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Out Of Africa by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)
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Out Of Africa (original 1937; edition 1986)

by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)

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3,549631,491 (3.97)278
Member:sageboy
Title:Out Of Africa
Authors:Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)
Info:Guild Publishing (1986), Leather Bound, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Autobiography

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Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (1937)

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» See also 278 mentions

English (53)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  English (63)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
I am not quite certain how to rate or review this memoir, since I had such high hopes that I would be drawn to [a:Isak Dinesen's|7215049|Isak Dinesen|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1432804794p2/7215049.jpg] (Karen Blixen's) personal stories. Instead, I found myself struggling through much of the book but continued on reading it for an upcoming book discussion.

With the exception of a few chapters, much of the book read like a diary or written caricatures of individuals who either worked on or visited Blixen's Ngong farm. The two chapters primarily discussing Denys Finch-Hatton, were among the most interesting and well written. Somehow those chapters seemed to have a flow and purpose to them that some of the others lacked, but that is just my personal assessment. The first chapter also contained some lovely descriptions of the African landscape and coffee plantation. For example: The geographical position, and the height of the land combined to create a landscape that had not its like in all the world. There was no fat on it and no luxuriance anywhere; it was Africa distilled up through six thousand feet, like the strong and refined essence of a continent. The colours were dry and burnt, like the colours in pottery. Those types of poetry-like descriptions almost made the book worth reading in its entirety. As the chapters progressed though, I felt that type of prose became less and less frequent.

Putting aside the fact this book was written from the point of view of a wealthy and privileged white settler living in Kenya, seemingly the stories would have been far more readable had they been edited or rewritten with some common sequential thread or purpose in mind. Although I realize there are many 4 and 5 star rating on Goodreads, I am choosing to give [b:Out of Africa|781787|Out of Africa|Isak Dinesen|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1178296503s/781787.jpg|1189079] 2.5 stars. ( )
  Lisa805 | Jul 23, 2016 |
Meh. This is a perfect example of a book that just wasn't what I wanted it to be. I knew that the book did not get personal as the movie does and that Denison's interesting love life was not part of this book, but I didn't expect that all of the author's personality would be stripped from this "memoir". Instead, this is Denison's musings on Africa. As such, I suppose it is interesting as a capsule of European views of Africa at the time, but I didn't like the tone that the Africans were described in (very belittling) or all the hunting and killing of the wildlife so that the Europeans could have their farms and livestock. It just put a bad taste in my mouth.

I will admit that some of the writing is beautiful and it is interesting from a historical perspective, but, overall, I was just bored and sort of annoyed. I would have just set this aside after the first chapter but I wanted to complete it since it's on the 1001 books to read before you die list. ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 14, 2016 |
Wonderful storytelling, and she writes beautifully. Quite different from the movie, and the romance with Denys Finch Hatton is nowhere in sight. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Apr 11, 2016 |
So good. She had incredible style, can't wait to read another. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
What glorious writing. I first read this about 10 years ago, and re-read it for my book club. If you're expecting the movie you'll be greatly disappointed - Dennys Finch Hatton is barely mentioned. No, the great love of her life was Africa itself. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dinesen, Isakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anttila, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Draesner, UlrikeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drudi Demby, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, ElspethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kielty, BernardineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundkvist, ArturTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlet, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Equitare, Arcum tendere, Veritatem dicere
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I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
Quotations
A white man who wanted to say a pretty thing to you would write: "I can never forget you." The African says: "We do not think of you, that you can ever forget us."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679600213, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183330, 0241951437, 0143566369

 

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