In the Skin of a Lion Paperback – 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
Basically, the beginning is slow, yet dense, and becomes more intense as time passes. If you have not the patience to push through the first thirty pages, you should stop reading books. The plot thickens, and intensifies until the moment of pointed climax. And I cannot say 'Shh' without a shiver.
The prose: gorgeous without being over-the-top. The characters: firmly and clearly human, while each is a little super-human in their own quiet ways, as many of us are.
In other words, one of the greatest novels in the world to emerge from the late twentieth century. The techniques are firmly rooted in time and place, and the words shed light on a world that is, for us, indescribable. A heart, and a mind, so rare to find together, lies before you. Be prepared for a life-changing journey.
I thought The English Patient was a wonderful book, I walked in Libyan desert looking for Zerzura for weeks after reading that book. But In The Skin Of A Lion is something so much more. This book moves me so I'm left speechless. The continuance, the surprises, the beauty, the characters. If it was possible to choose to write like someone I would absolutely pick Michael Ondaatje. His work is simply beautiful.
I am amazed. Read this book, read all of them. Find the fine red line that ties all the stories together. END
The dreamlike, almost random quality of the narrative is amazing and it's filled with wonderdully imagined details and scenes that really put me in awe of this writer. I laughed out loud when Carvaggio escapes prison by painting himself blue, and found myself really touched by the imprints of his lost love that the main character finds continually.
Also, it is obvious the writer did an intense ammount of research into the lives of the people of the 1930's in canada. The workmen, the political statements, the actions all seem so real and work as a good balance to the dreamlike details.
His two weaknesses seem to be his dialogue and the ending. The dialogue constantly pulled me out of the dreamstate I was so happy to be in; I could never hear people talking like they do in this work, but maybe the people I know are vastly different than Ondaatje. The ending was also dissatisfying; it wrapped up almost like a political thriller instead of adhering to the poetic quality that really drives the work.
Most recent customer reviews
...gripping and funny and sexy and sad and insightful and introspective and nostalgic and erotic and interesting and ________. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2012 by David Sabine
In the Skin of a Lion is many stories in one: a solitary farm boy trying to make it in the Big City, a story of passion and obsession, a story of a city's forgotten history, and a... Read morePublished on March 6 2010 by Andrea
... but there is order here, very faint, very human." This should be the first sentence of every novel, the narrator reflects midway in Michael Ondaatje extraordinary novel. Read morePublished on July 6 2009 by Friederike Knabe
This is supposed to be a classic, highly recommened to me by a literate friend. I agree that it is poetic, and has a gossamer feel to it. But, I found it a tedious read. Read morePublished on April 11 2004 by David C Polk
This is supposed to be a classic, highly recommened to me by a literate friend. I agree that it is poetic, and has a gossimer feel to it. But, I found it a tedious read. Read morePublished on April 11 2004 by David C Polk