Out of Africa

I’ve been reading Out of Africa by Karen Blixen for about a month now. It’s only 350 pages, so why’s it taking my so long?

 1. I keep forgetting to get a book mark so re-read entire chapters at a time.

2. I’ve only been reading it on the train to work, and with all the public holidays, that hasn’t been often

3. It’s not a story-plot book. It’s just 350 pages of description, so I’m not in a rush to get to the next pages. Its flow is that of someone passing time on an isolated homestead, and I believe that’s how it should be read: in a relaxed and haphazard fashion.

 Having said all that, I am loving it! I am a sucker for books with little to no plot that are just about the way things are everyday. I find her descriptions of characters that step in and out of her world incredibly moving and interesting.

 As I travelled to Africa (albeit the West, not East) in 2009, I am enjoying reminiscing about the landscapes, and the sense of space and isolation which in many countries exists as much now with super highways, as it did earlier in the century with dirt roads.


 Most Australians, I think, can relate to the African landscape when vistiting, or reading about it. The main difference is all the imposing, powerful animals, which are a far cry from ours which are either tiny and deadly, or larger and fragile.

 Her descriptions of the various nationalities present in her region at the time is fascinating. Her descriptions of their cultures, mannerisms and idiosyncrasies are observant and capture a sense of the respect she seemed to have for even those behaviours she did not understand. It is not wonder she seems to melancholic at the loss of this great land.

 I am glad this book was originally written in English, and not a translation, as I can now give full compliments to Blixen for her beautiful grasp of the language. Many an Englishman cannot write so creatively.

Once I have finished this book I’ll put in another post of my favourite quotes, if I can find them again! This book is way up there with another new favourite of mine, A Passage to India.

Victory! I have found a female author I enjoy!

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