Don`t Judge This Book By It`s Cover…

by deenaliguori

I am the type of person who judges a book by its cover. When I took a first glance at Michael Ondaatje’s book In the Skin of a Lion I was kind of puzzled and unsure of what the book might hold. After reading the back of the book I had a sigh of relief because it mentioned that the book was about a fictional love story. After seeing the cover of the book I wasn’t too sure how everything would tie together. The first character we are introduced to is a man named Patrick Lewis who happens to be the main character in the book. Patrick moves to Toronto, Canada from his birth place in Ontario in hopes of helping with the creation of the big city of Toronto, along with many other immigrants. As the years go on we get to view Patrick’s new life along with the hardships, love and victories he faces along the way.  At first I found Ondaatje’s book a bit hard to follow at times and my mind would often wander unsure of what was going on. As the book progressed I soon started to realise how this twisted love story would slowly come together.

One thing that I found different about this book was the way it was split up into three parts; book one  book two and book three, each both with chapters about Patrick’s life. I thought this was a nice touch and everything seemed to still flow and fit together, which made the book that much more intriguing. I found the first book of In the Skin of a Lion to be slower and have less action than the second and third parts of the book. Since the ending of the book is more fast paced and never had a dull moment I found the book hard to put down especially nearing the final pages.  One other thing that was hard to follow was the excessive amount of characters and trying to figure out how each one came into play and their relationship with Patrick.  I also felt that Ondaatje’s writing is something I am not use to due to his vast imagery.  Ondaatje’s imagery is so real and believable that it scared me at times. I felt like I could close my eyes and be right there with Patrick. Since Ondaatje is a poet I felt that it was reflected in his story in the sense that this is visually beautiful story to read and seemed to flow like a poem.

I feel this book isn’t for everyone; you have to go into it with an open mind and allow yourself to get lost in it. This book is filled with touching moments that would not make the average person stop and smile and reflect Ondaatje ’s true meaning. Lastly this books theme will teach you about the relationships people share, and who people become because of them, as you never truly know where life may take you.


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