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Out of Africa

Dinesen, Isak (Book - 2002 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Out of Africa
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In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful. The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today. This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.
Authors: Dinesen, Isak, 1885-1962
Title: Out of Africa
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2002
Edition: 2002 ed
Characteristics: ix, 389 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Isak Dinesen
Notes: Originally published by Random House in 1937
"This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 ..."-- back flyleaf
ISBN: 0375508457
Branch Call Number: 916.76 D58o 2002
Subject Headings: Dinesen, Isak, 1885-1962 Homes and haunts Kenya Country life Kenya Authors, Danish 20th century Biography Kenya Social life and customs 1895-1963 Kenya Description and travel
Topical Term: Country life
Authors, Danish
LCCN: 2002021982
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Oct 03, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book is certainly a classic, which needs to be read slowly to be appreciated. Nevertheless, it is a book of its time in terms of its colonial assumptions and perspective on Africans.

"Out of Africa" is really two stories. One is the excruciatingly personal story of Isak Dinesen. The other is the story of Africa as it begins to think about itself-as itself.
This book rates 5 stars (from me) for the following reasons.
1. I first read this book over 30 years ago and remembered it.
2. As others have noted, it has one of the most evocative opening lines in literature. For me, once read, not forgotten.
3 Books with a lot of physical description (landscapes, animals, sunsets, etc.) are not particular favorites of mine but this book overcomes that prejudice.
4. The evolution of the character. Like many brides of her era, she gets married with certain expectations that are almost immediately dashed and in a big way. And like many others she accepts her husband's decisions. It is what she does after that, and who she becomes, that sets her apart from all the others.
5. It is really beautiful and really sad.

Aug 08, 2010
  • pokano rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I had a farm in Africa . . . . Forget the movie. The book is a million times better. The story of a Danish writer who did in fact have a farm in Africa and loved Africa deeply.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/09/02 11:42