• Green Hills of Africa

  • By: Ernest Hemingway
  • Narrated by: Josh Lucas
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (630 ratings)

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Green Hills of Africa  By  cover art

Green Hills of Africa

By: Ernest Hemingway
Narrated by: Josh Lucas
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Publisher's Summary

His second major venture into nonfiction (after Death in the Afternoon, 1932), Green Hills of Africa is Ernest Hemingway's lyrical journal of a month on safari in the great game country of East Africa, where he and his wife, Pauline, journeyed in December of 1933. Hemingway's well-known interest in - and fascination with - big-game hunting is magnificently captured in this evocative account of his trip.

In examining the poetic grace of the chase, and the ferocity of the kill, Hemingway also looks inward, seeking to explain the lure of the hunt and the primal undercurrent that comes alive on the plains of Africa. Yet Green Hills of Africa is also an impassioned portrait of the glory of the African landscape, and of the beauty of a wilderness that was, even then, being threatened by the incursions of man.

Who's your papa? Listen to more from Ernest Hemingway.
©1935, 1963 Charles Scribner's Sons and Mary Hemingway. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Green Hills of Africa

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Pleasures of Place, People, and Persuit

Where a man feels at home, outside of where he's born, is where he's meant to go."
- Ernest Hemingway

Once, when I was 11 or 12, I begged my father to take me Mule deer hunting in Utah. Growing up in the West, among a certain strata of boy, the October deer hunt was a sort of blood ritual. We would take off from school for a couple days, go into the mountains with our fathers, shoot at things, and come home.

At this time in my life, I had tremendous blood lust. I wanted to bring something down. To be at the top of the pyramid for a second. To conquer something. I wasn't at the stage where I could explore where these impulses came from. The desire to carry and shoot. The desire to kill and show off my trophy. It really was a deep thing. I think as a child, I can best explain it as some way of coming to grips with the discovery that you are no longer the center of the Universe. You have recently discovered you aren't a god. So, you act like a god. You seek to become Shiva the destroyer, the killer of groundhogs, of robins, the boy who pulls the stinger out of bees in the window.

Lucky for me, I discovered (much later in life) that my father, a veterinarian, used to steer me away from the deer. He was happy to hike, camp, and shoot with me. He understood better than I, the stage I was in. Perhaps, at 11 or 12, disappointment with not finding something to kill might serve me better than blood.

Even now as I've grown, as I read Hemingway's 'Green Hills of Africa' and I feel all of those early impulses again. After finishing this story, I did a Google search to see how much a Safari in South Africa and Zimbabwe costs now days. I know this is absurd. It is one of those things I mock and despise among the rich. Photos of the Trump boys displaying their trophies or the owner of Jimmy Johns standing under an Elephant he has recently killed makes me both angry and sad at the same time. But I STILL, emotionally, deep down find myself thinking about Hemingway and Roosevelt. Thinking about the big tests, the pursuit, the hunt, the blood. It sickens and attracts. It is visceral. I really think C. G. Poore captured it perfectly when he said this story was "about people in unacknowledged conflict and about the pleasures of travel and the pleasures of drinking and war and peace and writing."

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Life Well Lived

Hemingway's account of a Kudu hunting safari in Africa between the wars is not one of his better-known works. But his ability to let the reader experience events through Hemingway's own senses is as strong as ever. This is a mesmerising story. I found the narration a little brisk for my liking, and slowed it down with the iPod software.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Green Hills of Africa

Stupidest book we've ever had to read. One of Hemingway's worst. Unless you are into killing people and learning what he ate for breakfast every morning, I'd skip this one.

3 people found this helpful

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It was good but not amazing

What made the experience of listening to Green Hills of Africa the most enjoyable?

Picturing the whole scene, the landscape, the experience of being there.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Green Hills of Africa?

When he shot a rhino

Which character – as performed by Josh Lucas – was your favorite?

Hemmingway

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. It was good, slightly boring because it was all about one hunting trip but it is what it is and Im glad I listened to it. Its interesting.

Any additional comments?

If you like Hemmingway you will like it.

2 people found this helpful

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papa

Classic Book a good read love listening to the old stories, makes me wish I were born 100 years earlier

1 person found this helpful

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  • DJ
  • 11-05-22

best narrating of any book I've ever listened to

I would highly recommend this book as it is very detailed and keeps you interested. a lot of good descriptions about Africa the country, it's people and hunting as well.

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Read Hemingway in full context

To have appreciation for this narrative
one must suspend our notions of animal
cruelty etc. Hemingway’s world is far
from today’s set of principles about what is humane. So GHOA should be viewed
in that context.

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The worst Hemingway, with an irritating narrator.

The subject doesn't interest me in the least, it's very repetitive, and it gets worst with every time the narrator tries doing a voice.

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Wonderful Imagery

Green Hills is one of my very favorite Hemingway stories. The imagery was wonderful and Josh Lucas did a fine job telling the the story. 5 Stars.

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Another great Hemingway

Great listen, especially after reading some of Hemingway’s other novels. Lots of parallels between them. Great narrator, very good book.

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  • SophieSz
  • 01-08-19

Ambivalent feelings

I have struggled through 3/4 of this book and by the time I reached Part Four, I truly detested Hemingway’s writing... only to be completely blown away by this final part. I’m not sure what happened... but might give another go for the rest of it.

Josh Lucas is brilliant! He’s arrogant, somewhat drooling voice is just as I imagine Hemingway to be. He did justice to his style.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tobias
  • 01-26-22

Marvelous language and writing

A beautiful book, it’s only hard to truly love the subject matter. Quite controversial and hard to chew at times. Language is 11/10.

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  • H. Lucy
  • 05-21-16

Josh Lucas missed the mark

The story is excellent, vivid and graphic with a wonderful flow. Josh Lucas could have done half a day worth of research into basic swahili and could have saved his performance from the abomination that he instead produced. How was this recording released without editors? "Mem-sa-heeb"!? Shame.

1 person found this helpful