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Green Hills of Africa

Walmart # 558368625

Green Hills of Africa

Walmart # 558368625
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9780684801292
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1-5 of 6 reviews

Against a background of r

Against a background of readings about wildlife research and conservation in East Africa, an account of Hemingway blasting his way through the phylogenetic tree should sit uneasily with me. But as is apparent in other accounts, the impetus for conservation has often come from, not despite of, wildlife hunters. Hemingway's description of the landscape around Lake Manyara in Tanzania is as good as it gets, and he has a hunter's eye for describing the animals around him, and the relationship between the people and the land. Nevertheless, Hemmingway is an unregenerate killer, "..everything has to die sometime." he says, and takes it upon himself to hasten the day for several unfortunate creatures. Not the weak and the lame as might be taken by their natural predators, but the best and the largest for the impression their severed heads might make upon his guests at home. But inside the story, and Hemingway is enough of a reflective story-teller to tell it, is another tale. One of a successful man who has no dominion, who trembles on the edge of un-success, who only just manages to persuade himself that his bloody trail through Africa constituted some kind of affirmation of manhood.

Hemingway's account of hi

Hemingway's account of his first African safari. The one where he got dysentery, not the one where he survived two plane crashes. I enjoyed reading it, although I am not a fan of Hemingway. It went fairly quickly. I never once thought to myself---"Ernest, you macho jerk", even when he was cursing fate for giving his companion better opportunities for bigger trophies than he was getting. The writing isn't spectacular, but some of it is almost fine. There's a touch of self-deprecating humor on the author's part that surprised and delighted me. Some of the banter 'twixt Ernest and his wife was sweet and endearing, even though I knew what they didn't know yet about how that was going to turn out. I get the feeling that I might have been amused by the man if I had met him when he was relaxed, enjoying himself and not in competition with anyone over anything. Just confirms my long-standing opinion that Hemingway's life was more interesting than his fiction.

You have to keep a strong

You have to keep a strong hold on your Freud-dar while reading this "absolutely true book" about Hemingway's late-1933/early 1934 African safari trek in Kenya with his then-wife Pauline Pfeiffer (called "P.O.M.", standing for "Poor Old Mama" in the book), his friend Charles Thompson (called "Karl" in the book) and hunter/guide Philip Percival (called "Pop", "Jackson Phillips", "Mr. J.", "Mr. J.P." "Colonel" etc. at various times in the book). Hemingway spends the safari mostly unsuccessfully stalking lions, rhinos and kudu (a type of antelope) and even when he returns to camp with occasional trophy horn(s) to show them to "Mama" and "Pop", he also discovers that (surrogate brother) "Karl" has brought back something bigger, longer or thicker. You really do have to keep yourself in check and not let the imagination run too wild while reading this. Meanwhile you do get very evocative pictures of the African landscape and EH's dealings with his various native trackers and bearers. Two called "M'Cola" and the "Old Man" he becomes especially close to. Another, nicknamed "Garrick", who over-dramatizes events, EH resents more and more and he becomes the only villain (minor really) of the piece for dramatic purposes. EH provides occasional commentary on his writing influences and also uses the opportunity to take an anonymous swipe at Gertrude Stein for her labelling him a coward in her then (1933) recently published "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas". This is a feast for Hemingway lovers, but you should read between the lines to get the most out of it. It is also useful background to reading the short stories "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" which were also inspired by this same safari.

I did not neccesarily enj

I did not neccesarily enjoy the story line to this book. It consisted of one chapter after another of Hemingway on a hunt in Africa and descriptions of kill after kill. What I did enjoy was Hemingway's writing. I find he is a master at describing a scene and evoking a mood with his writing. If you enjoy his work, this one is worth reading but don't expect to get caught up in a great story line. It's just not that kind of book.

Written in the early 1930

Written in the early 1930s, this is one of Hemingway's best works in my opinion. It is a lyrical account of a month he and his wife spent on safari in East Africa big-game hunting. His descriptions of the land, the bush, the animals and the people are really superb, and though it seems a little dated now it is still a wonderful read.
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