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I Dreamed of Africa
Kuki Gallmann
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I Dreamed of Africa

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,413 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
set in Kenya 1970s- 80s. Gren recommended it to Kirst. we did it at last month's bookgrp meeting. OK but one could miss it. Has inpsired me to visit Africa again soon though!
Published 2007 (first published 1991)
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Apr 12, 2011 Eileen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I wanted to like this story I didn't. Most probabaly it's me, because I guess I expected something completely different. I expected to read about the people in Africa their customs and culture, their daily life and Kuki adjusting to this. Instead I got the mistreatment of animals, a lot of horrible accidents, dead people, mourning and over all a depressing story that is written (with a lot of long descriptions) in a way that didn't pull me in. I skipped passages and just wanted to have ...more
No no no no. Arrivata alla nonna molto pia e pure medium ho veramente pensato di abbandonare, ma non posso perché mi serve per portare avanti un paio di giochi.
Intanto già mi ha fatto rompere una regola: di solito recensisco nella lingua in cui leggo, quindi quando leggo in inglese preferisco recensire in inglese. Torniamo a monte: il libro è scritto da un'italiana, che però l'ha redatto in inglese, e nell'edizione italiana spiega che sente più sua la versione inglese, cioè la lingua che usa in
May 23, 2011 Iskreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 8th-roberts

The book I Dreamed Of Africa is a very touching memoir about the author, Kuki Gallman’s life in Laikipia, Kenya. One day when Mrs. Gallman was 12 years old her teacher in Italy told her class to write an essay about where they would be and what they would be doing in 20 years. She wrote about how she would be living in Africa and seeing the giraffes and the lions and the buffalo where ever she went, and when she got the essay back, there was a big check on it but no grade. When she asked her te
More emotionally intense than I had expected. 4 stars, 5 stars, I'm not sure, while captivating at times, periodically I had to force myself to not skim through some pages. I can not deny that it will stay with me forever . . .why is that books about Africa have such mystic about them? I've read stories fiction and non about so many other places on the Earth but the most affective are told from Africa.

My copy is a library book and I am reluctant to put it far from my reach, I'd prefer not to giv
Oct 11, 2010 penelopewanders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Kuki Gallmann speak at a conference I attended and was swept away by the courage and dedication, strength and vision of this amazing woman. A colleague lent me this book and having given it as a birthday present to a student who just spent part of his summer holidays in Africa, I thought it was time I actually read it. I had been impressed by what a persuasive speaker Kuki Gallmann was- her written voice is often pure poetry. Her tale is lyrical but oh so tragic in many ways- I wept buck ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Dries rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where will I start?
Well, this was in a way one of the best books i've ever read. A great story about an Italian woman who leaves behind her live in Europa to start somewhere else: Kenia. There, in Africa, she finds true joy in her life but also true misery. She keeps fighting though, and she keeps loving her land in Africa which she calls home.

The story touched me, because life simply isn't easy in Africa and surely not when bad things happen.

I myself dream of a life somewhere else, far away fr
Jun 13, 2014 Bunnychip9 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, memoir
Memoir reading is something very personal - it requires your own personal identification with the experiences of the author. This then, is not fiction - and requires from us, the readers, an emotive attribute that is sometimes missing in other works we read. Yet, for me, while reading I Dreamed Of Africa - I missed this emotional attribute. Gallmann's story is well-known - her enduring love story with Paolo, and her love for Africa resulted in a movie by the same name.

I am fascinated by Africa,
Apr 05, 2014 Haanim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african, reviews, memoir
DISCLAIMER: This is more of a rant than a review.

Even though this is a remarkable story, touching, tragic and moving, I cannot help feeling a bit annoyed. Before I say what about the book gets my goat, I must say that I appreciate what Kuki Gallmann did for conservation in her part of Kenya. I admire her attitude towards the land on which she lives. She recognises that she is not a land "owner". No one can own land. She is a custodian, a protector with a responsibility to preserve the land and m
This was a memoir about an Italian woman that brought her family to Kenya and made a life for herself and her family. Kuki Galllmann, the author, described how throughout her childhood, she dreamed of living in Africa and that she eventually made that a reality. The book outlines hardships that followed her dream including the death of her husband, Paolo, death of her son, Emmanuelle and being a single mother in a foreign country.

The memoir was well written and easy to follow. I liked the way th
Mar 24, 2012 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir, africa
A description of the author's life in Africa in the 1980's.

