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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 (555 )
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4.1 (355 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Moore Bay Area, CA USA 08-03-09
    Michael Moore Bay Area, CA USA 08-03-09 Member Since 2005

    mcubed33

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    "Top Notch Writing; Riveting Stories"

    Ernest Hemingway is on record praising the writing quality of Beryl Markham's book. It is easy to see why. Her writing style is spare, to the point, without gush, brooding or emotional baggage. She makes you feel you're there with her--whether hunting wild animals, watching a championship horse race or flying in search of a downed pilot, and her descriptions and comments are clever, original and memorable. "I managed to overcome my education" is one that comes to mind. "Wishful thinking often smothers reason" is another. Hers is an adventurous and unusual story: growing up as a small child on an African farm in the 1920's, making her living in the 1930's training race horses in Kenya and then flying planes for safari hunters, followed by her "West with the Night" story when she made the first solo trans-Atlantic flight from England to North America in 1936. One interesting side note: her stories tell us much more about Bror Blixen, the husband of Karen Blixen, than did "Out of Africa."

    I note from other reviews there is some question whether this book was ghost-written by her husband who was a Hollywood screenwriter. Given her life devoted to hunting, horse training and flying, it does seem remarkable that she could then write a book of such high quality. We don't have to worry about this question, however. The stories are clearly based on her life and experience, which are extremely interesting. Regardless of who actually authored the text, the writing is top quality and well worth the read.

    25 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brown Grove City, OH, United States 09-18-11
    Brown Grove City, OH, United States 09-18-11 Member Since 2009

    Dog lover 999

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    "West with the Night"

    I loved this book! I bought it on a whim and am so very glad I did. The stories she tells range from touching to exciting. She paints a beautiful picture of a time and place that has now vanished. And the narration is exquisite. I had to stop at one point to see if it was narrated by the author, the voice was so authentic. Definitely one of my top five audio books ever!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Atlanta, GA, USA 11-16-09
    Tom Atlanta, GA, USA 11-16-09
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    "West With the Night"

    A remarkable story rich in characterization and place and read with mesmerizing enchantment by Julie Harris. I have listened to this over and over, and it still holds me in its thrall.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Houston, Texas, United States 04-08-11
    Barbara Houston, Texas, United States 04-08-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Remarkably written by a most remarkable woman"

    When I first started listening to this book I thought to myself "Could this book REALLY be such an outstanding piece of literature, or does the narrator, Julie Harris, just make it seem that way?"
    I had known about Beryl Markham since right about the time of her death in 1986, and she is one of the people who most influenced my life.

    But it was not until, while researching correlations and contrasts with Amelia Earhart (another big influence), that I came across an obscure quote by Ernest Hemmingway in which he stated "Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West With The Night? ...She has written so well, and marvellously 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 this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers ... it really is a bloody wonderful book." * Imagine THAT!
    I totally agree that it is a marvelous read!
    * Beryl Markham-Wikipedia

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 05-29-11
    Amazon Customer Utah 05-29-11 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

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    "Beautifully written memoir"

    Such a beautifully written book! I would have loved to know Beryl Markham. Although I have no doubt that she was a unique and extremely intelligent individual, I think the biggest reason she was so successful at so many things is because no one told her she couldn't or shouldn't be. She was an animal lover, humanitarian, horse trainer, and pilot in the wilds of Africa. Her prose is insightful, clever, thoughtful and beautiful! As memoirs go, this is one of the best.

    The narration of Julie Harris is absolutely top notch.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Atlanta, GA, United States 05-16-12
    Melissa Atlanta, GA, United States 05-16-12 Member Since 2011
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    "The mysterious Beryl Markham"

    I confess to becoming completely caught up in this story, so I was a bit dismayed to read that some believe Ms. Markham did not actually write it. If she did, she certainly had a gift for beautiful prose -- in addition to living a grand adventure. There are passages of this book, starting with the first page, that are simply transporting. Julie Harris was an excellent choice to read it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carrie North Texas, United States 07-14-11
    carrie North Texas, United States 07-14-11

    Interested in historical fiction, intriguing characters and foreign cultures.

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    "What an interesting lady!"

    Beryl can be a bit long-winded at times (its like listening patiently to a senior tell an intrigiung tale) and the narrator occasionally has a faint but audible nasal whistle, but other than those two minor things, I loved this story. Excellent writing, excellent narration. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia Austin, Texas 04-08-11
    Lydia Austin, Texas 04-08-11

    Lydia

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    "Excellent"

    I found the book fabulous - it has a wonderful description of the culture of native peoples as well as of pure adventure.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Millie Frankfort, KY, United States 02-24-12
    Millie Frankfort, KY, United States 02-24-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A dream of a book!"

    Julie Harris's narration is delicious. It is not a theatrical performance, she is unabashedly reading a book to you. The story is incredible - not about Africa but about LIVING in Africa, about experiencing history instead of hearing about it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Allen Warrenton, VA, United States 09-07-11
    Allen Warrenton, VA, United States 09-07-11
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    "Wonderful book from another time"

    I have really enjoyed listening to Ms. Markham's style of writing and Julie Harris does a fantastic job with accents and helps build the excitement of the book. It is a wonderful story of Africa and introduces you to many aspects you wouldn't have known.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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