In the Skin of a Lion
Publication Date 1 Jan 1988
Overview'A magical book. Michael Ondaatje defies the normal distinction between poet and novelist. His writing is consistently tuned to a visionary pitch' Graham Swift It is the 1920s, and Patrick Lewis has arrived in the bustling city of Toronto, leaving behind his Canadian wilderness home. He immerses himself in the lives of the people who surround him, learning, from their stories, the history of the city itself. And he has his own adventures: searching for a missing millionaire, tunnelling beneath Lake Ontario, falling in love. In the Skin of a Lion is Michael Ondaatje's sparkling predecessor to his Booker Prize-winning The English Patient. It is here that we encounter, for the first time, Hana the orphaned girl and Caravaggio the thief, among a large cast of characters who are all lovingly and intimately portrayed. It is an exquiste and musical novel, a romance that challenges the boundary between history and myth. 'Ondaatje writes in curves, in time-lapses, a sort of verbal cinema whose narrative is unfaltering' The Times 'A triumph . . . a powerful and revelatory accomplishment' Times Literary Supplement
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