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Green Hills of Africa

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  9,565 ratings  ·  618 reviews
Green Hills of Africa is Ernest Hemingway's lyrical journal of a month on safari in the great game country of East Africa, where he and his wife Pauline journeyed in December 1933. Hemingway's well-known interest in - and fascination with - big-game hunting is magnificently captured in this evocative account of his trip. It is an examination of the lure of the hunt and an ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published March 4th 2004 by Vintage Classics (first published 1935)
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Andrew I keep thinking this is rhetorical....but if not: P.O.M is poor old mama, a nickname (at least in this story) for Pauline Pfeifer, Hemingway's second …moreI keep thinking this is rhetorical....but if not: P.O.M is poor old mama, a nickname (at least in this story) for Pauline Pfeifer, Hemingway's second wife.(less)

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Jason Koivu
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
The machismo is thick and pungent in Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway's autobiographical account of a hunting trip in Africa. At times it felt like the verbalization of this...


It is one part self-glorifying portrayal of a man's man and one part vilification of the same man for the same reason. If alpha-dog Hemingway had lived into his 80s, he would've lived into the 1980s, and if he had I feel certain he would've been a contestant on American Gladiators. Afterwards he would've admitted he was ac
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Where a man feels at home, outside of where he's born, is where he's meant to go."
- Ernest Hemingway


Once, when I was 11 or 12, I begged my father to take me Mule deer hunting in Utah. Growing up in the West, among a certain strata of boy, the October deer hunt was a sort of blood ritual. We would take off from school for a couple days, go into the mountains with our fathers, shoot at things, and come home.

At this time in my life, I had tremendous blood lust. I wanted to bring something down. To
Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in the craft of writing or Ernest Hemingway
The subject of the pursuit is the elusive kudu, an animal you must hunt alone, like writers must write alone...

In Hemingway’s experimental work, the Green Hills of Africa, he produces possibly one of the earliest works of creative nonfiction, reveals how the search for good land parallels a writer’s search for good material, and most of all, reveals himself—warts and all.

* * *

“Fitting in,” being recognized as an aficionado, or knowing how to be an insider (rather than a tourist) surfaces as a d
This is non-fiction. It is about a big-game hunting safari taken by Ernest Hemingway and his second wife Pauline Marie Pfeiffer in December 1933. They traveled to East Africa. Aided by native trackers, they hunted buffalo, rhinoceros, kudu and sable antelope. These were the big attractions of the hunt. More important still was who of the hunters would achieve the biggest kill. In my eyes, the competition between the men was extremely childish, the hunt itself gruesome and revolting.

The book is
Santiago Dotta
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Hemingway makes me realize I'm a pussy. He makes me realize every male human around me is a pussy.
After reading this book I tried to find Hemingway's masculinity and spirit in every men I know (personally and famous ones), and of course the results where dissapointing.
Then I realized, that EH couldn't live in our era. That there exists a symbiotic relationship between EH and the first half of 20th century.
If you read breifly about Hemingway's life in Wikipedia, you realized his own life is a
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I do have positive things to say about this book but they are so tragically overshadowed by the negative.

Frankly, I found this book boring. Perhaps I'm not the target audience but Hemingway made an East African hunting safari in 1935 seem unappealing. Book Summary: Hemingway goes up a hill, looks for kudu, shoots something, his Africans skin it, and he returns to camp and drinks whiskey. Repeat this about 35 times and you have the book. (Ok, sometimes the beast he kills is bigger and sometimes s
I can do nearly everything later.
They are afraid to be alone in their beliefs and no woman would love any of them enough so that they could kill their lonesomeness in that woman, or pool it with hers, or make something with her that makes the rest unimportant.
All I wanted to do now was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.
Now, looking out the tunnel of trees over the ravine at the sky with white clouds m
Roy Lotz
I have a good life but I must write because if I do not write a certain amount I do not enjoy the rest of my life.

