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Summary

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.

What listeners say about The African Queen

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration of a poignant story

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story

A great story, well written but for the ending which is very poor. The ending in the flim was better.

3 people found this helpful

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A Perfect Pleasure!

I found this classic tale an absolute delight, it really has everything - adventure, romance, gentle humour a d perfect narration by Michael Kitchen. Highly recommended *****

2 people found this helpful

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GOOD fead

good read look forward to further work A .just perfect night time work to relax

1 person found this helpful

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end

terrible ending, no wonder film studio changed it, I wonder if forester intended a 2nd book, poor character portrayal by narrator doesn't help. the start and middle are very good but it just peters out leaving me searching for the film on digital TV.

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Great little story

Like most people I have seen the movie many times so it was nice to hear the book.
Obviously slightly different to the movie but still very enjoyable.
As for the narration, Michael Kitchen is sublime, in fact it should be mandatory for this kind of reading
Thoroughly enjoyed it

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A gem!

I loved this book with it’s innocence and almost childlike story telling. All the time I had in mind Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart from the film watched long ago with my parents. I was unsure about Michael Kitchen’s clipped voice at first but then decided he suited the story well and captured the voice of Charlie Allnutt perfectly for me.
I loved this gentle book (although the racist sentiment especially a phrase at the end spoke of it is time).

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Loved it

This was excellent. Full of drama and danger I could almost feel the oppressive heat of the African jungle. Two characters who make a perilous journey down river on a mission against the Germans in WWI. An ending that was a surprise and quite sad in many way to me.

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Stunning

There was nothing to dislike at all , riveting from start too finish , the ending was different to the film

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very good in every way

this was very exciting to listen to.
I would like to say however that it was made for me so exciting by the quality of the narration. Wonderful.

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  • Brian Gannaway
  • 25-11-15

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

10 people found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 22-06-12

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!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Elisabeth Carroll
  • 23-09-16

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Juliettedottie
  • 19-09-17

like the ending of the movie much better.

They went all that way and yes they are in one piece at the end, but did not finish their mission. Ending so weak.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 18-08-17

Adds a lot of detail beyond the great movie

Would you consider the audio edition of The African Queen to be better than the print version?

Dont know, did not read it

What was one of the most memorable moments of The African Queen?

The character developement and realationship between the main characters was great.

Have you listened to any of Michael Kitchen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

Get this even if you have seen the movie, the movie is great but does not have the rich character developement that this book has.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne
  • 31-07-15

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Michael MacIntosh
  • 16-01-21

OK But It's No Hornblower Novel

I'm a huge fan of the Hornblower series (read them all twice) and this definitely ISN'T on that level. Not remotely. Story was rambling and not all that engaging. Parts were interesting and the reader was pretty good. Without giving away spoilers, the last few chapters were the weakest. There were also some cringe-worthy racial commentary, but such were the times (published in 1935). Not a bad listen but my least favorite CS Forester so far. PS - I've never seen the movie, so that likely had an impact. I'm about to go watch the movie now.

1 person found this helpful

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  • bob
  • 21-11-20

trip though spine of Africa

adventure love and story of sefl enlightenment once you set your mind to do it

1 person found this helpful

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  • A Kindle Customer
  • 04-10-19

The African Queen

Excellent story (better than movie, the movie was great....but the book is better).I was so enthralled I had to finish the story. Hours fly by when listening to an audiobook and this book is no different. I highly recommend this book. If you loved the movie you'll love the book. Thank you and Happy Reading/Listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-03-16

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.

1 person found this helpful