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A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond between Two Friends and a Lion

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,951 Ratings  ·  464 Reviews
Anthony Bourke nacio en Sidney en 1946 y vive en esa ciudad con sus dos gatos. Su predileccion por el arte aborigen lo ha llevado a convertirse en uno de los expertos mas prestigiosos de su pais. Su gran ilusion seria dedicarse tambien a proyectos de preservacion del medio ambiente. John Rendall australiano de sexta generacion divide su tiempo entre Londres y Sidney. Miemb ...more
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Apr 21, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful history of Christian the Lion. I loved the story of the camp and their ongoing conservation efforts. A must-read for all animal lovers!
Apr 05, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Not quite what I was expecting. This book was originally published in 1971, which I didn't discover until after I started listening to it. This tells the tale leading up to the infamous YouTube video of a lion embracing the men who raised him when they are reunited in Africa. I had thought this reunion came after quite some time, since the video just surfaced. I was quite disappointed to discover that Ace and John had gone to see Christian only a year after leaving him in Africa. For a true stor ...more
Feb 19, 2008 Lenje rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is to become another treasured book, as I got the used, first printing copy. And I was fortunate to obtain it for a cheap price from a not-so-popular website, only US$ 26 plus shipping from the UK. Had I ordered it from Amazone, the precisely similar copy would've cost me not less than US$ 78, not included shipment.

I knew about Christian the lion firstly from YouTube. Later on I learned about the fascinating life his previous owners had with him, before he became too large for them to keep
Nothing can top the extraordinary footage available on YouTube. I mean, it comes with Whitney Houston's tearjerker "I'll always love you" ;-p. However, the filmed reunion between a gigantic lion and two Aussie guys piqued my curiosity. So it was nice to read the entire story, which comes with a satisfying amount of pictures. Nothing grandiloquent: just funny, simply-written, heartfelt and warm.
Barbara Kramer
Mar 22, 2009 Barbara Kramer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love animals, you will love this book. If you have watched the reunion story on YouTube, you will love this book. Christian was a remarkable lion. For being born in captivity from generations of zoo lions the delightful cub was raised with love until he was able to be sent to Kenya to spend his life as a "wild" lion. The fact that he was able to act and react to other lions appropriately shows how much instinct there is and the fact that he was able to act and react to humans appropriatel ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2009
Many months ago I found myself inextricably bawling over the video of Christian the lion. I had heard about it, and just figured it was another viral email until I saw a clip of it on TV. I had no idea why I was was just one of those moments that seemed so huge- so far beyond what we're able to experience in society, that it HAD to move you to tears.

It didn't help that I was already deeply interested in unique human-animal interactions. The story of Timothy Treadwell ("Grizzly Man")
Jul 23, 2009 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, non-fiction, memoire
Christian was captivating and touching. In the late '60's, these two gentlemen from Australia found him and couldn't pass him up so they bought him at Harrods Department Store in London on a whim, a very expensive one. I was moved to read thier experiences of how they took care of him, and what they went through to help him maintain good health, keep him safe and try to provide some sense of happiness for thier lion friend. It really is remarkable the love and bond this lion had with Anthony(Ace ...more
Aug 17, 2011 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal Lovers Especially Those Who Like Big Cats & Wildlife
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" A Lion Called Christian is a wonderful, almost serendipitous true story of how two friends from Australia purchased a lion cub from Harrod's Department Store in London in 1969, and about a year later were able to return him to the wild in Africa. Christian seemed like the most gentle, even-tempered lion one could ever hope to encounter. He also had a very big personality. From the moment the authors, Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall met Christian at Harro
Darth Olive
I apologize for generalizations in this review; I read the book a while ago and I have no interest in picking it up again to get quotes.

This is one of the very few books I've read that I both could not put down and wanted frequently to throw against the wall.

I couldn't stop reading because it's exactly the kind of story I enjoy: a unique non-fiction animal story. I saw the YouTube video of Christian and wanted to know more, and the book works very well when it's about Christian and his story.
Ryan Holiday
Jul 05, 2012 Ryan Holiday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll write this from a slightly different perspective. Everyone who has seen and enjoyed the video (but didn't cry or weep or have some other strange reaction) is probably wondering: ok, but is the book any good?

