptions." He added, "This is adventure writing at its best." Another Kirkus reviewer noted, "Angus brings a charming, openhearted thirst for adventure to the proceedings." The reviewer added, "The kind of journey that makes the reader's armchair feel particularly warm and snug."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of AmazonExtreme, p. 26.
Library Journal, March 15, 2002, Joseph L. Carlson, review of Amazon Extreme, p. 100.
Boating Channel Web site,http://www.boatingchannel.com/ (September 4, 2002), review of Amazon Extreme.
Colin Angus Home Page,http://www.colinangus.com (June 9, 2003).
CNEWS Web site,http://www.cdreissues.com/ (October 17, 1999), Carol Harrington, "A Gruelling Search for the Amazon's Lifeline.*"