Kaitlyn Barrett's Reviews > Green Hills of Africa

Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Jul 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: decent-books-from-classic-authors
Read in June, 2012

This book is primarily about what it’s like to be a big game sport hunter in Africa. It’s an interesting book because it’s written from the dated perspective of someone who has an unapologetic racial bias towards the native people of Africa and no idea that it might be morally reprehensible to kill animals for sport. To be fair, he eats all the game he shoots I still think a book of this subject matter, by a different author, would be very difficult to publish now.

From a writing perspective, Hemingway took a nonfiction experience of his own and experimented with fictionalizing it. It works beautifully and reads like a nonfiction memoir. It’s not until the end of the book that the reader realizes that one of the main characters was added after the fact.

Hemingway is an evocative writer of time and place and he’s good at weaving in his internal monologues, philosophies about writing and hunting and his methodology about each of those pursuits without breaking the flow of the narrative. I think he probably writes like he hunts, single mindedly, with great gusto and with a fair amount of technical deconstruction about the "right" way to do it. He works really hard to be efficient in both his hunting and his writing, which I can appreciate.

I loved parts of this book, I enjoyed most of it and he managed to hold my attention for a whole book about stalking big game, which is not a subject I’d typically care about.
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