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The White Masai

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  3,327 ratings  ·  412 reviews

The four-million-copy international bestseller of the incredible love story between a European woman and an African warrior

The White Masai combines adventure and the pursuit of passion in a page-turning story of two star-crossed lovers from vastly different backgrounds. Corinne, a European entrepreneur, meets Lketinga, a Samburu warrior, while on vacation in Mombasa on

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Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Arcadia Books (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katherine Howell
Now - before I started and indeed after reading the first few chapters, this book is making me angry. Angry is maybe not the right word. I just think that she's an ignorant dufus. Who makes a decision to change your life so dramatically (and invade someone else's home) based on deciding you've fallen in love with someone you've just glimpsed?? This happens while she's on holiday, she goes home for 6 months and then comes back to find him (which she does - don't worry, this is all very early on,...more
Leslie
Jul 24, 2011 Leslie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Silly young women
Shelves: bio-memoirs, africa
Now ladies, what have we learned here? When on vacation in a foreign country, don't fall in lust with the noble savage ( right in front of, and in spite of, your current boyfriend). Don't do it. It's not only vulgar but also dangerous. No man is worth dysentary, diptheria and yellow fever. And let's be honest dearie, I doubt even Martha Stewart herself could do much with a cow dung hut. And why have your baby out in the hellish bush with lions and snakes and God-knows-what lurking about when you...more
Badly Drawn Girl

I struggled with this book. The beginning is so unbelievable that I was left feeling uncomfortable by how shallow this woman was. I find it ironic that she has said in an interview that a lot of people are uncomfortable with the fact that she married and had a baby with a black man. As a mother of two biracial sons, I can guarantee that is not what made me uncomfortable. What made me uncomfortable was her complete lack of regard for the culture she barged her way into. She didn't know the first...more
Nancy Schober
A Swiss woman is on holiday in Kenya and falls truly, madly deeply in love with a Masai warrior. She goes home sells her business and all her possessions, returns to Kenya to set up housekeeping with the Masai.

I'm sorry but this relationship had no chance. The power difference between the two was so great. Maybe she felt she was in love, and she certainly was. But not with the man but her idealized idea of him. If she had truly loved him she would have never pursued him. Because even an idiot co...more
Agreenhouse
I found this book while perusing the non-fiction shelf at the East Windsor Branch of the Queens Public Library. I first noticed the word Masai, and thought back to some comments my friend Penny had made after her trip to Kenya where she visited a Masai village. She was shocked at the poor treatment of women. I opened the inside cover and read that the book was an autobiography about a Swiss woman who fell instantly in love with a Masai man and gave up her life in Switzerland to live with the man...more
Denise
Aug 13, 2010 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read about different cultures
I am a bit conflicted about this book. It does not get four stars because I think the prose is beautiful or profound. This book is essentially the memoir of a Swiss woman who is on holiday in Kenya and 'falls in love' (I'd call it lust) with a Kenyan Masai warrior. The book takes place over approximately 3 years of the author's life, in which she breaks up with her Swiss boyfriend, sells everything she owns (car, apartment, dress shop) in Switzerland to live a very difficult life in Kenya. Her '...more
Melissa
A Swiss woman travels to Africa with her boyfriend for vacation. While there she meets a Masai warrior, decides she’s in love, breaks up with said boyfriend, and pursues a relationship with a man with whom she doesn’t even speak the same language.

I read this for my book club. I only mention that because if it hadn't been for book club then there's no way I would have finished this. The writing is pretty awful, the actual events are infuriating and the end result is not surprising.

I don’t think a...more
Marcia
Oh I loved this book. Especially because it's a true story. This book made me more aware of all the luxury that we have here in The Netherlands. Made me appreciate all the little things that are so "normal" to me, like drinking water from our faucet, a warm bed every night, clothes to ware, healthy food every day......
Everybody should read this book!
Jolanta25
This book is often described as an ultimate love story between a White woman and her Masai. As a love story it had very little to offer, but what I found most fascinating about it, is its Cultural context.

