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Out of Africa (Modern Library Series)

( 27 )

Overview

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

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 ...

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Overview

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

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.

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What People Are Saying

Isak Dinesen
I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills...It was Africa distilled up through six thousand feet, like the strong and refined essence of a continent... In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679600213
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Series: Modern Library of the World's Best Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 164,297
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.57 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

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(6)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it.

    I read this book for an AP English class and chose it because I knew of the movie (though have never seen it), plus- it has a beautiful cover. I finished it within weeks, even though I'm a slow reader and the book is rather large, and loved every page. It's composed of parable-type chapters, which keeps the story interesting instead of slow, how stories told in consecutive order can sometimes be. I highly recommend it; it's inspiring, enrapturing, and incredible and intended for every audience.

    Interesting fact about the author: Hemingway and Denisen were both nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and when Hemingway won, he noted in his acceptance speech that Denisen should have.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    My All Time Favorite

    I used to spend a considerable amount of time in car travel for business reasons. I rented this book as a book-on-tape from the library. The author paints, with words, such a vivid picture of the landscape of Africa and her surroundings that it is mesmerizing to say the least. I became so engrossed in the story that I had to really concentrate on my driving. It really made the movie, which I saw later, understandable much the way many novels do. Read the book, see the movie. It's an unforgettable story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2003

    A true treasure to be read and re-read

    I've read many books in my life but this one stands out. Most of all it reminded me how beautiful the English language can be when used by a true artist with words.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2007

    a white africans point of view

    myself i was born in malawi and have lived there my whole life. for me the book was very interesting, all the very vivid descriptions and excellent language. denisons is able to describe the scenery especially extremely vividly, giving one a strong feeling of the environment. however i found the story line to be slightly weak at some parts and the reading did become a bit tedious towards the end. the most enjoyable part was the one with the clearest story line: kamante and lulu. for prospective readers: an interest in life of colonial africa is a must, but be aware it will be a slow read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2003

    Quite wonderful.

    I found the book 'Out of Africa' deeply moving and quite pleasing. The story of her life showed intense hardship and carried an interesting flare. In the past, I have stuck mainly to medival literature, (Chaucer, Boccocio, Dante, ect...) but found this book very enjoyable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2001

    more than a novel

    Being a voracious reader and sometimes painter, not particularly scholarly by temperament, my thoughts tend to present themselves in pictures rather than in words. I feel compelled to say I was deeply moved by this woman's humanity as well as her love of Africa ( perhaps that is one and the same.) I should probably never travel there but will always carry her memories of it in my heart.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Yes

    Yes

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    This story is ageless.

    I admit I'm a junkie for this book; I own several versions,to say nothing of the countless times I've watched the movie,which I consider on of my greatest possessions.Dineson had a way of putting words on paper that is unparalleled . In summation, TIMELESS is the ultimate description.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Warriors den of GrassClan

    A den woven out of grass and a few twigs. Within more woven grass forms nests and a floor.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2005

    Beautifully written

    I consider Out of Africa to be the best-written portrayal of Africa by a foreign writer. She did a great job in her portrayal, indicating that she was well versed not only with the land, but also with the native African peoples she met and knew as well as their way of life. The fact that Karen respected that way of life made her to have a deep understanding of their customs and lives at a time of colonialism where European settlers lived an exclusive life from the natives and only dealt with them as sources of cheap labor. I could not help recalling other titles set in the colonial era

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2002

    Sloooooow read

    I had to read this book for a class for school. I started out to like it with all it's detail of Africa and to go through the changes with the author. The problem was, that didn't continue through the book. You got to read more about her other people than you did Africa. For something I had to read it wasn't too bad. It was good I didn't go in to it with much expectations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2001

    Deeply Committed to Living

    Baroness Karen Blixen¿s famous memoir of her years on the coffee plantation high above Nairobi is significant for her description of what today¿s Kenya was like in the early part of the 20th century, for the book¿s influence for attracting and shaping the reactions of many who followed her to Kenya like Dr. Jane Goodall, and her engaging personality for taking on the challenges, trials, and problems of others while grasping their perspective on her. Although a progressive thinker for her day, sex, and class, nevertheless Ms. Blixen¿s views on the native Africans will not sit well with most modern readers (from referring to men who worked for her as ¿boys¿ to her inclination toward seeing native Africans as perpetually apart from the machine-inventing and using Europeans). Conservationists will be appalled by the casual shooting of lions who might have been chasing domesticated cattle. The book is also notable for its lack of organization, often scanty details, and rapidly shifting focus. There are several places about 70 percent of the way through the book where you will wonder why she included the material at all, and even more why there in that particular spot. The book¿s ultimate appeal is to the concept of being a young woman on her own in a beautiful part of African with the freedom and resources to explore herself and Africa. I should like to have known her. A woman with such warmth and empathy for others must surely have made a wonderful friend. There¿s an element of Don Quixote in her as she pursues her impossible dream of a coffee plantation in the wrong place that¿s also appealing. After you finish reading the book, I suggest that you think about where you could go today and have such a close connection to your new neighbors. Would you like to do that? What would you be willing to give up for this emotional resonance? See yourself as others probably see you! Let humility be your guide. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000

    Ugh

    I read this book for my Ninth grade honors english and it was the first and only book in my school career that I did not manage to finish or even get half way through. I failed both tests on it because everytime I sat down to read this book I fell asleep. The author seemed to think it was necesary to describe every blade of grass in Africa. I was horribly disappointed. There seemed to be a good plot that she had but she kept adding little stories in the middle of what plot there was in no particular order. I found it very confusing, dull, and not worth picking up. If you don't fall asleep on the first page you will on the second. I made it about 50 pages through the book but I'll be honest and tell you it took me three weeks to get there. There is no fantastic story underneathe thats worth waiting for all of the author's crazy tangents to finish.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2000

    My Name is Gretchen (also called 'Rei') and I read 'Out of Africa' as a part of a 9th Grade Honors Geography '5 Themes of Geography' assignment. I confess that I do not read a whole lot, but I thought this book was really interesting and very well written. It not only describes Africa, but a little bit of psychology and how people's minds work. Karen Blixen has allot of very good vivid descriptive details. These descriptions helped me most in describing the 'place physical and 'place cultural' aspects of my report as she described the Ngong Hills and the people who live there. She speaks knowledgeably and her words are wise and I get the sense that she very much knows what she is talking about. I had already acquired an interest of Africa, so most of the details about the land and cities I already knew about. But her description of the character of the people who live there is very interesting, especially the description of a young boy named Kamante. The book gives you a strong feel for Africa and how it will never truly be dominated by civilization. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has an even vague interest in Africa. I also think some of the ideas presented and the style of writing would be best appreciated by someone of my age or older.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    Poingnent vignettes don't hold your attention

    A long series of short, very unrelated stories, often one paragraph long, does not make for engaging reading. It is often difficult to place one's self in Denison's era and forgive her constant comparisons of the native Africans to animals. However, she is almost redeemed by her occasionally exquisite descriptions of the African landscape, and all too rare insights into the human condition ('...since we are all prisoners in life, are we happier, or more miserable, the more talents we possess?'). The drama falls flat, there is no suspense or romance, tragedies are dealt with in a very matter-of-fact way. But for the language, it's basically really boring.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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