Bristling with intelligence and shimmering with romance, this novel tests the boundary between history and myth. Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the s . Bristling with intelligence and shimmering with romance, this novel tests the boundary between history and myth. Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the. Anne Enright first read Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion as a creative writing student. Beautiful and highly contagious, it seems to do.

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The fallen nun

What I saw when I read it was literary masturbation. Occasionally, it’s even great, but only occasionally. I wish the plot and characters’ motivation had not been so difficult to fathom at times, lost is some land of magical realism. Pages to import images to Wikidata. But this book made me dizzy. An exalted language rendered simply. My first, paperback, edition of this book disappeared long ago, the hardback I bought in a bargain basement got lost in my attempts to settle down and write about it here.

May 21, Iida rated it it was amazing Shelves: T here are certain books that should be taken away from young writers; that should be prised out of their clutching fingers and locked away until they are all grown up and ready to read them without being smitten. Harris filtration plant, the two major settings in In the Skin of a Lion. In the Skin of a Lion is full of things that Michael Ondaatje can do, but that you probably can’t do, or can’t do yet.


We have moods and phases, and sometimes a perfect storm of time and tasks and not-the-right-book combine to throw us off our groove.

One night, she wakes him to say that Clara Dickens has called. I understand why people like at least some of his work. Patrick tells Harris how Alice Gull was killed and we learn that she accidentally picked up the wrong satchel, containing michae bomb.

There is a scene, in the very beginning of this book, during which Patrick Lewis, primary voice among the the half-dozen or so protagonists, watches Scandinavian men skate home over a frozen river on a dark winter’s night in Northern Ontario, carrying handfuls of burning cattails over their heads.

They do not stick out. There is no protagonist because there is no conflict, just the faceless shuffle against the background the inequity mchael life. What were their lives like? Be patient with this book if the beginning seems a bit slow or meandering.

It would have helped if there were a single character to anchor me to the narrative, but they all feel interchangeable, even Patrick. I do not think Michael Ondaatje gets enough credit. The narrative mostly follows one character, Patrick Lewis, son of an explosives expert.

It is about so many things: It is possibly one of the most rewarding books I’ve ever read. I am still, like Ondaatje, drawn to those who sleep.

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He had a few strong female characters in the story too.

Anne Enright on Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion | Books | The Guardian

On a visit to the City of Toronto Archives, students will see archival photographs recording the construction of the Bloor Street Viaduct and the R. Ondaatje’s best, by far. Initially the plot seems a little fragmented, but hang in there as all these different strands are soon woven into a cohesive tale.

For a slim book that often reads like poetry, there’s an awful lot going on here. At the very least, they should have “Don’t try this on your own typewriter” printed in bold across the front. Ondaatje is much praised for the way he “decentres” history, but it was not this that held me, 20 years ago; it was the way he “decentres” sexual relations.

His act of helping her turns out to be part of the show. A nun is blown off an unfinished bridge in Toronto, one night in the early 20th century.

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