Wednesday, November 5, 2014
The Lad and the Lion: Edgar Rice Burroughs - Book Review
The story begins in a troubled European country, in the world of Burroughs there are no untroubled European countries, a king is murdered and Michael, the young heir to the throne, is hustled out of the country to save his life. Things go even worse for poor Michael as the boat he is on is wrecked by a storm and he finds himself bobbing along in rough seas until he is “rescued” by a crazed epileptic deaf mute who lives aboard a derelict tramp steamer. Having been hit in the head in the head during the storm Michael has amnesia and with no knowledge of his past, language or pretty much anything about the world he settles into this new life as slave to this demented man. The only thing that makes his life bearable is that also on board this ship is a young lion and the two becomes friends, their growing hatred of the man who beats them daily is a great bonding element. After years of spent drifting the trio becomes a duo when the deaf mute goes berserk and almost kills Michael but is stopped when the lion, now full grown, breaks out of his cage and kills the crazed coot. The boat eventually runs aground on the shores of North Africa and Michael and the lion finally escape their long captivity at sea. As the young man still has no recollection of anything the two just wander around together hunting and basically hanging out like two awesome bros. Two pals with nothing but time on their hands, that is until the opposite sex enters the picture.
What would you most like to read about? Would you prefer adventures of a young man with his ever loyal lion friend as they run across Bedouin bandits, a beautiful daughter of a sheik, jealous rivals, and even a nice lioness to round things off or story about a callous jerk who cares not for his people but just getting in the pants of the gardener’s daughter and spending the taxpayers money on a boat? Yeah, not a tough call.
The half of the book that takes place in Africa is great; Michael meets and falls in love with a beautiful Arabic woman who is daughter to a powerful sheik, there are kidnappings and betrayals, the standard misunderstandings and declarations of love that one expects in a Burroughs book and it is all adventure gold, but then it is constantly interrupted by the second plot line with the annoying Prince Ferdinand which if any reader out there cares about I’d certainly like to hear from them to find out why.