The African Queen

Humphrey Bogart has a lot of my life choices to answer for. This book however, I picked up because I adore Katherine Hepburn and I recalled her on a boat from an old trailer. While that sentence sums up the bulk of the book, it does have merits other then movie stars to recommend it. News of the outbreak of WWI reaches Central German Africa and Rose Sayer and Charlie Allnut find themselves the only English survivors of a small village. Having lived a near Puritan existence Rose finds herself in a strange situation and takes charge. Allnut does what he does best and follows the strong leadership skills of Rose; having had very little contact with one another prior to the outbreak of war, this is the story of two very different individuals and their journey on The African Queen steamboat to do something for their country in the time of war.

I felt as if the journey was the best part – the characters are too weak or too domineering to inspire any great joy at their arriving where they wished to go. The ending was also disappointing and I hear that’s why it was changed for the film. Read it if you enjoy epic trips from A to B, their experiences themselves are quite well described and the feats pulled off amongst them did garner some surprise; sadly the last few chapters and the fate of the characters ruined it for me.

3stars.

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