The Journey of a Life Time

by sheldonbesselink

The great Canadian author Micheal Ondaatje’s has created a unique novel called In The Skin Of A Lion that is set in the early 1900’s in and around the city of Toronto. This novel is comprised of several stories that overlap the main character, Patrick Lewis, a character that you will grow to love, admire, or hate due to some of his questionable actions. This story is not only about extremes some will go for ‘love’ and the unique journey the characters take. It is a story about the hardship that the men and women who helped create this country of ours faced. Micheal gave a story, rather a voice not only to the individuals depicted in the story, but also all those who sacrificed so much; the individual that do not have monuments or their name in history books, but those who literally built this country with their blood, sweat, and tears.

As mentioned above the book has three stories each with several ‘chapters’, so I must give some warning now. If you are a reader that enjoys the smooth flow of a serially progressive story than this is definitely not the book for you; however, I would definitely recommend reading this style of writing as you may feel more connected to the story and the characters. This is because you will have to bridge the gaps and in a sense develop sections of the novel, which I must admit I enjoyed because most books I’ve read the author pretty much lays the cards down, but with this you have a voice in the creation of this story.

What I found to be the most influential and intriguing part of the novel was the use of imagery and raw emotional language. To me Micheal wrote this novel not to satisfy any traditional contemporary writer, or what other may think of his use of language, to me made this novel enjoyable. I didn’t have high hopes for this novel, but the fringe of hope I had was easily surpassed with his flare. You can literally feel the passion and emotion of the characters making it very easy to connect with them. Especially his use of raw sexual language, language that he didn’t hold back, and when I say he didn’t hold back I mean it. There are parts that were very descriptive and ‘intense’, almost too detailed, however it made for an interesting read.   At the other end of the spectrum he also captured the essence of a ‘love’ story with such emotionally evocative passages such as “he knows he doesn’t have long before he loses the exact memory of her face.” Even the sternest of people would be able to capture the emotion that the character was feeling and to me this is what made In the Skin of A lion such an interesting and pleasurable novel.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: