Read The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe by Dervla Murphy Free Online
Book Title: The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe|
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Reader ratings: 4.7
The author of the book: Dervla Murphy
Edition: The Overlook Press
Date of issue: July 1st 1996
ISBN 13: 9781468305890
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 21.75 MB
Read full description of the books:
While this is classic 'Dervla', for me it was much less enjoyable reading than I have come to expect from her.
This is purely down to the time and the place - Southern Africa - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia - in 1992. Aids really was reaching epidemic proportions, and yet the lack of understanding or acceptance by everyday Africans was an all time low. Basically denial.
In this book, Dervla, on her trusty bicycle follows a trail from one country to the next, interacting as Derlva does with all walks of life. She really is a brave woman, who puts herself in situations not always in her favour, and yet finds a way to see herself safely onwards.
I found this book pretty hard going. The Ukimwi Road means quite literally The AIDS Road, (in Swahili) and this book is 90% aids, and the effects of aids on people, community and country. It was a sad, demoralising read. It was an educating read, but not a pleasant one, not an enjoyable read, where most of the other Dervla Murphy books I have read have been uplifting and generally hilarious, this one was certainly not, except in very small doses.
We are however treated to some Dervla ranting about the NGOs and aid organisations (shiny new land rovers) and backpacking / overlanding tourists. She also shares many tips on successfully obtaining beer in the least likely of places, including Christian boarding houses, and very small villages.
I salvaged a short quote which fit the Dervla mould much better than the balance of the book:
P42: Dervla has just had a conversation with a doctor lamenting the local men 'didn't want to know' about aids.
"Certainly nobody in the large grubby restaurant 'wanted to know'. My two fellow-diners were truck drivers being eyed hopefully by five adolescent girls in tawdry attire, clustered around the courtyard doorway. 'Two into five doesn't go,' I reflected. But perhaps these two would go into five if their charges were low enough."
Sadly only 3 stars for this one, purely based on the repetitive nature of the aids problems.
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Read information about the authorDervla Murphy is an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books for over 40 years. She is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, about an overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Murphy is a famous speaker and writer on Palestinian issues. She seeks the dissolution of Israel in its entirety.
Murphy normally travels alone and unaided, without luxuries and depending on the hospitality of local people. When not travelling, Murphy lives in Lismore, as she has for most of her life.
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