Saturday, 7 July 2012

OUT OF AFRICA – Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), 1937

Following the kindling of my interest in colonial Kenya, I thought I’d read Out of Africa. I remembered, of course, seeing the film version but I had never bothered with the book.
Well, how the film makers had the temerity to claim that their movie was based on this book, I have no idea.
Apart from the opening line “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills,” there are few similarities. The main characters are there but none of the drama. This is a dry account of life on a farm, chronicling Blixen’s attempt to understand, educate and mould the natives she encounters. Even her affair with Denys Hatton is stripped of its passion.

It is very, very rare for me to prefer the film to the book but there is no contest here.

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