It was one of the most engaging anthropological journals I've ever read. From the very first page I just couldn't put it down. It described in details the everyday life of Samburu people occupying the dry lands of Kenya; their odd beliefs, daily struggles for food and water as well as the sign...more
Susie Fox
Hated it. Only finished it to see if the author grew a brain, but she didn't.
You can't own another person, but she continually refers to her husband as 'my Masai'. If you want to endanger your own life by getting malaria and leaving it untreated, that's your own silly fault, but don't bring a baby into the world if you don't even have basic food and sanitation to care for her.
The whole idea of falling instantly in love with anyone is just silly, and completely ludicrous if that person can't spe...more
Jo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet
I almost gave up on this book - I didn't find the writing all that good, and the premise of lifelong love at first sight (literally!) seemed a little silly. But the adventure part caught me up - and her travels in the Land Rover were especially interesting.

Living in Hawaii, with its many ethnicities, I could relate to the misunderstandings and the frustrations of dealing with another culture.

While I am still suspect of the whole romance angle (love or just lust?), the adventure story was worth...more
Marilyn Maya
Don't think I can finish this. The woman is tres out of touch with reality.

I brought this book by mistake to a long appointment and am so angry today. If I have to say one good thing about it to give it one star, the writing isn't bad, but I don't know if that is the translating but I will give it one star for that, Now to the anger part.
The woman is so self centered, so stubborn and so man centered and shallow it made me sick. She falls in love with a man for his looks alone. If you read the w...more
Edie
With all the negative reviews for this book, I felt the need to comment on my thoughts on the book.

I found the reviews were mainly based on people's feelings of the author herself as opposed to the actual book.

While I also didn't agree with everything (if anything?) that the author did, that really has nothing to do with the story itself.

I think it's fair to remember, English is not her first language and I am assuming she wrote it in German and it was then translated? - So there are a few sa...more
Alexandra
One of the very few books in my life I didn't finish reading. Every time something went wrong, and believe me about everything turns out to go wrong sooner or later in this story, I started to get annoyed more and more with the author, her overly romantic yet totally unrealistic expectations into one of the most extreme relationship scenarios one can imagine and into which nobody besides herself had pushed her. After managing about half of the book, I gave it to a friend who saw it at my house a...more
Cat
It's a fascinating story, but the main character is an incredibly selfish person, and that bothered me a lot. Also, the translation is not great, and the writing wasn't spectacular to begin with. But I was compelled to read it quickly, it's a bizarre, intreuging account of a woman who pursues her "love at first sight" to the literal ends of the Earth.
Norah
Could not finish this book...this woman was so crazy. I've seen western women fall under the Masai spell, and it's not pretty.
Judy
I enjoyed this book, even though while reading it I'm thinking, "What are YOU (the author) thinking?" - as she pursues marriage with someone from a completely different culture and whose language she doesn't speak, all based on the fact she's smitten with his looks. Well, I suppose that's where it all starts, the physical attraction. I appreciated learning about what it must be like to take up residence in the bush, with a hut made of cow dung, diseases lurking, water that has to be fetched, no...more
Frances
I bought The White Masai in the Nairobi airport hoping to find out a little more about the daily life of the Masai people. Turns out that I knew more about the Masai from one college anthropology class than the author did before deciding to move from Switzerland to Kenya and marry a Masai man. (Really not Masai but Samburu, a related group.) It boggles the mind how one could decide to get married without knowing such crucial pieces of information such as whether her intended loves her back, that...more
Louise
She "responded to her inner child." She "made herself vulnerable"... and all the other talk show guru advice. You have to hand it to her... she did it. She married a warrior who couldn't count (numbers, money, etc.) and tried to make it work. She almost died in the process, but kept at it.

