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THE ENCOUNTER by Petru Popescu

THE ENCOUNTER by Petru Popescu
01 May
Lost deep in the Amazonian jungle, cut off from civilisation, and unable to communicate with the indigenous community he accidentally falls in with – Loren McIntyre’s true tale of first encounter is the stuff of legends

This retelling of his 1969 experience, written by Petru Popescu, is a powerful one that resonates through the years. Not only does it take us back to a time before GPS, mobile phones and satellite imagery, but we also travel with McIntyre into a lost world in the depths of the Amazon, to the Javari Valley, where he encounters the Mayoruna people. He is reluctantly forced to turn to them as his own hope for survival, a task that would have been considerably easier if either party had any understanding of the other’s world in any way, shape or form.

The bizarre and unnecessary style of switching repeatedly from a first to third person perspective (and back again) definitely takes some getting used to. Nevertheless, any faults one could potentially find with this book as a piece of literacy can easily be compensated for when you consider that it is a second-hand retelling of true events, told from memory after McIntyre’s notes were destroyed by the unforgiving jungle environment.

It’s certainly a unique story, a fascinating glimpse into pre-civilisation humanity, where brute strength and spiritual mysticism reign supreme. McIntyre never entirely clarifies whether he gains the ability to communicate telepathically with the tribe elder, however he certainly repeatedly states his belief that other tribe members are doing so.

The Encounter is a faint memory of a world almost entirely wiped from existence, making McIntyre’s experience ever more valuable.

This review was published in the May 2016 edition of Geographical magazine.

Click here to purchase The Encounter by Petru Popescu from Amazon

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