Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Eye of the Leopard - Book #119

| Title | The Eye of the Leopard |
| Author |Henning Mankell |
| Genre |Adult Fiction |
| Pages |315 |
| Publisher |The New Press |
| Copyright |1990 |

Synopsis (from web-site)
Hans Olofson is the son of a Swedish lumberjack. His early life is isolated and difficult, overshadowed by the disappearance of his mother. When he loses both his best friend, and then his girlfriend in tragic circumstances, his only remaining desire is to fulfil her dream of visiting the grave of a legendary missionary, deep in the remote hills of Northern Zambia.

On reaching Africa, Olofson is struck by its beauty and mystery. After fulfilling his initial quest, an opportunity of employment in the region tempts him to stay, and before long he takes sole responsibility for the farm he manages. Despite his early optimism, he is shocked by the attitude of the local white population to their adopted country, as well as their pitiful vulnerability to alcohol and malaria. As relationships splinter and fray, Hans is soon to discover

Why I read It
Henning Mankell is one of my favorite authors. I have waited on this a while because it is a departure from his crime fiction and instead focuses on his other passion in life; Africa. Even though it is 19 years old, it was only translated last year and as of yet I haven’t mastered Swedish.

The Good
I like books that open up my horizons a little, especially about other cultures. While I am missing the big picture that ties to the two concurrent stories together – the hero’s childhood in Sweden and his adult life in Africa (maybe it is the hopelessness of trying to enforce your values on a culture that doesn’t want it) – each story was compelling on its own.

The Bad
If you are like me and see a bad situation; you want to help, to make it better. When I read about poverty in Africa that is the feeling I get. This book left me with despair at trying to make a change.

The Ugly (my opinion)
Despair aside, this book has made me think, which is a good thing. Is prejudice based on truth or the fact that the individual cannot accept that everyone not wanting things your way is not necessarily a bad thing? Anotherwords, people often express the opinion that others are inferior because they do not do things the way they would do them. The arrogance of that belief system is lost on them.

Mormon Mentions


Author BiographyHenning Mankell is a Swedish author who gained bestseller stardom with his series of crime novels featuring inspector Kurt Wallander.
Internationally acclaimed author Henning Mankell has written numerous Kurt Wallander mysteries. The books have been published in 33 countries and consistently top the bestseller lists in Europe, receiving major literary prizes and generating numerous international film and television adaptations.

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