Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Last Resort or what was ment to be a review on that book but turned into a ramble through my ideas of Africa based on books and movies.

My obsession with Africa started with the movie Out of Africa.

I saw it at the old Dawn Theater at Chermside.

With its marble stairs and the old milk bar. We sat in the vinyl seats with the brass stud tacks in them. The seats where all so old that they had a permanent sag in the seat.
I was always happier in those chairs then in the canvas ones at the front of the cinema. As a small child I could not reach the floor and I could never sit right in them.

I saw Out of Africa there when I was 8 years old. Since then I have dreamed of my own farm in Africa. But sometimes I have thought that it goes deeper then that. And have decided that if the scientist are right and we all come from Africa, then something in me has always yearned for our collective home. Why else would I pine for a place I have never been?

I remember that I felt encompassed by the vastness of the scenes in the film and over joyed at the vistas I saw about me. The flying scenes in that film are still some of my favourite film moments. I was still 8 years from my first real flight at that time, but in my mind that was the first time I flew.

Much of the movie went over my young head at that time. All I really understood was that She (Tania or Karen or Isak Dinesen or Baroness Karen Von Blixen-Finecke) lost her farm, lost the beautiful Berkeley Cole and then the dashing Denys Finch Hatton.

Showing my early good taste I was madly in love with Berkeley Cole and not Denys. I was not surprised to find out later that DFH was a bounding cad and asked Tania and Beryl Markham on the flight that he died in. Neither went and so we have a rich font of information about European women in Africa at that time. He had Tania on one side of the mountain and Beryl on the other side.

After the movie Out of Africa it was The Gods Must be Crazy (Don't pretend that you haven't seen it!)

Everything and anything on the slave trade, Barbary Pirates Doctor Livingstone, Arabic Africa, the Boer Wars Breaker Morant Nelson Mandela and and and, you get the idea and yes I was "that" kid.

Don't get my started on Jane Goodyear and Born Free.

So by a long and winding path I get to The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers

In truth it was the beautiful frog on the front cover that first caught my eye. So a frog got me in, the blurb tickled me and the book delighted me. Considering it is about surviving in modern Zimbabwe delighted seems a rather flippant word.

But truly the people in this book are delightful. If you, like me, love people who do the forks to those that oppress them, you will like this book. If you love people who can live with grace, style, bravado or just plain old fashioned cussedness in times of trouble you will like this book.

I now follow Douglas Rogers on Facebook, to keep up to date with what is happening to his family and friends in Zimbabwe. And one day when I do get home to Africa I hope to spend sometime at The Last Resort with his wonderful Mum and Dad.