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In Desert and Wilderness
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In Desert and Wilderness

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  3,045 ratings  ·  53 reviews
In the tradition of Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island comes a Sienkiewicz novel for readers of all ages! This thrilling adventure saga and coming-of-age tale sets two young children, Stas Tarkowski, fourteen, and Nelly Rawlinson, eight, within the reaches of Africa's desert storms, the ravages of hunger, and threatening jungles filled with vicious animals and warring tri ...more
Paperback, 460 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Fredonia Books (NL) (first published 1911)
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Lalka by Bolesław PrusFerdydurke by Witold GombrowiczKrew elfów by Andrzej SapkowskiSolaris by Stanisław LemKamienie na szaniec by Aleksander Kamiński
Best Polish Books
58th out of 380 books — 307 voters
The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno SchulzQuo Vadis by Henryk SienkiewiczFerdydurke by Witold GombrowiczPan Tadeusz by Adam MickiewiczLalka by Bolesław Prus
Best Polish Literature
9th out of 80 books — 50 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 04, 2009 Jana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: africa
I had this University professor who was obsessed with this book. He had all major psychological problems, we students had a tendency to develop them as well.

If I had to put it in any category, it would be, college memories. Except that, I don't really like it.

In other circumstances, maybe I would love it. But, not in this life.
I found the movie on Netflix last year and then saw it was based on a book. It was written in Polish about 1905 and translated in 1911. It was really gripping and kept me thinking what else is going to happen and how are they going to get out of that situation. I like books like this and Out of Africa that have little conversations in a language I know because I feel like I have an insight that the average reader doesn't know. There were a few parts that didn't use quite the right words in the t ...more
Anatolie Pirgaru
Dupa "Aventurile lui Tom Sawyer" "De la Port-Said la Mombasa" a fost cartea care mi-a marcat adolescenta. Prima data am citit-o cand aveam 13 ani. Mi-aduc aminte ca am descoperit-o in biblioteca sateasca si am avut o oarecare reticenta in privinta subiectului si a autorului... de ma rog, cum poate un polonez sa scrie despre aventuri in Africa? (Nu stiam eu pe atunci cine este Sienkiewicz :) )
Am citit-o pe nerasuflate si pot sa spun doar ca e ceva EXTRAORDINAR! Talentul de prozator al lui Sienke
I read it when I was 10 and absolutely loved it. Fantastic adventure book not only for children, adults would enjoy it as well. Believe me - it's really engrossing.
La Laith
I was 7, I think. And in my head I was Stas. Sometimes Nelle. I loved every page of that book. It was my foremost treasure. I read it like 15 times since then. I still remember a lot of details. Haven`t picked it up for years. I still move it with me when I swap apartments. I was this other worlds, adventure thrill, tomcat girl. I recommend it to all that were tomcats, and all that have little tomcats, for a bedtime read.
Ella Do
"Desert and Wilderness" was written by a Polish writer by the name of Henryk Sienkiewicz. It is about two children being kidnapped on their way to visit their fathers, and how brave they are when they fighted back the kidnappers and found their back to their fathers. I rather like the main female character of this story; she was a kind-heart-eight-years-old girl named Nel. Nel is such a wonderful girl, even though she was weak and frail, but she helped Stas (The main male character) a lot throug ...more
This book is a classic in Poland and I remembered to love it, when I read it 20 years ago. Now I re-read it and hated it to bits for its rassistic undertones. Considering that it was written 100 years ago, it may explain some of it, but I just couldn't make myself finih it.
Loved it as a child, it was good walk down the Memory Lane (although Stasio is still a Superboy, perfect in every sense).
This is my favorite book from childhood and no matter what you think it deserves five stars :-)
I had this book on my shelf for a very very long time. My grandmother used to tell me to read this book, it was one of her favorite book for children. But I always found something else to do or read. Until now, 20 years later.
I couldn't finish this book. Right from the first page I knew this book isn't for me. When I heard that 14 year old kid talk like a 34 year old politician I almost fell asleep from boredom. This is a kid's book for God's sake! Why do we keep reading about this political and
A simple adventure with a young boy as the hero, surviving and thriving through dangers posed by human enemies and by nature. Though written by the author of "Quo Vadis", it does not try to address any large psychological, social or political theme; so, a high-school kid would probably find it shallow melodrama.

