Dark Star Safari

Dark Star Safari

Overland From Cairo to Cape Town

Book - 2003
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In the travel-writing tradition that made Paul Theroux's reputation, Dark Star Safari is a rich and insightful book whose itinerary is Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town: down the Nile, through Sudan and Ethiopia, to Kenya, Uganda, and ultimately to the tip of South Africa. Going by train, dugout canoe, "chicken bus," and cattle truck, Theroux passes through some of the most beautiful -- and often life-threatening -- landscapes on earth.
This is travel as discovery and also, in part, a sentimental journey. Almost forty years ago, Theroux first went to Africa as a teacher in the Malawi bush. Now he stops at his old school, sees former students, revisits his African friends. He finds astonishing, devastating changes wherever he goes. "Africa is materially more decrepit than it was when I first knew it," he writes, "hungrier, poorer, less educated, more pessimistic, more corrupt, and you can't tell the politicians from the witch doctors. Not that Africa is one place. It is an assortment of motley republics and seedy chiefdoms. I got sick, I got stranded, but I was never bored. In fact, my trip was a delight and a revelation." Seeing firsthand what is happening across Africa, Theroux is as obsessively curious and wittily observant as always, and his readers will find themselves on an epic and enlightening journey. Dark Star Safari is one of his bravest and best books.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
ISBN: 9780618134243
0618134247
Characteristics: 472 p. :,maps.

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Barbarajean Nov 30, 2015

The most depressing book on Africa I have ever read, Mr Theroux has little good to say about the continent, but relishes the adventure of travelling there. Read this book and you'll never want to go there! It does make an interesting read though!!

b
biblopa
Jul 22, 2013

Superb style, interesting topic. I fell in love with the author for his witty observations,sarcastic comments and interesting digressions. I will definitely seek some other of his works.

u
Urbano
Oct 12, 2012

Excellent read. Did not want it to end.

brendanjon Apr 26, 2011

Just started this, but so far so good.

s
sairen42
Nov 11, 2010

Toward the end of the book, Theroux writes how nice it would be if his writing could be used by someone as a reasonable substitute for having gone to a place, since it is much nicer to read about being insulted, poisoned, and shot at than to actually be there.
With me, he accomplished his goal. He expertly shows Africa at its best and at its worst, extolling hospitality and simple kindnesses, and heaping scorn upon the selfish or the "agents of virtue." Recommend to anyone who has interest in traveling to Africa, vicariously or otherwise.

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