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I Married Adventure: The Lives of Martin and Osa Johnson (Kodansha Globe) Paperback


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I Married Adventure: The Lives of Martin and Osa Johnson (Kodansha Globe) + Camera Trails in Africa: A Photographer's Safari in British East Africa + Osa and Martin: For the Love of Adventure
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Product Details

  • Series: Kodansha Globe
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; First Edition edition (August 14, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568361289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568361284
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Osa Johnson's travel adventures and explorations come across as vibrantly today as they did when they were written in 1940. They're richer now with the added perspective of history, and the added wealth of Martin Johnson's photographs of charging elephants, reposing lions, and head hunters roasting heads, marshmallow-like, over a campfire. The life the Johnsons led was nothing like the life Osa expected. From 1917 to 1937 she and Martin were visiting and filming cannibals in the New Hebrides, orangutans in Borneo, and the rich gamut of wildlife available on safari in Kenya and the Congo. Osa led a life the likes of which won't be seen again, and she tells a good story, too.

Review


"books of adventure are so numerous....[But] this one is unique. It has the human quality of a novel and the permanence of social history." -Katherine Woods, The New York Times


"Tells the whole story unaffectedly and with a simple charm that is highly engaging. It belongs on any list of Americana, for the Johnsons were as American as Davy Crockett." -Joseph Wood Krutch, The Nation


"A pleasant, forthright...exciting book." -Clifton Fadiman, The New Yorker


"It makes good reading...at this dark hour, as good an 'escape story' as you are apt to run into for some time." -Atlantic Monthly


"I MARRIED ADVENTURE is a fine book on many counts...A good travel book, a good adventure book, a good book about animals, a good book on photography, and , best of all...a good human story about two extremely likable people, told by one of them with simplicity, humor, [and] warmth." -Rose Feld, Books


"It isn't just the animal-lover who will cherish this story. Anyone who likes a thrilling tale (a true one, too) with a plucky, nervy, cheerful, and charming hero and heroine is all set. I MARRIED ADVENTURE is as rare and real as the people who made it possible."-Olga Owens, Boston Transcript


"The reader is impressed with the tremendous industriousness of these two people, their physical endurance, their patience, their understanding of animals and natives, and their love for each other....[The] old and young will enjoy this book. It is splendidly illustrated." -M.N. Baker, Library Journal


"Every page of her book is readable and exciting: the photographs are plentiful and have all the dramatic quality that we are used to in the camera work of the author and her husband." -Manchester Guardian



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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A must read if you like adventure and travel!
M. Mbugua
A friend gave me this book almost 30 years ago, and I find that I read it every year or so.... it's inspirational and life-affirming.
Avid Reader
I would recommend this book to those who like stories of real people having very interesting adventures.
Jerjer514

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Broderick VINE VOICE on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martin and Osa lived exceptional lives, of a sort that can't really be lived today. The strength of the book is that it is Osa's first-person narrative. This is someone who was really there. And the Johnsons do some amazing things together. The book keeps moving at a fast pace, the adventures keep coming, and I didn't want it to end.
The book is a window into a very different era. The Johnsons were products of their time, and some of their viewpoints will bother a few readers. They were not bigots, and in fact appear to me to be rather enlightened for the time, but some of her descriptions of native peoples seem slightly condescending. I may be reading something that isn't there. Some of their practices while exploring and photographing new places would now be totally unacceptable--Stirring up inoffensive animals to get some action for the cameras, or casually introducing an alien plant (watercress) into Africa. Again, these are products of the views of that day, rather than something to condemn.
The book does have some weaknesses: The biggest one is that this is (effectively) "The Authorized Biography". Many problems and difficulties are glossed over. I read in the modern Introduction that Martin continually struggled with health problems during his adventures, but there is no hint of that in the text. Because the book covers so much ground, in many cases the description of their adventures is scanty, and I wanted more detail. And I suspect there's more to the story in some cases. So I am going to find some other books on the Johnsons and try to learn more about them.
Perhaps that's the strongest thing to say about the book--That it left me wanting to know more, and inspired to find it out! I'm also going to visit the museum in Kansas dedicated to their work.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Christian on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read my girlfriend's mother's copy in 1943 when I was ten years old. All my life I wanted a copy of that book. I discovered Amazon and received my much beloved book. You learn to love Osa and Martin Johnson. What a brave girl Osa was to follow her husband to wild Africa, to be such a great helpmate and joy. I will read and re-read this book because it is like you are on an adventure that continues on and on. You feel like you are right there taking part in their adventures. I am so thankful that this book was republished for generations to come. (The book I read in 1943 was large, hardback and the cover was black and white like Zebra skin.) The book has great photographs. I highly recommend it and rate it 5 stars! Wonderful!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
My grandmother gave me this book 20 years ago and told me it was her very favorite book. I began reading it just to please her, but soon found out that it was ( and is) my favorite book also. I have recommended it so many times, but I only have one very old,worn out copy. I am so pleased to be able to find it at Amazon. This book is magical, and all the more beautiful because it is true. You will never forget this book once read. A note, I have recently found that there is a museum devoted to the Johnsons in Kansas. I can't wait to go......
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I first read "I Married Adventure" when I took this book out of my local library as a student. It fascinated me. I was pleasantly surprised when I found it to still be available.
Martin and Osa Johnson lived what they wrote. There is no pretense in their lives. They were true adventurers. They made a great contribution to the world of adventure. I'm sure they inspired many to further their boundaries.
This is an adventure that will cause you to hold your breath while reading, wondering how they got through.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to live outside their border. It's breathtaking!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By w5bok@txucom.net on December 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the first edition of this book in about 1947 right after I left the service. (WW2) This book covered parts of Africa, and showed pictures so fine and detailed that to this day I can still see them in my minds eye. I still recall, they had a friend in A. Blaney Percival---Game Warden. Their head man around camp was named Boculy These and many other anecdotes are still vivid in my memory after all these years. For fine reading, I couldnt recommend a better book. I eagerly await
my re-print copy w5bok@txucom.net
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stoupa on January 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm thrilled to see this book still (again?)in print. It was on my parent's limited and eclectic bookshelf back in the '40s and fueled my lifelong love of adventure and travel writing. When Osa and Martin Johnson went to Africa there were no tented safari camps, complete with martinis at the end of the day's animal sightings. This was true adventure. The book's original cover was faux zebra skin and I rescued it from my mom's throwaway pile with she was breaking up their household. Still have it and always will.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read this book twice, once at age ten and again this year. It holds the attention like a riveting novel. The adventure(s) it describes seem like fiction, yet they are the stuff that kids dreams are made of. The difference is that these two people really lived them...couldn't put it down!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
A friend gave me this book almost 30 years ago, and I find that I read it every year or so.... it's inspirational and life-affirming. Every time I read it, I find myself wondering if it could really be true. It is a lovey, readable tale of two young mid-western Americans who find each other, and head out to explore the world. The love story is just as compelling as the adventure story. I find that I reach for this book at times in my life when I need to find an escape into a larger world... one full of faith and hope and openess to what's around the next corner....
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