Skip to main content

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech #BlogTour

Wow.

I should just stop there really as it totally encompasses my thoughts for The Lion Tamer Who Lost, Louise Beech's fourth novel. It doesn't make for an exciting review however so I will endeavour to expand my three lettered summary.

It's difficult to describe the book without giving too much away (you're thinking I should have stopped at wow now aren't you?) but without spoilers, the book skips between present day Africa (not just anywhere in Africa but a LION RESERVE) and Ben's first meeting with writer Andrew (in a library, love that). We then follow their developing relationship that for some reason leads to Ben's departure from England and to the LION RESERVE (why the caps? Well how often do you get to type about a LION RESERVE!?)

The book was just so beautifully written. Not just the plot - an intensely beautiful love story with expertly interwoven 'then' and 'now' sections, but also its descriptions. Africa was magnificent, the sights, smells and sunrises leapt from the pages as powerfully as a lion would do pouncing on its prey. I loved how Andrew's story was incorporated, almost becoming a story within a story and the supporting cast enriched the plot rather than hindered.

The twists and turns, of which there are a couple, are powerfully devastating and tissues at the ready are needed. From memory, I think this is the first book I have read where two gay men are the central characters which I find really surprising. I've read quite a few with lesbian protagonists (Sarah Waters books being excellent examples) but how have I not even stumbled upon one with a gay central character before? Beech tackles Ben and Andrew and their relationship perfectly and you would never guess it was written by a heterosexual woman. 

If I had one criticism the end was a bit too neat for me but I loved it regardless, it will stay with me for a while (as all good ones do) and I thank Louise for writing such a beautiful book.

Look out for Louise Beech folks and for The Lion Tamer, Eleanor might have been the star of the show last year but Ben might just be in 2018.

My thanks to Orenda Books (via Anne Cater's Random Things Through My Letterbox website) for the copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

My Blog Tour buddy today is Cheryl M-M's Book Blog, check out what she made of the book here.


Comments

  1. thank you so much for this amazing blog tour support x

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Continuity Girl by Patrick Kincaid #BlogTour

When this little beauty arrived through my letterbox my 9 year old picked it up and said "Mummy it looks like an old strip of film but made to look like the Loch Ness Monster". That was the cover certainly nailed and being a previous media studies student that sort of thing appeals to me.

The book was primarily set in the Highlands and being a frequent holiday-er to those parts I also appreciated the location. Set around the discovery of an uncut version of a real film (The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes) it flits between the 1969 film shoot and present day London. The concept reminded me of Beautiful Ruins (one of my favourite reads of the year) and I of course had to immediately Google the film and now have developed an urge to read Conan Doyle's back catalogue.

I really liked Jim the marine biologist looking for proof the Loch Ness Monster did(n't?) exist. The book is billed as a romantic comedy and it was different reading this type of book from a male's per…

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

In all the years of book club I can't remember us ever having reviewed a book only out in hardback. It was recommended to me by a fellow train commuter who knew I love reading and whose wife had read it and loved it. So it was me who suggested it to the group without realising it hadn’t made its way to paperback yet. Oops! The local library had a waiting list 9 people long, Amazon wasn’t coming up trumps and none of my Facebook friends had a copy so I resorted to borrowing a copy from my Auntie but had to wait for my mum (also a member of the book club) to read it first before I could indulge. Lucky for me it was easy to read and so the fact that I hadn’t even set eyes on the book two weeks before the meeting wasn't a problem.

Although I got in to the book really easily it instantly reminded me of The Rosie Project, (an excellent book) and so I found myself a little disappointed that I had read the concept previously. A few of the other members of the group commented on the fac…

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay, Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor #BookOfTheMonth

This was one of a large selection put forward as contenders for July's #BookOfTheMonth and knowing it was for sale in Sainsburys not one, not two, not three but FOUR members of the group legged it there after the meeting to purchase a copy.

This Is Going To Hurt is a no-holds barred account of one junior doctor’s time on the front line of the NHS. Kay, being the said doctor, excellently explained the medical jargon not least by adding some of the best footnotes ever (Dick Fan Dyke). I understand on for e-readers these may have been removed to the back of the book which I imagine would greatly affect the reading experience.

I was surprised by the amount I learnt but make no mistake, a medical text book this is not. The anecdotes had strong humour and Kay didn't hold back, although I did question a particular sentence on page 63 (well in my copy anyway).

I cringed (the lamppost) almost as much as I laughed yet overall it was a heartbreaking account of how close to breaking point…