When a woman becomes the target of ridicule from her husband's new wife, the jilted woman befriends a talking guinea fowl, who helps her get revenge. In another tale, a young woman who lives in a cave falls victim to the wicked scheming of a dangerous cannibal. And when a woman suspects her husband is actually a lion, she asks her brother for help in driving the cunning beast away from her and her two sons, who may also be lions!
The more than 30 stories in this wonderful anthology have a uniquely African flair, but still manage to tap into ideas, love, jealousy, and ambition, that are universally human. And since folktales are part of an oral history, hearing them spoken aloud by a cast of wonderfully talented, completely authentic narrators is pure magic.
©1989, 1999, 2004 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"These are pithy, engaging tales, as habit-forming as peanuts." (Publishers Weekly)
If you are an Alexander McCall Smith fan don't expect THE GIRL WHO MARRIED A LION... to be written in the same vein. This is a collection of stories told TO Mr. Smith by African natives. These simplistic stories illustrate basic values. The characters are sometimes animals with human traits or people with animal instincts. Given this, the work is an interesting collection of stories that give insight into both the African storytelling tradition and the origins of Mr. Smith's writing style. The tales are strong on morals and character and weak on plot line and scene development.
I loved all of the Number One Lady's Detective Agency books, and any books about Africa, but I was dissapointed with this one. The narration was excellent, as always, but many of the stories ended abruptly and I didn't really see the point in many of them. Also, for animal lovers, some of these stories will be difficult to hear. Of course these are African fables and will probably mean more to Africans than to Americans.
I love Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Stories and so I bought this title. Not having enjoyed the Sunday Philosophy Club, I thought that since these tales are based in Africa, more Smith's forte, that they would be enjoyable listening. While the stories were entertaining and the narrators were great, there's no real substance to them. The stories don't stay with you as the Ladies Detective Stories did. Once I finished the book, it was difficult to recall any of the various stories with any kind of clarity.
Listening to this at night reminds me of bedtime stories when I was a child. These tales are short and lovely -- and each has a moral. Listening before I go to bed each night puts a smile on my face as I drift off.
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