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Green Hills of Africa

Average Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5.
Green Hills of Africa
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Authors: Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961
Statement of Responsibility: Ernest Hemingway ; decorations by Edward Shenton
Title: Green hills of Africa
Publisher: Garden City, New York : Permabooks, [1954]
Characteristics: 199 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Notes: "Scribner edition published October, 1935 ... Permabooks edition published April, 1954."
Subject Headings: Kenya Description and travel Hunting Kenya
Topical Term: Hunting
Research Call Number: Sc 799-H (Hemingway, E. Green hills of Africa)
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Aug 24, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

"It was a new country to us but it had the marks of the oldest countries."
In the early 30s, Hemingway and his then wife Pauline Pfeiffer (who strangely is never fully named in this book) when to Africa on safari and this book was the result. As a non-hunter, it's perhaps unfair to judge, but you do have to wonder what kind of jerk goes to a foreign land to find exotic animals and blast the crap out of them for no good reason. That jerk is Hemingway. While he's still widely read, his image/persona has suffered greatly and justly so. The hard drinking, fighting, shooting, fishing, screwing, dick-swinging masculine American novelist is a rightly endangered species, and Norman Mailer proved just how adolescent and unpleasant this breed could be. Anyway, the book's not bad, but you learn little about hunting and even less about Africa (like where in Africa?). His attitude towards the natives is mildly paternalistic, sometimes insulting ("You bloody savage!") and while this is non-fiction, you do feel he is making up great speeches for Hemingway the character to say, although they all tend to be bloated, half-assed, and not very interesting. I'd suggest reading this with a Daiquiri outside.

Dec 01, 2012
  • nancymargrit rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This was not one of Hemingway's best in my opinion. He talks more about hunting than about Africa in this book.

Mar 02, 2012
  • Liber_vermis rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This thinly disguised account of a real life big game hunting expedition in Kenya just prior to the Second World War shows how depleted the wildlife had become. Ironically, Hemingway remarks about having read a book titled "Denatured Africa". Hemingway had to go to a lot of effort to find small pockets of game; and then often had to resort to "long shots" to kill his trophies. The members of the hunting party are haphazardly described. Hemingway has his hunting license that authorizes him to bag certain animals and this book describes in detail checking off the list of lives. Considering the age, Hemingway seems quite egalitarian with the Africans encountered.

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Mar 02, 2012
  • Liber_vermis rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Other: Published in 1935, Hemingway only uses the work "nigger" twice.

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Mar 02, 2012
  • Liber_vermis rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

"A continent ages quickly once we [foreigners] come. The natives live in harmony with it. But the foreigner destroys, cuts down the trees, drains the water ... and in a short time the soil ... is cropped out and, next, it starts to blow away ... The earth gets tired of being exploited. A country wears out quickly unless man puts back in it all his residue and that of all his beasts. When he quits using beasts and uses machines, the earth defeats him quickly. The machines can't reproduce, nor does it fertilize the soil, and it eats what he cannot raise. A country was made to be as we found it. We are the intruders and after we are dead we may have ruined it but it will still be there and we don't know what the next changes are. I suppose they all end up like Mongolia." [p. 284-5]

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Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961
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app09 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41