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West with the Night Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Dec 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433206722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433206726
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 13.3 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,127,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, "West with the Night"? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people's stories, are absolutely true . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book." --Ernest Hemingway
""West with the Night "is the sort of book that makes you think human beings can do anything . . . When she was a mere child, she was clawed by a lion. This should have been enough to make anybody timid for life, but not Beryl . . . A jewel of taut writing and thrilling reading . . . The girl can write." --John Chamberlain, "The New York Times"

Did you read Beryl Markham's book, "West with the Night"? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people's stories, are absolutely true . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book. "Ernest Hemingway"

"West with the Night "is the sort of book that makes you think human beings can do anything . . . When she was a mere child, she was clawed by a lion. This should have been enough to make anybody timid for life, but not Beryl . . . A jewel of taut writing and thrilling reading . . . The girl can write. "John Chamberlain, The New York Times"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Beryl Markham (1902 1986) was a British-born Kenyan aviatrix, adventurer, and racehorse trainer.
Sara Wheeler is the author of, most recently, "The Magnetic North "and "Access All Areas."" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Note that this edition (ie published by Important Books, not Virago) is a facsimile of, I would guess, the original edition; the print is EXTREMELY small to the extent that it is unreadable. This is not specified in the description of the book.
I hate doing this, as I'm reviewing the edition, not the book itself - which looks very interesting. But anyone thinking of buying this book should know.
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By A Customer on 15 Dec. 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
This book is a fanastic journey through colonial Africa by one the first female aviators. It captures the atmosphere of native Africa, at an exciting time in history, when motor cars still turned heads, and the idea of flying was almost ubsurd. It is an insight into the ways of whiteman on the continent and how the flying machine became used as a hunting machine as man sought to conquer the mighty continent.
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Format: Paperback
Beryl Markham's memoir neatly sidesteps the conventional issues of romance and marriage, although she had that, to recount the story of a young woman left very much on her own resources and who achieved considerable success. Beryl made her way into horse training and flying, not as a consciously pioneer feminist woman pushing into conventionally male domains but as a woman trying to make her own livelihood by not accepting there was any reason why she shouldn't do the things she enjoyed and was good at. Her love of Africa and her friendships and knowledge built across cultures are what gave Beryl the capability to forge a life of great variety and interest. The culmination of her achievements was her solo flight across the Atlantic from east to west, which gives the book its title. West With the Night has an appealing informality and honesty. Beryl Markham's name is one of which the world should hear more.
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By Tony Watson VINE VOICE on 16 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
...More like poetry than prose, some of her descriptive passages have to be read more than once, just to let the feelings soak into your system.
Ms Markham's early life is told in a matter-of-fact way, which takes it for granted that, when at 17, your father decides to leave Africa for Peru, you jump on your horse and head North, with no food, one change of underwear, little education, but a deep knowledge of horses and expect to land on your feet. Which is exactly what she does, co-incidentally meeting many yet-to-be-famous people on the way.
Hunter; horse-trainer; aeronaut; most people would be happy to excel in any one of these professions, but Beryl does it all with surpassing ease. Her style is self-effacing and matter-of-fact; you would imagine that being 'moderately eaten' by a lion would warrant more than a couple of paragraphs, but it only gets included here, I suspect, on the strength of Bishon Singh's wonderful rhetoric in describing the event. She also has a knack of striking up instant and longlasting relationships with people from every race, creed and social status - I don't believe she even saw those differences; be he a Murani warrior or a colonial Governor, they both get treated to the same open-minded friendship.
A book to read & read again.
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Format: Paperback
This biography clearly leaves out much more than it covers, but so Ms Markham clearly says in the first chapter. We are treated to some episodes from her life in Colonial East Africa in the first decades of the 20th Century. The times were such that all that "modern" was good, yet without claiming that everything native was bad. One is given a reasonable idea of how huge and partwise dangerous Africa is.
It's interesting how her Atlantic flight that gives the book its title is briefly summarised in a single chapter--clearly she was not going to brag about something that was not a major part of her life, as opposed to the African landscape and race horses, which clearly were. Another point of interest is that she apparently managed to be married thrice in the time period covered by the book and this is not mentioned by a single word, perhaps indicating that this is a biography of her work life, rather than an insight into her private life.
And yes, there is the florid language, and perhaps this is necessary to convey the vastness of the terrain.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This remarkable lady achieved so much before her time in respect of women and flying. At times I found her style very flowery but she describes life in East Africa in the 30's so well and maybe in the 30's that was the norm anyway. I lived there myself for years but a couple of decades later and knowing the places she wrote about was so interesting. Her love of adventure in an aeroplane is delightful considering it was so ahead of times in that she was a woman. The description of the types of planes she flew is very interesting . It seemed a shame that she was rather reticent about her love life involving other adventurers but she does describe Von Blixen and Finch Hatton so much in detail that one can guess anyway . A very good read especially her cross Atlantic flight section.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frustrating. A fascinating story of a strong and unique woman and her love affair with Africa and adventure. This is worth reading just for the Kenyan Derby chapter alone, gripping. BUT you learn only a little about this fascinating and complex woman, who was a notoriously hard hearted, wild, impulsive "femme fatale", living and partying in "Happy Valley" at its most salacious. She is a far, far bigger and more interesting life than this book portays. Why did she write this book when she has edited 95% of her life out of it.
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