I came across The Green Hills of Africa selling for cheap at a used bookstore; and since I vaguely remembered that Hemingway’s famous quote about Huckleberry Finn came from this book (Hemingway thinks it’s the alpha and omega of American fiction), I snatched it up. Well, that quote is certainly in here. It is part of a conversation Hemingway has with an Austrian about literature,
Craig Werner
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: africa, american-lit
Hemingway can be an irritating son of a bitch and this book is near the top of the "here's why" list. A memoir of Hemingway's hunting expedition to East Africa--an area I spent two weeks in recently--, Green Hills shows absolutely no awareness of the colonial history that structures the relations between the hunter and the numerous Africans who make his pleasure possible. There are a few moments when Hemingway realizes that the men who accompany him are every bit as skilled and courageous as he ...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
The first thing that struck me was the foreword:

Unlike many novels, none of the characters or incidents in this book is imaginary. Anyone not finding sufficient love interest is at liberty, while reading it, to insert whatever love interest he or she may have at the time. The writer has attempted to write an absolutely true book to see whether the shape of a country and the pattern of a month’s action can, if truly presented, compete with a work of the imagination.

This alone was quite interestin
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hemingway
I was ready to not like this book. I have had a long-term fascination with Spain and had some deeper appreciation of bullfighting so Hemingway’s earlier experiment with non-fiction, Death in the Afternoon, which reflected so perfectly what Miguel de Unamuno had identified as the Spaniards' “tragic sense of life,” was a strong and intriguing read. It certainly prepared me for a Hemingway who could do non-fiction creatively. But a non-fiction book on big game hunting in Africa seemed not my cup. I ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish-it
If somebody would ask me to describe this book in one sentence, I would say "Ernest Hemingway and his friends are hunting wild animals in Africa." That's it. That's all it ever happens. There is no convoluted plot here, no drama, no love story, no backstabbing, no heroes and villains, just hunting. And by God, is it boring!
For starters, Hemingway is good in describing scenery and landscapes, although he goes into too much detail. He is also good at describing animals. In everything else however,
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, nonfiction, africa
Having just read Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa, I begin to understand why he shot himself in 1961. I had not read any Hemingway for over thirty years, and I realize now there was a reason for this. There was Papa H in Africa, frequently asserting how he loved the place and the people. Yet he is envious of another member of his hunting party, Karl, who is more successful in grabbing the big trophies. Even when he kills a kudu, which he has been trying to do for the whole length of the ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Green Hills of Africa is set (surprise) in Africa, and it primarily concerns hunting for Kudu and Rhino. Hemingway draws you into the realm of the physical; he draws in precise detail the machinery of the rifles, the approach of the rhino, the canvas of Africa's deep and beauteous terrain.

There are passages in here of remarkable grit and beauty:

"It was a hot place to camp, under trees that had been girdled to kill them so that the se-se fly would leave, and there was hard hunting in the hills,
Berit Lundqvist
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Considering the fact that I, in the mid 70’s, was that squeamish highschool girl who dropped out of biology class the very day we were supposed to dissect a hamster, I’m not the least surprised that I didn’t like this book.

Killing animals is simply not my thing. On the other hand, I can respect if people kill for food. Well, at least on an intellectual level. Kill for fun or pleasure? Not so much.

