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West with the Night | [Beryl Markham]

West with the Night

West with the Night is the story of a remarkable woman molded and shaped by many things: the African jungle, a certain dog, horses, airplanes, friendships with white men and black. There is no life, no story quite like it.
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Publisher's Summary

West with the Night is the story of a remarkable woman molded and shaped by many things: the African jungle, a certain dog, horses, airplanes, friendships with white men and black. There is no life, no story quite like it.

©1942, 1983 Beryl Markham. Recorded by arrangement with North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC; (P)2003 The Arthur and Luce Klein Audio Collection, The Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings, Yale University Music Library

What the Critics Say

"Julie Harris' reading of aviatrix Beryl Markham's biography and celebration of Africa is an essential audiobook. Enjoy the magic of the spoken word and Harris' lovely performance." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (579 )
5 star
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4.1 (377 )
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Story
4.1 (378 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Deborah Wylie, TX, United States 07-04-11
    Deborah Wylie, TX, United States 07-04-11 Member Since 2009

    Traveler

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exciting story"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April 06-09-11
    April 06-09-11
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    "Prose as poetry"

    An amazing life told with great flair and read beautifully. I'm so glad this was introduced by my book club.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori 11-02-12
    Lori 11-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dare to live the life you are meant to lead."
    If you could sum up West with the Night in three words, what would they be?

    Gal lives ferociously.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of West with the Night?

    The snake.


    What does Julie Harris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Lovely accent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline Uvalde, TX, United States 05-07-12
    Jacqueline Uvalde, TX, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2011

    themannabaker

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love this narrator!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of West with the Night to be better than the print version?

    I love listening to this kind of story. The author is excellent at discribing the landscape, charactors and animals of Africa.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a story about Beryl Markham, the author.


    What does Julie Harris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent Narrator - one of my favorite voices on Audible.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - best if absorbed in small chunks.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Fraser NYC 04-29-12
    Simon Fraser NYC 04-29-12 Member Since 2009

    Draws comics

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A story that takes flight"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin 12-31-12
    Erin 12-31-12
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    "Amazing!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mosselyn Campbell, CA USA 12-19-11
    mosselyn Campbell, CA USA 12-19-11 Member Since 2002

    colemanka

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    "interesting but uneven"
    Would you try another book from Beryl Markham and/or Julie Harris?

    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.


    Would you recommend West with the Night to your friends? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. Not all my friends would appreciate the introspective rambling, but some would.


    What didn’t you like about Julie Harris’s performance?

    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.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, since a movie would take out the slow bits and make the most of the interesting anecdotes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Woodside, CA, United States 09-30-11
    Janet Woodside, CA, United States 09-30-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Read by an American ....Bad idea"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela San Diego CA, CA, United States 05-16-11
    Pamela San Diego CA, CA, United States 05-16-11
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    "Romantic and adventuresome"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    larry LAKE CITY, FL, United States 04-24-11
    larry LAKE CITY, FL, United States 04-24-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Amelia Earhart without the tragic end!"

    This is fine perhaps great writing. extraordinary, beautifully read. Ammazingly well written, verges on true poetry. Hemmingway has been quoted as saying "she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers ... it really is a bloody wonderful book." I have to agree with Mr. Hemmingway, this girl outshines most good writers. I saw one review that dissed the book, perhaps Motzart isn't up to that person's standards either...??? dunno!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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