Bill Bryson's African Diary

Bill Bryson's African Diary

Book - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
“Here is a man who suffers so his readers can laugh.” — Daily Telegraph

Bill Bryson travels to Kenya in support of CARE International. All royalties and profits go to CARE International.

Bryson visits Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to eradicating poverty. Kenya is a land of contrasts, with famous game reserves and a vibrant culture. It also provides plenty to worry a traveller like Bill Bryson, fixated as he is on the dangers posed by snakes, insects and large predators. It is also a country with many serious problems: refugees, AIDS, drought, and grinding poverty. The resultant diary, though short in length, contains the trademark Bryson stamp of wry observation and curious insight.

Baker & Taylor
A travel writer with little background knowledge of Africa recounts his journey to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, where he visited slums, historic sites, natural wonders, refugee camps, and relief projects.

Blackwell North Amer
In the early fall of 2002, famed travel Writer Bill Bryson journeyed to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. He arrived with a set of mental images of Africa gleaned from television broadcasts of low-budget Jungle Jim movies in his Iowa childhood and a single viewing of the film version of Out of Africa. (Also with some worries about tropical diseases, insects and large predators.) But the vibrant reality of Kenya and its people took over the second he deplaned in Nairobi, and this diary records Bill Bryson's impresssions of his trip with his inimitable trademark style of wry observation and curious insight. From the wrenching poverty of the Kibera slum in Nairobi to the meticulously manicured grounds of the Karen Blixen house and the human fossil riches of the National Museum, Bryson registers the striking contrasts of a postcolonial society in transition. He visits the astoundingly vast Great Rift Valley; undergoes the rigors of a teeth-rattling train journey to Mombasa and a hair-whitening flight through a vicious storm; and visits the refugee camps and the agricultural and economic projects where dedicated CARE professionals wage noble and dogged war against poverty, dislocation and corruption.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2002
Edition: 1st Broadway Books hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780767915069
Branch Call Number: 916.762 B848b
Characteristics: 49 p., [8] p. of col. plates : col. ill., map ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: CARE/International
Alternative Title: African diary


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Aug 17, 2017

A quick read. It is Bryson-lite. The catalyst for the book was to write about his travels in Africa and publish material where the proceeds would benefit CARE (an amazing organization). Great narration, a little less history than usual, but still a joy to read. Put it in a carry-on bag.

Nov 24, 2016

Extremely short; good natured man; more like a series of longish letters than a diary.

Dec 20, 2012

Somewhat disappointed. Still funny. But this is not really a book. A short magazine story prolonged. It isn't like any other Bill Bryson's books. Not enough research, purely an assignment. The aim is to promote CARE, an aid organization to alleviate world poverty, at least in Kenya.


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