on 18 October 2010
Having read and loved 'Lost World of the Kalahari' and wanting to know more about the San Bushman I bought this. It starts off where Lost World finishes off, and is just as compelling. When the group disbands I felt quite sad. I was expecting a reunion or more travel writing, which Van Der Post is good at. Instead the rest of the book is more of an attempt at retelling of Bushman stories and myths. Which is a good idea, except it is very disjointed from the first third of the book (travel writing), and he just isn't as good at retelling stories as he is doing travel writing of his own.
His constant reference to the bible and Goethe are so inapproiate to a people who have no cultural ties to Western Europe that I almost stopped reading it. The stories he tells are ok, some of them interesting, some of them butchered so where they were clearly interesting to him they weren't to me.
So in conclusion the first third of the book is what I expected, although it does leave you hanging, and doesn't return to finish it off. While the rest of the book is interesting, but not well written or contextualised. I think 2 stars would be a bit harsh, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you had already read Lost World and REALLY wanted a bit more. I'm sure there are better books on Bushman anthropology if that is what you are after.
on 1 July 2013
The book arrived on cue, well packaged. I have to admit I have not as yet read it! This morning I finished The Lost World Of The Kalahari which I believe precedes this book. I have about 55 books to read before I get to this one. However I can say that Laurens Van Der Posts books are a terrific read, his deep interest for these amazing Bushman and his attempts to help save them from extinction comes though very clearly.