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Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure by…
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Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure

by Stuart Stevens

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A very interesting travelogue that starts in CAR and ends in Algeria. A trip that could not be repeated today. It was a fun book. ( )
  zmagic69 | Jan 15, 2014 |
This was a pretty typical travel/adventure book focusing on corruption in Africa.

I did not find it especially memorable, but it did hold my attention enough to finish it. ( )
  bookwoman247 | Dec 29, 2012 |
I'm not sure if Dervla Murphy's endorsement of this book (on the front cover no less - usually a sign of a desperate editor) as 'hilarious' isn't a little 'off the mark'. Dark, Kafkaesque, self deprecating in an engaging way, and perhaps even humorous come to mind, but hilarious suggests a certain shallowness which wouldn't give the reader a fair impression. For whatever reason Stevens finds himself in Central Africa he soon seems to have plenty to get out of there, but for reasons he doesn't share with the reader he decides to drive to the Mediterranean across the Sahara. With perhaps the calculated intent of writing about it afterwards - which would make him a commercially driven travel-writer rather than a whimsical traveler who writes occasionally. Nevertheless, the experiences are genuine, and get behind the various facades and prejudices to sample the real experience of Africa - at least the white man's experience of it. Steven's descriptions of everyday corruption, do-goodery and the everyday scrabble for existence in Africa have an air of authenticity about them, nicely balanced by his observations about his own naivety, cynicism and incompetence. All in all this is a worthwhile book, a real story of Africa that didn't really have to be packaged as a comedy to succeed. For those with a long reach, this would make an excellent companion to Peter Pinney's two books about traveling through Africa in the 1950's ('Who Walks Alone' and 'Anywhere but Here'). Recommended. ( )
  nandadevi | Oct 22, 2012 |
Hilarious, and the work that gave me a side interest in travelogues. Whenever I see one at a bookstore, I pick it up in hopes of replicating the magic of Malaria Dreams, and thus far I have not been successful. This book is at the apex of the genre. ( )
  schraubd | Mar 31, 2011 |
You meet a friend you don't know so well in a bar. This friend tells you he has a Land Rover stuck in the Central African Republic, and wonders if you feel like going there and drive it back to Europe. Sure you say, and manage to get another friend along for the adventure. You go to CAR (Central African Republic) and the car is nowhere to be seen. Three months later you manage to get to Europe, despite a million mechanical problems, African bureaucracy (which seems to be even worse than Central Asian bureaucracy), fun and unfun adventures, some malaria and dysentery, and not in the Land Rover. And this is what happened.

This book, Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure by Stuart Stevens is a true story, and sort of like a diary of the way Africa works. Things take time. Creativity is a must. Italians are the best mechanics. Don't trust the guides to take you to their home villages. Insurance, what insurance? Sleeping on the roof of a 4-wheel jeep under the stars - this is really Africa.

It is a great read, even if slow sometimes in the beginning, but this is a diary and there were many days of just waiting for something to happen. The author, Stuart Stevens, have a great way with words and was one of the writers for our favorite TV series Northern Exposure. I want to read more by him! I am so amazed at their persistence to actually do this trip, despite all the problems along the way. Including a car that you can't turn off and that can only run in one gear, through Sahara.

Read more: http://pondpond.blogspot.com/2010/06/book-review-malaria-dreams-by-stuart.html#i...
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution ( )
  klockrike | Jun 27, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 087113361X, Paperback)

Malaria Dreams is a tale of high adventure across Africa, recounted with the wit and humor that delighted readers of Night Train to Turkistan, Stuart Stevens' highly praised first book. "A rollicking, off-beat African odyssey".--Publishers Weekly.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:05 -0400)

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