Jan 1, 2017

Love: the Lion

by Federico Bertolucci

Life of a lion. This one follows the doings of a solitary male, distinguished by his dark mane. There's a lot of iconic african wildlife scenarios in here- wildebeest and zebra crossing a river getting ambushed by crocodiles in the water and lions waiting on the other side, lions and hyenas battling over a carcass, vultures coming in for the remains. Male lions shown hogging the food, but also using their prowess to bring down prey solo. The storyline of this one is a bit confusing as it shows the clash of two different lion prides, and sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what is going on. There's a lot of bloody encounters- between predator and prey as well as rival lions. And the ending is actually quite sad- unlike the other two novels, this one shows the individual lion's memories -depicted in sepia tones- which adds some emotion to the story.

Unfortunately, I was more annoyed with inaccuracies in this book than in the previous two. Some are petty criticisms, but they bother me because the artist is obviously so good at drawing form and proportion I am disappointed with things like this. Young wildebeest don't have the same coloring as their parents. The stripes go a different way down the spine of a zebra, than shown from above here. And while the cheetah cubs here seem to sport their silver mantles (I wish there were more cheetahs in this book, they were beautifully illustrated) why do none of the lion cubs have spots? What really jolted me out of enjoying the story though, was again the portrayal of animals in the wrong habitats: lions and hyenas in jungle-like scenery, fighting over what appears to be the carcass of an okapi. I know it's fiction so the author can take some liberties, but a few too many and it ruins my ability to really immerse myself in the story.

This graphic novel by Frédéric Brrémaud with artwork by Bertolucci is the last one my library has, although I see there's another in the series which features a dinosaur. I am sure I will be able to enjoy that one without much complaint, as I don't know enough particular facts about dinosaurs to recognize any flaws!

Rating: 3/5      82 pages, 2015

More reviews:
Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tales


Thistle said...

The Dinosaur one was my least favorite by far, so I suspect you're not missing much. It's also the newest one, so hopefully the library will get it soon.

Jeane said...

I saw your review of it- I don't mind at all that there are more pages of sketches in the back- I really enjoyed looking at those in the first three, and wished for more.