For its genre and audience, it is pretty good. (Aside: The portrayal of non-whites would probably be considered offensive today.)
My polish grandmother recommended this book to me, it is raved about in poland apparently. I did really enjoy this, it's always a challenge when translating a great work to match the quality of writing. My nana would've given this 6 stars for the polish version! I think 4 stars is a fair reflection of this translation.
This is one awesome book for young children - like 9,10,11,12 years old! Even though, I enjoyed it a lot too!
Super, fajne zakonczenie. To lepsza ksiazka niz Tomek na tropach Yeti (ciagle zatrzymuje sie we wrzesniu).
Nobel Prize novel by Polish Writer, about two friends kidnapped by rebels during Mahdi's rebellion in Sudan.
One of the best books I`ve read as a child! Every kid should have it on the bookshelf!
Rajna Kersic
This is a story about two young friends who were kidnapped by rebels.
Schejtan Ana
The almost forgotten favourite from my childhood. Epic.
Gosia Kowalska
jak na Sienkiewicza to i tak nieźle
Da bimbo ce n'era una copia che mi guardava dallo scaffale sopra il letto di mio fratello. La copertina mi affascinava parecchio, ma ricordo che leggerlo fu penoso, pesante, noioso. Impiegai molto per finirlo.
Anna Sochacka
I'm really impressed how my 10 years old son likes it. I read the book, when I was at his age and really loved it, but that was in times without computer and Cartoon Network. But he got driven into it and shows really deep emotions about childrens' adventures.
We are listening to audiobook, so maybe it's also good way to show classics to children.
Lucy Sisk
Skvělé podání autorovy samotné cestovatelské vášně zasazené do příběhu dvou unesených dětí, kterým se podaří vyklouznout ze zajetí a projít se přes celý kontinent ( tedy skoro ).
Je vidět, že sám autor procestoval kraje a prožil příhody a nemoci, které zde popisuje. To je to, co dělá z nudného díla záživné a poučné.
Staś Tarkowski and Nel Rawilison are children of engineers building Suez Canal in Egypt, where the saint war against colonisators is going on. Kids are kidnapped and from this their journey through Africa starts. Their adventures are more and more dangerous as for 9-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy. Great read.
Staś Tarkowski and Nel Rawilison are children of engineers building Suez Canal in Egypt, where the saint war against colonisators is going on. Kids are kidnapped and from this their journey through Africa starts. Their adventures are more and more dangerous as for 9-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy.
Sienkiewicz's tendency to exaggerate and idealize the main characters' courage and cleverness can be quite annoying. Here it becomes even ridiculous, taking into account that the hero, who manages to lead an expedition in extreme conditions is just a 14-year-old child.
I have a love and hate relationship with this book. It was on the "to read" list in fifth grade. I did not read it then as I suppose to and the teacher gave me my first bad grade. I actually read it on my summer vacations following before the 6th grade... hmm... and loved it!
Interesting how much your perspective on a story changes with time. I last read this book over 15 years ago and was surprised how much more critical I was of the chronicle of a childhood adventure this time around.
Khieu Anh
un livre magnifique pour les enfants! Si je l'avais lu plus tôt (j'ai 18 ans déjà), j'aurais aimé à la folie la géographie et qui sait, peut-être, j'aurais faire l'économie pour un voyage à Afrique! et bien sûr, essayer de trouver un compagnon très chic!
Ana Luković
In Desert and Wilderness has all the exciting elements that make a good adventure book. It takes you away from the white pavements of the cities and into the unknown, shows you the meaning of friendship and loyalty and, in the end, love.
Петър Стойков
Цялото ревю:

А книгата Стас и Нели е хубава, прочетете я, даже да не сте деца. Тя е истинска, а не политически коректна.
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Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz (also known as "Litwos"; May 5, 1846–November 15, 1916) was a Polish journalist and Nobel Prize-winning novelist. He was one of the most popular Polish writers at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905 for his "outstanding merits as an epic writer."

Born into an impoverished gentry family in the Podlasie vi
More about Henryk Sienkiewicz...
Quo Vadis With Fire and Sword (The Trilogy #1) The Deluge (The Trilogy #2) The Teutonic Knights Latarnik

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“Nevertheless, in this sea of human wretchedness and malice there bloomed at times compassion, as a pale flower blooms in a putrid marsh.” 19 likes
“He always smiles, even when contemplating nothing good.” 14 likes
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