SUBJECT: 3.5/5 WRITING STYLE: 3/5 PICTURES: 3.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 3/5 OVERALL: 3/5
I’ve been reading a lot of travel writing recently. All thanks to the author Anuj Tikku’s travel blog www.tikkustravelthon.in and his writing endeavours, I am getting to read about all kinds of exotic locations.
Be it the Antarctica, be it India, be it the Kailash Mansarovar or be it mystic Bhutan, by reading Anuj’s books over the course of these past few months, I have certainly got a faint idea about a lot of offbeat travel destinations. And I am definitely motivated to one day go on all these exotic adventures myself.
I recently finished reading the latest book from the author’s kitty and I simply cannot wait to talk to you about it. Find out more about my thoughts on the book, Out of Africa: In Zulu Land in the paragraphs that follow.
What to expect?
Expect a book that talks as much about the wildlife and jungles of Africa as it does about its people, its languages and its distinct culture. Expect a book that garnishes the author’s experiences with some interesting looking photographs that complement the text.
Expect a book that is a rather short read and which gives the reader good practical tips and advice about how to behave and how to survive in Africa. Finally, expect a book that is written in Anuj’s classic ‘holding-nothing-back’ style.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in an easy to understand language and makes use of a narrative style that is fluid and breezy, it can be easily picked up by a beginner level reader.
The beautiful pictures
The pictures that adorn Out of Africa: In Zulu Land aren’t the best professional photos that one can expect to find on Africa. At best, their quality can be termed as mediocre or amateurish but even then, they do manage to excite the reader enough about this exotic land.
I love how the pictures aren’t photoshopped or enhanced and how they show us the reality just as it is. Because, even though they are quite ordinary, they do serve their purpose well.
How good is the author’s writing style?
The author makes use of his signature style of writing that is sometimes candid and sometimes indulgent, sometimes lazy and sometimes fluid. I love how Anuj has the tendency to pour his heart out in his writings and write about things that most other authors would certainly shy from.
That being said, the said candidness is glaringly visible when the author quite unabashedly refers to his carnal episodes and adventures in the diverse land of Africa. As a woman, that certainly makes me a bit uncomfortable especially the parts wherein the names of his love conquests have been immaturely disclosed.
In the end, I think it will be better on the author’s part to exercise a bit of discretion while penning future works and books.
What did I like?
The best part of the book, Out of Africa: In Zulu Land is how the author is able to capture the essence of a land that is so foreign, so vast and so diverse. From the crystal blue seas of Mauritius to the verdant greens of Kilimanjaro, from the thriving wildlife of Maasai Mara to the mysterious Shamans of Dar es Salaam – we get a picture of Africa that is definitely hard to assimilate on a single canvas.
What did I not like?
Like most other books by Anuj Tikku, Out of Africa: In Zulu Land is a book that doesn’t come without its own share of editing mistakes. From poorly constructed sentences to grammar mistakes, from spelling errors to copy editing issues – the book has all of them.
I particularly did not like the way the book is planned in an utterly random fashion. The chapters that are essentially the introductory ones have been placed in the end and those that conclude a particular episode are placed at the beginning.
This makes it so difficult for the reader to navigate the book and make sense of what the author is trying to portray. A proper content plan in terms of the arrangement of chapters in chronological order is a must for any travel book and it pains the reader in me to find that this issue remains unaddressed in all of Anuj’s books.
Is the book interesting to read?
Despite its many flaws, there’s no denying the fact that the book is interesting to read. I think the subject itself (Africa) is so vastly beautiful and diverse that the reader is bound to turn pages after pages just to get a glimpse of what lies ahead in the author’s journey.
In the end
In the end, Out of Africa: In Zulu Land is a decent one time read that gives you a certain idea of what to expect during your travels in Africa. Even though the book has a number of issues, its utility cannot be completely denied.
The final verdict
Can be read.
Pick it up
- If you are a travel lover who likes to read travel writing.
- If you are somebody who is planning to visit Africa in the near future.
- If you want to get a feel of the beautiful continent of Africa and its many nations.
- If you are looking for an easy-breezy read.
- If you are not into nonfiction especially travel writing.
- If you don’t like books that have some copy-editing mistakes.
- If you can’t stand books that aren’t properly planned and edited.
- If you don’t want to read about a serial wanderer’s escapades in the exotic land of Africa.
- If you are looking for a much detailed and serious read on the subject.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy a copy of Out of Africa: In Zulu Land using the link below.