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I Dreamed of Africa
Kuki Gallmann
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I Dreamed of Africa

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,895 ratings  ·  125 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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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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
Jun 09, 2009 Antigone rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Claudia Sesto
"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
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
I read this a long while ago it was an amazing read
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
Aubrey Ingram
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

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
Isabelle H
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
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"
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.
A book that reveals a story of rebirth within one's self. A perfect read for anyone who has recently gone through a tragedy and needs to grow their strength and inspiration into a new life.
R. Gamble
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
Love all things Africa. I think I live vicariously through these brave women who leave their homeland to live in the wild beauty of Africa.
Barb Hailey
Really enjoyed this non-fiction account of a short period in Kuki's life in Kenya. I always read a book of a place I'll visit soon, and this book gave me insight into the peoples of Kenya, the differences in a couple of tribes, the way of life, nature and the natural surroundings, animals and their plight, and the compassion of the people who live there, regardless of their culture.

Our world is better with Kuki Gallmann in it.
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
Helen Luthwood
Had me dreaming of Africa as well. Really enjoyed this book.
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
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.
Heartfelt and touching account of life in Aftica.
Mandy Tewell
This was an impulse buy since I normally love books about Africa. I understand that this was written in another time but it was racist and elitist. Kiki spent the entire time being superior to Africans and talking about all of the changes she had to make in order for her time in Africa to be livable and up to her standards. She clearly had a "privileged upbringing" and is the epitome of white privilege. She was also very judgmental of the people living on the land. Needless to say, I would not r ...more
An amazing story of a woman with a love for her new country, her attachment to the soil of Africa, and her growth to living in harmony with nature and the local communities. There is so much tragedy in her life, that it was heartening to read of how she grew and drew positives from her losses, and her determination to see Kenya's wildlife and marginalised cultures be protected and thrive. Kuki still has her conservancy and continues to be an activist, and I have so much more admiration for her, ...more
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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
More about Kuki Gallmann...
African Nights: True Stories from the Author of I Dreamed of Africa Night Of The Lions Olifanten in mijn boomgaard Il Colore Del Vento: Diario D'africa (1974 1984) Through the Eyes of the Gods: An Aerial Vision of Africa

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