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The Shadow of the Sun

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  9,023 ratings  ·  725 reviews
In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscin ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 9th 2002 by Vintage (first published 1998)
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Beki I'm still in the middle, but I don't think you need any -- Kapuscinski really makes the historical context of his crhonicles. :)

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4.37  · 
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 ·  9,023 ratings  ·  725 reviews

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May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who want to meet the real Africa
Recommended to Dolors by: Peekay
Ryszard Kapuscinski sits under the branchy shade of a solitary acacia and stares at the incommensurable moonlike landscape unfolding in front of him. Plains covered with parched, thorny shrubs and vast extensions of sandy ground seem ablaze in a shimmering haze that refracts on the journalist’s eyes forcing him to squint. “Water and shade, such fluid, inconstant things, and the two most valuable treasures in Africa”, this half-historian, half-journalist recalls while revisiting the thirty years ...more
“The population of Africa was a gigantic, matted, crisscrossing web, spanning the entire continent and in constant motion, endlessly undulating, bunching up in one place and spreading out in another, a rich fabric, a colourful arras.” - Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Shadow of the Sun

A man I’d unfortunately never heard of wrote one of the most engaging historical reflections I've’ve ever read. Ryszard Kapuscinski reported on African events for a Polish newspaper for over 40 years. He was definitely in
This is insightful prose written by a Polish journalist who spent years traveling around Africa (beginning in the 1950s). It is a collection of essays that follow Kapuscinski's time spent in Africa; during coups, wars, racial tensions, hunger, starvation, sickness, and more. Though I didn't love the parts of the book that seemed highly dramatized, what I really liked about this is that Kapuscinski gets into the experience, living it and detailing it. He's not a removed journalist. In fact, this ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una maravilla de libro, escrito de manera muy sencilla y agil. En ningún momento es aburrido y he aprendido un montón. Muy interesante, de esos libros en los cuales a medida que vas leyendo no paras de consultar datos en internet.

También te cuenta episodios muy duros: Las hambrunas de Etiopia, el genocidio de Ruanda, los señores de la guerra de Liberia, los niños soldado, la dureza de la vida en el desierto....

Te ayuda a conocer el continente africano y a sus gentes, sus conflictos, sus creencia
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Quả thực ra rất xấu hổ khi đến giờ mới đọc cuốn sách tuyệt vời này. Có rất nhiều điều để mà xấu hổ: mình biết style của dịch giả (không thể nào yêu thích và dịch 1 tác phẩm bình thường được, chứ đừng nói đến dở), mình biết "trình độ" của dịch giả, nên nếu đọc thì sẽ không cần có chút băn khoăn vướng mắc nào về lỗi tác giả hay dịch giả, mình biết sự cẩn thận cẩn trọng và nghiêm túc khi làm việc của dịch giả; mình đã đọc rất nhiều review về tác phẩm này mà vẫn không chịu đọc.
Đúng là gu đọc của mì
May 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Goodreads changed my experience with this book. For much of the time I was reading it, I was mesmerized by the writing, flabbergasted by some of the information about Africa, and convinced I was encountering the continent in a nuanced and subtle and authentic manner. I planned to give a copy to my husband for his birthday and to recommend it to my book group.

Curious about what other readers thought, I looked at some of the almost 500 reviews of it on goodreads, and it was there that I came acro
Bezimena knjizevna zadruga
Kažu da je autor ovim spisom stvorio novi književni žanr, reportažni roman. Kažem da je to irelevantna birokratska kategorija. Čitanje obogaćuje, u svakom mogućem aspektu. Tokom čitanja se sablažnjavate, plačete, histerično smejete, vičete i ričete, živite kontinent koji nikada i nikako nećete živeti, ovako i ovoliko duboko i autenticno. Čitanje koje peče kao saharsko Sunce i boli kao priča o groblju slonova, najtužnija koju sam u životu pročitao.