Almost as an aside but a little unnerving - I had been reading the latest National Geographic magazine (April 2012) earlier in the day. There was an article describing the slaughter of rhinos in Africa for their horns, more than 1000 killings alone since 2006, and suddenly in Gallmann's memoirs one confronts the same ugliness from thirty years ago. Toward the end of the book, as a way to honor her husband's and son's lives, Gallman becom
Apr 02, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, memoir, kenya
As a child growing up in Italy, Kuki Gallman heard stories of Africa from family and friends and dreamed of the opportunity to live there hereself one day. In 1970, as a single mom and recovering from a horrific car accident, she had her first opportunity to travel to Kenya with her eventual second husband. In 1972, after they were married and she'd fully recovered, the family moved to Kenya and made their home at Ol Ari Nyiro ranch in the west-central part of the country. Family tradegies ensu ...more
Oct 25, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An autobiographical novel about Kuki Gallman's experiences in Africa...
The book is filled with wonderful descriptions of the African landscape and the struggles of daily life in this enigmatic
country. Kuki engages the reader with tales elephants in her garden to the very real threat of lions that can kill in one moment of carelessness. It is clear through her writing that she truly loves and feels a spiritual conncetion to this land.
Her upbeat attitude, "There has never been a day of boredom"
Jun 09, 2009 Antigone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travelers, people who love biographies or Africa
The movie didn't do it for me. But the book was very compelling. My friend, Julian, went to the same school in Kenya as the author's son. Having heard all about the school and life back there (when he moved to the DC area) it was so interesting to read her account of life as a modern day pioneer (alright, some might say colonialist as a European settler but the author's work with elephant preservation really was amazing). This is not a book about ecological conservation. It is a very tragic biog ...more
Cristina Bianca Maria Sartori
L'autrice ci consegna un ritratto di se' molto impietoso: la storia narrata tratteggia una donna incapace di assumere responsabilmente il rischio, ma assolutamente privilegiata in patria. Nonostante ciò, decide di stabilirsi in Kenya, poichè è mossa da una spirito d'avventuriera ed è circondata e sostenuta da altri della stessa risma. Senza scrupolo alcuno, si intesta ettari ed ettari di ranch nel cuore del continente nero che, bellissimo, affascinante ma pericoloso, le chiede di pagare un prezz ...more
One of the great reads if someone is interested in European settlers and how they adapted to the African continent. Kuki Gallmann write so well, the reader can almost smell and taste the dust of the African savannas. Her books are a personal account of their happiness and sorrows in a tough environment and also confirm why Africa is born in everyone who lived there. Loved the book and the sequel 'African Nights'

I couldn't put the book down.
Margaret Crampton
This books paints a vivid picture of the wild wide open spaces of Africa, specifically Kenya and a lifestyle of freedom, affluence and adventure in a country teaming with wild animals. This is a memoir of coming to terms with tragedy and loss, love and life. It is a little too slow moving to warrant five stars but is nevertheless a memorable book.
Apr 23, 2014 Veronika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unputtable!!! Very touching! I just couldn't stop reading it. Kuki is a very enthusiastic, brave and strong woman! She is a true heroine making her dreams come true. I really liked the way how she let us see into her life and the way how she describe her love for Africa.
Sep 04, 2013 Belle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this a long while ago it was an amazing read
Susan Henderson
Let's hope the movie is better.
Bob Stocker
I finished I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallmann about a week ago. I'm still not sure what to say about it. I count two weeks that I spent on an African safari 15 years ago as the most pampered living that I've ever experienced. Having servants take care of all my needs seemed unnatural and made me feel uncomfortable. It's tempting to be critical of Gallmann's choice of life style: She been able to live most of her adult life as if she were on an extended African safari.

