The White Rhino Hotel

The White Rhino Hotel

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
Among the settlers welcomed into colonial East Africa's White Rhino hotel are world-weary aristocrat Adam Penfold, scheming dwarf barman Olivio Alavedo, a resourceful English hunter, a stunning Welshwoman, a pair of Irishmen, and others. Reprint.

Perseus Publishing
Historic romance and adventure do not get any better than in this companion novel to the top-selling A Café on the Nile. The Great War has ended, tragically for many, but for some, Africa holds the prospect of vast estates, fabulous wealth, and limitless opportunity in this powerful, wonderfully crafted novel of the natural and human perils that await pioneers in a promised land. In colonial Kenya the paths of these new settlers cross at Lord Penfold's White Rhino Hotel. Here they meet the cunning dwarf Olivio Alevado, a man whose lustful desires and vengeful schemes make him a formidable adversary to his enemies and a subtle ally to his friends. Here the destinies of the gypsy adventurer Anton Rider and courageous, war-hardened Gwen Llewelyn intersect. Here hope is corrupted by greed, love by revenge, and loyalty by betrayal as the future is trampled into history. "A wing-ding adventure story.... The kind of book that creates one of the elemental delights of fiction - a complete other world where, unlike our own, all the parts add up to something." - Boston Globe; "A genuine epic centered in Africa, by a writer who knows how to write, who knows his terrain intimately, who knows how to paint his characters convincingly, and who knows how to spin a good yarn." - Forbes Magazine.

& Taylor

Records the mad rush to settle East Africa after the First World War in a novel that depicts the paradoxes of colonialism through a group portrait of the guests staying at the White Rhino Hotel.

Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf, 2000, c1992
ISBN: 9780786707980
Characteristics: 404 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm


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May 03, 2011

For sheer adventure it would be hard to top The White Rhino Hotel by Bartle Bull. The story carries you away to Africa in the years just after World War I, and, from elephant hunts to deadly soldier ant marches, it keeps the excitement level high. What is truly remarkable about this book is that not only can the author deliver an amazing story, he writes that story in a astoundingly descriptive manner. To that is added a wonderful assortment of varied and interesting characters. With this mixture, he has created a dense, rich book that made for a very satisfying read.

With an incredible amount of passion, the story unfolds around Anton Rider, a young Englishman, who comes to Africa to find his fortune. What he does find is lots of romance, greed and adventure. Other characters which flesh out this story include a cunning dwarf, a disillusioned English aristocrat and his bitter wife, a young Welsh woman and her badly wounded soldier husband, a Portuguese villain and his exotic sister, along with many other entertaining characters. This is a colourful, old-fashioned story that will have you rooting for the good guys and booing the bad.

I thoroughly enjoyed this great read and look forward to escaping again into Bartle Bull’s Africa with the remaining two books in the trilogy.


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