Quân Khuê
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gỗ mun là một cuốn sách về châu Phi. Có lẽ chính xác hơn phải nói Gỗ mun là một cuốn sách châu Phi, bởi lẽ nó không phải là dạng sách du ký của một du khách đến nhìn, ngắm, bình luận đôi điều, rồi trèo lên xe đi. Nó là một cuốn sách của một con người ở bên trong châu Phi, sống cùng châu Phi, chứng kiến nhiều, rất nhiều cái chết châu Phi, và trong nhiều dịp khác nhau đã rất gần với cái chết châu Phi: cái chết có thể đến từ một con rắn hổ mang đại tướng nằm ngay dưới tấm phản, có thể đến từ lũ muỗ ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kapuściński was a Polish journalist who died in 2007, and who spent time in Africa between the late 1950ies and the 1990ies. Africa was not his only beat, but when he spent time there he spent time with the people and shared their lives when he could. He was the first Polish foreign correspondent to cover Africa and he was always seriously underfunded compared with those representing the big European and American publications and agencies. What he lacked in funds he made up in ingenuity and a wi ...more
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
Recommended to Mark by: my brother Jeremy
A book like this would normally I would have imagined taken me very little time to read because I would devour it in a binge of gulpings and swallowings but it took me a good deal longer. In part, for the simple reason that I was taken up with other things and couldn't find the freedom to absorb myself in his world as I would have liked but also for the equally simple but at the same time profound reason that there was just too much to take in.

I listed it as epistolary and though it is not offic
La mia patria è dove piove
Si tratta di un viaggio nelle terre africane più lontane e inospitali.
Un viaggio iniziato nel 1958 e durato quarant'anni, attraverso moti di indipendenze e guerre fratricide, genocidi e lotte per il potere.
Un viaggio tra la gente, per conoscere, capire, condividere. Con rispetto, col desiderio puro di informarsi, partecipare, descrivere, sempre in modo semplice e obiettivo; senza enfasi né polemiche, senza autocelebrazione né opportunismo; con curiosità e il desider
I have only read a few book by Kapuscinski, one of which was a Penguin Great Journeys book The Cobra's Heart, which is an excerpt from this book. I gave that five stars, and reading that book convinced me to buy more of this authors work, including this book, which I have finally made time for from my shelf.

This is probably Kapuscinski's best known book, and is his highest rated book on GR. Not without reason. This is 5 stars for me, and this was confirmed by about a third of the way through.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Un viaje a las venas de África, relatos de sitios casi vírgenes y culturas apenas en contacto con la civilización moderna.. testigo vivencial en primer persona de la descolonización y tiranía local de esos tiempos. Solo como el gran maestro puede redactar. Se mencionan miles de tribus exterminadas, se presenta Africa como un continente politico que sus pueblos desconocen tales fronteras. Cada tribu con idioma y costumbres muy distintas. Una manera profunda de entender el continente de fines de l ...more
Lyn Elliott
Kapuściński first went to Africa in 1957 and, over the next forty years, returned whenever he could.

He says ‘I travelled extensively, avoiding official routes, palaces, important personages, and high-level politics. Instead, I opted to hitch rides on passing trucks, wander with nomads through the desert, be the guest of peasants of the tropical savannah. Their life is endless toil, a torment they endure with astonishing patience and good humor.

‘This is therefore not a book about Africa, but rat
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa, non-fiction
Shifting seamlessly from vignettes of daily life to grand excursions into Africa's turbulent political past, Kapuscinski zig-zags across vast expanses of scorching desert and lush greenery in this masterful piece of journalistic travel writing. He describes people, politics and landscape with equal ease. The lioness stalking in the tall grasses is as riveting as the utterly fascinating character study of Idi Amin.

