We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Beneath the Lion's Gaze: A Novel | [Maaza Mengiste]

Beneath the Lion's Gaze: A Novel

This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctioned torture to die.
Regular Price:$24.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctioned torture to die. And Dawit, Hailu's youngest son, has joined an underground resistance movement---a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia.

Beneath the Lion's Gaze tells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction before. It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping, poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath the Lion's Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.

©2010 Maaza Mengiste (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (17 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.3 (12 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Story
3.3 (12 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 03-25-12
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2009

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3742
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    366
    214
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2202
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not an easy read"

    Relevant to present-day Africa and the Middle East, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze is a powerful book that was not easy for me to read. The descriptions of events within the novel were brutal, horrifyingly violent and disturbing vivid. Maaza Mengiste fictionalizes the reality of the last days of Emperor Haile Selassie's despotic rule of Ethiopia and the beginning of the Derg reign of terror following his overthrow. While not easy to read because of its heartbreaking tales of torture and death, the story and suspense was generally quite riveting because it was so excellently written.

    The prose was often poetic in its descriptions that sometimes lifted you up in its lyricism and then threw you to the ground with the horror of the events depicted. I am thinking particularly of a scene where one of the monsters of the book, “the colonel,” commits suicide. While perhaps we cheered that the villain was dead, we were jolted by the sudden surprise within the description of the act and the realism of the complexity of the character who acted so abominably out of his own love and loss.

    This is a story of contrasts: It is about loyalty and betrayal, power and powerlessness, action and passivity. And, while belief in god is often questioned, there are never any satisfying answers. Why did merciful and compassionate god cause these innocent people to experience the horrors they were forced to endure. How could a doctor whose raison d'etre was saving lives commit euthanasia on a young girl.

    Mengiste’s characters are richly described, believable and completely compelling of us to care about each of them. The author has they and we the readers probably wondering if what these people had before was really worse than the aftermath of what overthrew their leaders, the Derg. The horror is mind-boggling. I read this book because it was a selection for a book club.
    However, it reminded me of the periods and places in history I have stopped reading about because to the pure personal agony that I felt while reading. For me, though, this was more than just another book. It was an experience that will stay with me for some time to come.

    Most of the characters in the book had some kind of religious belief and throughout they question why what is happening to them. In the end, I think that the resolution and reconciliation of the people experiencing this terrible time is summed up in one unbelievable sentence:

    “When you are convinced that everything that happens is the will of God, what is there to do but wait until God has mercy?”

    They had much more belief than I.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.