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on 13 May 2015
I adored this book. I love Blixen's style. Maybe it comes from English not being her first language, but it is refreshingly correct, unaffected and deeply poetic. She has impressive powers of observation whether for people or nature. Not for you if you are looking for the prurient details of a decadent group of ex pats (I have read them elsewhere!), but enthralling for her understanding of the world around her - she at least took the time to engage with the local population. It shouldn't be necessary to mention it, but values and social mores have changed a lot since Blixen's day and it would be foolish to judge according to today's standards. Suffice to say, with the ensuing uprisings and burning of property, Blixen's farm was left unscathed.

This book is a jewel and I join the ranks of those who cannot understand why it was not more lauded as an important work of literature.
9 people found this helpful
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on 25 October 2017
I call this an odd version due to finding it quite different from the film so maybe I am not being fair to say that? The film was wonderful but then I spent so many years around East Africa ,admittedly later than Karen's time, that I actually started crying watching it. Personal maybe so hopefully others will enjoy the book. The countryside comes to life in this book,she glosses over her personal intimate life with her lover.
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on 23 April 2015
Isak Dinesen is a wonderful write and I think is a pity that some people will never read her wonderful book "Out of Africa" because they think they already know the story because of the movie (which is good, but COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM THE BOOK). I love the film, but as usual Hollywood chose to focus in the love affair between Karen Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton, while in the book he only appears in two or three chapters and their love story is never mentioned. This book, like the other one, is more about her love story with life in general and Africa in particular. Her prose is magical and absorbing, I think that someway she managed to mix the European and the African culture and to become a kind of sorceress whose voice traps the reader in a way that resembles the fascination for fairy tales. Read her books and awake in a different world, more brilliant and misterious, with brighter colors and far more interesting people than the ones you usually meet.
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on 1 June 2014
What a beautiful place Africa is. The book took me back to Karen Blixen's farm i visited on one of my trips to kenya. She is a wonderful writer, almost poetic. Have enjoyed reading this book and will be reading it again. If you have a kindle i would recommend you download a sample to read before purchase it might not be for everyone.
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on 29 July 2016
Loved reading this book whilst on Safari in Africa I finished reading it at home the pictures and images the book creates helped sustain my memories of Africa ,the vastness ,the animals the people and the rainbows on the hills the history ,loved the book Like the author part. of my heart will

.always belong their in Africa
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on 26 September 2014
Lovely old-fashioned hard backed book - good quality and received promptly as promised.

It contained sections of Isak Dinesen's life not included in "Out of Africa". The first story about her principal "aide" was both fascinating and very revealing and taught me a lot, and gave me to think about, the Muslim faith and attitudes. Particularly valuable today and the need to really understand and appreciate another faith.

Her subsequent stories are not as well written as the first. The English seemed at places awkward which is surprising considering the articulate first section but,nevertheless, very enjoyable and worth having as part of one's library.
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on 16 April 2018
came back to this book after 20 years and now fully appreciate the courage of Karen blixen taking on the challenge of running a farm in Africa pretty much on her own. make you want to go to Africa.
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on 9 August 2015
read this year& years ago when it first came out but then past it onto a friend and have regretted it ever since and then I saw this i'm really looking forward to being transported to Africa again I can highly recommend this book if you want to immerse yourself into a time long ago in a far off country it's a great read
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on 28 July 2016
Isak Dinesen / Karen Blixen was a talented author and artist, she writes very well. This book combined with the "Real Isak Dinesen" story gives a good idea of the reality of her life, illnesses and love of the Somalis and Africans who worked for her. Not quite as romantic as "Out of Africa" suggests.
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on 16 December 2013
The author is probably the most enigmatic character I have ever encountered. The absolutely superb film "Out of Africa" whetted my appetite, and I expected the book to follow closely the film's storyline. But it doesn't. It is the most remarkable description of a whiteperson's experiences with a huge number of African men, women and children before, during and after World War I- those she employed on her farm and many others, from destitute villagers to African chiefs. Her desriptions of these people is so remarkable that each person can be visualised extraordinarily well.
Only towards the end of the book does she really mention the events which are the mainstay of the film and even then the reader is surprised to find that they nowhere near tally.
Nothing is neatly tied up at the end: the reader is left with a mass of questiions, which makes the book even more fascinating
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