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No Picnic on Mt. Kenya (Adventure Library) (edition 1998)

by Felice Benuzzi (Author)

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Member:msmullins
Title:No Picnic on Mt. Kenya (Adventure Library)
Authors:Felice Benuzzi (Author)
Info:Adventure Library (1998), Edition: 1st Adventure Library ed, 229 pages
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No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi

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English (6)  Italian (2)  All (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Charming little WWII prison escape story about an Italian in a British POW camp in Kenya. The author escapes for 17 days in order to climb Mt Kenya which he can see from his barracks window tempting him. Like Robinson Crusoe he builds mountaineering gear, ice-axes and crampons, from scraps found around the prison, then escapes with two mates and heads for the hills. The writing is funny with a literary bent, while the story is effective since the idea of escaping from "prison" to climb a mountain would strike a chord with many later readers seeking the freedom of the outdoors. ( )
  Stbalbach | May 25, 2011 |
No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a tale of a bizarre and thrilling adventure, a story that quickly grips the reader with a unique combination of daring and suspense. In 1943, Felice Benuzzi and two Italian compatriots escaped from a British POW camp in equatorial East Africa with only one goal in mind--to climb the dangerous seventeen-thousand-foot Mount Kenya. Their story is one of bravery and mountaineering that is enthralling. The sheer poetry of the story makes it vivid for the reader and that is what one remembers long after putting the book down. But beyond the poetry is the spirit of adventure which transcends the page and inspires the reader. For all who would dream of adventure this is one book that comes close to fulfilling that dream. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 17, 2011 |
Fascinating true story of hope, dreams, and goals under stressful circumstances. An Italian soldier in a WW2 prisoner-of-war camp in Africa plans and executes a daring adventure in great style: he and fellow prisoners sneak out of the prison camp, climb nearby Mt. Kenya, and return. ( )
  listorama | Aug 15, 2008 |
Wonderful story of three Italian prisoners who break out of camp and attempt to climb Mt Kenya. Why this book is not more widely known absolutely beats me. ( )
  sarum | May 25, 2008 |
No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a cross between a travelogue and The Great Escape. Three Italians escape from a British POW camp in East Africa in order to climb Mount Kenya. Their plan is to escape, climb the mountain, and sneak back into camp. Neither the escape nor the climb is as easy as imagined but the strength of human spirit and the boredom and ennui of war camp are brightly displayed.
1 vote sara_k | Sep 23, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0879053410, Paperback)

Ethiopia, 1941. Felice Benuzzi was a junior officer in the Italian Colonial Service, stationed in Addis Ababa, when the British thwarted Mussolini's ambition to build a colonial empire in East Africa. Benuzzi, along with thousands of other Italians, was captured and interned in a POW camp near the foot of Mount Kenya, where he and his countrymen languished indefinitely, waiting out the war and the desperate boredom, passivity, and isolation of prison life. "In order to break the monotony," he writes, "one had only to start taking risks again." But the isolation of the camp precluded the possibility of escape to a neutral country: "I thought, then at least I shall stage a break in this awful travesty of life. I shall try to get out, climb Mount Kenya and return here." So begins No Picnic on Mount Kenya, a first-class adventure story full of courage, humor, and exquisite detail.

Benuzzi and two fellow prisoners spent six months secretly hoarding food; sewing clothing, shoes, and tents; and scavenging for scrap metal to hammer into ice axes and crampons. After escaping, they braved the multiple risks of capture, wild animals (including elephants and rhinoceros), starvation, frigid weather, and some of the most challenging climbing conditions in Africa. The men ascended 16,300 feet to Mount Kenya's Point Lenana, hoisted a homemade flag, and then returned to the misery of the camp. Benuzzi and his comrades never cared that their freedom was fleeting: they climbed Mount Kenya to reaffirm their humanity in the face of a barbaric world war. The gallantry of this gesture sets No Picnic apart from typical mountaineering stories of risk and self reliance. --Svenja Soldovieri

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:18 -0400)

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