Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Travels in South Africa

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9780349112619: Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Travels in South Africa
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Somewhere Over the Rainbow A non-political travel book about South Africa. Full description

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Review:

For his second travel book, reporter Gavin Bell--no stranger to South Africa-- returned to the country to check the pulse of Mandela's "rainbow nation". He is blunt about what he found: "Half of the population had mobile telephones, the other half had no running water, and all of them were afraid of being mugged".

South Africa, "struggling to deal with the legacies not only of apartheid, but of centuries of colonialism", is in trouble, its people not so much divided as simply foreign to each other, history having cruelly widened the gulfs between peoples scattered across this vast, often beautiful, but also often boring, hot and inimical land.

The real threat to South Africa now is globalisation: the destruction of communities by capital. It's easy to sneer at white farmers, as they regret the breaking of the paternalistic bonds that once existed between themselves and their black employees. But Bell makes no such mistakes. He has, after all, just heard much the same lament--from Mandela's country cousin. "'He says he was happy when they were children'", the translator explains. "'They drank sour milk from the cow, and they ate the cow, without buying anything. You can't get sour milk today. Then they wore blankets, now it is Western clothes. Also there were a lot of ceremonies in those days, and there are not so many today.'"

This is not a political study: Bell offers the armchair traveller many sensuous diversions and he is often achingly funny. But he can never quite put out of his mind that this was JRR Tolkein's birthplace; and there is something of Mordor about the landscapes he describes. --Simon Ings

Review:

Wry and deft ... travel writing of a high order, given steel by [Bell's] keen understanding of the country's contradictions (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

A fine, gentle and loving travel book about South Africa which captures the magic of the land and the warmth of its peoples (SCOTSMAN)

Wherever Bell goes, he brings a gimlet eye to the human and unusual (YORKSHIRE POST)

One of life's great wanderers, at home when he is away ... a lucid, deeply informative and highly entertaining piece of travel prose (GLASGOW HERALD)

A warm, sane and illuminating book (Ned Sherrin)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780316853590: Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Travels in South Africa (The Hungry Student)

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ISBN 10: 0316853593 ISBN 13: 9780316853590
Publisher: Little, Brown, 2000
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Gavin Bell
Published by Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2001)
ISBN 10: 0349112614 ISBN 13: 9780349112619
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Near the southern tip of Africa, there is a mountain that does a conjuring trick with the biggest tablecloth on earth. In a sacred forest near the Limpopo river, there is a bird that flies on wings of thunder, flashing lightning from its eyes and bearing rain in its beak. In between, there is a hauntingly beautiful land and millions of confused people. When Archbishop Desmond Tutu dubbed his native South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation', he conjured a vision of ethnic diversity and harmony in a country with eleven official languages, two national anthems, and a parliament that shuttled between two cities. As a foreign correspondent reporting on the last days of apartheid, Gavin Bell thought it was a brave image and wondered how long it would endure. A few years later, he returned to find out what had happened to Tutu's rainbow. In his travels he found a country at odds with itself, swinging between hope and despair, buoyed by a sense of freedom and haunted by a fear of violent crime. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW is not only a fine travel book by an award-winning writer, it is a compelling portrait of a country in search of an identity. The leopard stories are good too. Seller Inventory # HUK9780349112619

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Gavin Bell
Published by Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2001)
ISBN 10: 0349112614 ISBN 13: 9780349112619
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Near the southern tip of Africa, there is a mountain that does a conjuring trick with the biggest tablecloth on earth. In a sacred forest near the Limpopo river, there is a bird that flies on wings of thunder, flashing lightning from its eyes and bearing rain in its beak. In between, there is a hauntingly beautiful land and millions of confused people. When Archbishop Desmond Tutu dubbed his native South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation', he conjured a vision of ethnic diversity and harmony in a country with eleven official languages, two national anthems, and a parliament that shuttled between two cities. As a foreign correspondent reporting on the last days of apartheid, Gavin Bell thought it was a brave image and wondered how long it would endure. A few years later, he returned to find out what had happened to Tutu's rainbow. In his travels he found a country at odds with itself, swinging between hope and despair, buoyed by a sense of freedom and haunted by a fear of violent crime. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW is not only a fine travel book by an award-winning writer, it is a compelling portrait of a country in search of an identity. The leopard stories are good too. Seller Inventory # HUK9780349112619

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