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Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town.

By Paul Theroux published by Hamish Hamilton ISBN 0 241 14048 x price 17.99 [pounds sterling] hardback

Setting off from Cairo to Cape Town, Theroux takes us back to the continent where he worked over 40 years ago in the Peace Corps and gives us his firsthand account of what has happened in those four decades since independence. `Africa is materially more decrepit than it was when I first knew it' he writes, `hungrier, poorer, less educated, more corrupt, and you can't tell the politicians from the witch doctors. Not that Africa is one place. It is an assortment of motley republics and seedy chiefdoms. I got sick, I got stranded but I was never bored: in fact, my trip was a delight and a revelation.'

After a stay in Egypt, Theroux journeys from Sudan through Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda down to South Africa. Ignoring all warnings from friends, he travels only by car, truck and train. Along the way, in his inimitable style and spirit, `expecting misery, braced for the appalling', he describes the landscape, the adventures and the motley crew of characters who give him their take on Africa. From aid-workers, novelists, Samburu policeman and old friends to government officials, farmers and coffin makers (big business due to the high incidence of AIDS), Theroux tells everyone's story. He brings out the beauty and spirit 9f the continent and its people as the reader travels with him.
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Author:Rhodes, Fred
Publication:The Middle East
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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