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Out of Africa (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books) Hardcover – September 5, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 555 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

From 1914 to 1931, Danish aristocrat Baroness Karen Blixen owned and operated a coffee plantation in Kenya. After the plantation failed, she returned to Europe and began to write under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Out of Africa reads like a collection of stories in which she adheres to no strict chronology, gives no explanation of the facts of her life, and apologizes for nothing. First published in 1937, Out of Africa is not free of the colonial or racist attitudes of its time; yet, within that context, Isak Dinesen is an enlightened observer and participant as she describes the experience of British East Africa before World War II. She portrays in rich detail the vast land around her, alive with strange and wonderful human populations; the thrilling terror of a nocturnal lion hunt; a shooting accident among the Africans on her farm and its repercussions; raising and freeing an orphaned antelope fawn; getting to know the Africans and the colonial adventurers who found their way into her life. "If I know a song of Africa," she writes, "of the Giraffe, and the African new moon lying on her back, of the ploughs in the fields, and the sweaty faces of the coffee-pickers, does Africa know a song of me?" Out of Africa is that song. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Lynne Auld

From the Inside Flap

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today.

This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Hardcover : 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780679600213
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0679600213
  • Dimensions : 4.8 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • ASIN : 0679600213
  • Publisher : Modern Library (September 5, 1992)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
555 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Ishora
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary jewel set in colonial East Africa
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2015
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16 people found this helpful
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sally
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of Africa watched the film now read the book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2016
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5 people found this helpful
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Shish62
4.0 out of 5 stars A flavour of Africa
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2018
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One person found this helpful
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Amazon Woman
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the film, the book is a bit different
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2014
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3 people found this helpful
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fiddlestx
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2014
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8 people found this helpful
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