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Hello to the Cannibals: A Novel

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3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  18 reviews
At first, all Lily Austin knows about 19th–century explorer Mary Kingsley is that, 100 years before, she was the first white woman to venture into the heart of Africa. But as Lily begins reading about Mary Kingsley, she becomes more and more fascinated – and discovers in Mary a kindred spirit.

In her own life, Lily feels trapped – on the one hand, she craves family and inti
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Paperback, 688 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published 2002)
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Hello to the Cannibals by Richard BauschA Voyager Out by Katherine FrankTravels in West Africa by Mary Henrietta KingsleyOne Dry Season by Caroline Alexander
Books About Mary Kingsley
1st out of 4 books — 1 voter
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy TooleA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee WilliamsThe Awakening by Kate ChopinL'Immortalite by T.R. HeinanNine Lives by Dan Baum
Best New Orleans Books
184th out of 235 books — 190 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 233)
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Marlee Pinsker
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Joel
While parts of this novel are beautiful to read, especially description, the characters just never really come to life; I ended up not caring all that much what happens to Lily, the heroine. Most of the book felt like a badly rehearsed play, with scenes running far too long and the actors making the wrong entrances and exits and missing their cues.

It could have been much shorter, given how little actually happens on the page. First person was a poor choice for point of view for a work this long,
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Alyssa Greatbanks
The story was pretty slow at first(then for the rest of the book), but shortly in to it the main character, Lily, was molested by a friend's grandparent. After that, seeing the horror that she was feeling, I figured it would be a book where she had to overcome the memories of it and find herself again. Nope.

Lily was a rather infuriating character, mainly because she did almost nothing about any current situation. She just went along with whatever was going on. Not only that, but the play she was
...more
Lhaver
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Sarah
Hello to the Cannibals. Richard Bausch. 2002. Harper Collins. 661 pages.

Hello to the Cannibals by Richard Bausch is such an expansive book and took me awhile to read, and I definitely wouldn't do it again. The synopsis of Hello to the Cannibals is much more interesting than what it actually turned out to be.

Hello to the Cannibals is about a young woman named Lily Austin who is mature, intelligent, and incredibly insightful for her age. At her 14th birthday party, Lily receives a biography about
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Ayelet Waldman
I hereby declare a moratorium on men of a certain age writing from the point of view of young women. I will not allow it anymore, because those of us who are women (even if the fact that we are approaching our fortieth birthday with terrifying inexorability precludes us from calling ourselves young) find too many embarrassing mistakes, the kind of things that make us fling a novel across the room in frustration. Plus--enough with the shifting time periods. Unless they are really and truly relate ...more
Joan
Book jacket emphasized the historical aspects of the book as incorporating the life of Mary Kingsley into the story. Much of the book however, is the primary story of how Lily Austin relates to Mary Kingsley as she tries to pull herself out of a major depression triggered by her parents divorce. At 661 pages, this was too slow paced for my taste. Just when more excerpts from Mary Kingleys' life were forthcoming, my tolerance for the length of the book flagged, and I skimmed over the second half ...more
Carole
The intertwined stories of a young college student, struggling with her identity, and Mary Kingsley, a 19th century woman explorer in Africa, were an interesting combination. The student who leaves school right before graduation works on a play about Mary Kingsley to carry her through a variety of family disappointments and a brief marriage. Despite her success in completing the play, and despite a reconciliation with her family, the ending never really seemed to resolve the story in a satisfact ...more
Heidi
Ugh. I can't finish this book -- the historical part featuring Mary Kingsley was slightly interesting, but when I read the author's afterward saying that he made up a good percentage of that story, I really couldn't stomach it anymore. As for the modern-day part... well, I wasn't moved to even begin to care about Lily and Tyler and the soap opera that was their life. This one is going back to the book swap whence it came.
Kristy
Lily's life is transformed after receiving a book on women explorers and learning about the life of Mary Kingsley. The reader gets to see the views of both Lily and Mary. Very interesting. Can get a little slow at times, but overall a good read.
Martac
I couldn't really put this book down while I was reading it. It may overlap something of a chick-flick-like genre, but the characters are well developed and Bausch noted Chekov's advice: don't forget the weather.

Terra
I really liked the present-day narrative and really disliked the historical one. I didn't finish. But I think Bausch has some really great storytelling skills so I'm going to try another one by him.
Ninon
Read this a long time ago - great story of the first woman to explore Africa - it would be an interesting companion piece to "Things Fall Apart."
Barbara
Love Mary Kingsley, but couldn't find her soon enough in this, I'll try again in a few months.
Leslie
The history is absorbing. Mary is wonderful. Lily, not so much.
Steven Monrad
Story within a story, women's point of view
too psychological for me
Beth Shields-Szostak
Aug 11, 2011 Beth Shields-Szostak marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed
1st edition, signed & inscribed by author
Suzanne Moore
May 05, 2010 Suzanne Moore marked it as to-read
Shelves: companion-reads
Victorian explorer, Mary Kingsley
Sarah
Sarah marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2015
Mike
Mike added it
Apr 11, 2015
Melinda
Melinda marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2015
Abi
Abi marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
Alyssa Christian
Alyssa Christian marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2015
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An acknowledged master of the short story form, Richard Bausch's work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, The New Yorker, Narrative, Gentleman's Quarterly. Playboy, The Southern Review, New Stories From the South, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize Stories; and they have been widely anthologized, including The Granta Book of the Ame ...more
More about Richard Bausch...
Peace The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction The Stories of Richard Bausch Something is Out There Before, During, After

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