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Old 8th Sep 2009, 11:43   #1
Noumenon
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Default A Guide to the Birds of East Africa: Nicholas Drayson

The newpaper chap I've started writing bite-sized book reviews for has told me he has no problem if I want to post them online too - so here's the fir- er, third:

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, by Nicholas Drayson
During the popular weekly bird walks through Nairobi, the charmingly shy Mr. Malik has watched lovely ornithologist Rose Mbikwa from afar when he should have been concentrating on other birds; but, after years of longing, just when he is finally ready to act on his desires, the return of his annoyingly dashing old school friend Harry Kahn seems to have snatched her out from under his nose. Only an equally old school contest can decide which of them will win the girl’s hand – even if only for an evening.

Without once leaving the borders of Kenya Mr. Malik’s adventure exposes us to love, lust, nature and the city, generosity and selfishness, heart-wrenching regret and heartfelt sympathy, armed robbery, state-sanctioned murder, political satire, religious disenfranchisement (of clothing), grand theft auto, kidnapping and banditry, military justice, legal chicanery, a little bit of harmless deceit and a whole lot of unshakable honour. Oh, and a touch of bird watching. Drayson does for Kenya what The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency did for Botswana, painting it with affectionate humour and warmth. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa may be as light as a feather, but like its hero it is also desperately sweet.
½
200 words on the nose! Or rather, beak.
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