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Bill Bryson African Diary Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

3.8 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Corgi Audio; Abridged edition edition (3 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552151483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552151481
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1 x 14.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Bryson is one of the funniest travel writers in the business." -- "The Globe and Mail" "Bryson has become an enormously popular travel writer by coming off as the most literate tour guide you've ever had." -- "The New York Times" "Bryson is a terrific stylist. You can't help but enjoy his writing, for its cheer and buoyancy, and for the frequent demonstration of his peculiar, engaging turn of mind." -- "Ottawa Citizen" "Bryson is first and foremost a storyteller -- and a supremely comic and original one at that." -- "Winnipeg Free Press" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Bryson travels to Kenya in support of CARE International and brings his inimitable humorous and humane view to Africa.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Bill Bryson tells us all about the Care Projects in Africa in this wonderful little charity book. The book is well written, even funny in places, and touches on poverty in the third world. The problem is that I felt that a six day diary in just over sixth pages was not enough. I wanted to know more about these people and their lives. I believe that this book could have been far greater if far more of the same quality of writting had been included.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a short read, not someone who wants to get their teeth into what lives are like in Africa.
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Format: Hardcover
When I unpacked my order, my first impression was to feel cheated by how slender it was. That feeling vanished somewhere around the middle of page 2; and I didn't put it down until I reached the end.
This book is a wonderful, funny, moving account of 8 days Bill Bryson spent in Kenya at the invitation of the charity CARE. He recounts, with his usual brand of humour visits to slums, village pumps and refugee camps. Bill doesn't hide the fact that he was clearly affected by some of the things he saw.
If you like Bill Bryson, don't be put off by the size. Buy a copy.
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By A Customer on 10 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Being an absolute avid fan of Bill Bryson's work I eagerly awaited this little bookette to give me a good top up of Bryson's humour and observation before his next 'proper' book is released next summer.
African Diary did not disappoint. Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, a charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty. All royalities and profits from the book are donated to the charity.
Despite being only 63 pages (I say despite as I just love his work) the book uses Bryson's humour as well as his power as a writer to bring to the attention of the reader the poverty and hardship faced in places like the slums of Nairobi and Mombasa and the incredible strength, optimism and persistence of those who live there. Bryson does not make you 'pitty' the people, more give you a sense that they just want a chance - the ability to look after themselves, support their families and get a good education. Something we in the Western World take for granted.
It is an eye-opener with coloured photography illustrating places along Bryson's Journey.
If you love Bryson, then buy the book. If you support charities and feel you want to help, then buy the book purely as a donation to CARE.
I remember Bryson saying in an interview he only had 2 weeks in which to write this book and my only criticism is that is it relatively short. Just as you get into the book and the feel of his writing, it ends. I'm sure there is the potential to turn African Diary into a full-length book, but then then impact on price/publishing cost etc. would probably do the charity a dis-service.
Bill Bryson is simply the best in his field :)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Bryson I ordered this shortly after it came out and awaited its delivery. First thing is the size - at about half an inch thick it is rather thin. Its a hardback as well, so thats about a quater of an inch of text. But yet it goes on, take away the 5 pages of copyright info at the start and 8 pages of adverts for Care at the end, plus the 8 pages of photos in the middle (although photos are good, they aren't why we buy Bryson) we are left with only 49 pages of text. With only 24 lines of text per page you are looking at a 20-30 minute read in total.
The small amount of Bryson in here is entertaining. His familiar ability of getting himself somewhere he really cant handle gets him again. But this time he has guides with him to ensure no wrong happens to him. He is witty, informative and has great short anecdotes but there is far too little.
The whole thing feels like an advert to Care, the title African Diary is very misleading -"8 days rushing around Kenya and writing 4/5 pages per day" would be a better title. Even Bryson himself says "You made a generous donation to a worthy cause and got a free book in return" shame it wasnt a book worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
African Diary is one of Bryson's usual great books very informative, and the usual humour that we've come to love and expect in this respect African Diary is a good buy except for one fact. The book is remarkably short with only 63 pages of which 18 pages are of copyright, thanks to various people and some colour pictures in the middle of which are acutely quite good. Now this isn't a problem I quite like short books that get the point across which this book does but I resent having to pay the same price as I would for one of Byson's regular books.
However on the redeeming side all profits go to CARE International and this is a worthy cause...
To sum up if you don't mind short books and thinking of the buy as a donation to a very worthy cause then you should buy this in retrospect I still would. However if you don't like short books and don't want to make a donation to charity then African Diary is not for you.
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By A Customer on 23 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Bill Bryson had never been to Kenya when he was invited by a leading charity to go there for a week or so in support of their cause. Having lived in Kenya myself and having visited the refugee camps myself to see conditions there, I have personally seen what Bill Bryson saw on his visit.
It is quite clear that Bill Bryson arrived in Kenya and was taken to a number of tourist destinations that Kenyans themselves rarely visit. His time in Nairobi was spent in the National Park, at a (Brazilian-influenced) restaurant catering to Western tourists and expatriates, at a homestead used in an Oscar-winning film about the life of a Danish author, and finally, a brief visit to look at one of the worst slums on earth.
Bryson clearly believes that the house of the Danish author was her actual house, which it was not. There are a number of other similar but significant errors, factual misrepresentations, mis-spellings, use of what he calls Swahili (actually the words he quotes are from another language altogether) and urban myths presented as fact throughout the book.
Clearly he has written extensively from notes taken in conversations with his escorts. With the author having only spent 10 days of his life in the country, the book's editor could have done a much better job in checking basic and widely-available facts before publishing the book.
And that's just Nairobi. He also visited a refugee camp at Dadaab for a day or so, was entertained and shown around by aid workers, with one or two conversations here and there with actual residents of the camp, if that.
This book is basically a PR exercise for the charity. It describes the work they do, not the lives of the Kenyans.
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