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A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond Between Two Friends and a Lion Paperback – March 9, 2010
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In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.
A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up--fast--and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.
Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.A Look Inside A Lion Called Christian
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
ANTHONY “ACE” BOURKE is one of Australia’s leading art curators. He lives in Sydney.
JOHN RENDALL is a member of the Royal Geographic Society and a trustee of the George Adamson Trust. He divides his time between London and Sydney.
Top customer reviews
The answer is yes. It is well organized, fun, interesting and wonderfully written. Rendall and Rourke are also surprisingly self-aware. They admit numerous times that owning a lion was a dangerous, one-in-a-lifetime decision that they were lucky to escape positively.
Their story is one that is so strangely fascinating that it's shocking to think it happened as recently as the 1970s. They were selling lions in department stores back then? It feels like a different world. This is probably why the book is so fun to read - it is a rare mix of exotic animals, nostalgia, British and Hollywood glamour and a love story.
Again, for the skeptical or the curious, this book is worth reading and will be enjoyed. Just keep the anticipation to the minimum as A Lion Called Christian is a short read that you'll burn through quickly.It's better if you can appreciate that moment than be disappointed by its brevity.
At the end of the book Christian wanders off alone and lonely since all the lions he made friends with were either killed or ran off with other wild lions. By the end of the book i really questioned that taking him to a country he was not a part of was such a good idea.
My thinking is that while yes he is a lion, he was not an african lion. He was hand reared and loved being around people, you will see in the book how he loved eating treats and sleeping in a bed and other things he does. I think maybe if he had been able to have more time with Boy before he was killed Christian would have been ok. Since Boy was sadly shot im afraid it hurt Christian badly both because he lost his oldest and most valuable friend in such a hostile country.
My hope is that he did have a happy life and did not feel abandoned cause he was truly loved by everyone. Maybe someday we will learn what happened to Christian, the most friendly and amazing lion ever!
Christian has left his mark in this world, but I, personally, would not have forced Christian to become
wild. He was a loving, unique creature as evidenced in how he greeted the men who raised him after
an absence of a year. I would have found some way to keep him as he was and let him be free as well.
Christian was smart to make the best of what was done to him in Africa and survive, but for me it was
The love and commitment that the two men had for Christian was admirable. They did right by him. I loved Christian's personality and the way that he learned so quickly what was acceptable behavior and what wasn't. A heartwarming story that will stay with me for a long time.
Most recent customer reviews
Thinking as changed a lot over the years, and this book illustrates clearly why some of the laws...Read more