West with the Night
Beryl Markham’s life story is a true epic. Not only did she set records and break barriers as a pilot, she shattered societal expectations, threw herself into torrid love affairs, survived desperate crash landings—and c ...more
Beryl Markham was the first woman to fly sol ...more
"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished ...more
Beryl was an English woman who grew up in Kenya together with his father on a farm. She was raised among Masai warriors, learned to hunt with a spear and to understand animals. Her first major passion were horses not flying. At 18 she was the first woman hor ...more
Never mind that when he wrote his comments in a letter to a friend the ellipsis contained some typically misogynistic and fo ...more
I cannot help but liken this alluring memoir t ...more
Beryl Markham was born in England but moved to Kenya with her family when she was 4. She has amazing stories about surviving a lion attack, becoming a bush pilot, training racehorses, and flying solo across the Atlantic -- and she flew the difficult way, from east to west, against the wind. She is my favorite kind of woman to read about: she's tough and adventurous, but also romantic and sentimental.
Growing up in Kenya, this amazing and fearless lady was not only a wild animal hunter, horse trainer and accomplished pilot, she was also a great story teller and writer (IMHO) as evidenced in West With The Night.
Skinning animals, running with the native hunting parties for wild boar, surviving a baboon attack in her room and a near death encounter with a lion are onl...more
Beryl Markham was one of the pioneers of aviation in Africa.She grew up in Kenya in the early 1900s and also had a career as a racehorse trainer.
Her most famous achievement was being the first person to fly the atlantic non stop from east to west.Such a journey required travelling against the Atlanti ...more
You can be assured that this review will in no way be as well written as Beryl Markham's "West with t ...more
(noun; idiomatic) An abundance or overabundance of something; too much of a good thing.
The above perfectly encapsulates my experience of re-reading Beryl Markham's stunning memoir. The only caveat I'd make is that the last part of the definition makes it sound like a bad thing, when in reality the plethora of descriptive and evocative prose to be found within the 294 pages of this book are about as close to reading nirvana as a I am likely to find in my lifetime.
There ar ...more
2017: So, I did read it again and, as Ernest Hemingway said, "I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book." For one thing, unlike some of Hemingway's ...more
So Beryl's life in a nutshell: She moved to Kenya at the age of four and grew up in a farm. She became the first licensed female horse breeder in the world! She ...more
Mahadma Ghandi said: Live as though you'll die tomorrow, but learn as though you'll live forever.
After many years I have finaly read this book. And what a joyous experience it was. Reading the author's own thoughts on the big events in her life, reminded me of reading the thoughts of Plato in his The Republic. Written so many thousands of years ago, The Republic still accommodates the spirit and mindset of one of the most influential people of all times. By reading his words, we can still hear a ...more
Really good - interesting and very well written. I admire her pluck more than I did before.
There is some controversy around this book, with some believing it was actually wr ...more
I ran on and on, following the barely audible bark of Buller, and the few drops of blood clinging at intervals to the stalks of grass or soaking into the absorbent earth. It was either Buller's blood or the warthog's. Most likely it was both.
It is probably sacrilege to have read West with the Night and not to have loved it more.
To be fair, when I read the book I could hardly put it down. It was a charmingly written memoir of what must have been an extraordinarily interesting person. Beryl ...more
Plenty of adventure abounds in this nearly unspoiled Africa where Markham had an unconventional upbringing. Her strong, intelligent, and independent personality allowed her to accept this gift of Africa and appreciate it’s potential and beauty.
Her gift of writing shines through her s ...more
Update 5/31/2020: This evening, while rummaging in my kitchen drawers, I found my note of two quotes that had grab ...more
What a book! 4.5 stars rounded up. Yes, it wasn't perfect, there was some racism and Beryl using her plane to spot for elephants so rich white hunters could kill them for ivory was heartbreaking — aside from that, it was *almost* perfect.
Don't take my word for it, Ernest Hemingway wrote to Maxwell Perkins in 1942 with some uncharacteristically high praise for the book:
"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with ...more
Beryl Markham certainly had an interesting childhood. Her father was a white settler in Kenya and he raised his daughter there. She was attacked by a lion when she was apparently a little girl. She, as a teenager, groomed horses…her father at that time was training race horses. She then became a celebrated racehorse trainer. The ...more
OUTSTANDING and perfectly worded to nuance, beauty, dichotomies, dirt to mountain top reality of her East Anglican Africa (now Kenya farmland /plain prime) of the 1910's, 1920's and early 1930's. Rarely, rarely do you read this depth for physical base fact tied sublimely to the artistic judgment supreme- and not ...more
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She continued to be a non-conformist and trailblazer in both her professional and personal lives, marrying several ...more