The answer is yes. It is well organized, fun, interesting and wonderfully written. Rendall and Rourke are also surprisingly self-aware. They admit numerous times that owning a lion was a dangerous, one-in-a-lifetime decision that they were lucky to escape positively.

Their story is one th
Kerry Connelly
Nearly everyone has seen that beautiful you tube video from the 70's of a wild lion running up to greet and cuddle two Australian men. - That lion was Christian, the men were John and Ace, who in their 20's went to London England and bought a lion cub from the worlds most famous department store Harrods. (Which had a pet/shop/zoo in it back then.)

This is the story of how John and Ace met Christian, how they prepared a house in London for him with the knowledge that they would have to find him a
Feb 10, 2011 Raghu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an endearing book on the improbable story of a couple of long-haired, bell-bottom-wearing Australians in the late 1960s, buying a three-month old lion cub from the departmental store 'Harrods' in London and the subsequent life of the three of them till they successfully rehabilitate the grown up cub in the northern plains of Kenya. I saw the superb one-hour Documentary under the same title about a year ago and was so captivated by it that I watched it again and again many times. Then, a ...more
Nov 19, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who would believe that at one time Herrod's store housed exotic animals, and sold them to the public? As sad as that is to believe, it is probably even harder to believe that people bought them! This story unfolds when John and Ace fell in love with a young, male lion cub named Christian, bought him at Herrod's, and took him to the furniture store, aptly named Sophistocat, where they both work.

Both men knew that Christian, the young, adorable lion cub, would soon grow to be Christian, the full-g
Dec 16, 2015 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't a remarkably well written book, but I enjoyed it for the simple fact that I have always loved animal books.

As a kid I remember going through a whole string of equally as unimaginatively named true animal stories such as A Seal Called Andre, Rascal, and That Quail, Robert. There is just something amazing to me about human relationships with wild animals. As an adult, some of my recent other animal reads include Modoc (Elephant) and Zamba (Lion).

A Lion Called Christian was originally
Two young Australian men vacationing in London buy a lion from Harrods. They decide to name him Christian, as lions ate Christians for amusement in Rome.

Although these young men had no knowledge how to rear a lion, they did an amazing job. Times were very different in the early 70's, Christian would play in the shop with his owners or customers, he also was allowed to exercise in a local park.

Fortunately, when he became too large and powerful, he was sent to Africa for rehabilitation to surviv
Jul 20, 2015 Hlogan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became totally obsessed with this book, story, videos, documentaries, related books, etc. Love!
Nov 20, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Conan Tigard
Nov 16, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a wonderful book Christian the Lion is. I have always loved the big cats, although I am not much of a fan of the little house cats, and was enthralled with this story. After all, haven't you always wanted a big cat as a pet or as a friend? Well, I sure have . . . almost all my life. They are powerful and amazing animals.

