Jess's Reviews > A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson
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's review
Jun 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, cs-spring-summer-challenge-2010
Read on June 04, 2010

I unexpectedly loved this book. While I knew I wanted to read it for the College Students Spring/Summer Challenge this year, when I actually picked it up from the library I actually hesitated before bringing it home. For whatever reason, the font really bugs me in this book, but I got used to it. I also find it can be difficult for me to read books with British spellings, punctuation, and dialogue (because of the punctuation), so I was a bit hesitant.

I am so thrilled to have read a book about Africa—specifically Kenya, in this case—that differs from a traditional Orientalist perspective on how different and inherently tribal "their people" are, and how much they suffer economically. This book revealed a political and social elite, while also giving depth to characters of less fortunate backgrounds.

The plot was entertaining and interesting, despite the fact that I am hardly at all interested in birds. The feud between Mr. Malik and Harry Khan is funny, and you can almost picture this being a movie with dusty lanes, a fair-skinned red-headed woman, and two South Asian men fighting over her. It's almost Bollywood-esque to imagine! I also found Mr. Malik's ultimate realizations and observations to be quite interesting, and I found him to be a much more intriguing character than I first thought.

I also loved the fact that the narrator seems omnipresent yet anonymous.

I would highly recommend this book to almost anyone. I found it, in two words, utterly delightful.
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06/04/2010 page 16

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