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4.5 out of 5 stars59
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2015
This remarkable lady achieved so much before her time in respect of women and flying. At times I found her style very flowery but she describes life in East Africa in the 30's so well and maybe in the 30's that was the norm anyway. I lived there myself for years but a couple of decades later and knowing the places she wrote about was so interesting. Her love of adventure in an aeroplane is delightful considering it was so ahead of times in that she was a woman. The description of the types of planes she flew is very interesting . It seemed a shame that she was rather reticent about her love life involving other adventurers but she does describe Von Blixen and Finch Hatton so much in detail that one can guess anyway . A very good read especially her cross Atlantic flight section.
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on 8 October 2014
The first part of this book is a lyrical evocation of Beryl Markham's childhood in Africa in the early part of the twentieth century. It goes on to record her adult flying career and triumphant solo crossing of the Atlantic. I enjoyed reading it very much, as I had done when I first read it many years ago. Since my first read, however, Mary Lovell has written a biography of Beryl Markham, and this now provides an interesting insight into Beryl's 'memories'. Maybe the 'truth' doesn't matter so much: 'West with the Night' is still a fascinating read.
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on 24 September 2010
A truly amazing book of African exploration and adventure. Beryl Markham may have skipped passed the scandalous affairs that marked her life but she writes beautifully about her childhood growing up in British East Africa (now Kenya) all the way through to her solo flight across the Atlantic with many great adventures in between. Her extraordinary lyrical writing style makes this a book that is very hard to put down once picked up. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the golden years of aviation and African exploration.
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on 4 December 2014
After a slow start I found the whole book quite interesting. Maybe people could be concerned about the game hunting but bearing in mind that the time frame was the '20 - '30s I could overlook that and, being avidly interested in aviation history, I was only disappointed that some references were not covered in more detail. One thing that I did find annoying was that the book was printed on poor quality paper which gave the the a rather fuzzy look - not too good for those with less than perfect eyesight!
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on 8 June 2014
I bought the same book a couple of years ago and enjoyed it enough to make this latest purchase of the book as a gift to a friend who also liked it very much. Beryl Markham led an extraordinary life and told a good account of it. However, to more deeply understand her character and achievements, I strongly recommend Mary S. Lovell's biography of Markham, entitled, "Straight on Till Morning", which should be read after "West With The Night".
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on 4 November 2015
The book was way slower and more descriptive than what one might expect from a story about the first female pilot in Africa.
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on 10 July 2015
Love love loved this book. Fantastically written, often like poetry. Did her husband help her write it? Well, if he did he should be better known. I tend to think it really was her. Formal education may have been sparse, but her father tutored her at home and she has the intensity of character for it to have stuck, especially if she only read good authors. Will definitely re read it.
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on 22 January 2016
Having lived in Kenya during the 70's I found this a really lovely book to read. It brought back so many wonderful memories (not all good haha). Beryl Markham has a lovely way of writing and tells a good story, she was a vanguard of her time especially as a woman; it is beyond belief that she was hunting with the Masai warriors as a child!
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on 17 June 2012
If Ernest Hemingway endorses a book with the words, 'it is really a bloody wonderful book,' then you know you cannot make much of a mistake. It is a fantastic story of an amazing life, beautifully told. This lady was the high priestess of adventure and living life to the full. Autobiographies don't get any better than this. Buy it!
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on 6 December 2011
This is a fast paced story of a face paced life, set against the background of Kenya's colonial times. Beryl Markham was a very intersting and controversial character, which is more deeply explored in her authorised biography Straight on Till Morning by Mary Lovell which I recommend should be read afterwards.
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