After the failure of her coffee farm, Karen Blixen returned to Denmark, where she wrote this classic account of her experiences. Out of Africa is a celebration of her life there and her friendship with the various peoples of the area. Her sympathetic response to the landscape and animals are drawn with warmth and unusual clarity.
©1937,1998 Karen Blixen; (P)1995, 2006 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"One of the finest and most singular artists of our time." (The Atlantic)
"True to her credo of the storyteller's story, her tales are glimpses out of, rather than into, an extraordinary mind." (Eudora Welty)
"A writer with a powerful imagination and a shrewd intelligence." (The New York Times Book Review)
I have listened to this reading of Out Of Africa 3 times.
Julie Christi's reading of it is perfect for the era and style in which Blixen wrote it.
In response to the other review I can only say shocking! I am taking the time to write this review in hopes to undo the damage the other reviewer might have caused in discouraging anyone that may have wanted to listen but chose not to. No it is not a novel with the intent to entertain and provide "climax" it is a account of a woman's life and her experiences written down as she remembered them and as they had meaning to her.
Apparently she felt her life and the people she met were unique, special and worth sharing.
I am so grateful she did and that I was given the opportunity to experience a little piece of Africa! Farah and Kamante are very interesting people and I wish I could have known them myself. The Era and attitudes of the people were real and part of world History to be remembered and learned from.
Bottom Line I thoroughly ENJOYED this work and RECOMMEND it!
In fairness I would have to admit one must have a appreciation for the privileged of learning about the lives of other peoples from other times and places.
If you value that I believe you will enjoy Out Of Africa for what it is.
If you are looking for a story perhaps a novel would suffice.
I always wanted to read this book. The movie had me charmed and knowing much of it was Hollywood, I really wanted to feel the passion Blixen felt for Africa. You will not be disappointed as her writing carries you to the foothills of the Ngong hills and the ever so romantic period of the early 20th century. The adventure for survival in East Africa farming coffee is mesmerizing and her interaction between the mixture of eccentric Europeans and locals simply enthralling. I could not get enough of the story as her strength bleeds into each turn of the page. What a woman, what a story! And you get Julie Christie too.
I think certain books are like time machines, they capture an event in time and can transport you as a spectator back to them and allow you to relive them with the writer. This book is one of those rare pieces of literature that accomplishes this feat, and does it in style and grace and with emotion that makes you feel hope for what we as people can be and rage at what we have been.
This memoir is a collection of events and stories that describe the people, events, and geography of Karen Blixen's time on her farm in Africa, some of the stories are poetic and strive to paint only the visual scene of what is around her. Some stories are about the people who she is surrounded by, the natives and her social life with them, these stories are amazing and I loved them. Her relationship with other Europeans is interesting as well and limited to a few people she was close to, and some eccentric characters and with her frustrations with the "protectorate" British government and their mistreatment of the Natives.
In reading this story, or listening to it as it were, I was not surprised to find that at times some of the stories were of the mundane moments of life and not entirely full of excitement, this is about real life, and most of life does not move at light speed, but even in these moments Mrs Blixen is able to bring us into a life that no longer exists for any people in Africa and it is a sad thing that it does not, her life as it was was a bridge from the traditional life of the Natives into the modern world and she was able to see the life as it was and the transition into what it was to become and it was fascinating.
Read this book, it is a beautiful thing and belongs in the rare atmosphere with Hemingway's "Green Hills of Africa" as a classic work from that time. If you can read the ending in the evening by candlelight in a quiet place immersed in the scene painted and not be moved (my eyes well up now in memory of what I read as if I had lived the event) I would be surprised and a little sorry for you.
If you aspire to be a writer, read this book, or recommend it to anyone you know who loves to read. Ms. Karen Blixen was bless with the art of expression in her words to describe anything, and her life in Africa was full of much to express!
Business Physicist and Astronomer
I thought this would be a girly story about relationships...
I was very wrong. Here's a great slice of history masterfully delivered. Forget what you think the book is about based on that silly movie---this book has real depth.
Yes, Karen has such wonderful descriptive powers and such great, but understated emotions. You feel like you've been there and know her after listening to it.
Karen herself. She clearly showed in her words just how enchanting Africa can be. She was part of Africa, yet had a keen observer's eye for detail.(But struck that perfect balance and didn't bore you with physical descriptions going on and on.)
Julie is an absolutely fabulous performer. Her veiled emotion, her pauses, everything she did made the story that much more touching. And her voice is like liquid gold.
Yes, if I could have!
I've listened to this book several times already. I will keep it and listen to it again. I only wish The Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinessen( Karen Blixen) was also on Audible! I'd buy it!
This book is ever so much better than the movie!!!
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
This is the first book I've read by Karen Blixen or Isak Dinesen. Her descriptions make you feel, see and hear the land and its people. You feel her love and sense of loss and on-going isolation as people she loves die and she loses the farm she wanted to spend the rest of her life on.
I had read that some people had problems around the killing of animals, and some of the brutality - but considering it was around the time that Teddy Roosevelt was going on safari, it was true to the time, and did not bother me. However, if you are sensitive to animal cruelty, the book may be difficult for you.
Book was narrated by Julie Christie. She was quite good, once I turned up the speed a bit as she spoke a bit too slowly for me. Julie Christie at 1.25 was perfect!
Learning to Love Loves Labours Lost
As close to poetry as prose gets. I just wish I could sit by a fireside while listening, as the stories have the quality of the very best fireside tales.
Please fix the audio levels. Ms. Christie's performance is too nuanced to be missed.
I was reading a book by a medical person about grief and the author indicated that Out of Africa was one of her late husband's favorite books, so I put it on my list. I think it helps to have seen the movie if for no other reason you can picture the actress who played the author. This is not a continuous book but a series of stories, some pleasant, some not. You do not have to listen all at one time but can come back to it, which I did.
Well, I thought I would love this one as much as I did West With the Night, but...no. Sure, there are some really beautiful descriptions here and there, and a couple of really compelling stories. But I got really tired of hearing "all natives do/think/act in this way" and also of hearing them compared to animals and white people to God. Yes, I realize it was a different time, but for whatever reason I had a much harder time with the way she talked about the Kikuyu people than I've had with any other book ever written during that time. I just couldn't bring myself to like her. In addition, there seemed to be a lot of the story that was alluded to but not actually talked about, and towards the end there were a bunch of little...anecdotes...that didn't really go anywhere. Still, there were enough great descriptions of the land and of her adventures with friends and of leaving the farm that I can't write it off entirely. I actually did enjoy a large part of it. Just...with reservations.
I don't know, I guess it's possible it was partly the narration that annoyed me. I didn't love the accents Julie Christie used. But I think it's really that I just found Blixen offputting. I'll be interested to read some of her works of fiction though.
Read this with my book group recently. When I was short of time to sit down with the book, I put the audio version in my car to listen to while commuting. I found the narrator's voice really brought the book to life and the sometimes awkward phrasing in the written word was more readily comprehensible when read aloud. Wasn't prepared for the differences from the film, which is perhaps more popularly known than the book. However certainly evokes a woman of her time, and interesting to talk about how times have changed.
This book was slow and I couldn't get into it. The characters changed so quickly and there didn't seem to be a common thread to follow. I gave up half way through. I couldn't piece together a story at all. The best bit was the mental imagery that was created but it wasn't enough to hold my attention.
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