Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Dark Star Safari isn’t your typical African travelogue. Theroux isn’t interested in following Hemingway’s footsteps. In fact, Theroux despises Hemingway’s African safari stories that have little connection to the people of the continent (311). This is a book about Theroux’s journey and the people...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Towards the end you start wishing the book & the travel just went on and on...”gopakumar_ambat wrote this review Friday, August 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“5 stars for a travel book. I liked this book so much that I actually bought it so I could highlight phrases of interest and pass it on to some friends/family members for discussion. I almost never read travelogues because I prefer to actually do the travelling myself. This was a Book Club choice and I was so impressed with this author's style that I plan to read any of his books that describe places I plan to visit. His travel style is quite different from mine - he prefers to rough it and freewheel it , but that makes for some good adventures and good stories. He has an excellent way with words and verges on the poetic occasionally. He is very observant and arrives at some well thought out conclusions. This book is an excellent choice for someone who wants to learn a lot about contemporary Western Africa.”Debbi K wrote this review Sunday, September 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I finally finished this long but very exciting book after being interrupted by other books that needed to be read first. Paul Theroux went on this trip in 2002 and decided to travel overland on buses, trains and river boats so he could experience Africa like a local. He was in dangerous situations and came out safely. The book paints an honest picture of Eastern Africa. Theroux is very opinionated and exposes the negatives of the western world's charities in trying to aid the people there. Recommend very highly.”Marian S wrote this review Wednesday, June 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed this book, which describes the author's voyage overland from Cairo to Johannesburg. I found the topic of Africa fascinating. I've always wanted to visit there, but reading this book was the next best thing.
This is about the fourth or fifth travel book I've read by Paul Theroux. I've also read many of his novels, including The Mosquito Coast and O-Zone. I don't think I've ever read anything by him that I didn't like very much, both fiction and non-fiction.
I picked this one up because I read he has a new travel book about revisiting Africa. I figured I would read this one first and then the new one. I'm glad I did. This is one of those books that I've told several people about while I was reading it.”
“Costa Rica Besides writing this excellent book on Africa, Theroux spent a lot of time in Costa Rica's driest province, Guanacaste on the northwest Pacific coast. It has many resorts, is on the Pan American Highway. Happiness here is related to simplicity. "Costa Ricans seem to practice the politics of enough, the economics of enough. They don't want more than they need," Theroux says. ”Paul Pidcock wrote this review Sunday, May 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Even if I don't agree with all of Theroux's conclusions, it is still an insightful book.”Chris J Peterson wrote this review Sunday, April 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Author Theroux is quick to remind us upfront that any safari (translation is really 'journey,' without a hint of hunting animals) is equal parts travail and triumph - dirty, dusty, grim of the everyday, waiting for this and that, hungry and thirsty a good bit of the time. Of course, there are joys and wonderment, new practically everything, discovery of places and self, and, if success can be measured from one experience to the next, at the end of the journey is an awakening of the soul. Six chapters in and neither disappointed in his style nor intent. Recommended by a native African of rather high potent.”Jjerden wrote this review Monday, April 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I like (most of but not all of) his writing. I respect him a) for getting in a kayak as he does in other books and b) traveling the entire length of Africa - not as I would want to do it ie in some comfort, but alongside the ordinary folk as one would say. Respect. There's incisive comment on the NGO's etc.. and this fits well with the writing in Isles of the West (Ian Mitchell) which I also read this summer. I am now very conscious of going to Africa as one of the tourists PT has in his sights! No harm in being told to do better eh?”arj404 wrote this review Thursday, March 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Technically I read this before second Uganda trip, but still a good read about Africa.”Diane wrote this review Saturday, November 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As his 60th birthday approaches,Theroux feels the need to disconnect with his life and to immerse himself in Africa. " All news out of Africa is bad. It made me want to go there, though not for the horror, the hot spots, the massacre-and-earthquake stories you read in the newspaper; I wanted the pleasure of being in Africa again. Feeling that the place was so large it contained many untold tales and some hope and comedy and sweetness, too — feeling that there was more to Africa than misery and terror — I aimed to reinsert myself in the bundu, as we used to call the bush, and to wander the antique hinterland. There I had lived and worked, happily, almost forty years ago, in the heart of the greenest continent."
Whatever you think of Theroux's opinions and politics, this is travel writing at it's best. Not only does the author have the fortitude and courage to take the sort of journey most of us would never be able to handle, he also brings people, landscapes, smells, sights and sounds alive with a a few carefully chosen words and images. His descriptions of the places I've been to brought back many sweet memories. His descriptions of the people he met and the conversations he had, while not politically correct, were thought provoking. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone interested in travel though Africa.”