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Bill Bryson's African Diary by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson's African Diary (2002)

by Bill Bryson

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
This very short book is just what it says on the tin: A day-by-day accounting of Bryson's trip to Kenya as part of a CARE International site visit. The book, which was sold to raise money for CARE, suffers a bit from a lack of the usual madcap Bryson humor. Only his account of a hair-raising flight on a small propeller jet in bad weather got an out-loud chuckle from me. I can understand why, when he's trying to educate people about the need for donations to a worthy non-governmental institution, he would tone down the yuks, but pedantic Bryson is not my favorite Bryson. I enjoyed learning more about Kenya and its people, as well as what CARE does, so this was far from a total loss. And now I'm off to send a donation to CARE, since I checked this out from the library and thus did not pay my "fair share". ( )
  rosalita | Mar 14, 2018 |
Erm, short, is what I thought, to be completely frank about it. When I got to the end (page 40 of 75 in the ebook) I wondered what on earth could be in the rest of the book. A whole chapter from 'At Home' and some promotional blurb for the charity that sent him to Africa in the first place.

So, overall, a strange publication. I enjoyed what there was, and applaud its charitable aims. But why bother adding the 35 pages of 'At Home'? They were interesting, but, in my view, detracted from the point of the African excursion. Now I'm thinking about architecture, not the good work of CARE in Africa. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
This is not really a book. It is Bill Bryson's Diary about his 8 day trip to Kenya with CARE international. It's just 55 pages long. I got it from the library due to being interested in charity work. I found it odd that it was in the library in the first place as it is not for profit and all the proceeds go to CARE...surely having a copy in the library defeats this purpose?....anyway...

Content wise, it was okay but limited. The descriptions of the slums and various people Bryson met were interesting but there was not enough proper detail due to the limited writings. He also describes other experiences at length; e.g taking a trip on a light aircraft. I found his descriptions of these experiences over dramatised...frequently referring to the likelihood of death etc.....

There was the odd swearword but for a non-Christian book it wasn't too bad. I found myself wondering what the purpose really was in writing this book. It reminded me again of the tragedy of offering help without hope. The author wonders what else can be done for these people, many of whom are refugees and he comments that they have no hope for the future. He doesn't realise the significance of his observations, but reading that as a Christian, his words jumped off the page....There can be no future hope without the saving message of Jesus and freedom from sin!


( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
Sat and read this book in about half an hour found it very informative and interesting even though it was written some years ago. Quite humourous in places too.

Overall a good read. My partner enjoyed it too. ( )
  Nataliec7 | May 15, 2016 |
As usual Bryson is in his element in this short but sweetly rendered piece on his 8 day trip to Kenya on behalf of CARE.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
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In the late 1940s and early 1950s after he became a little too saggy to fit into a Tarzan loincloth without depressing popcorn sales among cinema audiences, the great Johnny Weissmuller filled the twilight years of his acting career with a series of low-budget adventure movies with titles like Devil Goddess and Jungle Moon Men, all built around a character called Jungle Jim.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767915062, Hardcover)

“Here is a man who suffers so his readers can laugh.” — Daily Telegraph

Bill Bryson travels to Kenya in support of CARE International. All royalties and profits go to CARE International.

Bryson visits Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to eradicating poverty. Kenya is a land of contrasts, with famous game reserves and a vibrant culture. It also provides plenty to worry a traveller like Bill Bryson, fixated as he is on the dangers posed by snakes, insects and large predators. It is also a country with many serious problems: refugees, AIDS, drought, and grinding poverty. The resultant diary, though short in length, contains the trademark Bryson stamp of wry observation and curious insight.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Bill Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. Kenya, generally regarded as the cradle of mankind, is a land of contrasts, with famous game reserves, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant cultural tradition. It also provides plenty to worry a traveller like Bill Bryson, fixated as he is on the dangers posed by snakes, insects and large predators. But on a more sober note, it is a country that shares many serious human and environmental problems with the rest of Africa: refugees, AIDS, drought and grinding poverty.Travelling around the country, Bryson casts his inimitable eye on a continent new to him, and the resultant diary, though short in length, contains the trademark Bryson stamp of wry observation and curious insight.… (more)

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