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Out of Africa (Essential Penguin) Paperback – 25 Feb 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (25 Feb. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140282610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140282610
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.1 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A work of sincere power ... a fine lyrical study of life in East Africa -- Harold Nicolson Daily Telegraph A compelling story of passion and a movingly poetic tribute to a lost land The Times With its lyrical and luminous picture of Kenya, it launched a million tourist trails Guardian --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this book, the author of "Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.
The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today.
This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates theseventy-fifth anniversary of Random House. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Through "Out of Africa" Karen Blixen tells Europe of her long stay on a coffee farm outside Nairobi. It is a work of pure romanticism, of an educated and refined young woman who wants to see Africa as her beloved romantic authors of the nineteenth century might have done. I mean romanticism in the proper sense of the word - the conviction that man and nature should be one, that the greatest human fulfilment is in merging with the land, plants and animals around us and becoming one with them.
The book concentrates on the Kenyan landscape and the Africans who people it. She draws romantic and spiritual lessons from the oneness of the Africans with their land. Perhaps some of her commentary on the Kikuyu seems patronising nowadays, but how else could she have written ?
Blixen's style is readable, fluent and anecdotal, making "Out of Africa" an easy read. (Though there are times when her landscape descriptions are a little too purple and her verse, the little of it that she shares, is frankly embarrassing.)
In fact,"Out of Africa" is a rare item - a book about long-term expatriation rather than a "travel book" about a short trip to a glamorous place. So, it's not Blixen's game to be taking colourful incidents out of context and making a song-and-dance about how exotic they are, which is the irritating stock-in-trade of the travel writer. She describes what happens to a person when the exotic becomes commonplace, which is as different from travel-writing as roast beef is from candyfloss.
But Blixen hides herself away too. Many of her preoccupations are merely hinted at : her love for Finch-Hatton, her husband, her strained relationships with other whites and the day-to-day business of the farm.
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Format: Paperback
'Out Of Africa' is a marvellous account of Karen Blixen's time running a coffee plantation in Kenya. The enchanting prose in which this 'novel' is written laments the intense love for Africa, its places and people that through a woven, progressive and sometimes heart-rendering narrative, Blixen so beautifully portrays.
Blixen's interaction with the Kikuyu tribe lends a unique perspective (in terms of the period in which this novel was written) of a young imperialist white woman and the way she deals with the natives of Africa. She genuinely wants to help them, wants to educate and employ them.
Blixen was famous world-wide for her intricate and olf-fashioned storytelling, combined with social graces that contradicted her strong viewpoints on War, colonisation and Empire. It is ironic that such a strong woman felt the need to publish 'Out Of Africa' under the disguise of a male name.
Blixen's intense love for Denys - a local hunter, mixed with the deep affection she holds for her servant combine with her vibrant love of Africa to make this recollection a beautiful and moving one. This is probably one of the best works of travel writing, setting a precedent for authors such as Francis Mayes etc. ...Well worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover
Baroness Karen Blixen --a.k.a. Isaac Dinesen-- had a farm in Africa, and on that farm the wide-eyed Danish émigrée lived her best years, the years of vivid memory, out of which she was to live and breathe and write for the rest of her life. In Africa she married, ran a coffee plantation, met "the dark races," got syphilis, and fell in love. These events shaped the fiction she was to write later, when she returned home to Denmark after the coffee farm foundered, a casualty of faulty administration and just plain bad luck.

An exile in her own country, the reluctant repatriate poured her heart into "Out of Africa." The book is unsurpassed for an atmosphere of heart-wrenching bereavement, yet serene resignation. Here is Eve after the Fall --the taste of apple lingering in her mouth-- groping to restore with words her Paradise lost. Here the storyteller weaves a tapestry of lean, vast landscapes simmering under the equatorial sun; of races worlds apart living in precarious peace; of friends --black and white--; of love; of heartbreak, and of loss.

"Out of Africa" is Isaac Dinesen's superb act of creation by recollection, a Paradise Restored you will often want to come back to.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Karen Blixen's eloquent, incisive, gentle study of the genteel decadence of pre-WW1 colonial East Africa.
Blixen, herself, was a trong, enduring woman, and her own story is inextricable with that of colonial Empire.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I so loved the film that it made me want to visit Karen Blixen's house when I visited Nairobi. I thought I'd buy the book at the airport or even at the Karen Blixen museum. It wasn't available at the airport and at the museum it worked out at about £14 so I waited until I got home and ordered a second hand copy from Amazon. I love the book. It's written in the first person by Karen Blixen, who was a truly admirable woman ( I hear Meryl Streep's voice, as her, as I'm reading it!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An extraordinary work of sheer genious. This woman took fantasy and fiction and wove it into possibly
the finest book on Colonial Africa. Sadly, the film was a ghastly travesty, saved only in part by Streep's
extraordinary portrayal of Blixen. Having lived on her former coffee estate for more years than she did herself,
I have an enduring fascination with Isak Dinesen and the people of her time in Kenya.
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