The first chapter was studded with generalisations about Africa and Africans that m
Marko K.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
podcast o knjizi:

Ebanovina: Moj afrički život nije knjiga koja ima zaplet, za razliku od nekih drugih memoara i romana. Glavna tema ove knjige je Afrika, i to ne bilo koja Afrika – već ona svakodnevna. Kroz različite decenije i najrazličitija mesta na ovom kontinentu, Kapušćinjski na neverovatan način dočarava svakodnevnicu svih ljudi koji žive ovde. Kako bi bio siguran da su njegova iskustva autentična, on je godinama živeo u siromašnim delovima različit
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last fall I read Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski, the Polish journalist. It was his final book (he died in January, 2007) and I enjoyed it very much, having recently read Herodotus' Histories upon which he draws extensively. So it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to reading earlier works by Ryszard Kapuscinski. As an introduction to the mosaic of life that is known as "Africa" The Shadow of the Sun did not disappoint. The book consists of loosely connected essays o ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Questo non è un libro sull'Africa, ma su alcune persone che vi abitano, sui miei incontri con loro, sul tempo trascorso insieme. È un continente troppo grande per poterlo descrivere. È un vero e proprio oceano, un pianeta a parte, un cosmo eterogeneo e ricchissimo. In realtà, a parte la sua denominazione geografica, l'Africa non esiste.”

"L'Africa è tutta in movimento, in cammino, dispersa: gli uni scappano dalla guerra, altri dalla siccità, altri ancora dalla carestia. Scappano, vagano, si perd
Rajat Ubhaykar
This book came as a revelation to me! It enlightened me about the history, spirit and psyche of Africa (a meaningless appellation), and made me acutely aware of my smug ignorance about this vast, endlessly diverse continent. Kapuscinski, who’s covered dozens of coups and revolutions as a conflict reporter in the era of decolonization, writes about the continent and its people with empathy, never exoticizing it. I would go as far as to say that The Shadow of the Sun is probably the best work of t ...more
Maria Beltrami
I diari africani del grande Kapuściński, come sempre in grado di calarsi in qualsiasi situazione e andare al fondo delle persone e dei fatti con estrema umiltà.
Non giudica mai, non c'è mai superiorità nelle sue descrizioni, ma un continuo chiedersi la ragione delle cose, quella vera, e una naturale e incredibile capacità di guardare dietro le apparenze e trovare l'origine delle colpe.
Nonostante sia datato, credo che Ebano sia tutt'oggi uno dei migliori libri per conoscere le radici del disastro
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"La gente non muore di fame perchè il mondo non ha abbastanza cibo: di cibo ce n'è in abbondanza, quanto se ne vuole. Ma tra chi ha fame e i magazzini stracolmi si erge un ostacolo insormontabile: il gioco politico. In Africa chi ha le armi ha il cibo, chi ha il cibo ha il potere. Questo è un mondo di gente che non discetta sulla trascendenza e l'essenza dell'anima,sul senso della vita e sulla natura dell'esistenza. Siamo in un mondo dove l'uomo striscia nel fango alla ricerca di un chicco di gr ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Giedre by: Fernando Dameto
"The Shadow of the Sun", a set of stories by Ryszard Kapuscinski, a Polish journalist who travelled and lived in Africa numerous times between the 50s and the 90s, has definitely taught me humbleness and almost painfully exposed my ignorance of Africa.

After finishing the book I read that Kapuscinski had lived through 27 coups and revolutions, had been jailed 40 times and had survived 4 death sentences, however in this book you will not find a single hint of pride or a boasting word about his en
Ryszard Kapuscinski was the foreign correspondent par excellence, someone who could simultaneously travel rough, report the story, appreciate and approach the local people on their own terms, and weave his experiences into a narrative of uncommon breadth and intelligence. And it's even more impressive when you realize he's covering Africa for the presumably shoestring Polish communist press. Books like these up the ante for book-length journalism, and show what an absolute shit job the puppets e ...more
Sandro Pasquini
Ryszard Kapuściński è sicuramente stato uno dei migliori autori di reportage di viaggi che sia mai esistito.
Attraverso i suoi racconti si riesce a "rivivere" le storie dei paesi da lui visitati e delle persone da lui incontrate.
Ebano inoltre ha il pregio di rappresentare una lucida analisi critica delle motivazioni che non hanno consentito a molti paesi Africani di svilupparsi, come sarebbe stato auspicabile, nell'era post colonialista.
Motivazioni che probabilmente, in molti casi, sono sempre at
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sa mạc, cát, nóng, nghèo, đói, chiến tranh, nô lệ.
Không có hồi kết.

