Upon her brother's death, missionary Rose Sayer and Charles Allnutt, disreputable skipper of the African Queen, become allies as, marooned in German Central Africa during World War I, they fight their old launch downriver 'to strike a blow for England'.
©1935 C.S. Forester (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I bought this audio book because Michael Kitchen was the narrator, as I think he is one of the best actors around, I was quietly confident that his narrating skills would be just as wonderful, and indeed they are. He is very much an actor who understands the importance of the voice and dialect when creating a character and because of this he really brings the characters and the sense of time and place to life. From listening to the book it seems that C.S Forester is a details author, taking great care in describing the difficult journey Rose and Allnut take, so it was probably best that I listened to the audio book rather than reading it.
The story itself is actually a rather tragic. Rose and Allnut are two characters who seem to have always been somewhat - inconsequential in world and with the outbreak of the First World War nothing has changed. Their attempt to strike a blow for England comes across as a desperate need for purpose than an heroic grand scheme and needless to say the tone of the book suggests early on that things may not go quite to plan.
"An All Time Classic"
This is a great book. The characters are well developed and interesting. The dialogue is often witty. The narration is excellent. Two all time memorable characters, Charlie Allnut and Miss Rose Sanger. I love when she says, Nature Mr. Allnut is what we are put on this earth to rise above!
"Book & movie"
The African Queen has always been one of my favorite movies. Having the opportunity to listen to the audiobook fleshed out much about the characters that the movie obviously could not do. I would recommend this audible book to anyone who is a fan of the movie, or the works of CS Forrester
"Thoroughly enjoyable, almost."
I love the movie and the book just fleshed it out nicely. Then came the ending and I was minutely disappointed. Not enough to dislike the book.
"C.S. Forester & Michael Kitchen: Excellent!"
I loved the movie with Humphrey Bogart and Kathrine Hepburn and am a serious Michael Kitchen fan (Out of Africa, Foyle's War, Falling, Alibi, Reckless/Reckless: The Sequel, The Guilty, etc.), so I could not pass up the combination of Forester's novel (which I read long ago) and Kitchen's expressive voice. I was not disappointed.
"You can almost hear the narrator smiling..."
I would have given it 5 stars if the book hadn't ended so abruptly. There is a smile in the narrator's voice as he reads.
"very good listening"
very good story. two main characters well described. can easily imagine being there.
good voice, effortless listening
CS Forester's books have held up remarkably well. He is an excellent author and the narrator is terrific. However, when he wrote African Queen, I can only believe he was in one of those cynical, bad moods.
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