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on 10 April 2017
An excellently written novel, I loved it, so emotional and written with such feeling. The descriptions are so vivid that you feel like you are there with the people. Many tears were shed as she described her losses. Fantastic book.
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on 2 August 2017
At first sight this could be interpreted as a 'poor little rich girl' tale which draws little sympathy and but a small degree of empathy. However, it is a book of growing and development. If, by the end, you have not developed a deeper respect for Kuki and what she has achieved, then you have not been paying attention. She has been, and remains, a guardian of the Earth. Continuing to battle indifference, violence (she was shot and badly wounded recently) and political corruption to preserve a small part of Nature for our children. Read this book and you will understand why.
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on 26 December 2012
Kuki Gallmann, her husband and their son were from Italy. Their family and circumstances were comfortable, except that there was the war and the immediate post-WW2 period; it was a time of trying to put the tragedy and the trauma behind. For a young girl, Africa, Kenya in particular, was the dream-country that she longed for. When it became clear that she was quite set on this objective they left their wider families in Italy, bought a tract of land and settled in the Great Rift Valley.
The land that they entered is gone now, but Kuki Gallmann has captured something of its physical beauty and dazzling variety with her wonderful evocations of Kenya at that time, its pristine wilderness, the immense herds of wild animals and the tribal people among whom they were to live, work and die during the ensuing decades.
The loss of her husband in a vehicle collision comes as a rude shock that to some extent shatters the idyll. But I will never be able to reconcile myself with a young boy being allowed to cultivate a close relationship with African snakes in the way other youngsters might do with horses - or rabbits. The 'African Dream' of the book's title becomes the fearful spectacle of a family group in a very foreign environment, sleep-walking towards disaster and when it comes, it is almost too awful to read.
The narrative carries a heavy burden of sadness and of heart-break, of promising lives thwarted, of innocence lost and a magnificent world forever changed.
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on 24 February 2014
This book took me back to the wild parts of Africa which are serenely beautiful but also unforgiving. I could almost smell it from the pages. What wonderful work of the Foundation has come out of a double disaster. This book renews one's faith in the human spirit, & makes one long for a time when civilisation will realise what a parasite it is.
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on 1 August 2017
A fantastic, atmospheric book, evocative of Africa in the way it was experienced, with all its magnificence, quirks and, above all, magic. A must-read. James Penhaligon, author.
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on 21 May 2010
This book is one of the most beautifully crafted autobiographies I have been privileged to read. It is a tour de force of description and emotion. It draws the reader in from page 1. and one remains transfixed throughout. It is almost beyond belief how an individual who suffered such personal grief and loss, could create an atmosphere of such deep love and understanding of a country which took away so much and yet brought the author, ultimately, such peace. Written from the soul, this book is a deeply personal journey, filled with joy and sadness and eventually, with the help of Africa, its people and its animals, a journey of self-discovery, an understanding of the fragility of human life and finally, happiness. An absolute 'must read'.
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on 7 February 2005
I read this book cover to cover in two days. Kuki Gallmann is an admirable woman, who made great sacrifices to fullfill her childhood dream of living in Africa. The book details an important period in Kenya's history, when private landowners began to take on board the responsibility they had towards their land and the people and animals which occupied it. Kuki captures her own personal sense of responsibility very poetically, as well as detailing meetings with known Kenyan figures like Richard Leakey, who are involved with conservation to this day. I would definitely encourage anyone with a fascination with East Africa to read this book, it stays with you for sometime.
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on 27 April 2008
I read Kuki Galman's book. I also watched the film "I Dreamt of Africa" based on her book. And I also read somewhere her daughter's comment," Karen Blixen ran away, my mother did not."

Well, last year I happen to stay in Loisaba Lodge, Laikipia, adjacent to Mrs. Galman's ranch. What I learnt there about Galmans was not very flattering. On arrival in Kenya, she mostly stayed in Nairobi while her husband managed the farm. She refused to stay in Laikipia. She only moved to the ranch when her husband died. And during making of the film "I Dreamt of Africa", she gave very hard time to the film unit people.

As far as the book is concerned, I would prefer Karen Blixen's "Out Of Arica" over "I Dreamt of Africa". Former is professionally written. Galman's book is like a child writing.
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on 4 August 2010
My husband was born in Kenya in 1952 and died here in London in 1999. Just before he died he said to me that he wanted to go to Kenya but obviously he was too ill to go and would never get the chance to go back there.
I got an opportunity to travel there with a friend, that I met this year, and I was so moved by my experience there. It is the most beautiful place in the world and I know now 10 years after my husbancs death, what he meant when he said he wanted to go to Kenya. I brought back some plant seeds and have planted them on his grave now that they are little plants. As he could not go to Kenya in 1999 this was a wonderful gift for me to be able to take a little bit of Kenya to him in 2010.
Why I am telling you this is because when I bought and read 'I Dreamed of Africa' I was truly touched by this ladies experience and identified so much with her story. She has written most beautifully what I cannot express in writing or even in words.
This is a worderful story of a beautiful country and spirituality in every sense. I will keep this book and will re-read it.
This book did for me what no other book could.
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on 31 January 2001
As the story of Kuki Gallmann this book cannot fail to move. But as a vision of Africa it is very much the White Man's story. Africans seem to have a very secondary role, either as staff or in cultural set-pieces. And while the commitment to wildlife conservation is laudable, the commitment to the wellbeing of Kenyans is sadly missing. By all means read this book; but for another, better angle on contemporary Africa, try Dervla Murphy's "The Ukimwe Road".
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