Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shadow of the Sun” as Want to Read:
The Shadow of the Sun
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Shadow of the Sun

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  7,374 Ratings  ·  613 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Blood River by Tim ButcherThings Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara KingsolverHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieChasing the Devil by Tim Butcher
Africa
1,303 books — 1,349 voters
Blood River by Tim ButcherA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Favourite Travel Books
1,519 books — 3,416 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dolors
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
Rowena
“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
...more
Cheryl
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
Azumi
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
...more
Susan
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
Mark
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
...more
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
Jeannette
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
...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
...more
arcobaleno
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
...more
Lisa
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
...more
James
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
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
...more
GrauWolf
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
Andrew
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
Giedre
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
...more
Huongta
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."
Tracey
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
...more
astried
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
...more
Wolfram
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic introduction to this mysterious continent. The experiences of over 40 years travelling in and reporting from Africa are beautifully condensed in this small book. Here is a long quote:

"The European and the African have an entirely different concept of time. In the European worldview, time exists outside man, exists objectively, and has measurable and linear characteristics. According to Newton, time is absolute: “Absolute, true, mathematical time of itself and from its own nature, it
...more
Anna
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: goodreads, npl
"Our world, seemingly global, is in reality a planet of thousands of the most varied and never intersecting provinces. A trip around the world is a journey from backwater to backwater, each of which considers itself, in its isolation, a shining star. For most people, the real world ends on the threshold of their house, at the edge of their village, or, at the very most, on the border of their valley. That, which is beyond is unreal, unimportant, and even useless, whereas that which we have at ou ...more
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg Coyle
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mr. K is the sort of intrepid traveler we're used to reading about in tales of an earlier generation, the Burtons, Humboldts and Spekes of the world. He marks his year by the number of coups he witnesses and the number of death sentences rendered against him. In Shadow of the Sun, a collection of dispatches from around Africa, he manages to relate, in language worthy of Conrad and Maugham, both the beauty and the horror of Africa. It's a stunning, enlightening and occasinally frightening smorgas ...more
Kasia
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever lived in Africa, or even been there, this collections of journalistic articles from Mr. Kapuszinski's career in Africa will NOT disappoint. He brings up things you always thought of but never knew how to say. Its genius, and the best book, and truthful book, on Africa I've ever read.
Con Bé Ki
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Một cuốn sách tuyệt vời về linh hồn của châu Phi, một linh hồn xuất hiện dưới lốt voi - con vật vĩ đại với ánh mắt lạnh và sắc cùng một nỗi buồn sâu thẳm mà không loài vật nào có thể chiến thắng được nó.
Veronica
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
For my money, Ryszard Kapuscinski should be better-known than he is, despite a difficult-to-pronounce name -- he's one of the most outstanding journalists of the 20th century. As the Polish Press Agency's only reporter in Africa, he has covered just about every coup, revolution, civil war, and natural disaster there since 1957 (and also found time to cover conflicts in various other parts of the world as well).

There's an important difference between Kapuscinski and reporters from Western democra
...more
Terri Jacobson
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, africa
This is a tremendous book about Africa. The author is a Polish journalist who covered Africa from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was in various parts of the continent, and reported on the climate, the wars and tribal conflicts, and the terrible poverty. I feel this book really educated me on the state of Africa, and why it is the way it is. The continent is an extreme environment for humans. Kapusicinski describes the climate as "murderous", with a "frenzy" of tropical growth. At midday, almost all ...more
Steve
Apr 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa
I have just added a new favorite author, Ryszard Kapuscinski. His work is completely amazing.

Kapuscinski was a Polish journalist who arrived in Ghana in 1957 as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. The career which would follow constituted of almost 50 years of covering the Dark Continent. Kapuscinski is a not just a journalist, an explorer or cultural scientist. He is an artist of words. His reporting is the height of what the writer and journalist can hope to achieve w
...more
Louise
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read Theroux and Naipaul on Africa and the relatively unknown Ryszard Kapuscinski is every bit as good, and in some ways better.

As a correspondent for a Polish news organization that can't afford a correspondent, Kapuscinski brings a different perspective to his travels. While Theroux visits his old college pals, Kapuscinski lives and travels with the masses. In Africa, this puts him in situations where he can die of dehydration, thuggery, a stampede, TB or a malarial sweat.

The the brief hi
...more
Víctor Galán
La obra más famosa de su autor, donde expuso la riquísima y variada sociedad que componen los pueblos de África, mostrando sus virtudes y miserias con una pasión intachable. Es un libro denso, bien escrito y con cierta tendencia al sensacionalismo fruto de la propia profesión de Kapuscinski. Es irregular, con pasajes magníficos como los dos últimos y otros que se olvidan enseguida.

Se lee lentamente debido a la gran cantidad de elementos que contiene, es algo reiterativo, cosa común en libros de
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Kapuscinski 4 58 Jan 09, 2017 06:47PM  
All About Books: Group Read (April/May) - The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski 16 73 May 06, 2014 11:15AM  
Hội Thích Đọc Sách: Gỗ mun 16 262 Dec 03, 2013 08:39AM  
  • The Zanzibar Chest
  • In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo
  • Zrób sobie raj
  • Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
  • Africa: A Biography of the Continent
  • Modlitwa o deszcz
  • Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe
  • No Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo (Vintage Departures)
  • Gringo wśród dzikich plemion
  • On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe
  • Inny świat
  • The Ponds of Kalambayi
  • The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe and Power in the Heart of Africa
  • Dzisiaj narysujemy śmierć
  • Facing the Congo: A Modern-Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness
  • The Tree Where Man Was Born
  • The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence
  • The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut
6255
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
More about Ryszard Kapuściński...

Share This Book

“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.” 11 likes
“Nothing creates a bond between people in Africa more quickly than shaed laughter".” 5 likes
More quotes…