·Karen·'s Reviews > In the Skin of a Lion

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
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Aug 03, 11

bookshelves: canada, favourites
Read from August 01 to 03, 2011

A full five star endorsement for a novel that has a mesmeric, hallucinatory quality. Images as powerful and poignant as a dream, narrative that slips and weaves and ducks between people, places and time, and an impressive sweep of invention that catches the breath. Ondaatje uncovers the story of those whose labour created Toronto landmarks in the early twentieth century, deftly knitting up truth and myth, revealing the lives of those who were forgotten in the official version of history.

Actually, The English Patient is one of the few books in my reading life that I never finished. I don't think I ever really took note of the book until the film came out, so it must have been 1996, when we had just moved back to Germany from Austria, because I have a clear memory of trying to read it in bed on a mattress on the floor. With moving and coping with all that entails, I know I was only reading a few pages in bed at night before falling into a coma. After three weeks of this where it seemed to me that nothing whatever had happened, I gave up. I was amazed at how political In the Skin of a Lion is, I had Ondaatje down in my mind as a somewhat artsy poetic type that uses a lot of words to skirt the ineffable. How wrong I was.
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Reading Progress

08/01/2011 page 105
41.0% "Magical imagery."

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Teresa Do you think you'll give The English Patient another try, Karen. I remember sitting in a bookstore paging through it, reading quite a bit of it, after the movie came out, but for whatever reason, it didn't tempt me at the time. I'm going to read it now.


·Karen· Definitely! I just ordered it online for 1 Eurocent.


Cynthia Excellent review Karen.

ps
You crack me up.


·Karen· Thanks C!!


message 5: by Barbara (new) - added it

Barbara Nice review, Karen! Both you and Teresa have convinced me that I should move it from my long-time TBR list and actually read it!!


·Karen· Barbara wrote: "Nice review, Karen! Both you and Teresa have convinced me that I should move it from my long-time TBR list and actually read it!!"

Thanks B. It is a bit spiky and resistant sometimes, but worth the effort I feel.


Teresa Karen wrote: "It is a bit spiky and resistant sometimes, but worth the effort I feel. "

Good summation!


Will nice review! It is my favourite Ondaatje too


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