Friday, April 23, 1999

In the Skin Of a Lion

by Michael Ondaatje

A novel like a painting, not without plot but not exactly systematic either.  Nicholas, a daredevil immigrant bridge worker, saves a nun from falling off.  One Patrick Lewis, sometime explosive engineer, falls in love with the lover of a missing millionaire.  Then he falls in love with her friend, Alice, who might be the ex-nun.  Alice dies an unnatural death.  Caravaggio, the thief, befriends Patrick.  As the narrator says, “Trust me, this will take time, but there is order here, very faint, very human.”  It’s a beguiling, well thought out story of how various people become connected, and of a strong, righteous love.  The prose is masterful, poetic, dreamy and dark, the descriptions rich and the dialogue sparse, as befits the manly, tough characters.

four stars

No comments:

Post a Comment