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Summary

Out of Africa:

In this audiobook, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives; of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom; of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her; of primitive festivals; of big game that were her near neighbors - lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes; and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

Shadows on the Grass:

Isak Dineson takes up the absorbing story of her life in Kenya begun in the unforgettable Out of Africa, which she published under the name of Karen Blixon. With warmth and humanity, these four stories illuminate her love for the African people, their dignity and traditions, and the beauty and wildness of the landscape. The first three were written in the 1950s and the last, "Echoes from the Hills", was written especially for this volume in the summer of 1960, when the author was in her 70s. In all they provide a moving final chapter to her African reminiscences.

©2015 Random House Audio; 2011 Isak Dinesen

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Perfect for Africa!

Another reviewer complained about the reader but I thought she was perfect. This is a beautifully written and fascinating story but be warned: it's not the love story they made the movie into!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Terrible performance

It took me a while to find the unabridged audio edition for this book. I love the story and have read it time and again. Unfortunately the narrator took all the pleasure out of this one, for me at least. She speaks way too fast and her voice remains flat all the while. The real pleasure of reading Karen Blixen is not only in the stories but mostly in her writing style and descriptions of things and people. She needs to be savored like a good, expensive wine. In this narrattive she gets chugged down like cheap beer.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great narration, and the text then revield itself.

A great book. It was written with fine observation of the mileu the author in which she in among was quite fulfilled with the indignation of culturalism.

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A wonderful literary and audio experience

Karen Blixen's writings are captivating, beautifully detailed, sensory, and sometimes magical. It it amazing that one person could have had so many and such diverse experiences as Blixon had during her time in Africa. She romantices nothing and tells her stories with great authenticity when one considers the time and ethos of writing. Her approach is obviously questionable today because of how she addressed and viewed the local populations, especially the othering (almost dehumanization) of Africa's indigenous people. It makes one very uncomfortable on many occasions but it is relevant to experience it to gain more insight into the biases and prejudices that collonial settlers brought with them. The discomfort provides one with a better understanding of this sad part of Africa's history.

The narrator did an excellent job of portraying Blixen's personality. Her intonation and accent sounds uncanningly like several of my Danish friends. Every second of the the 16 hours and 35 minutes was captivating and time well spent. I will surely listen to this audio book again just like I re-read the original books several times over the years.

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  • Jay Quintana
  • 26-03-16

Sketches of Africa

This is beautifully written. We learn about the land, the people, the animals, and the farm. But very little of Blixen/Dinesen. I don't remember if she relates a single experience with her husband. His presence in the book is that slight. As for the other men in her life, they come across here as nothing more than platonic friends. If you want to know what Africa -- well, the part of Africa where Blixen/Dinesen resided -- was like in the early part of the 20th century, this is a must listen. If you're looking for an absorbing narrative -- the print version of the movie -- this will almost certainly disappoint. .

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah Freitag
  • 08-08-17

Disappointing

Any additional comments?

I downloaded this book to listen on the way to/from the office about 1 hrs. drive. It nearly put me to sleep. I was trying very hard to escape into the story but it was so dry. I didn't complete it. I just couldn't get through the long drawn out chapters. I LOVED the screen adaptation and should have just downloaded that one. Live and Learn.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • shan Zhang
  • 22-06-17

enjoyed every bit of this book.

What did you love best about Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass?

described the moon like a silver arch hung on the blue sky.

What other book might you compare Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass to and why?

green hills of Africa by Hemingway.

What about Susan Lyons’s performance did you like?

peaceful.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Denis was buried in her farm.

Any additional comments?

the book brought my dear memories of Tanzania .

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-04-18

Narrator Bugs Me

Barely started and I can tell that the next 16 hours are gonna be irritating..I miss Merlye’s voice

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsay Lovinger Watkins
  • 22-04-16

It had my heart from page one!

I could only hope my own life could be rich. I highly recommend filling your life with these stories!

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth A. Kirsh
  • 03-12-15

Sooo boring

What would have made Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass better?

A plot. I was waiting for a story line and never got one. It was snapshots from a white snob who observed the Africans as fine animals.

What was most disappointing about Isak Dinesen’s story?

The lack of a plot made the narrator's observations painfully repetitive and frustrating. I was waiting for her small mindedness, a very realistic portrayal of the colonists' views, to be framework for a storyline. A storyline never came....v

Would you listen to another book narrated by Susan Lyons?

Maybe. I could not tell if Susan Lyons was a boring reader or if she was just doing her job by droning on about tall grass, baobabs, and very advanced humanoid animals (the Africans)

What character would you cut from Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass?

Baroness Karen

Any additional comments?

I am a very well read and educated person. This might be one of the few instances where the movie is better than the book! (To be fully transparent, I only read 2/3 before I quit.)

5 of 27 people found this review helpful