The authors, Anthony "Ace" Bourke and John Rendall, were the ones that bought Christian from that department store and finally brought him to Africa. Their writing is a
Sep 28, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robin by: Julie
Shelves: book-club
I still have not seen the youtube video of this reunion, but this was a pretty intersting read. It was quick and easy to get through. Oddly enough, it was just what I was in the mood for, without even realizing it. It certainly does seem as if fate had a special purpose for this animal. It is a touching and uncanny story about the love between man and beast; definately worth a look.
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
This book and story is incredible. It's the story of Christian the lion, the story behind the Youtube reunion. Christian is bought by two young men in London, England and form an inseparable bond. Through the struggles they face raising and caring for a lion, the reward is priceless. An amazing tale of the love and affection animals can have on humans and themselves.
Sarah Thomas
Jan 29, 2015 Sarah Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘A Lion Called Christian’ is a true story by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall and it is incredible! If you haven’t seen the Christian the lion reunion on youtube, the two minute clip referred to above, then you MUST watch it. The book is written by the two owners of Christian, who purchased him from the Harrod’s Department Store in London, from the exotic pets section in the 1970’s, to save him from a life of permanent and (possibly) harsh captivity. The story is full of anecdotes and is both hea ...more
Jen K
Jan 10, 2010 Jen K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I was disappointed with this book...I thought for sure a book about an animal and it's attachment to humans would have me hooked, but the writing was just too plain and boring. The authors have a great idea but failed to make it come to life. I would have liked to use it in my classroom as an informational read aloud, but not sure if I will.
Jul 05, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really interesting and I found it fascinating to read about how Christian the lion was raised and then rehabilitated into the wild. It was quite short and to the point, but I would recommend it if you are at all interested in animals! And if you don't read it, at least watch the YouTube video of Christian's reunion with his owners!
Aug 08, 2015 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book a long time ago when I saw the U-Tube video of Christian's reunion with his owners. Finally I was able to read it, and I loved it. I don't care for those wordy biographies which catalog everything a person has done in his or her life,and this one was not that type. It was geared into the relationship between the lion and his owners -- and then his life as he was being re-introduced to life in the wild. Also, this book was written by Christian's owners, the ones who bou ...more
Oct 17, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like a lot of folks, I discovered this story from the very popular Youtube video. Back in 1969, two friends decided to purchase a baby lion in a department store. As the lion grows up, they begin to worry about its future and find the best option in the biggest stroke of luck possible. This book is kind of a mixed bag in that... you're not going to be getting EVERY detail in terms of how they raised Christian. I only mention it because it's disappointed a few readers apparently, and it's the tru ...more
Romi (likes books)
More than anything else, I was annoyed with this book. Though in the end it may be a happy story, I couldn’t really enable myself to get past the fact that I felt the two young men who saw a lion in Harrods and decided on a whim to buy it, though they knew they wouldn’t be able to keep it for very long, was reckless and I felt at times like the men were trying to defend their actions in a way that didn’t feel genuine. It was a really interesting story, and the ending was, as a say, worth it, I s ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book while driving around town. I enjoyed learning more about the lion Christian. I can't imagine buying a lion cub, and keeping it in the store where I worked. That is what the two owners did with Christian. When he got bigger, they found a place in the country, with more room for Christian to run and play.
They were asked to be part of a movie with Christian, and then the movie company agreed to settle Christian in Kenya Africa. The book tells how they had to work with the go
May 17, 2010 Bxrlover rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit
I just can't keep reading about how this animal was deprived of a normal, natural life and how stupid these guys were to endanger themselves and countless others by having a LION as a pet.
Have to quit reading this one.
Jan 04, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The writing was quite dry, and I found that I enjoyed the pictures more than anything. At times I had to convince myself to pick up the book, and only finished it because I love the true storyline.
Apr 19, 2016 Martasek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Musím říci, že jsem napřed narazila na video na Youtube a ihned mě chytlo za srdce. Příběh lva Kristiána, který se stal velmi zajímavým díky mnoha šťastným náhodám a dvěma pošetilým mužům, kteří si ho pořídili, vychovali ho jak nejlépe dokázaly a pak mu dopřály volnost v jeho přirozeném prostředí. Příběh, který snad každého chytne za srdce obohacený mnoha fotografiemi a osobními postřehy či dopisy.
Jen si říkám, jak bylo vůbec možné, pořídit si do domácnosti lva či jiné divoké zvíře :)
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It has been a busy year for Ace Bourke, co-author of A Lion Called Christian, who graduated with a Masters of Arts from the University of Wollongong this week.

His MA(R), titled Family Footprints: Tracing the Past in the Present through Curatorial Autobiographical Practice, examines a new form of "autobiographical" curatorship that evolved from three major museum exhibitions he has staged over the
More about Anthony Bourke...

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“I felt confident that his inherited knowledge and instincts would soon assert themselves, given the chance, and in spite of his [lion] breeding. I must admit that I did not feel the same confidence about his two owners, when I heard they would accompany Christian [lion] and stay a few weeks at my camp. I was lead to believe they were very 'mod' with long hair and exotic clothing.” 2 likes
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