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4.1 out of 5 stars
Green Hills Of Africa (Arrow Classic)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 1998
I am a big Hemingway fan, but I did not expect much from this book. After all, Hemingway himself described it as an "experiment". However, the Green Hills of Africa turned out to be a surprisingly good read. Hemingway's description of the landscape, the people and the whole safari is excellent. He could, however made the description of the hunting itself a bit more exciting. His account of the hidden jealousies within the safari is especially interesting, and the passage(just a long sentence actually)about the Gulf Stream is simply amazing. I highly recommend this book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2002
...this is not an environmentally friendly, politically correct book; it is full of Hemingway's (true or perceived) self image of being a "real man". But that's the way Hemingway wrote and tried to live his life. If you don't appreciate that, if you can't place Hemingway's works into perspective, then read something else. For the others: this is a masterpiece. You live the story together with the author. His talent places you there: sweating, dusty, being excited with anticipation stalking game in the African bush. And you'll long to sit in the shade of a tree with a whisky too.
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on 14 January 2015
Book 4 of my Hemingway marathon takes place in Africa on safari and features the big man himself big game hunting and pontificating on occasion about a number of subjects, including writing. It took me fifty pages to warm to it (I mean, get into reading it!) but once it took hold, I enjoyed it more than I expected

Feminists hate Hemingway and this book will show you why. It is an old fashioned tale of one man possessed by killing the biggest beasts, hunting red in tooth and claw - and that man is the writer himself. Imagine John Updike - no, he was a golfer - or worse still, Margaret Attwood, writing such a book! Hemingway believed in experience and living, and that was that. He laps up every experience as if it were his last. He describes everything he feels when he wants to, and spouts off his likes, prejudices and passions without censure. He is a man full of juice.

The hunts are very well described, seemingly formless in conception, yet there is a pulsating intelligence to everything, even the stupid things. Hemingway is a racist, no doubt, but a great admirer of certain black people (the Masai, in particular) and the individual guides and helpers, like M'Cola. He loves his wife, who participates sometimes in the action, but is often left behind. She seems to love Hem without any conditions (of course, he is writing the tale.)

This book is from 1935 (so Hemingway is 35ish) and the world seems so much different then, more violent, elemental and manly. It is not at all touchy feely about animals and not too happy with mankind, who in Hem's view 'ruin everything' -he means civilising. Here is a passage from the end of the book which makes it all clear. You have to pinch yourself when you read it...

'A continent ages quickly when we come. The natives live in harmony with it. But the foreigner destroys, cuts down trees, drains the water, so that the water supply is altered, and in a short time the soil, once the sod is turned under...is blown away in every old country, and as I had start to see it blow in Canada.... We are the intruders and after we are dead we may have ruined it but it will still be there and we don't know what the changes are...'

Hem loved Africa because he loved the wildness, being in touch with 'real nature' and the people who are still in touch with it. He is, in short, a muy macho man, a man who seems out of time today. Maybe Pinker is right - the 'better angels of our nature' have taken over, thanks to Feminism, but for me, Hemingway still has lots to say about what is natural to man and what is fantasy written for a heavily edited society.
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on 20 October 2014
I stumbled across this book and was drawn to it by an unfathomable pull. It was my first Hemingway read but certainly wont be my last.
Even though the idea of killing animals is abhorant to me I loved this book.His passion and enthusiasm is infectious and I was there beside him every word of the book.I have spent a lot of time in Africa which also added to my enjoyment.
As a novice writer myself I have found my muse.
I have almost finished Death in the Afternoon, which I think says much about his genius as a writer that this pacifist vegetarian devours his words even when the subject matter is about violence and death. I could read anything he writes simply because it is Hemingway.I plan to read many more of Hemingway's books.
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on 26 June 1998
You'd think being about white men with guns in Africa killing animals would offend more people. But I suppose that, for once, true greatness shines through past little things like that. What I liked was how Hemingway didn't really set out to tell a story that began or ended, just a story. He didn't bore you with things not bearing on his tale--a month hunting in Africa, a real time in his life that actually happened--and how he painted a real picture of himself, of hunting, and of the beauty that was Africa. I'd risk saying that this is probably a lesser-known (or at least lesser-read) work of Hemingway's, but it really bears reading.
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on 15 May 2014
A non-fictional account of Hemingway's African safari in 1933 - this book explores relationships and emotions in the safari group and conveys the excitement of the hunt. As ever, Hem's writing draws you in until you're almost sweating with him amidst the trees, desperate to get bag the largest game of the group. You get some insight into the emotions that drove the author, and he conveys very well the intensity and feelings of a safari (well, I guess he does this well, as I've never been on one!). Did not get a 5, as there are superior works in the Hemingway canon.
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on 5 June 1998
I'm not a big fan of hunting, big game or otherwise, but I am one of Hemingway's. In this book what I most enjoy are the dialogues, the descriptions of Africa (maybe second only to Isak Dinesen's), and the musings on subjects as diverse as writing, the taste of that first drink of the day, even the island of Cuba. In fact, there's a passage in "Green Hills" about seeing trash from Havana being carried away by the Gulfstream which is so amazing and beautiful that it by itself is worth the price of the book.
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on 25 January 1999
Hemingway is a man's man, and rarely, if ever, does he let the reader know he feels. Reknowned for saying so much with so little, Hemingway exposes a little of himself at last. The Green Hills Of Africa is an explanation of emotional investment. Emotional investment in the land and in ones soul. Hemingway understands what it is to be overpowered by emotion. In the tradition of Robert Ruark, Hemingway has told a great story of African big game hunting, but unlike his predecessor, Hemingway makes you care.
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on 6 March 1999
Africa comes alive in this book by Hemingway. It describes hunting big game and the friction and rivalries that arise between the participants in the course of their safari. I think the best part of the book is a dialogue/dissertation on the state of American literature in Chapter 1, while it is filled with splendid descriptions and crisp dialogue. The "drunkards despoiling Africa" reviewer below needs to get a life. Wishing a buffalo would kill half a dozen human beings is revolting too.
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on 5 January 1999
One of only 2 nonfiction books Hemingway wrote, I previously ignored this book. However, in anticipation of a 10 day safari in Tanzania, I bought and read it. I must confess that at home, its impact was lost on me. After I arrived in the game park, I re-read it and enjoyed it immensely. Hemingway captures the essence of Africa in a way that only he can do. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone contemplating a trip to Africa.
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