The Zanzibar Chest #(2020)
- Title: The Zanzibar Chest
- Author: Aidan Hartley
- ISBN: 9781594480119
- Page: 147
- Format: Paperback
Hartley, an acclaimed frontline reporter who covered the atrocities of 1990s Africa, embarks on a journey to unlock the mysteries and secrets of his own family s 150 year colonial legacy in Africa A beautiful, sometimes harrowing memoir of intrepid young men cut down in their prime, of forbidden love and its fatal consequences, and of family and history and the collisionHartley, an acclaimed frontline reporter who covered the atrocities of 1990s Africa, embarks on a journey to unlock the mysteries and secrets of his own family s 150 year colonial legacy in Africa A beautiful, sometimes harrowing memoir of intrepid young men cut down in their prime, of forbidden love and its fatal consequences, and of family and history and the collision of cultures over the enduring course of British colonialism in Africa that defined them both.
Recent Comments "The Zanzibar Chest"
To be completely honest, Aiden Hartley, although I envy his travels, is a pompous prick he wanders around Africa pretending that it is his, and yet knows nothing of the people he lives with He hangs out with white people in white bars, and is essentially a whiny ex pat child even though he was born in Kenya And then Ex pats of every culture wonder why everyone hates them It s because of people like Aiden Hartley.
I found this book to be absolutely riveting Hartley has actually related two tales here, one detailing his quest to shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the death of his father s friend Peter Davey the other tale relates Hartley s own story from his education abroad to his misadventures as a foreign war correspondent for the Reuters news agency As a journalist, he was dispatched to the world s hotspots Croatia, Somalia, and Rwanda being foremost in my memory He broke bread and rubbed [...]
LA GRANDE DELUSIONEUna storia bellissima fatta di tante storie, tutte belle Hartley un inglese nato in Kenia, cresciuto in Africa, un mzungu che ha studiato in Inghilterra, giovane reporter per l agenzia Reuters Ama il continente africano, lo conosce, lo gira e rigira Da giornalista sul campo a raccontare e testimoniare le crisi economiche umanitarie e militari pi importanti degli ultimi due decenni.La sua famiglia ha alle spalle due secoli di storia coloniale in tutti i continenti, fra i suoi a [...]
The author delivers a book that will stay with me long after the last page is turned One quarter travelogue, another family history and the other half memoirs the author shows us Africa in all it s brutality and sadness Not what I was expecting but an essential read to remind us what we should not forget.
In the first 20 or so pages I was grumbling as I found myself drowning in adjectives Though, as Hartley hits his stride, the prose loses the overwritten feel and develops into a very fine book I m not sure he needed the device of the Zanzibar chest as a framing tool It s almost insecurity Almost like he didn t think the true stories of an intrepid reporter in the middle of the worst of the worst atrocities in Mogadishu and Rwanda would hold the reader s interest so he needed to spice it up with [...]
Classic, absolutely classic memoir of a very fulfilled life Part of the narrative was as good as the Heart of Darkness What a story, kept me captivated and engaged throughout the 440 odd pages For me the most interesting aspect was the self reflection of the White colonisation of Africa I tend to agree with Hartley s dad They should have never gone into Africa Whence gone in they should never have left it Arabs colonised Africa before the Europeans, and they stayed on, slowly converting the loca [...]
In many ways, this is a 5 star book Horrifying, inspiring, bloody, real Once I got sucked in, I wanted to read this book every single minute and at the same time toss aside my peaceful, happy life and do what I already knew that I wanted to do For me, reading this book was both utterly absorbing and incredibly painful how could I bear to sit and read when there is SO MUCH going on out there Out there, you know, the greater world, adventure, war, sex drugs and rock and roll that familiar joint pu [...]
While the first 100 pages or so were hard to get through due to the boasting tone Hartley took as he listed off all of his adventurous British ancestors, this changed as he began writing about his own experiences as a reporter in Africa His account of this time was amplified due to him being witness to or involved in every major conflict to grip Africa in the late 80s and 90s Ethiopa, Rwanda, Somalia they are all here and in a vivid detail I had not encountered before.What makes Hartley s writin [...]
Anecdotally driven account of Hartley s experiences as a reporter in Africa in the 1990s, framed by his family s generations of British colonial service in India, Aden, Kenya and Arabia and his own coming of age during decolonization and the political repercussions of 1989 Soviet withdrawal from Africa Part of the power of this book is inadvertent, as the Hartley insists that he is from Kenya, the it is clear that ex pats may be from a place, but never really of it.
While this book wasn t what I was expecting, I want to declare right at the outset that it was REALLY REALLY GOOD The author, Aidan Hartley, is a journalist and The Zanzibar Chest is his memoir of his childhood, being born and raised in Tanzania, and also the years of his 20 s and 30 s, when he was war correspondent in Africa The son of a British military colonial, Aidan s family had a rich history of living the ex pat life Weaving in tales of his father s life in Africa, Aidan Hartley narrates [...]
Hartley has written something of a memoir of himself and his family Truth be told, his family history is quite interesting, filled with individuals occupying important roles in Britain s colonial history Hartley himself, who was born and grew up in East Africa, became a journalist and the book is like personal therapy to come to terms with the the death of his father and the violence he was faced with while working in mostly African warzones The book is interesting, but not nearly as good as the [...]
Very good Different and disturbing, but an excellent book.
