Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown Paperback – April 5, 2004
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Theroux travels with Africans in conditions which are unspeakable for those of us accustomed to jet travel, high speed trains and air-conditioned vehicles. He meets with many of Africa's literary icons, numerous dignitaries, and contacts from time spent in Africa 40 years previously. He is also not afraid to use his renown to gain access and audience where the rest of us would have no chance. Combine these factors with his considerable literary skill, and the result is an unrivalled publication.
His descriptions (notably the sunset on the East African plains) are breathtaking without being long-winded. He is able to contrast this with descriptions of squalor, hardship, the disintegrated infrastructure of the towns, and the transport used to travel between them . The various colleagues and friends he visits along the way, including the vice-president of Uganda, represent Africa's intellectual and political elite. Mostly, these people are enlightened, pro-active and deeply aware of the problems facing their countries. It is encouraging to read their discourse, as it is so easy to dismiss Africa as the stereotype of disenfranchised paupers governed by despotic tyrants.
His time spent in Africa during the 1960's was a time of liberation.Read more ›
Traveling alone by cattle truck, "chicken bus," bush train, matatu, rental car, ferry, and even dugout canoe, he tries to blend in as much as possible, buying clothing at secondhand stalls in public markets, carrying only one small bag, and avoiding the tourist destinations. He is an observant and insightful writer, and his descriptions of his travails are so vivid the reader can experience them vicariously. His interviews with residents are perceptive and very revealing of the political and social climate of these places, and his character sketches of Sister Alexandra from Ethiopia (a nun who "has loved") and of two charming Ethiopian traders, a father and son, who take Theroux to the Kenyan border, are delightful.
For most of the countries of Africa, however, he has no kind words. Kenya is "one of the most corrupt...countries in Africa," everything in Kampala, Uganda, has changed for the worse, and in Tanzania "there was only decline--simple linear decrepitude, and in some villages collapse." At the U.S. embassy in Malawi, he finds an "overpaid, officious, disingenuous, blame-shifting...embassy hack" and, in pique, he wonders, "Had she, like me, been abused, terrified, stranded, harassed, cheated, bitten, flooded, insulted, exhausted, robbed, browbeaten, poisoned?Read more ›
Paul Theroux was in the Peace Corps in Africa in the early 1960s until he was ejected from the Corps for giving a member of an opposition political party a ride to neighboring Uganda. That same friend--who later became Malawi's ambassador to the United Nations--got Theroux a job at the college where he had become headmaster. Theroux stayed there as a professor until leaving Africa in the late '60's.
Having left so much of Africa hopefully poised for independence and rebirth, he returns to travel through one ravaged kleptocracy after the next; countries where the most common greeting to foreigners has become "give me money." And why shouldn't they expect another handout? Aid programs abound, pouring billions of dollars, or francs, or marks into countries where the people seem unable to lift a finger to help themselves. Everything, everywhere, is filthy. Foreign doctors work in hospitals for low salaries that African doctors refuse to accept. Theroux is approaching 60 years old on this trip, a milestone that so few Africans reach that many people cannot conceive of the number being connected with age. What happened here?
The saddest chapter in "Dark Star Safari" is when he visits the college where he taught in Malawi.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a great book. Loved the observations of a man traveling alone. I wish, however, I had read it much earlier because I keep asking myself if things got better, worse, or... Read morePublished 16 days ago by McJude
This is one of my favorite books that I have read in years. Theroux writes it as though the reader is a companion on his very varied journey, from truck cabs, to dugouts to first... Read morePublished 27 days ago by James L. Bowditch
what a story teller...impossible to put down and made me want to go back again immediatelyPublished 1 month ago by Tribeca Dweller
An eye-witness account of the author's trans-continental tour of Africa in the early 2000's, Dark Star Safari is gripping, fascinating, discouraging, and extremely... Read more
Well written...straightforward honest appraisal of the situation in African countries Our political leaders should take note of the consequences of creating a society of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
If you love to travel and really get off the beaten path, you'll enjoy this book. And who doesn't love Theroux's prose? A wonderful read.Published 2 months ago by Melanie Wood
on of his best. lots about africa, along with revealing of his state of mind.Published 2 months ago by Ebba K. King
Theroux begins with depression moves to irony and finishes with hope. Dark Star is no exception. First, "why in the world... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed getting to know the author through his writing. The book tends to be a bit repetitious, but gave me a very different perspective on African nations a few years back.Published 2 months ago by Congelina