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In the Skin of A Lion

A Novel

Ondaatje, Michael, 1943-

(Paperback - 1997)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
In the Skin of A Lion
Print
Random House, Inc.
Bristling with intelligence and shimmering with romance, this novel tests the boundary between history and myth. Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the 1920s and earns his living searching for a vanished millionaire and tunneling beneath Lake Ontario. In the course of his adventures, Patrick's life intersects with those of characters who reappear in Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning The English Patient. 256 pp.

Baker & Taylor
Arriving in Toronto in the 1920s from the Canadian wilderness, Patrick Lewis experiences a series of adventures as he makes a living searching for a missing millionaire, tunnels beneath Lake Ontario, and falls in love. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1997
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 0679772669
9780679772668
Branch Call Number: FIC O
Characteristics: 243 p. ; 21 cm.

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A carefully crafted novel that shines with intelligence.
however, overall,I personally didn't find it to be a page turner. I wasn't really hooked.
To be fair, at some chapters I find myself eager to turn the next page.
This novel needs to be read with a very concious mind. Details are particularly important, so I couldn't just read it before sleep or while drinking coffee. It took its own time on my schedule with nothing else associated with it.

I'm not sure if I enjoyed this book or not. It was a relatively easy read and interesting enough, but I'm luke warm about it. It felt like I was reading a book assigned by an English Lit teacher. I also couldn't help getting caught up in the weeds of the Ontario place names. The Napanee River doesn't go through Tamworth and Marmora is a couple of hours away (by 1920s driving time). There might be an advantage to not knowing the setting of a book.

Oct 05, 2013
  • silverajaxlibrary rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I read this book for a Canadian History class in 2 days. What I enjoyed the most was the telling of a rarely told story of (Macedonian) immigrants who basically built the city of Toronto, by working in dangerous and dirty jobs. For those who like romance and intrigue there is also something for you .Ondaatje researched this book at The Toronto Public Library. You can book a tour with the City of Toronto to view the landmarks/ buildings detailed, which I have not done yet, but think is really cool!

May 30, 2013
  • efok rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The best way to understand this book is to know that there are different levels of narration. The narration that we read is by an unknown character that is at times very self conscious of the act of writing. Falling under the genre of historiographic metafiction" the book incorporates real historical figures like Small and events like the building of the Bloor St Viaduct into a fictional story about Patrick Lewis to emphasize historical writing as being as much of a construct as fiction. This book is beautifully written and a good attempt to give voices to the immigrant workers in Toronto in the 20s.

On the plane, I found a lady who is a lawyer and a graduate of Wharton Business School. I asked her what book she was reading and she showed me this book saying that it was by the same author who wrote the English Patient. I was intrigued by the reading choice of such an accomplished lady and here I am trying to read the book.......
...will write my comment about the book after I read it!

Jan 24 2013, I chose to read this as it was the first book to win the "Canada Reads" in 2002. I have heard so much about it, that I finally decided to give it a go. Starting it today, hope I enjoy it, as my last book didn't live up to my expectations. (The Follow by Linda Spalding)(hmm....Linda Spalding seems to be Michael Ondaatje's partner.....and I chose to read their books back to back without knowing that....spooky!)......Jan 24, end of the day, I am really into this book! (Pg 64, and want to read more, but gotta get to bed!).......Jan 27, finished today, but after the first half, I kinda got lost, and never really found my way back again. It was beautifully written, but ziiiiiiiippppp, went over my head!

Aug 24, 2012
  • musicv rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I liked the story. It was my first book that I read by Ondaatje. I like the discription of the bulding of the water plant.

Jun 08, 2012
  • 120bass rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Interesting juxtaposition of images set in historic Toronto and Muskoka during the 1920s and 1930s. Flawed and compelling characters. A great story that tries to capture the immigrant experience.

Dec 25, 2011
  • jbazal rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great story. Had to read it for my class, but re-read it after the course was finished.

Sep 19, 2011
  • laurenryan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Some beautiful writing, but novel doesn't hang together well... difficult to follow a disjointed story line.

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