|Title||:||Queen of Shaba: The Story of an African Leopard|
|Number of Pages||:||180 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Queen of Shaba: The Story of an African Leopard Reviews
I always enjoy Joy Adamson's books. The original hardbacks have a feel and atmosphere about them which I really love. They aren't exciting books. They aren't fast paced. In some ways it often feels like nothing much happens and the narrative could be summed up in just a few words. But as I say, there is an atmosphere about the books which love and it is nice, occasionally, to just leisurely read Adamson's books and immerse yourself in that world for a little while.Possibly because this was the last of her books it felt a little drier than some of the others. It felt very much like she was just going through a brief diary and trying to concoct a narrative out of the brief summary of each day's events. And (I say in a theorizing way), because she had never gone into much detail in her diary at the time, she was limited in what material she had to go on and ended up confining herself mainly to dry facts of the days events without ever taking a step back and look at things from a wider perspective or with hindsight. The resulting picture is a bit of a confused one. One day you get the impression that Penny the leopard seems to be fully independent and capable of looking after herself, another day she seems to be entirely dependent on Joy for food. There seems to be little in the way of analysis and assessment. Joy asks questions along the way - and asked them repeatedly as the same questions strike her on different days - but she never goes back and answers them based on the increased knowledge and experience of the ensuing months.You don't really get a sense of progress or struggle. Everything just seems to happen as a matter of course. Where Elsa had to be trained to be independent and live in the wild, it feels almost like Penny just grew up that way and developed naturally in her own way without the need for Joy to do much at all. You get mixed messages too - as in all her books - where Joy talks as though her greatest aim is to get animals back into their natural life in the wild and always speaks as though it is with great reluctance that she interferes with their lives in any way, and warns strongly of the dire consequences of any kind of interference which could permanently condemn them to a life of captivity. And yet her actions seem to suggest quite the contrary, and she seems too willing to interfere and unwilling and unable to let them go when they are capable of living independently. She continues to interfere with them daily, checking up on them and feeding them even when it seems entirely unnecessary as far as the welfare of the animal is concerned. Possibly if she did step back and give the bigger picture then we would understand that her interference was necessary, but as it is she often records finding Penny with a full belly and not hungry which all indicates that she doesn't require the food which Joy keeps forcing upon her. She never leaves Penny to just get on with her life. The ending of the book, the Publisher's Postscript, left me a bit confused. I was disappointed that there was next to nothing about Joy's death in it. Perhaps there had been so much about it in the news that it was taken for granted that everyone knew about it already? No cause of death was mentioned. I couldn't understand the timescale either. Was Joy's writing her final chapter immediately after the events of it had happened, or was she writing it up several months after the event? The Publisher mentioned that she had intended to write a sequel about Penny's cubs, so was there already something to write about, or was Joy just intending to write about future events which were yet to happen? An extract of Joy's writings concerning a fire in the camp was included in the Publisher's Postscript which was very interesting. But if this happened during the timescale of the events of this books, why did Joy not include it in the narrative herself, and if she purposely excluded it, what other interesting things were left out? But if this was an event which happened after the time period covered by this volume, what other extant writings were there which could have gone into publication of a posthumous volume? If you've read the Born Free trilogy, or the books about Pippa the Cheetah, then this volume is just more of the same sort of thing and you will know what to expect. If you've never read those then I wouldn't really advise this book as being a good place to start. Born Free is probably the place to start with Joy Adamson's books.