- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War Hardcover – 21 Jul 2003
Special offers and product promotions
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
‘A masterpiece.This is a hugely ambitious book, a history of his family’s involvement with Africa over 70 years … riveting.’ Matthew Leeming, The Spectator
‘He captures brilliantly the voracity of the global media and is only too aware of his own role in ‘feeding the beast’. The life of war correspondent is well chronicled: fear, disgust and adrenaline pervade Hartley’s writing as he describes their doings…he leaves the reader with a mesmerising portrait of his beloved Africa’s unhappy squalor.’ Charlie Campbell, Time Out
‘A powerful blend of family history and war correspondent’s memoir…searing, deeply instructive memoir.’Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph
'A lyrical, passionate memoir of this dark continent. On the surface, Hartley's book professes to explore why his father and so many other Englishmen of his generation turned time and time again to Africa. Its real aim is far more ambitious: to explore the motives of many generations of white people – good and bad, but mostly confused – who have washed up on Africa's wilder shores of love. His judgement of the foreign politicians who have involved themselves in the continent is tough without being hysterical. And he has a sure pen for character… he writes best about the dichotemies within himself – his ache for Africa, his rage at its horrors, his longing for peace' The Economist
‘Aidan Hartley's heartbreaking love affair with Africa shines through in this stunning memoir…the result is a breathtaking work, an epic part-autobiography, part-biography. As he unravels Davey's story, Hartley turns out passages of aching beauty which will invite comparisons with that other desert love story, Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. Hartley's engagement with his central character is so rich in detail and affection that the pages slip by far too fast.' The Scotsman
From the Publisher
Aidan Hartley is a brilliant young writer in the style of award-winners Dalrymple, Maclean and Marsden.
* Shortlisted for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction.
* This book is a spiritual memoir, a fascinating travel journal and a work of riveting history - a non fiction The English Patient.
* Includes an informative and fascinating PS section with an author profile and essay by Hartley's fellow journalist in Africa, Johnathan Clayton.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Of the three stories, his own, as a sometimes brutally honest and frequently hilarious account of his journalistic work is the most interesting and it appears the subject matter he is most comfortable with. However the concurrent Davey story, and the author’s seeming need to reconcile himself with his vastly elevated father-figure, whose affirmation appears still being sought from the pages of this memoir long after the man's death, definitely make this a more interesting read.
Aside from the above, Hartley, like many others who witnessed so much carnage through the 90’s, appears still haunted by the horror. This is not shied away from, rather used as a stick to beat the reader over the head in its extraordinary descriptiveness. From the beer, prostitute and drug soaked nightlife of Nairobi’s underbelly, to the shocking descriptions of some of the cruellest acts ever committed on this planet, to the gentle stories of love and families trying to survive each other, Aidan Hartley takes the reader with him.
This is a sometimes complex story that twists and turns, hauls you in then spits you back out again, but always engages you as it makes its way towards its conclusion, and it seems, some well earned peace for its author.
Its fantastic.... buy it!
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1501-1700
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Africa
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage
- Books > History > Military History
- Books > Travel & Holiday > Countries & Regions > Africa > Somalia
- Books > Travel & Holiday > Countries & Regions > Asia
- Books > Travel & Holiday > Travel Writing