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Another Day of Life

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,224 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
In 1975, Angola was tumbling into pandemonium; everyone who could was packing crates, desperate to abandon the beleaguered colony. With his trademark bravura, Ryszard Kapuscinski went the other way, begging his way from Lisbon and comfort to Luanda—once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro—and chaos.

Angola, a slave colony later given over to mining and plantations, was a promi
...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 17th 2001 by Vintage (first published 1976)
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Sophie Heawood
Mar 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never thought a Polish journalist's first-hand account of civil war in Angola in the 1970s would be so beautifully written that I'd wake up in the night, turn the light on and have to finish the book, but it had me gripped like that. Am now an utter convert to Kapuscinski's writing about Africa. Astonishing.
César Lasso
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review em português, followed by review in English

EM PORTUGUÊS: Situado na Angola desgarrada pela guerra, nos meses prévios à declaração da independência, isto é também parte da história de Portugal, do imenso êxodo de meio milhão de Portugueses e dos que lá ficaram e decidiram abraçar a nova nacionalidade. E tudo, com o selo característico do sempre interessante Kapuściński.

IN ENGLISH: Set in a chaotic and war-torn Angola during the three months previous to the declaration of independence, this
...more
Adam
Another Day of Life is beautiful, surreal, and tragic reportage from Angola at the bloody birth of that nation that is also imbued with a non-grating sense of something close to whimsy. The country dropped as a colony by the fleeing Portuguese is torn between three armies and their allies fighting a proxy war (Cuba, Zaire(now DRC,), South Africa.) Filled with wonderful described moments and written with sense of atmosphere and perfect details. The fine moments are almost too many to point out an ...more
mohsen pourramezani
ریشارد کاپوشچینسکی خبرنگار لهستانی است که پس از فروپاشی دیکتاتوریِ سالازار (دیکتاتور پرتغال) در سال 1975 و استقلالِ آنگولا به این کشورِ آفریقایی میرود و مشاهداتش را از زمان خروج پرتقالیها و شروع جنگ داخلیِ آنگولا مینویسد.
اولین کتابی بود که در مورد آنگولا میخواندم. نویسنده توضیحات و توصیفات خوبی از وضعیت آنگولا در آن سالها داده بود. دوست داشتم بیشتر حسِ پلشتی جنگ را توی کتاب منتقل میکرد اما شاید همانطور که خودش گفته: «تصویر جنگ قابل انتقال نیست - نه با قلم نه با صدا نه با تصویر. جنگ واقعیت است،
...more
Pooriya
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic, memoir
توی یک نیمکرهی زمین، آدمها دارند خر و پف میکنند و از این دنده به آن دنده میشوند و همزمان، در آن یکی نیمکره، آدمها کمکم پا میشوند، شیر میجوشانند، اصلاح میکنند و به صورتشان پودر میمالند. و بعد برعکس. آدمها از خواب پا میشوند و فکر نمیکنند ممکن است آخرین روز زندگیشان آغاز شده باشد. احساسی معرکه، اما آنقدر طبیعی که کسی توجهی بهش نمیکند. در هر لحظه صدها، اگر نگوییم هزارها، ایستگاه رادیویی دارند کار میکنند و دریایی از کلمات را روانهی آنتن میکنند. جالب است شنیدن اینکه دنیا چطور مباحثه میکند، تهییج میکند ...more
Shima
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب جالبی بود و تصویر واضحی از جنگ داشت، جنگ استقلال آنگولا از پرتغال. یک دعایی هم از كك، رهبر قبيلهى كريكاس، قبل نبرد سال ١٨٧٦ با افريكانسىها نقل شده بود به اين مضمون:
"پروردگارا! با وجود دعاهاى بسيارمان به درگاه تو، داريم همين طور جنگهايمان را مىبازيم. فردا باز نبردى در پيش داريم كه واقعا مهم است. با تمام توانى كه داريم، باز به يارى تو محتاجيم. براى همين مىخواهم درخواستى كنم: نبرد فردا سواى بقيه است. جای بچه ها نيست. پس ناگزيرم استدعا كنم پسرت را به يارىمان نفرستى و خودت بيايى."
...more
linhtalinhtinh
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful writing, and I'm sure, also great translation.

This is a very sad story that can tear you up.
The next prisoner looks twelve. he says he's sixteen. He knows it is shameful to fight for the FNLA, but they told him that if he went to the front they would send him to school afterward. he wants to finish school because he wants to paint. if he could get paper and a pencil he could draw something right now. He could do a portrait. he also knows how to sculpt and would like to show his sculpt
...more
Ian
I first read this about 25 years ago along with Ryszard Kapuściński’s other books. At the time it was my favourite of his, and it didn’t disappoint on re-reading.

