The Lioness: A Novel
by Chris Bohjalian
Hardcover- $19.16

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A Washington Post Best Book of the Year • A luxurious African safari turns deadly for a Hollywood starlet ...

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  "If he had just written about the kidnapping, ti would have been far better." by thewanderingjew (see profile) 06/12/22

The Lioness, Chris Bohjalian, author; January LaVoy, Grace Experience, Gabrielle, De Cuir, narrators
Gosh, I could not wait for this book to be available. Bohjalian is one of my favorite authors. This book misses the mark for me, however. The narrative is tedious, the story is confusing. The timeline is all over the place. There are too many characters, too many tangents and too many scene changes.
Basically, the story is about a young film star who is having a storybook wedding and then taking the wedding party to Africa on a Safari. They expect to be having a wonderful time in luxurious tents with guides and rangers for protection. Their expectations go horrendously awry, and soon they are kidnapped and witness horrific violence and cruelty. The time is 1964. The place is Africa. The reasons for their kidnapping are eventually revealed as political. Corruption is apparent.
Perhaps in print, it would have been easier to follow the many threads of the novel, but as an audio, although the readers did their best, it simply wasn’t good enough to prevent the reading from becoming tedious. If you are familiar with Hollywood, if you have been to Africa, if you are of an age to at least know the stars mentioned throughout, the political issues involved in Africa, Russia and the United States, you might truly enjoy the book’s descriptions of the Serengeti and the animals, the descriptions of the brutality of both humans and beasts,. but being well versed in just one of those threads would simply not be enough. The details often seemed extraneous, unnecessary or unknown, and were often not explained clearly enough.
I was disappointed to find that Bohjalian also succumbed to the demands of our newly “woke” society, including left wing philosophy into his novel. Racist views, anti-American feelings, secret government interference via the CIA, and environmental issues are front and center, sometimes overtaking the actual horror of the kidnapping experience and its historic impact. For me, the novel, unlike his others, felt contrived and not as authentic.
In conclusion, I found that there were far more lions than lionesses, but there were some lambs, as well. The history is there, but it just isn’t the main event as with most of his books.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/20/23

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