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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 September 2013
I bought this as a gift for a friend as we recently visited some Bushmen in Botswana and learned a lot from them about their culture and history and their very different lives in the 21st century. I am a Laurens Van Der Post fan - I have most of his books - and now will have to re-read them all! I strongly recommend this particular book if you have any interest in Africa and its history. I know I will become immersed in his poetic language and the plight of the bushmen. A master of his craft.
The book did not arrive until the day after the estimated delivery date but I think it may have been despatched from Belgium - perhaps that's why?
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on 25 February 2015
A wonderful story and full of rich, vivid imagery. I was transported into Nambia and beyond and engrossed entirely on the story of the bushmen - my ancestors. Then ones comes face to face with the stark reality of man's inhumanity to man over the centuries and indeed - given the troubles still in our world, we've leaned nothing at all. Lauren Van der Post exudes the passion and there were times I could actually believe I am standing there in the Kalahari - how wonderful of a writer able to transport you to a time and place.
The photographs are stunning and not contrived. This whole book records for all times something so fundamentally important to us all and the realisation that through greed, violence and deviousness we have this innate ability (generalisation of our human nature at its core) to throw away so much and lose that which is valuable. Our lives and future become diminished as a result.
So an uplifting book on the one hand and a depressing read in some other aspects.
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on 18 December 2007
I would like to rebut one reviewer's comments that van der Post had never been to Africa before he wrote this, which is poppycock, and that reviewer clearly hadn't read the book.
This is a great read, it is somewhat a pop anthropology book, but that is not why you should read it. It is in the ilk of 'green hills of africa', and a brilliant travel/expedition book. I must say that i have been to parts of africa and it has helped my imagination run wild whilst reading this book. But I'm sure it would appeal just as much to those who just have a vivid imagination. The book is full of well written description, and has a real thread to the whole book (something 'green hills of africa' lacks). It centres on van der Post's attempts to find the San Bushmen.
Van der Post is a well renowned writer, and despite this book being relatively old, it is still excellent, and something you'll not want to put down once you've started it.
A great book to read if you're going to Southern Africa, or have an interest in the region and it's peoples.
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on 18 January 2004
Laurens van der Post's classic tale of his expedition to find and understand the San bushmen of the Kalahari takes the reader on a mystical journey into a different world. It is brilliantly told, capturing the vast dryness of Botswana and the attitudes of the very different peoples of that part of Africa. He is neither embarrassingly politically correct (as modern authors on the subject can be) nor patronising. His humour and palpable excitement draw you in completely. You can feel the rumble of the Landrover, taste the dust, and smell the sweat of the sacred Eland as they move deeper and deeper into the bush.
It is hard to imagine that the San could ever have existed in such a desolate land, but that they did until so recently - and perhaps still do - untouched by the outside world, seems almost beyond belief.
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on 8 March 2006
This is an exciting, narrative-driven tale which despite our better understanding of tribal life in Africa - thanks mostly to the amazing documentaries we frequently see on TV today - it still has a sense of urgency and relevance to the present moment. Most of that is due to the author's talent as a writer. Van der Post is truly - not arguably - one of the greatest author's of the 20th century. Some of his sentences strike you with such power and eloquence that you have to re-read them to be sure that what you have just read is possible to say. His writing is nothing short of poetry - the greatest poetry. I would recommend this, or any of his other works.
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on 12 July 2015
Written with poignancy and honesty by someone obsessed with his subject, this is the story of the extermination of the bushman as a people and culture. As a background it helps you understand some of the issues of South Africa today through the interactions between Afrikaner and various black communities. An excellent book.
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on 15 June 2014
I am enjoying this beautifully humanistic study of the Bushmen of the Kalahari even more than than I did at the first reading. Hard to put down once you get into it.
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on 19 September 2015
Great read from a bygone era, it's easy to forget such times existed less than a century ago. Don't read any more reviews, just buy the book and read that instead!
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on 21 February 2016
This is an account of an expedition to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa in the late fifties. The author was commissioned to make a TV documentary.
It deals with its planning and all the difficulties encountered. The purpose of the trip was to find Bushmen in their natural state.
Eventually these people are found.
What makes this a good book is van der Post's power of description. It may be that there is embellishment, but he makes something that could have been dull an enthralling read.
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on 4 March 2014
An absolutely fascinating and exciting account. the best travel book since 7 years in tibet. It gives a great insight into a lost people who were great painters on a massive scale.
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