As the blurb states, Kapuściński described this as “a very personal book, about being alone and lost” and that is part of why this book is such a moving read. In 1975 he was the sole foreign correspondent of the official Polish press agency. He went to Angola to cover the lead-up to the country’s independence and the accompanying civil
...more
Ed
Aug 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
Impressionistic account of the last days of Portuguese rule in the last European colony in Africa. Kapuściński was in Luanda, the capital and traveled around territory controlled (often temporarily) by the MPLA, the liberation movement that was supported by the USSR and Cuba. As a Warsaw Pact journalist his accreditation if not his sympathies were to them. The MPLA was at war with UNITA in the north which was supported by Mobutu's Zaire--and therefor by the U.S. and France which funded Mobutu fo ...more
Luís Paz da silva
Abordei este livro com elevadas expectativas, o que é sempre um erro. A culpa foi da Granta (nr. 1) onde li pela primeira vez algo deste autor e adorei. É difícil escrever sobre este livro. Ao chegar ao fim, a sensação é a de que faltam ali muitos capítulos, é tudo muito despachado para a frente e, nalgumas partes, superficial. Claro que o tema não é para brincadeiras e consigo imaginar o que terão sido aqueles dias para quem os viveu no palco e não meramente na plateia. Como muitos, recordo os ...more
Whassan
Dec 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Day of Life is a very well-written account of very important but seldom remembered conflict in Angola that was really a war of ideology, filled with warrior-poets, opportunists revolutionaries and sell-outs. It recalls the enormous potential of of post-colonial africa without shying away from its practical failure. What Kapuscinski lacks is a more in-depth examination of the relationships in the conflict. The subtle themes are there but he could have gone further. Of particular interest ...more
Margarida
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressionou-me o início, a Luanda dos caixotes dos milionários e dos pobres e a cidade de madeira no Atlântico. O relato é parcial, mas não deixa de ser um bom trabalho jornalístico, documentando uma época única da independência de Angola.
Lorenzo Berardi
A few years ago I listened in awe to an excerpt from 'Another Day of Life' on an Italian online radio focused on books. As those pages revolving around a sieged Luanda were beautiful and poignant, I got interested in adding up another Kapuscinski to my increasing lot.

Then I moved abroad and as I had read all of my Kapuscinskis in Italian translation purchasing one of his books in English didn't seem quite right.
Back to Italy for a stopover inbetween the UK and Poland I've finally bought the lo
...more
Anna
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
A snapshot of Angolan history. In 1974, the Portuguese pulled out of their colony of Angola, leaving behind a leadership vacuum. White Portuguese colonists, eager to avoid what was likely to be a nasty civil war, scrambled to leave the country with their families. Here enters journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who begs to be stationed in Angola's capital city, Luanda, so he can report on the conditions there. Kapuscinski spends several months living in a decrepit hotel with a handful of other Portu ...more
David Bales
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
The late Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski's classic 1976 book about the unraveling of Angola in 1975 is a real treat. Kapuscinski made a career of journeying to troubled African countries under threat of war or revolution and was a first-hand witness to the collapse of Portuguese rule and the beginnings of Angola's long civil war, with factions backed by the United States and South Africa against factions backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba. Great descriptions of the tension of Luanda durin ...more
Andrew
Normally, Kapuscinski doesn't stick to a single event across a book, but here, as in The Emperor, he documents, with precision, the downfall of a regime. And this is twice the account that The Emperor is, infinitely more hallucinatory, describing the insanity and fragmentation that accompanied the fall of one of Europe's last colonial projects in Africa, a poor and unstable country that had long been run by another poor and unstable country, before becoming the setting of one of the ugliest prox ...more
Andrew
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kapuściński, to me, is the Polish, Cold War, War Correspondent version of Hunter S. Thompson... going to whatever lengths necessary to find the heart of darkness and bad craziness. Has the front disintegrated and is the South African army about to invade? Take me there!

Also, I don't know what it is about Polish authors being translated into English, but the book reads like poetry.
Susana Patricia
Excelente trabalho jornalístico, feito no terreno, sobre os dois meses que antecederam o 11 de Novembro de 1975, em Angola.
Obrigatório ler.
Sergio Frosini
Diciamolo, inizialmente temevo fosse una delle solite operazioni "l'autore vendeva ed è morto, pubblichiamo anche le sue liste della spesa." Invece si tratta di uno dei tanti splendidi reportages africani di Kapuscinski, questa volta sulla guerra in Angola nel 1975.

Breve ma intenso racconto degli ultimi giorni dell'Angola portoghese, ancora non ufficialmente indipendente e trascinata dalla guerra coloniale alla guerra civile, alimentata fra gli altri dagli ingombranti vicini Zaire e Sudafrica. U

...more
Phil Williams
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a memorable impression of the tragic absurdity of modern war.
Before I read this book I knew almost nothing about Angola, and picked it up as part of my attempts to broaden my knowledge of Africa. By the time I reached the final chapter I still knew almost nothing about Angola, but had obtained a number of unforgettable images of the universal impacts of modern warfare.

Though the events take place in 1975, Kapusciniski's rather brief but memorable notes on the war in Angola have a timeless element. The abandoned city, the haphazard roadblocks and the uncer
...more
Kerfe
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a book about the bloody and disheartening legacy of colonialism and slavery in Africa. Specifically, the time and place are 1975 in Angola, when Portugal was granting the country its "freedom".

