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Green Mansions

W. H. Hudson

Book Overview: 

“Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest” is a narration of his life story by Abel, a Venezuelan, to a comrade. Once a wealthy young man, he meddled in politics to the extent of provoking a revolution… which failed.

Escaping into the tropical forests of Guyana Abel takes up gold hunting, then journal-writing, and fails at both. Now with no aim for his life, he drifts until he takes up residence with a remote Indian tribe. Soon he learns of a wood the Indians avoid, as it is inhabited by a dangerous Daughter of the Didi, who, they say, slew one of them with magic. The fellow was in fact hit with a poisoned dart by accident, but his dying belief that she had caught the dart and hurled it at him survived him.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .his much clear to me; the voice might proceed from a very frolicsome and tricksy creature, full of wild fantastic humours, but nothing worse. It was friendly to me, I felt sure; at the same time it might not be friendly towards the Indians; for, on that day, it had made itself heard only after my companion had taken flight; and it had then seemed incensed against me, possibly because the savage had been in my company.

That was the result of my reflections on the day's events when I returned to my entertainer's roof and sat down among my friends to refresh myself with stewed fowl and fish from the household pot, into which a hospitable woman invited me with a gesture to dip my fingers.

Kua-ko was lying in his hammock, smoking, I think—certainly not reading. When I entered he lifted his head and stared at me, probably surprised to see me alive, unharmed, and in a placid temper. I laughed at the look, and, somewhat disconcerted, he dropped his hea. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I feel ambivalent about this book. I did finish it, and on the whole I'm glad I read it, but I'm not sure I'd say I liked it--it holds on to three stars by its toe nails. It's considered a minor classic, and it was a favorite book of someone I knew in high school. How many classics are loved and...more

Green Mansions: a Romance of the Tropical Forest (1904) is an exotic romance by W. H. Hudson (1841-1922) about a traveller to the Guyana jungle of southeastern Venezuela and his encounter with a forest dwelling girl named Rima. Hudson was born in Argentina, son of settlers of U.S. origin.
He spent...more

When I was studying Jungian psychology, many years ago, I came across this book which hangs its narrative upon his "night journey" concept (a prevalent theme in books and films including Coppala's Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Oliver Stone's Platoon), that of a journey in...more

A nice romantic and unusual story set in Victorian era in the forests of Venzuela. Interesting narrative, a bit difficult to get into, however it's worth it if you are patient.

I am actually revising this review. After being done with this book after a few days, I realize that I am still thinking...more

Mi ha appassionato, l'ho letto in due giorni, non riuscivo a staccarmi dalle pagine, forse merito di questi giorni di pioggia ma credo proprio che sia una grande opera; non è complicato anzi è scorrevole, chiaro, lo può leggere anche un ragazzino. Parla del Venezuela, dei suoi popoli nativi, di a...more

This is definitely an odd story – and original, but not perfect (more on that later).

It is hard to categorize exactly where this work of fiction lies; maybe in the mystical realm. However, towards the end a hard gloomy aspect descends upon the narrative.

The story resolves around a man in his thir...more

This book has a pervasive and oppressive atmosphere of racism, which really bothered me throughout. The story starts slowly but builds. The most remarkable thing about the book is the growth of the main character Abel (with the exception of his intense racism which he never shakes in the least)....more

Considered W H Hudson's masterpiece and promoted as an exotic romance, Green Mansions lived up to its reputation. An old man, Mr Abel, tells his tale to a close friend. Mr Abel, a Venezuelan, had become embroiled in a political plot to overthrow his government back when he was an unwise young ma...more

Sigh… this is a novel that has lived in my memory as a beloved book from my late teenage years. I first stumbled across this book deep in the stacks of my university library while randomly browsing in order to take a break from proving some tedious, complicated mathematical theorem. Perhaps it wa...more

Abel narrates a story about his mysterious past in the "green mansions" of the Venezuelan rainforest. When he was a young revolutionary, he had to go into hiding in an Indian village in the Parahuari Mountains. He went exploring in a nearby forest where the Indians refused to walk, fearing the pr...more

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