Again, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. Don't hesitate, just get it. I have become so enamored of Beryl Markham since I started this book (I'm a little over halfway thru) that I also bought the biography written about her.
Ms. Markham was up for a Pulitzer Prize for this, but lost to Ernest Hemingway - who was quoted as saying that the prize should have gone to her because she wrote circles around him. The reason she didn't get it was because she was married to a screenwriter at the time, and there was speculation that he either authored it or co-wrote it.
I wish she had won it. The prose is absolutely stunning. This not the typical autobiography. She basically tells stories from her life...each fascinating story starts out casual and easy, then it grabs you by the seat of your pants and you'll find yourself on edge to find out what happens next.
Thanks to her, I feel that I've been to Africa and know a part of it that no one else does - she makes it so real. I wish I could have met her!
"All things TOEFL"
The book is a wonderful story of culture and courage. I've rated many books here, but I must comment on a narrator for the first time. Julie Harris' reading brought the story to life..It brought me to tears and breathlessness during the horse race that I will not forget.
An amazing life told with great flair and read beautifully. I'm so glad this was introduced by my book club.
I confess when I bought this book I had no idea it was a memoir. I only noticed half-way through that there was definitely no plot, just a series of incredible and beautifully written stories about one woman's marvelous life. A life so interesting, I might add that I began to question again whether this was memoir or fiction. Surely, I thought, no real person ever led a life this fascinating and lived to tell about it! Ms. Markham was a female Hemingway--in life and on the page! There is apparently some controversy as to whether she actually wrote the prose herself, but you shouldn't let that deter you from enjoying it. Whoever wrote this meant to move, uplift, and entertain the reader, and she (or he) succeeded in spades!
Plus, Julie Harris' narration is flawless!! I cannot vouch for the authenticity of her African pronunciations, but they certainly sounded believable, and her voices for other characters made me feel like I was watching an old movie, warm and genuine. Her particular accent and slightly masculine tone is ideally suited to for the first-person narration of Ms. Markham's truly extraordinary life.
Gal lives ferociously.
I love Beryl Markham and love what she represents to so many people. This book offers a wonderful, but not deep look into the life she led.
I love listening to this kind of story. The author is excellent at discribing the landscape, charactors and animals of Africa.
This is a story about Beryl Markham, the author.
Excellent Narrator - one of my favorite voices on Audible.
No - best if absorbed in small chunks.
Very enjoyable story. If you are a PETA person, you won't appreciate the fact that the author was a pilot for Elephant hunters when it was legal in Africa. The story jumps around a bit, so you don't get a feel for the author's age and I lost track of dates, so a bit hard to follow.
For as cool a character as Markham was this book is laced with supressed emotion, longing, grief, love and wonder. The narrator Julie Harris does a truly stunning job of giving life to the words. I can argue a bit with the technical presentation, it's a bit shaky, there's audio feedback coming through from somewhere, there's the sound of pages turning. Harris herself mispronounces numerous Kenyan place names. This is quibbling however. I loved the book and I loved the narration. At points while I was on my daily commute in the NY subway system I had to stop , take a few moments, let the story take over. This is transporting work and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
No. The pacing in the narrative is very uneven. Specific anecdotes are great, but they are interspersed with a lot of rambling about the wonder of Africa, which did not appeal to me. Others might find this quite satisfactory.
Perhaps. Not all my friends would appreciate the introspective rambling, but some would.
Though the narrator read with much enthusiasm, overall I did not like it. She reads many passages in a rush when the subject wasn't fast-paced. There are unnatural pauses, as if the reader gets to the end of a line or the page. The recording environment is poor - you can hear the reader licking her lips, clearing her throat, and turning pages.
Yes, since a movie would take out the slow bits and make the most of the interesting anecdotes.
I read the physical book a few years back and decided to listen after actually experiencing 'Africa'. The book was well written but the narrative grated on my ears. There were so many mispronunciations that, for me, it interfered with the enjoyment of the listen. How difficult would it have been to have attained a Brit to do the written work justice? Julie Christie did "Out of Africa" and that was brilliant.
I have read some parts of this book years ago. It was totally refreshed by Julie Harris' great reading of the work. Harris' voice captures the nuances and drama and style of the work, and the prose is refreshing. Had Beryl Markham lived today, she would be a great addition to the world with her ability to see events and people from another level entirely and her talent with words. She is certainly on my dinner list of people I'd like to meet.