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Publisher's Summary

Bristling with intelligence and shimmering with romance, this novel tests the boundary between history and myth.

Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the 1920s and earns his living searching for a vanished millionaire and tunneling beneath Lake Ontario. In the course of his adventures, Patrick's life intersects with those of characters who reappear in Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning The English Patient.

©1987 Michael Ondaatje (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    78
  • 4 Stars
    75
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    39

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    123
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    17

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    44
  • 1 Stars
    47
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb

the author is at his best in this book. lyrical and tense, this has many of the elements which make his work so durable when thinking back on it. The beginning especially has some of the most beautiful images in literature

131 of 151 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I tried, it failed

Since I live on the other side of Lake Ontario, I thought In the Skin of a Lion might be interesting. And since it was a short listen I thought I'd give it a try. I guessed wrong. I plugged away, day after day, an uphill slog, but it only got worse. Have to return it. I agree with the other reviewers that panned this. A waste of time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not for entertainment

This story was horrible. If you’re looking for an enjoyable listen, this is not it. I was able to purchase it for just a few bucks and forced myself to listen to the entire book. I have almost 300 books in my audible library and have listened to them all. There are two books that I couldn’t finish listening too because they were so bad. I should be able to say there are three books in my library that I couldn’t listen to. Instead I forced myself to listen to this in its entirety. . I kept thinking that the story would all come together before the ending, it didn’t. I have no idea what people listened to that though this book was ok, and those that thought it was good are just lying and want you to waste your time like they did. This story never comes together, it is just a bunch of random thoughts put to words. A norm in this book is that there are story lines that are started and then left hanging. An example is when a Nun falls off a bridge and is saved by a man who gets hurt and you learn all about him and then the story changes and you never hear about them again… Bottom line do not waste your time, even if you get the book free. Any time wasted listening to this book is time that not only will you not get back you will be tormented with frustration the entire time you are listening.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn't get into it.

Slow, boring, disjointed. Furthermore, it was slow, disjointed and boring. That's all I can think to say about it. Zzzz...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Run away!!

I expected that at any moment this book would become good. It never did. I kick myself for not deleting it after 15 minutes. I am now dumber for falling for a practical joke.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A rare gem of a book

Beautiful, intelligent, mesmerizing
I pity the person who cannot appreciate such a masterpiece
The different threads form a rope that twists and turns, doubles back and then returns to wrap around you
Perfectly performed by Tom McCamus
There are scenes that will never leave me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Classically Ondaatje

Quietly told in Ondaatje style, this novel weaves lives through each other during a time in history that will never be relived. A sum much more than it's parts, we get to experience relationships outside our own limitations and finally reach a time of content ment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

You must be engaged

Beautifully written and narrated – – mesmerizing really, but it requires your full attention. If you go with the flow you will be rewarded.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration Pulled This Book Down

This is a book about the retelling of individual events until they are shaped and cohere into a story. The story is not what is recorded in historical archives but rather an evolving narrative woven from the parts the teller chooses to share. The title, "In the Skin of a Lion" harkens to the promise made by Gilgamesh when his closest friend, Enkidu, has died: to grow his hair like a lion and wander, ostensibly to tell his friend's story to all who will listen.

The style is purposely fragmented in the beginning leaving the reader to find connections and begin to stitch together a narrative. OK. This trophe is used successfully by many novels. It requires additional work on the part of the reader but can lead to great rewards when done well.

Alas, if you are listening to this Kindle edition and have not read the book before, you'll never know how big the reward might be for all the up front work. The reader has chosen to make book's early fragmentation the cornerstone of his delivery. Every sentence is read as a separate data point with a rising or (mostly) lowered intonation to isolate the sentence from the one that follows.

There is no flow in sections that have a legitimate narrative flow. Dialogs are hard to follow since everyone has the identical voice and chopped speech pattern. Instead of being lyrical (which what I think the reader intended) the style inevitably leads to monotony.

In the end, I liked the book. But I'll never know if I would have LOVED it unless I go back to read In the Skin of a Lion on the page where I can experience it with a more natural rhythm and pacing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprising!!!

When I started this I wasn't sure I would finish it. I did and very glad I did. I went back several times over some parts to get them right. This was a book I had to pay very close attention to as there are several story lines going on that seem to be unconnected but it all comes together in the end. I seldom read a book twice but this one I will.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Earnest
  • 08-02-18

Insights, magic, history embroidery in webs..

What a listen!
Being the third Ondaatje novel in a row, I now feel I have learnt so much more about the world..yet I am one of its elders.
It does not matter when they were written. They speak of such now events ( its quite, quite unnerving-even for a historian) yet they are seemingly unanchored.
Gifts I had somehow missed until now.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kurt Meliska
  • 02-15-18

Beautiful

Every sentence that Ondaatje writes is exquisitely constructed and makes the love and passion leap out of the book. The narration is very sexy indeed