Beryl Markham is a wonderful storyteller. With her all of her descriptions I can see in my my the both the beautiful and the sparse areas of Africa. I can feel her challenges and trials, and feel my heart quicken and smile come to my lips as she shares her dreams and achievements and conquests. She rose above so many, literally and figuratively, in the epitome of a man's world, whether training race horses at the tender age of 18, or flying across continents and being detailed by the Italian Army. Her story is fantastic and understated in her modest way. This is a woman I would love to have tea with.
As narrator Julie Harris delivers such a dramatic performance that I thought it could only have been read by Beryl herself. Thank you to both for a wonderful few hours of joy and pleasure!
Hemingway stated Markham could write circles around him. With due respect for him, he was right. A delicious read all the way through.
I have loved this book and read it many times over the years. I enjoyed listening to it and it brought a new depth to the stories. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to hear from one of the most interesting women of the 20 th century
I am a lover of history and the fantastic tales of human achievement (or folly). Sometimes, a grand author captures my imagination.
As my upcoming trip to Kenya looms, I have been searching for those people who lived and thrived in Kenya in the early part of the 20th century. There are many historical figures including that of Karen Blixen, Finch Hatton and Lord Delamere. As I started to read about the various individuals, a certain name caught my eye. She was a beautiful and tall woman who was an avid aviator and a different sort of adventurer. She ofcourse was Beryl Markham.
This is a fascinating book that she penned in the early 40s after her departure from Kenya with Bror Blixen, ex-husband of Karen Blixen. Note that in those early days of flying, aircraft were rather flimsy machines and had rudimentary instruments. Many had no radios. What is amazing is that she flew from Kenya to Europe and back numerous times and on occasion solo. Her life in these wild and charming days are beautifully laid out in these riveting chapters. I was awed by her recollection of the times and the words she chose to summarize them within the book.
Eventually she returned to Africa and died in the 1980s. Her fame however will live on and as a next step, I would love to read her autobiography, ‘Straight on till Morning’, by Mary S Lovell.
It is hard to write a review when I feel speechless from having listened to west with the night. The only descriptive english writing I have ever read which compares with this story was some of the scene setting in Steinbeck's East of Eden. By comparison west with the night is more grand, global and majestic. As a pilot, I was completely taken with the story. Yes, Saint-Exupery has written with a similar grandeur that lifts the reader above the earth, but Markham exceeds Saint-Exupery in every way. What a shame this book had to end. Chris
Avid Audible Subscriber...
Not the typical book I listen to but it is very well done and I was captivated by it. I found this in an Audible sale and it was not a disappointment. I really enjoyed it!
This is a great story. The author has such wonderful word craft. I came away from this book trying to see the world like Beryl would see it, and live it as fully.
Yes, without question. Julie Harris WAS Beryl Markham. You could hear her love of the story as if it were her own.
Beryl herself. A remarkable childhood turned her into a remarkable woman.
The honesty of it. Her voice rose and fell like the tides, putting every emotion of the writer into each page. I will look for more books narrated by Julie Harris.
The horse race between Rack and Wise Child. It would not have been nearly as exciting without Julie Harris' interpretation. (I have not yet completed the book...there may be more.)
I wish Beryl Markham had written more. I do not want the story to end. I wish I had not waited so long to listen to the book. It is absolutely incredible - my very favorite of all my books.