I can't get over her spunk! She had ran 3 different businesses in Kenya. There was a ton of red tape, translation problems, unreliable transportation, and her own malaria and difficult pregnancy. Despite these...more
Bonnie
The White Masai: An Exotic Tale of Love and Adventure by Corinne Hofmann

I want to begin by saying I DO NOT recommend this book! Why did I even read it? I so rarely read books that infuriate me. My neighbor, Veronica, loaned me this book saying only, “I’ve been reading nonstop for two days; I can’t put this down!” Though she gave me a brief synopsis, she never said, “This woman is completely insane!” That’s what she told me when I mentioned that I was so ANGRY with Corinne that I couldn’t stop re...more
Nikki
This book was recommended by a friend who recently spent two weeks in Tanzania with the Masai people. It is the true account of a Swiss tourist who, while traveling in Kenya, falls in love with a Masai warrior. She gives up everything and moves to Kenya where she marries him and has a child.

Reading this book was extremely frustrating...it's like the car wreck that you know is going to happen and you wish you could close the book but you just keep reading...of course it doesn't end well--it would...more
Suzanne
Without a doubt, Hofmann has a compelling - and sensational - story to tell. While on holiday, she glimpses a magnificent Masai warrior on the opposite shore, and then gives up her white boyfriend, her business in Switzerland - and just about everything else - to go live in the bush with him as his wife.

I can imagine someone saying to Hofmann, "You should write a book!" and then Hofmann dutifully sitting down and recording, diary-style, everything that happened to her while in Kenya. Hofmann doe...more
Book Concierge
This is a memoir of a “hit-by-a-truck-in-LUV” Swiss/German woman and the Masai warrior she lusts after. Despite her protestations of love (both she for him, and he for her), there is no love here. Love requires knowing one another and mutual respect. She’s just infatuated.

She spends the first third of the book telling us over and over how handsome “my Masai” is, despite his occasional bouts of moodiness. She spends the middle detailing all the problems they have getting the paperwork done for …...more
Carolina Suniaga
Comienza excelentemente... esperemos sea todo así.

El libro ha seguido muy bien, cuantas cosas debe pasar la protagonista, y es una historia de la vida real!

Terminado de leer y me encantó. es increíble como Corinne plasma las diferencias culturales que solo al vivirlas en carne propia se logran comprender en toda su dimensión. Una mujer valiente que escribe de una forma tal que uno vive con ella todas sus experiencias.

Lo recomiendo
Wendy
It certainly is lucky that this lady had so much money in Switzerland, is all *I* can say. I'm puzzled about why she never learned to speak Samburu. Or why she ever thought this was a good idea, though I get that later she's got a classic case of what happens to emotionally and psychologically abused wives. She's kind of a mess: after everything she's been through, she still gets irritated when her husband shows up in western-style clothes that aren't stylish enough for her tastes? Hmm...

I also...more
Andrea
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I read this. One feels sympathy for Hofmann, who falls in love with a Masai man she meets while on vacation in Mombasa. But why anyone intelligent enough to write this book would not investigate the culture and circumstances of their "beloved" before selling their business and running off to live in a village where it becomes clear that her physical and emotional health are compromised is not clear to me. Some bottled water and a basic book on Masai culture and...more
Diana
Last year, my husband and I went to Tanzania and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. One member of our group was John, a Maasai warrior, who is the leader of his village in the Ngorogoro Crater. After successfully summiting Kili together, John found out we'd be near his village while on safari. Thus, he invited all of us (my husband and I were traveling with another couple) to visit his village. It was eye opening seeing how the Maasai people live in their domas (grass huts) with a fire burning 24/7, but no...more
Tripfiction
Memoir set in KENYA (“captive of the Masai World”)

A memoir set in Kenya that will evoke a strong response in the reader.

Guaranteed!

That is probably a bit of a daring thing to say, I feel, but it is one of the few books I have read where I have experienced a medley of emotions, and judging by reviews across the internet I am not alone.

Corinne Hofmann from Biel in Switzerland travels to Kenya with her then boyfriend Marco. Within a few hours travelling to Mombasa she has spotted Lketinga, a Masai...more
Kristina
She was 27 and she 'felt" in love with a man she only saw 2-3 times, knows nothing about him and can't even have a normal conversation with. She's a very stupid woman, if this happened to me I would be ashamed of myself instead of bragging about it in a book (or I would write the book just to warn other women. Everyone was warning her not to stay with him but she had to had it her way and then she gets angry and at times laughs at her husband's culture. Well stupid lady, if you had appreciated y...more
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