6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Out of Africa (Penguin Modern Classics) (Kindle Edition)
I knew very little about Out of Africa, aside from being vaguely aware of the Meryl Streep/Robert Redford film of the eighties. I'd blindly picked the book from a list of 100 compiled by a website that I was browsing when I was looking for inspiration for my next areas. With the film in mind, I feared that it may turn out to be a love story, and it was of sorts.
The story is essentially a recollection of a life spent on an African farm. There is fantastic detail of landscape, tribal rituals and history. There is an intelligent account of the clash of western sand African culture, both on the farm and, later, the wider context of a world war.
The personal accounts of friendship, adventure, discovery and struggle are mesmiringly expressed. The writing has a tone of diary that brings real emotion to tales of warmth, struggle or tragedy. However, there is simply not enough of it.
The book read as if it were a series of memories recalled and then placed in chronological order to form a large chunk of the early narrative. This is reinforced the fact that the latter part of the book contains shorter stories, perhaps nuggets that couldn't properly be woven into the fabric of the wider story.
A good read for anyone looking for something between diary and travelogue or ideal for readers looking to rekindle memories of an African trip or perhaps childhood. For me, the book didn't hang together well enough: a pleasant read rather than a great one.
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Initial post: 22 Dec 2013 11:13:20 GMT
For me, the book didn't hang together at all. I'm surprised at it's good reviews. Although it's full of interesting anecdotes, it's so badly put together, with endlessly long sentences and appalling grammar, that it's difficult to read. I found the author to be a very cold character who left pertinent facts out of the book.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2014 20:36:51 GMT
J. Forbes says:
What a bizarre response to a wonderful book. It is of course taken from Dinesen's diary, so it's bound to be episodic, but it's beautifully written. Appalling grammar? Perhaps you read a translation of a translation.
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