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Out of Africa (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books) Hardcover – September 5, 1992
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The stories are interesting to be sure. They relate to the plantation or the people and events that one way or another impacted her life there. But it is Blixen's writing that I found so sublime. I have never read anything like it. The way Blixen turns a phrase is both lyrical and enchanting all at once - you become literally swept up in the words and imagery. It is obvious that Blixen loved Africa - something about the continent got under her skin. In a similar fashion her words have gotten under mine. I have read Out of Africa several times; each time I marvel at the beautiful language she uses. Read this book and I am sure you will feel the same way.
Instead, "Out of Africa" is a storytelling book woven in the imaginative Danish style. Dinesen's finely tuned sensitivity is revealed here, as well as her (again typically Danish) well-developed gift for friendship with many kinds of people. In her case this gift extends to African animals as well, like Lulu, the beautiful gazelle who graced her plantation for years.
Her descriptions of the Kenya of her day are exquisitely written, factual and magical at the same time. Africa is the star of the book, not Dinesen herself, not the tribespeople or the colonials, not her struggles with raising coffee in land "a little too high", nor her political dealings with the government officials. Her writing evokes the Africa she knew well and loved deeply.
I saw Out of Africa as a child, and read the book in college, which inspired me to go to Kenya when I graduated. I visited the land that Karen Blixen donated upon her departure from Kenya, which was turned into a town named "Karen", and her home and everything in it have been preserved, down to the lantern she would leave on for Finch-Hatton. Still today the town's people speak of Karen Blixen in great admiration, perhaps giving back what she unconditionally gave to them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who knows how to read!
The book gives a wonderfull picture of Blixens relationship with the natives and have that ancient athmosphere that appears in all colonial litterature.
Read the book it gives a picture of a vere strong woman who knew what she wanted but again and again had to compromise according to her life and the oppotunities it gave her.
The book is one of my favourits because it has got everything. Love, death, hope, history, feminism, nature, africa.
-Much of the beginning of the book is a sort of 'how Europeans are different than Africans.' I understand that her second class treatment of the natives was an accepted attitude of the time, but it seems that her observations about race take up a goodly chunk of her book.
-Another thing that irked me was that she quotes many secondary sources in the book, and many of them she doesn't translate into English. I unfortunately don't speak either French or German, and so I wasn't able to interpret much of the poetry and references she included.
Aside from those two things, the book is still an interesting, albeit occasionally slow, read. It was hard to really connect with her at the beginning, because she seems to view herself as some kind of high and mighty princess, and I just wasn't that insterested in her point of view. However, I think as the book progresses she opens up more about her own life, and you really start to understand how much she truly loves Africa, her workers, and the farm that she poured her heart into. She tells about the people she befriends and their adventures and quirks. She also does an amazing job describing the African scenery. I'd reccommend it, but keep in mind that it starts off slow.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it was a good book, watched the movie and wanted to compare it to the bookPublished 1 month ago by motherof6
Out of Africa is usually called a memoir, but anyone knowledgeable about Karen Blixen’s actual biography will appreciate that this book of remarkably wayward and discursive prose... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anson Cassel Mills
Love the movie. The book is entertaining, but written very different from the movie. Still happy that I added it to my library.Published 3 months ago by Jamie O'Donnell
Very good book about her time in Africa. Very poetic but also very sad. Every time she killed a lion, I cringed thinking about how they are endangered now. Read morePublished 4 months ago by crisray
I was taken to Africa & could see the animals, the clouds. I could feel her love for the beautiful country & it's people & for the men in her life. So much passion in her writing.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer