Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Born Free

Born Free is the book Joy Adamson wrote about raising Elsa the lioness and reintroducing her to the wild. The insanely catchy, treacly song comes to mind immediately. But of course Adamson did not write her book with that ditty plinking away in the African trees above her. I remember the movie, too (for which the song is the main theme). I'm sure I watched it at school. I'd thought it was a documentary. There are lots of pictures of Elsa in the books and Adamson mentions filming her antics. But I guess it's not.

In my stack of books I like to keep a book about animals going. I thought I had the sequel to Born Free. After I finished Born Free this afternoon I went upstairs to the library but found only the third book, Forever Free. Oh. Third book? Guess I'll have to check the bookstores for Living Free, the second book, if I don't want to miss anything. The Berkeley library only has Born Free. It has a single book condensation of the trilogy, but I want every word. Every word, I tell you!

Not that the writing is great. It's the story that's fun, not the prose. Prob'ly the shorter version is better. I mean, even in Born Free do we need to know about every time Elsa shows up after a few days living on her own? When for the fourth time she greets everybody by bumping her face against their knees, well, it's like a series of baby pictures ... if it's not your kid every forehead wrinkle is not equally interesting.

Still, if I see Living Free for a couple bucks I'll pick it up.

Sadly, both Joy and husband George died in the 1980s at the hands of human beings.


Rachel Dacus said...

I think it's a sign of full humanity to love animals. And if you need ideas about animal books, take a look at MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS by Gerald Durrell (the naturalist and brother to the novelist Lawrence). It's a childhood memoir of two years spent on Cyprus discovering and bringing home every conceivable kind of creature. And the writing, while a bit lush, is very funny.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

hi Rachel,

I've read two Durrell books, Two Ticket to Adventure and The Drunken Forest. Enjoyed them both and have other Durrell books on the shelf now. I don't think My Family is yet one of them. I'll look for it.

When I was reading Two Tickets to Adventure someone said, "You know the original title was Two Single to Adventure?" I checked the copyright page. Yup. A Britishism that doesn't quite work in the U.S.