[PDF / Epub] ☆ Green Lion Author Henrietta Rose-Innes – Dolove.info
Many thanks to Goodreads and Gallic for my free copy of Green Lion.This was a well written ,original and thought provoking novel that confronts our ever diminishing relationship with the natural world After all the only encounters with wild animals most of us have is through T.V documentaries or the occasional visit to zoo.Green Lion is well written with a style that is to me, reminiscent of Paul Auster.Offbeat with engaging characters this one is well worth a go. Green Lion is an exquisite novel that affected me deeply and I read it twice, several months apart Written with clear gorgeous prose, the novel is set in my home city, Cape Town, but in a world where there is little contact with nature and the characters long for a connection with animals Con has drifted through life, and when he is asked by the mother of an old school friend, Mark, to collect his belongings after an accident at work, he steps into Mark s shoes and becomes the carer of a black maned lioness Green Lion mourns humanity s drift away from nature, and presents a world in which our connection with it is merely symbolic, then asks us what it will mean for our souls when we can no longer access something greater than ourselves Of Course, You Re Never Expecting The Lion, Are You Like Something Coming Up In The Rear View Mirror Much Closer Than It Appears When A Lion At A Breeding Park Mauls An Old School Friend Of His, Con Steps In As The Keeper Of Sekhmet, The Last Remaining Black Maned Lioness In The World In A Cape Town Where Fences Keep People And Wildlife Apart, Park Officials And Investors Fret About Their Flagship Big Cat Project And While Con Grows Steadily Bonded To His Enigmatic Charge, A Cult Of Animal Lovers With Obscure Alchemical Aims Seeks To Claim The Lioness As Their Own When She Escapes, Sekhmet Engulfs The City S Imagination, Stirring Up Rumours Of Terror And Magic In Con S Quest To Track Her Down, He Must Enter The Wilderness Of A Cordoned Off Table Mountain And His Own Dark History Henrietta Rose Innes S Novel Green Lion Gleams With Stylistic Precision As Myth And Reality Fuse In A Story That Sparks Off The Page Review copy courtesy of Gallic Books via www.nudge.com my thoughts on that site in due course.I read my first of this author s novels last year, Nineveh, set in her home city of Cape Town and dealing with humans relationship with wildlife, in that case swarms of mysterious insects invading a housing development site that defy efforts to remove them This latest novel complements it in looking at that relationship from the opposite view, focusing on projects to protect wild animals.Con returns to Cape Town after years away and is at a loose end His mother has just died and he knows practically no one in the city apart from his girlfriend, the glamorous and wealthy performance artist Elyse An unexpected cry for help from the family of his estranged schoolfriend Mark, laid up in hospital after an encounter with a lion in the course of his work at the city wildlife park, entices Con to take over his volunteer role with the animals The wildlife facility is attempting to repopulate the mountain area with animals once indigenous to the Cape until they were hunted to near extinction The headline programme is breeding the black maned lion but only one female survives and the existence of the whole project is in jeopardy Funding is a problem What really stood out for me in this story was how the author showed that, as animals become rarer, two factions emerge On the one hand, people begin to romanticise wild animals, especially the large predators, not only wanting to save them but to get close to them as though they represented our own lost wild nature Her portrayal of the sheer physicality of the lioness is sublime Striking, too, is how Con begins to react to her, navigating the world and by his sense of smell the longer he spends working alongside her.On the other hand, endangered species become the ultimate hunting trophies, often for the same people who fund the breeding programmes In a slightly skewed version of the reality of the city, a fence has been erected around the perimeter of the mountains, keeping animals in and people out most of the time The wilderness within the fence takes on a mystique of menace and there are some beautiful descriptions of its landscape A recurring image throughout is gold rare and precious but glinting with danger.Superbly well written, along with a poignant human story in Con s and Mark s early lives and the reason for their estrangement, she gives us many interesting strands linking bereavement, extinction of species, conservation, representations of animals in theatre and dance As well as a terrific personal read, I think this would be ideal group material Perhaps read in conjunction with her earlier book, Nineveh. I think I simply didn t jive with the author s writing style The prose often felt too self conscious and laborious to me As if his body wanted to lose the weight of the family s heavy meals, his bowels stirred too He pulled down his pyjamas and crouched down, taking a s right there, the warm, sweet stink of it rising up between his thighs A kind of honest a bodily truth you shouldn t tell Nothing to wipe with He used a tuft of grass, roots unwilling to give, too scratchy Dirty p 216 More than that, the lion of the title seemed abandoned in favour of the human drama Con wished he knew about lions their tracks, their traces, their faeces, their kills, their calls Why hadn t he taken care to learn about Sekhmet the lioness , all those long days in the office in front of the computer, or wandering around the empty cages Why hadn t he thought how she might live, if she were free p 258 This passage arrives near the end of the book and sort of sums up its problems The narrator forgot about the lion, and it felt like the author did too I wanted the focus to be on the lion Instead, I was left with a narrator with whose anthropocentric concerns I simply didn t relate. A haunting read that I can t stop thinking about Characters that stay with you and are uncomfortably resonant and familiar and broken A sadness about the near future and what it holds for human and animal in general, and Table Mountain in particular Memory, myth, but also real and harrowing, beautiful, illusive, cruel and devastating. This was a slow starting book and I wasn t sure I would enjoy it s pace despite the beautifully descriptive writing, due to the dry nature of the main character Con I struggled to care for this character at all at times despite the interesting people surrounding his narrative.As the title implies this book is based in a pseudo dystopian Cape Town and is linked to both an incident which occurs with a Lion in a breeding programme, an animal loving cult and Cons dark roots.Further into this book I found it extremely interesting and it made me question both the institutions of zoos as sources of breeding but also the horrific ongoing use of wild animals in some countries for hunting tourism and the possible future impact on animal populations as a whole.The main reason for only 4 s was the slow nature of the story building with the main character. Returning to Cape Town after several years in London, Con finds himself unemployable, his basic work experience as a security guard in museums and galleries not easily transferable to South Africa Lodging with his younger, wealthier, and energetic girlfriend, Elyse, he spends his time cleaning and examining her possessions Then the call comes from the mother of an old school friend, Mark, now languishing in a coma after being mauled by a lion, asking Con to collect his possessions from the breeding park for endangered species on Table Mountain where Mark volunteered Full review Two novel encounters with the wild Under a Pole Star Green Lion 3.5 rounded upAnother great novel from Henrietta Rose Innes Similarly to her other novel Nineveh this is set in South Africa, and the plot revolves around the nature and animals of the local setting Where Nineveh was about a pest relocator in the urban wilderness of Cape Town, Green Lion follows Con, a local guy who unintentionally lands himself a position looking after the lion in the local zoo, after his friend is attacked by one of the lions and is hospitalised I won t go on too much about the plot but I will say that I love Rose Innes s writing why aren t people talking about this author This book has a great sense of place and makes the reader contemplate humans and their relationship with the natural world, and whether our attempts to control it are ever justified I found this really hard to put down recommended Green Lion delivers everything we ve come to expect from Henrietta Rose Innes, especially originality and exquisite writing, with every sentence beautifully balanced It s a seductive idea, attempting to breed back extinct animals the black maned Cape lion, the quagga Con Marais has returned to a Cape Town familiar and yet altered, with the mountain fenced off Sekhmet the lioness takes him and us into a place where instinct comes to the fore, as she awakens a longing for something older, deeper, and wilder for something buried so deep we no longer know how to summon it, or what to name it.Con has his own ghosts associated with the mountain, and when the lioness escapes, his need to find her takes him onto the mountain again.Mystical and real at the same time.