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Bill Bryson African Diary Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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"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.
Bryson travels to Kenya in support of CARE International and brings his inimitable humorous and humane view to Africa.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good and enlightening, abit thin on words, but the fact its profit go to charity negate thisPublished 3 months ago by Roger Wilkes
I simply cannot fault Bryson. Every work has been informative and entertaining and this is no exception. So sad it's much shorter than the others.Published 3 months ago by JulieWright
IT PEN MY EYES TO WHAT LIFE IS LIKE IN AFRICA,THE GOOD AND VERY BAD.Published 4 months ago by Mr. Kevin W. Hayes
Fantastically balanced between informative and humourous. A great oppurtunity to learn more about charity projects in Africa through an honest account of a well trusted writer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Turps
just one big advert for asking you to send money to a worthwhile project.Published 7 months ago by Mr. D. Marshall