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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

I read The Healing Land with great delight. I felt that the author was carrying me with him into the desert, so that the wonder of these experiences with the Bushmen and the pain of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties with which they live, touched me very deeply. Rupert Isaacson's way with words is fresh and vibrant. The prose flowed in an easy relaxed manner. For anyone who wants to experience the Kalahari and its people, their past and possibilites for the future, their rituals and culture, all presented from a deeply personal perspective, please read this book. It is wonderful.
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on 1 July 2001
This book was a present from my daughter so I did not know exactly what to expect. However, as is the case with all well written novels, once I begin reading, I couldn't put it down. The personal adventures of the author during his "quest" are interesting enough in themselves, however, as with all novels which I truly enjoy, I also recieved an education as to the plight of the "bushman" and, in fact, an explaination of the development of the highly fragmented society which exists in southern Africa today.
I also feel that the author does not let "enthusiam for a cause" run away with an honest and objective evaluation of all parties involved in the bitter struggle which inevitably follows countries, and peoples, trying to regain the rights and lands which were stripped from them by colonialism.
Upon completion of this book, I had the feeling that the "healing process" between the parties involved in any normalization process of this nature is more important than that of "winning or losing".
All in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative book which I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in advancing their understanding of one of the oldest and most interesting cultures on our planet and of one of the most important issues of our time.
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on 2 August 2001
I bought this book expecting an interesting history on the Bushmen of the Kalahari and their plight and a geographical insight into the region. While there is no shortage of fact, both historical,political and geographical, The Healing Land is so much more than an informative read. It is personal journey and a mission, written with such skill that it takes you to the very heart of a proud people and their homeland. Rupert Isaacson brings it alive and makes it possible for the reader to see and hear the beauty of the wild landscape, the hunts, the dances, the wildlife and the tragic demise of tradition and the pain of a displaced people. I loved this book and truly could not put it down. I as disappointed when the journey was over, saddened that its ending had not been happier but moved by a driving need to to do something; if only to rush out and buy it for friends to share the knowledge that the book provides and the thought it provokes and mostly the passion that the author inspires. I would recommend it everyone..... (and their friends)
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on 4 April 2008
A great story, full of history and very balanced in its views of the bushman and their struggle. This is a very easy to read volume and makes a good companion to read if you are visiting Southern Africa. Full of insight into how things "work" or in fact dont interms of the bushman and their quest.
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I came to Rupert through reading his wonderful book , ' The Horse Boy'. This book is as interesting, well written , challenging and informative.
Ru takes into the homes and lives of the Bushmen, and many other folk who make up the rich tapestry of the story. The hopes, fears, sometime anger, of the post segrgation period of South Africa. What becomes apparent is the deep divisions between both coloured, and even between bushmen.
But for me the most important thread was Ru's patience with the folk, and therefore being able to understand the healers work amongst the people. The healers themselves were wounded people, but from that they were able to heal not only their own folk, but folk like Ru, and his mother Polly.
As a christian priest it reminde me that in our work of healing we come as wounded healers, dependant on the Grace of God.
Sadly the downside of the drunkeness, and social break up reminde me only too vividley of the same happenings in our own United Kingdom
But at the end the healers brought not only healing, but hope in a better future, even though now they are going through great difficulties.
A book that should be read by anyone who loves ther fellow human being, or who seeks to understand the rich tapestry of human life..
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on 25 July 2001
Mr.Isaacson not only touch my heart but also made me reconcider my own roots fastened hard in a whiteman's privledged world.I admire people who do what mr. Isascson has done, searching his roots and finding something other than the preconcieved notions and then reporting the truth. Most of us prefer the myths and go back to our confortable lives. This story is very sad from several perspectives but also infused with tremendous hope for a better future thanks to not only the author for reporting on the situation in South Africa but also those on the front lines risking their postion not to mention possibly their own lives. I personally am a cynic but this book moves me off center enough for me to re-evaluate my own power to effect change by not only seeing a problem but by pulling up a little courge to do something about it. It might get a bit better. I applaud the book for touching my soul.
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on 7 October 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fascinating and horrifying in equal measure. These wonderful Bushmen have suffered so much in trying to reclaim their land and their way of life, which is their birth right, and as usual vested interest has tried to stop them at every turn. I have tried to discover how successful they have been while reading Rupert Isaacson's book The Long Ride Home. I know that a delegation of Bushmen went to the United States and visited the United Nations, but I have not found out whether they received their full land and hunting rights in Botswana. Rupert Isaacson and his fellow campaigners having been given life bans from visiting Botswana.
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on 31 May 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Always fantastic when you read a book about places you've visited and they are described pretty well as you remember them, just better than you could do yourself. Obviously in my travels I didn't develop the close association, affinity or understanding that Rupert Isaacson did with the Bushmen, That's what made this book so wonderful for me, it added a whole new dimension and completed the jigsaw for me. Finally I should add that the book is superbly sculptured, poignant, insightful, touching and ultimately hopeful.
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on 27 February 2015
The author follows his own personal quest for family roots in Botswana and to understand the oppression of the Kalahari Bushmen.

Engagingly written, you feel his frustrations with life and his wonder at discovering new things which challenge establishment views.

A spiritual journey, personal travelogue and highly-charged story.

An eye-opening and thought-provoking must-read for anyone who has an interest in travel, people, Africa or history.
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on 20 February 2012
A different and interesting book that highlights Shamanism amongst the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. It is well written and presented, but I found the family history and regional history. on accasion, a bit `dry`. I also still do not know why the author is `banned` from entering Botswana, a point I may have missed.However overall an interesting book sympathetically written.
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