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on 7 May 2000
Excellent book, one of the best i have read on travel and living in Africa, Donald has a real affinity for the people and cultures he came across while living here. I cant imagine a better antidote to all the usual negative tales to come out of this part of the world. Well worth buying and tell friends about it
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on 26 October 2012
An old timer remembers his life in West Africa, along with many characters larger than life. It's a way of life that has largely disappeared but old 'Mother Africa' is still there; a complex land of mammies, mimbo (palm wine) and majesty, juju (deep in the bush) and
discoveries still to be made.
Altogether an excellent read.
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on 21 August 2001
A rare delight. A collection of short stories, recollections (surely some apocryphal) by this forestry expert from Scotland who spent many years in the rainforests of West Africa. Sometimes racey, always beautifully written and all highly unusual, these stories are a treat to read.
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on 11 April 2000
This book is a real gem.
A charming, gentle story of the author's life in West Africa where he worked for the Forestry Commissions. This book is a series of short stories each giving a wonderful insight into a little known part of our World. More importantly it documents a time and place that has now vanished under the chainsaws of the timber merchants, forever lost.
I highly recommend this warm and entertaining book.
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on 2 January 2013
It would be agood idea to have an illustrated guide to West African trees by you when you read this book. It is a series of anecdotes from Donald Macintosh's life as a forester in post-war West Africa. The forest itself is the hero of the book and the individual stories describe it from the perspective of the young forest officer newly arrived in Nigeria from Scotland and in snapshots throughout his career.
Hidden under the canopy of the tall trees are dangerous animals; snakes and buffalos and the secondary characters; the people with whom MacIntosh worked or shared palm wine in forest camps. Their stories are told sympathetically and without condescension. Reminiscences of expatriate life ARE there but they are not the main focus. Politics and the changes the region have seen since independence are not really mentioned.
Overall, this is a good but not compelling read.
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on 28 July 2013
This book is a fascinating and absorbing tale of a man's life living and working in parts of Africa where white men were rarely seen. It is written with affection for the place and the people, often amusing, giving an insight into a world which is rapidly disappearing. I also think that Donald Macintosh did well not to succumb to some deadly disease - the likelihood of which is what gave the area it's name of the White Man's Grave. Overall an enjoyable and easy read that is more about real life in a foreign land rather than the usual 'passing through' travelogues which can only give a fleeting impression of a place.
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on 31 May 2013
One of the finest books I've ever read without doubt. The authors anecdotes about his time and travels in West Africa are absolutely fascinating. His descriptions of the equatorial rain forests in particular are just spell-binding and also poignant. MacIntsh realised that the advent of the chain saw and the arrival of more multi-national timber companies would cause great environmental damage to the forests of West Africa and he has proven to be correct His descriptions of the larger than life characters he encountered during his time in Africa are also priceless. A must read.
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on 4 March 2013
Although this was written by a European, he has captured the 'feel' of West Africa. Right from the moment near the beginning, where he describes stepping off the plane at Lagos into the solidity of the humid heat that greets you, I was transported straight back there. A good read, looking sympathetically at the region and its people and particularly interesting on wildlife and plants and the environmental changes brought about by the interference of man. Although it is looking back on the 20th century, much is still relevant today. An author with a good sense of humour, ith a fund of anecdotes to tell.
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on 24 December 2012
Beautifully written ode to Africa and her forests, people and wildlife. Excellent read and manages to be strangely timeless in its writing - it is both startlingly modern and has insights into the the colonial era all at the same time. Highly recommended.
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on 22 January 2013
loved this book....its different and the writing is so evocative. If you are a real traveller or have lived in Africa you will appreciate its depth. Maybe for the more mature reader.
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