But even before the day of final withdrawal, the peoples of Angola, backed by interested foreign nations (in particular Cuba and South Africa) were engaged in a war to determine their future. The Polish author is living with, and sympathetic to, the Cuban-backed MPLA, who hold the city of Luanda. D
...more
Mark Marquardt
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading my favorite Kapuscinski books in conjunction with his newly released biography. Another Day of Life is up there with Michael Herr's Dispatches as one of the great impressionistic accounts of war. The Portugese are fleeing Angola as independence approaches, packing generations' of accumulated possessions -- right down to the curtains -- into enormous wooden crates. Three indigenous armies backed by various foreign powers are in a race to seize the capital, Luanda. Kapuscinski sketches ...more
Gary Daly
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A brilliant account of journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuscinski's journey into the heart of darkness of Angola 1975. At the end of colonial rule Angola was left to fend for itself and from the woodwork spread madness, hatred and violence. Civil war, state war, international war a bedlam of weapons, boy soldiers and death like pin ball machine scores. Kapuscinski travels where people are leaving, he arrives and lives in hotel rooms with no water, no room service, no cable. The pool is filled wit ...more
dead letter office
a polish journalist's account of the withdrawal of portugal from colonial angola and the beginning of angolan independence. this book is remarkable because the author is evidently a serious adrenaline junkie. before the advent of base jumping, i guess you had to become a journalist and insinuate yourself into the middle of a war zone to have a good time. the polish journalistic perspective on a post-colonial conflict (a hot front of the cold war) is also interesting. i haven't read that many acc ...more
Rachelfm
As always, Kapuscinski writes with immediacy and vulnerability while providing a lot of context. As one of the only foreign journalists in Angola in the last days before independence, he travels to fronts that are less lines on a map than pockets of a few soldiers in a truck.

Some of the most vivid descriptions are of the handful of people upon whom much depends; the octogenarian baker making daily bread at the front, the pilot who has no radio, no spare parts and no knowledge of who holds the ai
...more
Hunter Marston
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kapuscinski has done it again, once more proving himself one of the best foreign correspondents that ever wrote. His wartime journalism, Shah of Shahs, and this epitaph from Angola's 1975 civil war, are phenomenal demonstrations of his command of prose. My only gripe is the editor's choice to leave the final descriptive chapter (more a chronology or Angola for Dummies, Ch. 1 than anything else) as the last chapter rather than make it the first, an introductory lead-in.
Katrina Tan
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminiscent of Philip Gourevitch's "We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda". Much less gore, more scattered fights with much less organisation. What is appalling is the narrative of the Portugese colonisation, its slave trade and the systematic destruction of Angola.

As with every genocide, internal war, the world waits and watches, respecting sovereign rights. But for 350 years...
Tom
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not born yesterday. I know that Kapuscinski played a deeper role in the MPLA than he would've liked to admit, and that much of his writing works as state propaganda. If you take his point of view with a grain of salt, you still have a memorable, fascinating look at the beginnings of the Angolan Civil War.

Oddly enough, a good companion piece/rebuttal might be the Jack Abramoff produced Dolph Lundgren action film "Red Scorpion".
Leanne
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Even in the worst situation in which we find ourselves breaks down into elements that include something for us to grab hold of, like the branch of a bush that grows on the bank, to avoid being sucked to the bottom of a whirlpool. That chink, that island, that branch sustain us on the surface of existence." (p 81)
Safura
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هیچ کدوم از کتاب های کاپوشچینسکی تا الان ناامیدم نکردن. ثبت روزنامه نگارانه و روایتگرانه بخش های تاریک تاریخ معاصر رو خیلی خوب انجام میده. با این که در این کتاب طرفداریش از یکی از گروه های درگیر در جنگ رو و واضحه، ولی باز هم در مجموع میتونم به روایتش اعتماد کنم.
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Ryszard Kapuściński debuted as a poet in Dziś i jutro at the age of 17 and has been a journalist, writer, and publicist. In 1964 he was appointed to the Polish Press Agency and began traveling around the developing world and reporting on wars, coups and revolutions in Asia, the Americas, and Europe; he lived through twenty-seven revolutions and coups, was jailed forty times, and survived four deat ...more
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“Choćby otaczał nas ocean zła, będą z niego wystawać zielone i żyzne wysepki. Widać je, są na horyzoncie. Nawet najgorsza sytuacja, jeżeli w niej się znajdziemy, rozkłada się na czynniki pierwsze, a wśród nich będą takie, których można się uchwycić, jak gałęzi krzaka rosnącego na brzegu, aby stawić opór wirom ściągającym na dno. Ta szczelina, ta wyspa, ta gałąź utrzymują nas na powierzchni istnienia.” 8 likes
“Żeby zrozumieć współczesny świat, należy posługiwać się ruchomym globusem i przyglądać się scenie, na której żyjemy, z różnych punktów ziemi.” 4 likes
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