Despite the safari-like pa
Claudia Sesto
Apr 11, 2014 Claudia Sesto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Una vita, come un concerto, è fatta di note alte e basse, di paise nello slancio e di vertici di vibranti, assordanti battiti del cuore."
Una bella biografia, a tutto tondo, la Kuki non si risparmia ci racconta del suo immenso amore per l'Africa, che l'ha portata a vivere lì.
Ci parla della sua vita fatta di tanta felicità e libertà nelle sconfinate regioni del continenete nero, dei suoi grandi, immensi dolori la perdita del marito prima e del figlio poi, vuoti difficili da colmare, eppure lei s
Aubrey Ingram
Feb 13, 2011 Aubrey Ingram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I Dreamed Of Africa is a non-fictional story of a woman named Kuki Gallmann.
Kuki lives in Venice, Italy in the beginning of the story and it is her first year at a university studying Political Sciences. She meets her first husband, and the father of her first son at the university. His name was Mario, and she fell deeply in love with him.
A couple of months before their wedding, Kuki had her first serious accident, Mario did not stop at a crossroads, and the side of his Black Jaguar was
Isabelle H
May 03, 2013 Isabelle H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was 12 when my grandmother gave me the book. Ten years later I have read it five times, taking me a to a world I so long to visit and heard of as a child. A Haunting love story, of not only the men in her life, but for the wild nature and beauty of Kenya. A true story, Kuki recalls the memories of life in Africa with such clarity, perhaps you were really there beside her when she stood alone eyes closed in the lukewarm nights, listening to the eternal chorus of buzzing cicadas, and distant hor ...more
Jo Murch
Aug 02, 2016 Jo Murch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'I Dreamed of Africa' will strike a chord with anyone whose ever dared to venture into unknown territories. It captures the excitement of exploring new surroundings and makes you question what really makes a home a home. It is a tale of belonging: what does it mean to belong to a family, a community, a country or the earth? The depth of Gallman's relationships to her family and friends is truly inspiring and give the novel an almost tangible sense of honesty and eventually tragedy. A beautiful r ...more
Aug 20, 2014 Patty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kuki Gallman’s memoir of her transformation from a young Italian wife and mother to the overseer of a vast Kenyan ranch and homestead in the 70s is at times a bit florid, even ingenuous, but does reflect her genuine love of the land. Born into privilege, the young mother and divorcée is terribly injured in a car accident that also takes the life of a friend’s wife. While she learns to walk again that friend, Paolo, becomes her constant companion and then her husband. Sharing a deep desire to liv ...more
Aug 07, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of the most moving and humbling auto biographies I have ever read. Kuki married then together she and Paoulo bought a farm in Kenya taking her son and his two daughters with them.

The most awful things happen, Paoulo is killed in a car crash then Emanuelle is killed by a snake yet Kuki decides o stay and sets up the Gallmann Foundation in their honour.

I was in tears reading this and days later I am still haunted by her story. What an amazing lady and her daughter seems to be ju
R. Gamble
Jan 23, 2013 R. Gamble rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a group of books written by African Colonials who lived in that land in a time of imperialistic enablement and who shared two things on common: their love of Africa and the ability to write extremely well. I think of the work of this group of authors (Wheeler, Blixen, Markham, Gallmann, et al) as the African Series. Their stories intertwine, they knew the same people, the time and place was the same, the transient nature of their existence similar. Kuki Gallmann's writing captivates. Sh ...more
Feb 26, 2013 Adisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how I got this book but I read it and I enjoyed it. There were moments where I thought the author must be a poet, some sections are very lyrical. All in all I found the book interesting, sad and triumphant. I had to keep reminding myself that this book was a memoir/autobiographical. I'm getting into reading accounts of people's experiences in Africa. I found Kuki's story very touching, amazing and infused with alot of strength. It starts a bit slow and from time to time had a slow p ...more
Sep 30, 2013 Olivia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting reading this book while in central Kenya; I recognized many of the places and people. Overall, I thought Gallmann's story was good and enjoyable to read, but there were several parts that simply dragged. I found all of the omens and premonitions of death to be incredibly eerie. And there was so much tragedy that at times, I couldn't believe it happened as described. It seemed as though Gallmann's life in Africa was as raw and as wild as Africa's land, life and death following ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this from Amy Grenoble and gave it a good try. It was an interesting read to learn about Africa and the obstacles that they and their immigrants face. However, there were certain aspects that I did not understand. Perhaps it was because I am not a woman, Italian or rich like the author. I was interested to read about her desires and motivations and how she overcame so many trials with broken limbs, robberies and divorce.

It is a story about overcoming adversity and persevering despite it.
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Kuki Gallmann is an Italian-born Kenyan national, best-selling author, poet, environmental activist, and conservationist.

Fascinated by Africa, Gallmann moved to Kenya in 1972 with her husband Paolo and son Emanuele, and acquired Ol ari Nyiro, a 98,000 acre estate in Western Laikipia, in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. At the time the estate was still a cattle ranch, which she would later transform into
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