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Van Der Post, Laurens Venture to the Interior Ref CO Hardcover – December, 1952


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Hogarth Press Ltd (December 1952)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701202459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701202453
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,919,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ein Kunde on May 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Just after World War II, Van der Post was sent by the British government to explore and report on two little known and little inhabited regions of British Nyasaland (later Malawi). These two areas are highlands and mountainous, rather atypical of Africa. With the help of colonial officers and numerous African guides and porters he completed the assignment, filed his report and later wrote this short book.
"Venture to the Interior" is a thoughful, philosophical, and introspective account of the expedition. Van der Post very much writes in the style of travel writers like Bruce Chatwin and Paul Theroux; the reader sees as much of a mental landscape (Van der Post's) as a geographical one. He describes the journey, both the physical and the mental, in prose that is honest and clear. His thoughts on Africa are usually interesting and often profound.
The people he encounters and writes about are mostly Europeans: the district officer, the businessman, the settler-farmer. It would have been nice had he written more about the African population. Still, overall, this is a book well worth reading for those interested in Africa, exploration, travel writing.
Most of Van der Post's other books are also well written and well worth reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Allen VINE VOICE on April 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of van der Post's earliest books written in 1952 about his post WWII journey by "aeroplane" across Africa and to Nayasaland (Malawi)to survey the highlands of Mt. Mlanje and the Nyika Plateau for the colonial British govenment.

Anyone that has read Laurens van der Post knows that he is a master of description both of the land and the people he encounters. I had wanted to read this book for years. It was very highly recommended to me by a fellow Peace Corps volunteer while I was in Botswana in southern Africa. After many years I found this on Amazon and finally read it and had a very difficult time putting it down to attend to the other demands of life. It is a very good, engaging book.

As you read this you will have to look beyond the colonial perspective that van der Post had regarding the British and the Malawian "natives" and see the riches of the country and it's people of that period. van der Post reflects often on the people and his recent return from his ordeal as a prisoner of war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Allen VINE VOICE on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is one of van der Post's earliest books written in 1952 about his post WWII journey by "aeroplane" across Africa and to Nayasaland (Malawi)to survey the highlands of Mt. Mlanje and the Nyika Plateau for the colonial British govenment.

Anyone that has read Laurens van der Post knows that he is a master of description both of the land and the people he encounters. I had wanted to read this book for years. It was very highly recommended to me by a fellow Peace Corps volunteer while I was in Botswana in southern Africa. After many years I found this on Amazon and finally read it and had a very difficult time putting it down to attend to the other demands of life. It is a very good, engaging book.

As you read this you will have to look beyond the colonial perspective that van der Post had regarding the British and the Malawian "natives" and see the riches of the country and it's people of that period. van der Post reflects often on the people and his recent return from his ordeal as a prisoner of war.
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Format: Paperback
Thanks to the Vine Program I recently read Paul Theroux's latest work, The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari. My review is posted; one of my criticisms was the seemingly petty way that he attacked a number of other writers, including this work's author. Theroux called van der Post a "mythomaniac," a "fantasist" and "fake mystic." Theroux specifically mentioned this work, which I had first read some 40 years ago, and I was impressed with it then. Gulp! Had I been taken in again, thinking about Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time (Young Reader's Edition) by Greg Mortenson , and Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Steve Ambrose, both of which I enjoyed when I first read them, and then was sadly disappointed to find out the authors fabricated portions of their works? I checked Wikipedia, and there seems to be some substance to Theroux's charge; there is even a book that chronicles his deceits: (Storyteller: The Lives of Laurens van der Post).

So, I decided to re-read the book, in part to determine if I had not been critical enough the first time, as I had not in the books cited above. For me it remains a fascinating time, and a journey I much envy. Britain had emerged on the victorious side in World War II, but was still recovering. The political leadership realized that the colonial era was drawing to a close.
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