Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Bill Bryson's African Diary





I got this book out of the library and spent, at most, an hour total reading it. For the cover price, it's not a good bargain to buy, unless you desparately need to have it on your shelf. The high cover price is justified by the proceeds from the book going to CARE. But donating the cover price directly to them gets you the tax deduction and saves them the cost of producing the book. So if you're thinking of getting it to "help out", do that and check the book out of the library.

That aside, the content was interesting. Instead of Bryson's usual solo traveler tales, we get to see Bryson the VIP tour some decidedly dangerous areas in Kenya. He also gets to see some very beautiful areas, but the focus of the book is on the crushing poverty of Kenya and CARE's attempts to make a difference. The book makes a good case for their work without hitting you over the head with it, while still retaining some of Bryson's light touch.
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