The story goes like this:
Ernest goes to Africa in the early 1930’s, together with his second wife Pa
Dec 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Read this book because I was in the Chulu Hills in Kenya -- the very place about which Hemingway was writing -- and could barely finish. I've always appreciated the skill with which Hemingway wrote fiction but this is a piece of memoir/reportage in which the writer inserted himself solidly into the story, revealing himself (with the rawest of perspectives) to be a mean, self-absorbed, destructive embarrassment of a person at that point in his life. to be fair, I have read the biography of Martha ...more
Victoria Kellaway
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading Hemingway is always a pleasure but there's something about reading a book on a topic you don't expect to care about (big game hunting, bullfighting) and finding you do care, very much. It's fascinating and inspiring. I loved the interplay between Hemingway and Pop, Hemingway and Karl, Hemingway and M'Cola, Hemingway and the dramatic one. I loved being able to see exactly where I was, all the time. I loved Hemingway on writing but most of all I loved Hemingway on Africa, Hemingway on Amer ...more
This is a difficult book to review. I have never enjoyed Hemmingway's fiction as much as others of his time like John Steinbeck or Sinclair Lewis. That said, this book is special because of its insight to Hemmingway's personality which includes killing everything that gets under his gunsights, drinking excessively, uncontrolled aggression and competition with his fellow hunters and anger and condescension toward his African guides. Hemmingway's account of this trip seem more of an affirmation of ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: precinct-81
A rather boring read, as it is all the time about hunting. However, Hemingway is such a talented writer, he makes up for the shortcomings just by his style.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Very entertaining and told with a greater depth than at first noticeable, subtle and disturbing under the surface.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was beautiful. Love Hemingway, love him.
Nov 22, 2019 added it
I don't care for hunting and I don't care much for safari neither
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa is a curious piece of writing to judge. For the first hundred pages or so, I sensed the novelist pushing the boundaries of what was intended to be a piece of non-fiction. Literary detectives will have no trouble picking out the beginnings of “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” Looking back, via Hemingway’s biography, things were starting to sour between Hemingway and his wife, Pauline. And I think it shows a bit in Green Hi ...more
On the back of copy of "Green Hills of Africa" I have is this quote from the Times Literary Supplement: "This book is an expression of a deep enjoyment and appreciation of being alive - in Africa. There is more to it than [hunting]; it is the feeling of the dew on the grass in the morning, the shape and colour and smell of the country, the companionship of friends... and the feeling that time has ceased to matter."

I agree with the quote somewhat, but not entirely. Yes, there are beautiful passag
Mar 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Of the two nonfiction Hemingway books I've read, "Green Hills of Africa" and "A Moveable Feast," this is the superior of the two. Even the portions of this book about writers and writing, a subject "A Moveable Feast" is far more focused on, are fresher and livelier, probably because they were written contemporaneously rather than in hindsight, as was "A Moveable Feast."

While much of "Green Hills of Africa" reinforces the popular image of Hemingway as a manly, swaggering hunter and drinker, it al
May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Apart from a few compelling descriptions of hunting and scenery, this book did not hold my attention. I could never really figure out the time jumps; the whole thing came across as one big sweaty alcoholic trek through the African wilderness, interspersed here and there with Hemingway's rambling about the writing process. I suppose there's something to be said for the book's clever layering--the hunt for big game translating into the hunt for good literature and Hemingway's own identity. But the ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, what a pleasant and leisurely read this was. Unlike other Hemingway books on similar subjects of hunting in Africa, there wasn’t a sense of masculinity of “Man kill animal” for the fun of it, followed by in depth detail of skinning an animal for a trophy. Here you do have “the hunt”, but, it is more of the human interaction rather than ‘the kill itself’.

Hemingway does focus many of his stories on his personal experiences and Africa and hunting is a huge part of it. Alas, how he does glorif
Rahul Nagar
Mar 22, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
It's all about the bullshit that hemingway had done in Africa. In the very beginning of the book I was getting that feeling "What the hell is he writing about?" but due to my habit of finishing everything that I start somehow I managed to finish reading this junk. It was all about killing and hemingway was running around trying to be the cause of death of several wild animals. Hemingway fans go ahead read it but for me and some sensible people this book is a total failure.
Feb 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
I can't finish it because of it's too macabre for me.
I don't like when Hemingway describe the happiness when the carachters kill the animals. I don't like hunting parties.
So,I don't like this book.
Free download available at Faded Page.

An account of Hemingway's 1933 visit to what is now Tanzania. It includes both safari lore and literary criticism.
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First book I ever abandoned halfway through. 3 8 Aug 18, 2017 02:55PM  
Literary Fiction ...: What would you do if you were Hemingway? 72 23 Oct 27, 2014 11:05AM  

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Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collec ...more

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