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I Dreamed of Africa [Paperback]

Kuki Gallmann
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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I Dreamed of Africa I Dreamed of Africa 4.3 out of 5 stars (43)
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Book Description

2 April 1992
This autobiography tells the story of an Italian woman whose life is driven by love of Africa. The prologue covers a string of deaths which shaped Kuki Gallmann's life including that of a woman friend who died in a car crash. The widower, Paulo (who then married Kuki), his two daughters and Kuki's son by a previous marriage all went to Kenya and bought a large estate. Paulo died in an accident and Kuki's son died aged 17, bitten by one of his own puff-adders. Kuki had a couple of affairs - one with a married white planter, another with a film stuntman who involved her in the film "Out of Africa". Finally she set up a foundation which in fact is more like a private wildlife park.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (2 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140144595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140144598
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 893,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Powerful, poetic, unbearably moving: I wept (Clare Francis)

'This is a book that belongs on a shelf with the memoirs of Olive Schreiner, Elspeth Huxley, Beryl Markham – and with Out of Africa Judith Thurman

Ms Gallmann captures perfectly the magic of Kenya, creating an almost overwhelming picture of beauty and drama, pain and joy, death and resurrection . . . Vividly reminiscent of Isak Dinesen (New York Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

As a child, Kuki Gallmann discovered the singular magic of Africa. As an adult, she emigrates to Africa with her new husband, Paolo, and her son, Emanuele. Although it is the place she has waited for all her life, she never dreamed of the pain, passion, joy and hardship that were hidden in its vast beauty.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i dreamed of africa 4 Aug 2010
By bernie
My husband was born in Kenya in 1952 and died here in London in 1999. Just before he died he said to me that he wanted to go to Kenya but obviously he was too ill to go and would never get the chance to go back there.
I got an opportunity to travel there with a friend, that I met this year, and I was so moved by my experience there. It is the most beautiful place in the world and I know now 10 years after my husbancs death, what he meant when he said he wanted to go to Kenya. I brought back some plant seeds and have planted them on his grave now that they are little plants. As he could not go to Kenya in 1999 this was a wonderful gift for me to be able to take a little bit of Kenya to him in 2010.
Why I am telling you this is because when I bought and read 'I Dreamed of Africa' I was truly touched by this ladies experience and identified so much with her story. She has written most beautifully what I cannot express in writing or even in words.
This is a worderful story of a beautiful country and spirituality in every sense. I will keep this book and will re-read it.
This book did for me what no other book could.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force 21 May 2010
This book is one of the most beautifully crafted autobiographies I have been privileged to read. It is a tour de force of description and emotion. It draws the reader in from page 1. and one remains transfixed throughout. It is almost beyond belief how an individual who suffered such personal grief and loss, could create an atmosphere of such deep love and understanding of a country which took away so much and yet brought the author, ultimately, such peace. Written from the soul, this book is a deeply personal journey, filled with joy and sadness and eventually, with the help of Africa, its people and its animals, a journey of self-discovery, an understanding of the fragility of human life and finally, happiness. An absolute 'must read'.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Every coin has two sides....!!! 27 April 2008
I read Kuki Galman's book. I also watched the film "I Dreamt of Africa" based on her book. And I also read somewhere her daughter's comment," Karen Blixen ran away, my mother did not."

Well, last year I happen to stay in Loisaba Lodge, Laikipia, adjacent to Mrs. Galman's ranch. What I learnt there about Galmans was not very flattering. On arrival in Kenya, she mostly stayed in Nairobi while her husband managed the farm. She refused to stay in Laikipia. She only moved to the ranch when her husband died. And during making of the film "I Dreamt of Africa", she gave very hard time to the film unit people.

As far as the book is concerned, I would prefer Karen Blixen's "Out Of Arica" over "I Dreamt of Africa". Former is professionally written. Galman's book is like a child writing.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A one-sided view of Africa 31 Jan 2001
By A Customer
As the story of Kuki Gallmann this book cannot fail to move. But as a vision of Africa it is very much the White Man's story. Africans seem to have a very secondary role, either as staff or in cultural set-pieces. And while the commitment to wildlife conservation is laudable, the commitment to the wellbeing of Kenyans is sadly missing. By all means read this book; but for another, better angle on contemporary Africa, try Dervla Murphy's "The Ukimwe Road".
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The ramblings of a pretentious egotist 11 July 2008
By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWER
I struggle to understand those who could not put this book down - I finished it but only through gritted teeth (if I start a book, I finish it - this has been the only book I have ever read where I came close to not reading it through to the end). The writing style is pretentious in the extreme, at times simply laughable. The story is very much told from the European/colonial perspective - and the tone is very "poor me". I would normally feel sypathetic to someone who had lost both husband and son early, but in this case I am sorry to say that I simply didn't care. The African population endures such tragedies on a daily basis and has done so for decades. Frankly, I don't think this woman looks beyond the end of her privileged nose. You will learn very little about the real Africa or its people from this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant. 12 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this for the first time about 20 years ago after a spelling binding unforgettable trip to Africa and it has stayed with me ever since. I have just reread it and having since had children of my own have found Kukis story even more heartbreaking yet inspiring in equal measure. A must read for everyone.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly inspiring story 10 Jan 2001
I cried, laughed, smiled and felt so much of the pain, anguish, love and growth she must have experienced. It was so easy to visualise the settings as she describes them so well.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interest in Africa and the outdoors or anyone just wishing to read a really good story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful read 6 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase
this is a wonderful book --- sad and happy -I really enjoyed reading and highly recommend this book.

Lovely pictures as well
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the saddest and most beautiful stories I have ever read -- lots of tears
Published 6 days ago by Marian Cochrane
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, so want to go back to Africa
Wonderful , so want to go back to Africa. reminded me so much of the people and places we have seen, such happy memories
Published 15 days ago by Ann Ferdinands
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Very good book, I felt I was there every step on the way with her through the good & bad
Published 1 month ago by Julie smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.
If you're fond of Africa, and like to get lost in the natural side of it, you will enjoy this immensely. Highly recommend this book.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, sad and interesting
I loved the author's enthusiasm for Africa. Have bought the book for my niece who visited Africa. Made me cry.
Published 3 months ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book.
A brilliant book. Enthralling and very touching. It will have you in tears and yet is very life affirming. I loved it.
Published 4 months ago by book mad
4.0 out of 5 stars I dreamed of Africa
Wonderful descriptions of African people, flora and fauna. Quite a sad book. Felt the end part which is about saving the rhino was brief and could have had more details about what... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Zimbo
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This book took me back to the wild parts of Africa which are serenely beautiful but also unforgiving. I could almost smell it from the pages. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Elizabeth Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
Sad and inspiring - a very well written book that will grip you from the first to the last page.
Published 7 months ago by Anita Tranchese
4.0 out of 5 stars She lived the dream
Having just finished "I dreamed of Africa" I read the reviews written by "others" with an open mind,
While I agree with some comments of a privileged upbringing of the author... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Susan Terry
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