DARK STAR SAFARI(2002) 4/5 YES Non-fiction Travel Rs.76 (Bookchor.com) Paul Theroux [3.96/11909 rati
Paul Theroux, I’m sure many of you are aware of this name. For me this is his 3rd read. Paul is an american travel writer and novelist and had written many books. I’ve already read 2 of his travelogues before – THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAR and RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER.
In TGRB (1975) he travelled through India but I didn’t liked that book because he was too complaining in that book for a country which is still growing. In RTIR (1988) he travelled on a train from Russia, Siberia, Mongolia to China, here again he complained but still it was a balanced book. Now this is the review of his travels through African continent and this book was first published in 2002. I have one more book of him with me, again a travelogue, let’s see when I will start that.
So Paul is currently 78 yrs old and born in Medford on Apr 10 1941 (wiki) and he travelled through African continent which he covered in this book. He started his journey from Egypt – Cairo, and travelled on land covering Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Obviously he missed some of the African countries or didn’t want to go there. He travelled on land, using buses, trains, matadors or makeshift four wheelers, also took ferries on Nile.
He showed the real Africa which is not what everyone visited, the real adventure, the real threats one can face, the degrading economies, and degrading non-existing infrastructure. He faced visa problems and even told not to go by roads or roam in nights but he did exactly that (as per book). But this book is an exhaustive read and I liked the book. Yes it points out the negativity of this vast continent which everyone tried to capture, which is still not growing even after so many foreign aid campaign, infact as per his views these foreign aid NGOs are actually making thing worse for africans. But he balanced the book by pointing out what is good and raw about this land. He earlier worked in African countries as teacher, and have many friends and students residing there, so he compared his earlier times with the time of this travel.
Language wise book is easy, you just take the book and start reading at night times or at your leisure times and if you’re a travel/adventure bufg along with an avid reader, you will like this book. It’s a long book, my copy is around 400+ pages, and I took time to finish it (check 2nd pic for my reading speed) since I’m not a bachelor now. And I’ve visited many places in India (being an Indian) and only US (other than India) but I’m a travel fan so travelogue is my constant companion (other than my better half) since if you can’t travel some places due to time/money you can atleast read and imagine about them. I also traced Paul’s route on google maps so as to get the feel of route he took.
Recommended with 4/5 rating.
GRuchirG. (“JEE” RUCHIR “JI”)
Jai Raam ji ki 🙂