This is a gorgeously written, factually tracked account of a male mountain lion's journey from the Black Hills to the coast of Connecticut - based inThis is a gorgeously written, factually tracked account of a male mountain lion's journey from the Black Hills to the coast of Connecticut - based in accurate science, with parallel accounts of other cats' journeys in their attempts to disperse and re-colonize their former range. It traces human attitudes towards big cats, both back in American history, and beyond, and clearly illuminates the insane degree of fear mongering that so often, still does, influence our perception and shapes our wildlife policies regarding re-wilding apex predatators.
I was impressed by the accuracy of the science, given I have followed this species' plight as a long time resident of Florida. The fact that the state of California has banned the hunting of these magnificent animals, and uses tranquillizers and not bullets, to remove them from populated areas - and the existence of the cougar living in Griffith Park in LA, this book is a clear call for the redefinition of policy concerning our only native big cat.
The story is beautifully told, clearly written, and cited with proper scholarship. An incredible journey and a call for more enlightened and compassionate policy. Highly recommended!...more
I enjoyed this book, which is huge, not being a rabid fan of the grit and the grim. What made it outstanding was the choice of protagonists. Picture aI enjoyed this book, which is huge, not being a rabid fan of the grit and the grim. What made it outstanding was the choice of protagonists. Picture a young, naive (somewhat), scribe - educated but wet behind the ears - being hired by what amounts to The Black Company. His plunge into adventure is severe culture shock. But it made the book an edge of the seat read for two reasons:
The witty, black humor dialogue among the company cohorts. The very strange mystery behind their smooth talking captain - who is devious, down and dirty up to something big, and close mouthed about it -with that Tyrion style Jeckyll and Hyde nature where you think, one moment, this guy has a soft heart, and the next, maybe you think he doesn't.
Enter a creepy twist, some hi jinks adventure with plenty of blow by blow action, and the slow shift in the character's perspective as he falls deeper and deeper into the captain's business, and there seems no bottom to the double dealing in sight.
The orchestration of action vs dialogue, and the relationships (often complex) between the characters, and the depth of the unknown layers of this company's past, and its current objectives - and you get a very fast, very engaging read with an astonishingly deft touch of detail, and a backdrop of ordinary people and a thoroughly fleshed out setting. There is a major female character right up there, with splendid opinions and real agency, in high form alongside the raunch language and humor. No stereotypes here. ...more
Enjoyable pair of contrasting protagonists, as always, Lawrence tells a brisk paced story with an entertaining anti hero. Plenty of action, no wastedEnjoyable pair of contrasting protagonists, as always, Lawrence tells a brisk paced story with an entertaining anti hero. Plenty of action, no wasted words....more