The Lioness By Chris Bohjalian
Book/Novel Author: Chris Bohjalian
Book/Novel Title: The Lioness
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A luxurious African safari turns deadly for a Hollywood starlet and her entourage in this riveting historical thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant. “The best possible combination of Hemingway and Agatha Christie — a gorgeously written story about the landscape and risks of Africa, whose edge-of-your-seat plot makes it impossible to put down.” —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were HereTanzania, 1964. When Katie Barstow, A-list actress, and her new husband, David Hill, decide to bring their Hollywood friends to the Serengeti for their honeymoon, they envision giraffes gently eating leaves from the tall acacia trees, great swarms of wildebeests crossing the Mara River, and herds of zebras storming the sandy plains. Their glamorous guests—including Katie’s best friend, Carmen Tedesco, and Terrance Dutton, the celebrated Black actor who stars alongside Katie in the highly controversial film Tender Madness—will spend their days taking photos, and their evenings drinking chilled gin and tonics back at camp, as the local Tanzanian guides warm water for their baths. The wealthy Americans expect civilized adventure: fresh ice from the kerosene-powered ice maker, dinners of cooked gazelle meat, and plenty of stories to tell over lunch back on Rodeo Drive. What Katie and her glittering entourage do not expect is this: a kidnapping gone wrong, their guides bleeding out in the dirt, and a team of Russian mercenaries herding their hostages into Land Rovers, guns to their heads. As the powerful sun gives way to night, the gunmen shove them into abandoned huts and Katie Barstow, Hollywood royalty, prays for a simple thing: to see the sun rise one more time. A blistering story of fame, race, love, and death set in a world on the cusp of great change, The Lioness is a vibrant masterpiece from one of our finest storytellers.
The setup is good and so is the writing. With lots of action.The reason it doesn’t work great for me is the backstory approach. I am not a big backstory fan.In every chapter he moves the narration but a chunk of each one is backstory and frankly, I just didn’t need that much. Let’s get on with the suspense.Some readers obviously lap up the backstories. Different strokes.For me it slows down a pretty good yarn.
The LionessBy Chris BohjalianMr. Bohjalian is a talented storyteller, as witnessed by his many best-selling books. This one is no exception. In short, it is the story of a Hollywood star who decides to take close friends and family with her and her new husband on an African safari for their honeymoon.The cast of characters is diverse: her brother and pregnant sister-in-law, her best friend and her husband, a black friend and co-star, her agent, and her publicist. Though the safari starts out well, they are attacked and kidnapped by a group of Russian speaking mercenaries.From there, the kidnapped are separated and the chapters are told from each victim’s viewpoint. Interestingly, each chapter, while describing what is currently happening, also fills in back story about the current narrator.This technique – while complicated – works mostly due to Mr. Bohjalian’s skill as a writer. For his fans, and others, this is a must read.
I love Chris Bohjalian’s writing and this book did not disappoint. Told in different voices/viewpoints with news articles as intros to the chapters the book is about a movie star and her husband, who on the second leg of her honeymoon, invite her closest friends and co-workers to join them on an African Photo Safari. While on this safari they are kidnapped.
Amazing. Creates a sense of Africa that one can almost see and feel. This one would make a great movie!Lincoln Vermont’s favorite son never disappoints!
I’ve had a lifelong guilty pleasure – kidnapping stories. I was nearly giddy with anticipation when my favorite author, Chris Bohjalian, released The Lioness.The year is 1964, and Katie Barstow, arguably the world’s most famous movie star, has married David Hill, an LA gallerist. For their honeymoon they are taking seven of their closest friends and family on a safari. The trip goes horribly wrong when kidnappers roll into the campsite.There are so many elements to this story – crime, mystery, suspense, history – but Bohjalian manages to interweave the parts into a cohesive story. I was discouraged at first because there were so many characters to keep track of, but as each chapter was from the perspective of one of the guests, it made it easier to get to know each of them.Still, something felt missing. Many of the characters felt a little flat, and consequently there was little to identify with, and it was hard to care much about them.Fascinating, overall. Well-researched with a multi-layered plot, The Lioness is worth a read.
I can’t find one redeeming quality of this novel.A book that moves at a fast pace should not be confused with something well written.I couldn’t wait to finish it so the pain of reading it would end.Last year’s The Hour of the Witch was bad too. Done with this author.