"Nghịch lý của thế giới chúng ta: nếu tính chi phí vận chuyển, dịch vụ, lưu kho và bảo quản thực phẩm, thì chi phí của một bữa ăn (thường là một nắm ngô) cho người trong một trại tị nạn nào đó, ví dụ như ở Sudan, còn cao hơn giá một bữa tối trong tiệm ăn đắt tiền nhất Paris."
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Labākais, kas ar mani noticis pēdējā laikā. Tik dzīvi, reālistiski un spilgti!
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes you on an a whirlwind tour of Africa over the span of many years, many countries, and many different types of situations. The essays span the continent and quickly zoom the reader in and then back out of small incidents, large coups, nomadic wanderings, war lords, and everything (and everyone) in between.

I've never been able to get my mind around Africa. Its complexity both geographically and politically make it difficult to understand and internalize. In one respect the book do
Africa and Kapuscinski. Kapuscinski's Africa.

Burning hot continent, swept by waves of revolution, war, man slaughter but also of unbearable beauty. A place of utmost complex diversity there's no generalization can capture it.

Honestly, Africa had been outside my radar before reading this. But the gift and curse of Kapuscinski's writing is that it drew me in, dragged me to the unknown and made me pause to think. My world is getting larger, vaster and richer. I am a bit relieved that he had writte
Thành Trung
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Đã cười rất nhiều vì những chi tiết hài hước thú vị, nhưng cũng có những đoạn đau thương, quá sức đáng sợ và rùng rợn. Thích cách tác giả miêu tả việc những người dân bản địa không thể sống thiếu cộng đồng, bộ tộc của họ, vì nỗi sợ hãi lớn nhất là bị bỏ lại một mình giữa bóng tối dày đặc bất chợt ập đến, giữa thiên nhiên khắc nghiệt dày xéo nơi đây.
Nga Do
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, culture
Sách hay - ấn tượng ngay từ cái tên sách được dịch giả dịch lại “Gỗ mun”. Cuốn sách như một bộ phim sống động quay lại cuộc sống - thể hiện văn hoá, chính trị, địa lí ở châu Phi. Vài điều đọng lại:
- Khái niệm thời gian: ngược lại với người châu Âu khi họ là nô lệ của thời gian, tuân thủ nó một cách nghiêm ngặt, ngưởi châu Phi lại là ông chủ của nó - 1 sự việc chỉ được xảy ra, mang ý nghĩa, khi nó được xuất hiện trên dòng chảy thời gian mà điểm bắt đầu - kéo dài bao lâu đều do người châu Phi tự
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Goodreads Librari...: insert page count AND add ISBN 3 15 Jan 17, 2019 07:48AM  
Kapuscinski 4 62 Jan 09, 2017 06:47PM  
All About Books: Group Read (April/May) - The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski 16 77 May 06, 2014 11:15AM  
Hội Thích Đọc Sách: Gỗ mun 16 287 Dec 03, 2013 08:39AM  
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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
“We are here among people who don't contemplate transience and the existence of the soul, the meaning of life and the nature of being. We are in a world in which man, crawling on the earth, tries to dig a few grains of wheat out of the mud just to survive another day.” 14 likes
“People are not hungry because there is no food in the world. There is plenty of it; there is a surplus in fact. But between those who want to eat and the bursting warehouses stands a tall obstacle indeed: politics.” 11 likes
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