In the travel-writing tradition that made Paul Therouxs reputation, Dark Star Safari is a rich and insightful book whose itinerary is Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town: down the Nile, through Sudan and Ethiopia, to Kenya, Uganda, and ultimately to the tip of South Africa. Going by train, dugout canoe, "chicken bus," and cattle truck, Theroux passes through some of the most beautiful and often life-threatening landscapes on earth. This is travel as discovery and also, in part, a sentimental journey. Almost forty years ago, Theroux first went to Africa as a teacher in the Malawi bush. Now he stops at his old school, sees former students, revisits his African friends. He finds astonishing, devastating changes wherever he goes. "Africa is materially more decrepit than it was when I first knew it," he writes, "hungrier, poorer, less educated, more pessimistic, more corrupt, and you cant tell the politicians from the witch doctors. Not that Africa is one place. It is an assortment of motley republics and seedy chiefdoms. I got sick, I got stranded, but I was never bored. In fact, my trip was a delight and a revelation." Seeing firsthand what is happening across Africa, Theroux is as obsessively curious and wittily observant as always, and his readers will find themselves on an epic and enlightening journey. Dark Star Safari is one of his bravest and best books.
Table of Contents
1 Lighting Out
2 The Mother of the World
3 Up and Down the Nile
4 The Dervishes of Omdurman
5 The Osama Road to Nubia
6 The Djibouti Line to Harar
7 The Longest Road in Africa
8 Figawi Safari on the Bandit Road
9 Rift Valley Days
10 Old Friends in Bat Valley
11 The MV Umoja Across Lake Victoria
12 The Bush Train to Dar es Salaam
13 The Kilimanjaro Express to Mbeya
14 Through the Outposts of the Plateau
15 The Back Road to Soche Hill School
16 River Safari to the Coast
17 Invading Drummonds Farm
18 The Bush Border Bus to South Africa
19 The Hominids of Johannesburg
20 The Wild Things at Mala Mala
21 Faith, Hope, and Charity on the Limpopo Line
22 The Trans-Karoo Express to Cape Town
23 Blue Train Blues
All news out of Africa is bad. It made me want to go there, though not for the horror, the hot spots, the massacre-and-earthquake stories you read in the newspaper; I wanted the pleasure...
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