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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Skeletons On The Zahara was written by Dean King and read by Michael Prichard. This is the true story of twelve American sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815. Captain Riley and eleven American crewmen set sail from Connecticut on what should have been an uneventful voyage. However, they were shipwrecked on the west coast of the Sahara where they faced aggressive, thieving nomads. They managed to escape by taking to their longboats. When they ran out of food and water, they were forced to land south of Bojador. They were captured by tribesmen who made them slaves. Riley is eventually captured by Sidi Hamet. Riley convinced Hamet that he knew people that would pay a ransom for him and his crew. Hamet promised to slit Riley’s throat if the ransom was not paid. The hardships the crew and their captain faced are extreme: sunburn, dehydration, hunger, and pain. The captain weighed only ninety pounds when he was rescued, having lost a hundred and fifty pounds.
Dean King, author of Skeletons On The Zahara, studied the firsthand accounts of Captain James Riley and crewman Archibald Robbins. After reading Riley’s account, Dean King followed the man’s journey. It is amazing that the men survived their ordeal. The details of how they survived will shock and appall many. This is a heart wrenching tale filled with riveting details. Dean King brings Captain Riley and his crew to life. This is a review of the audio book. I highly recommend this book.