- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 7 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 9 July 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DPDT04G
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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To the Moon and Timbuktu: A Trek Through the Heart of Africa Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Sovich is born into a life of financial security and comfort, but learns from her restless mother that although these things are central to their way of life, they have their price. Her mother tinkers at the edges with the self-indulgent slumming of the idle rich, but always returns to the nest. As Novich matures into an adult she follows her mother's restlessness with adventures of her own - but also always returns. By her early thirties she is married to a man who loves her deeply, and whom she loves in return . . . but it is not enough. She decides to emulate her mother, but to the extreme: not just a few weeks slumming, but a solitary and hazardous journey through wild and unknown parts of Africa. She returns, falls pregnant, goes out one last time.
For all the tribulations of her journeys, she is, because of her wealth, never more than a cab-ride from an airport and a plane home. However, what makes this memoire stand out from the countless hippy-trail indulgences of the other comfortable middle-class travellers she meets, is the honesty and clarity with which she describes her dilemma. She seeks to find herself herself by solitude and danger and trial, but the things she is running away from are in her own head.Read more ›
Unhappy with herself, her marriage and work at Dow Jones, Nina at age 33, left her year long life in Paris to trek through Western Sahara, Mali, Mauritania and later Niger. She said life in Paris had become hard, her work drained her and left her scattered and she'd lost her ability to read signs of love from her husband who worked twelve-hour days.
Nina, originally from Connecticut, mostly attended boarding schools in her early years while her Swedish mother took long sojourns around the world. Her American father, like her husband, worked twelve-hour days at his dental practice.
Nina's beautiful prose flow like the Sahara Desert - the stark beauty of landscape, the fascinating people, dusty towns and heartbreaking poverty. The town of Ségou on the Niger River was the most beautiful. She said, "the Niger here is clean and light, empty of industry and people stretching nearly a third of a mile across. Brown grass sways in a light wind and mango trees cluster by the river like old women at a well...A white crane swoops near the water, loses sight of his prey, and pulls up into a high arch before cutting out over the savanna...There is nothing but golden savanna and swaying trees as far as I can see. This isn't Eden. This is the world after humans have passed on and God has returned to the earth."
If Ségou is heavenly, Djenné, the next town, is hellish. Nina says, "It was as though the gods wanted to pull me back down to earth.Read more ›
to life. Africa is one of my favourite places but this trip undertaken was quite arduous and risky at times.
This would appeal to the ardent travellor.
Yes, it's a tale about her experiences, both leading up to the trip(s) (briefly) and whilst in the midst of them. I'm still puzzled though by her husband's laid back attitude to it all, but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the book.
So, me guess is, this book suits you if you are:
Introspective (i.e. an introvert).
You understand that travel in poorer countries is fundamentally better than travel in rich countries.
You are interested to learn about Saharan West Africa.
You are philosophical and are interest to hear people open up about themselves quite intimately.
It might not suit you if:
You want to see action and descriptions of tourist sightseeing in a book. Your idea of a good African travelogue involves someone fighting wild animals, climbing mountains, having a romance, getting lost in the jungle, having a terrible disease, being arrested and other larks.
You like books to pack a punch or a twist or at least have a very solid conclusion and are one of those people who complain about stories that "just end".
You read that sentence about I wrote about travel in poorer countries being better and thought to yourself, "why?" and didn't get it.
She is a talented writer and knows how to put a story together, so if you're in doubt I'd lean to yes. If you find it rather too grim in the first third, stick with it, that is not the tone of the whole book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating book. Enjoyed reading about the travels of the writer to places that are off the tourist route.Published 6 months ago by Margaret Masterman
Not just a travel book but a coming to terms with disquiet feelings from childhood and newly married in slightly alien Paris finding ,adjusting ,challenging ,pushing herself... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Blossom
Not sure why I enjoyed this but I did, really felt I was in the heart of Africa.Published 15 months ago by The future is past
A fairly enjoyable book. The main character had some interesting and exciting adventures. I never quite understood why she wanted to be away from her husband for so much of her... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Barbara