Raw Modern War Torn Africa thru the eyes of a desperately irresponsible, selfish, carelessbut passionate, exciting, challenging Reuters journalist
This book is on balance worth reading, despite its many flaws It often seems like one giant effort from a self obsessed son of an idealized father, wherein the son keeps trying to paint himself as an intrepid son of African adventure, who despite his being paid to report the misery and pointlessness of struggles like Somalia and Rwanda, somehow retains his little boy innocence ex I had missed Operation Desert Storm, the biggest war story so far of our generation I no longer cared I had decided t [...]
This was a fantastic book, though I must admit parts of it are very tough to get through on that later It is also really multiple stories combined into one book.1 The title refers to a chest his father had with diaries and journals detailing his fathers work during the last 30 some years of British colonial rule in Africa and Yemen 2 The book details the author s quest to travel to Yemen and learn as much as possible and see the location that make up his fathers friend s journal, and to learn h [...]
Oh this book I in turn loved it and hated it How can you not be drawn in by the intensity of so many human tragedies That being said, how can you not be completely turned off by the author and his tone Whether he intended to come across this way or not, he portrayed himself as being involved in, but somehow above his colonial roots He is a Brit born in Africa, so he saw himself as somehow legitimate than other ex pats, all the while behaving exactly like the ex pats he believed he was better th [...]
Not too much about Zanzibar but a great read about Africa.On one level the book is about the author How he is was as a journalist a violence junkie and the writing is a purging of his demons Prompted by discovering the chest see title and the writings of a friend of his father and too about his father and family and his relation to them He a brit born in Africa with family roots in Empire this percolates throughout the story.Mogadishu, Serbia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and so forth keep the story going H [...]
A book that is part biography and part autobiography A tale of old colonial life in Yemen and East Africa, and the impact on the family, including the ties to the land and its people for better and for worse as colonial life departs and Africa falls to greed, terror and intolerance Graphic insight into Somalia Rwanda and other conflicts as well as first hand account of the waste and ineffective input dogooders of the UN which probably did harm than good.
This book isn t for people who want a neat, linear story Stick with it and you ll be richly, painfully rewarded Having worked in global health and swooped in and out of Africa for 2 years, I recognized many characters, including myself, but felt the immense guilt for that lifestyle I can t help but wonder how this tale was even published, but its brutal honesty makes it essential reading for anyone seeking that sense of purpose.
I struggled getting through the first portion of this book, and have considered giving up on it several times I got the impression that Hartley was arrogant, and boasting about his ancestors and their adventures and trying to convince the reader that they were the good colonialists I made it through that initial section, and I realized that this family history is intertwined with modern history and stories, and impacts much of Aidan s experience as a journalist and person The book is an incredib [...]
I tried desperately to enjoy this book but found it so scattered and hard to follow I gave up about 1 4 of the way through.
A great book Remarkable
There is a fair amount of reportage in this book, much of it harrowing although delivered with the nonchalance and detatchment of the war reporter, and yet one detects that the thick skin is somewhat cosmetic, self protective and indeed in due course it falls away It is Hartley s inate love and empathy with Africa and Africans, and a hard earned camerarderie with the various hacks and rhino skinned media folk he falls in with, which lifts the writing above that of straight documentary Whilst the [...]
If you just took a moment to think about the devastation wrought on Africa since the white man landed on its vast coastlines, you would weep Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Russia, America, Spain, Turkey they have all left their indelible and catastrophic mark on the continent Once these countries have wrought their havoc, bled the place dry of its resources, its people and its essence they leave And really in our little Western worlds we think very little and very infrequently of tha [...]
It s very hard for me to write about this book which it why I ll give it a shot , as it s all a little too close to home, and any attempt to review this book will be about just reviewing myself and who wants to read that This is a book both shallow and deep, meaningless and profound The mixture of nostalgia and irritation that I feel with the writer, his reminiscences, and his lifestyle are of course directly linked to my feelings about my own career and life choices I m surprised and both reli [...]
I picked this up at NBO airport on my way to Zanzibar, having heard a few good things about it The first disappointment was that it was not about Zanzibar, which could have been avoided if I d found out a little about the book before sitting down with it on the beach I didn t love it.This is really two books in one, which is what I ve averaged together for three stars I think I d like to give it 2.5 but won t I didn t think the two halves really meshed well together The most important, for whic [...]
This book is four things at once 1 An elegy for a lost Africa an entire continent rich in cultures and nations, mulched both by colonial wars and dissection into artificial boundaries, but also by na ve attempts to forcibly remake the people.2 This recovery of two lives Hartley s father, a giant of a man who lived most of his life in Africa and Aden, assisting people in agricultural projects, whose last words were, We never should have come, and his best friend, Peter Davey, a colonial officer k [...]
This is a story for someone who may need to experience stress vicariously through someone else Don t laugh we all need to do this once in a while Especially if you are someone like me who needs a certain degree of ground beneath my feet routine, apartment with things in place, a general sense of security, etc but who also craves a healthy amount of chaos and edginess in life I need this fix at least once a year and Hartley gave me a fair share Not to mention that I read this while living in Keny [...]
This is both stomach churning and hair raising reportage, irritating, confounding and yes, sometimes very moving Hartley allows himself to be seduced into the myth of the British explorers of old the Livingston s and the Shackleton s of the Dark Continent by reading the diary of his father s best friend, Davey, and following in his footsteps As a result, this is a difficult book to read for two reasons the writer finds himself in the midst of some of the most horrendous conflicts and genocidal m [...]
I thought that this would be a biography of the author s life in Africa, and his observations of the continent In many ways it was However, tied up in this book is the story of his parents, his father s long dead friend Peter Davey, and his time in other places the Balkans, England, the Middle East It is rambling, eclectic and scattered story It is also full of disturbing details of what the author saw in the conflicts that he reported on I found his experience in the Rwandan genocide to be horr [...]
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