Guide to the Birds of East Africa, ADrayson, Nicholas
Every Tuesday, Rose Mbikwa is to be found leading the members of the East African Ornithological Society on their weekly walk. Mr Malik is a loyal member of the troupe and a secret admirer, (almost) ready to declare his suit. The arrival on the Nairobi scene of one Harry Khan forces the issue: in a contemporary twist on tournaments of yore, Mr Malik and Harry agree to an ornithological challenge. The prize? Asking Rose to the Asadi Club's annual ball.
In a charming juxtaposition, birds, politics, colonialism, AIDS, and the scourges of corruption come together to produce both an entertaining and informative read.
Comments from GroupsA light read but entertaining, and with lovely observations of Kenyan life. Nelson 020 A nice, light read. We found it an interesting book that provided a lovely insight into life in Kenya. Funny and well written. The perfect bedtime read. Hamilton 056 We all loved the book. Funny, touching and different. We empathised with the main character, and had a very enjoyable discussion. Waikanae 004 Voted best book of of the year by almost everyone. Thanks for a good choice. Highly recommended as a good antidote to "heavy" issues! Thames 004 This was a good choice to start the year's programme - we found the book a most enjoyable and delightful story. The short chapters helped in the narration, and divided up the detailed descriptions of birds which could have become tedious. There were several underlying themes - the subtlety in raising the issues of political corruption, the treatment of Aids etc gave the story a little more depth. The characters were well depicted, and the narration style did not detract from the story, we felt. A satisfactory ending with all loose ends resolved. Matamata 001 All of our group thoroughly enjoyed this book, in the vein of Alexander McCall Smith. A delightful read. Auckland 208 The book didn't quite live up to the blurb. One member had lived in Kenya for 20 years, and found it a bit silly... The group felt it was an enjoyable book with endearing characters, but not a must-read. Marton 001 Very entertaining and meatier than expected - excellent notes. Nelson 002 Everyone in our group loved this delightful story of middle-aged love in modern Kenya. The plot and writing are deceptively simple, but the story has many layers that provide a rich and satisfying read. Whitianga 002 An easy gentle read at first, but then you realised there was more to it. He wasn't just a dull ordinary man, but had a lot of substance to him. Kindness and integrity are real values. The story reminded some of us of the hare and the tortoise - slow and steady wins the race. The author was also clever at making us aware of issues like HIV/Aids. Katikati 002 We all liked it very much. Some of us liked the narration style and some didn't. We enjoyed the humour, but wondered a bit whether a white Englishman can write about Indians in Africa with authenticity. Hokitika 002 What an absolutely delightful read. A gentle read as well. The entire group just loved it. Mr Malik is a shrewd, compassionate man; and the pictures for each chapter were just lovely. Winton 001 A delightful read with great insight into expat community life. Marvellous bird knowledge and a very colourful tale. The book notes were the best ever. Christchurch 064 Some of us found it a little cute-sy, but everyone seemed to enjoy it as a nice, light read. It did provoke quite a bit of discussion, especially about the characters and the way women and characters of different backgrounds were portrayed. Wellington 197 Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this story. It kept you guessing right to the end. Beautifully and tastefully written. Delightful story-line. Hastings 006