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Eric Campbell: The protective lion

This book is about a strange companionship and a strange journey. It is about Chris and his father. They were supposed to start an exciting new life in Africa but an accident changed everything.Chris and his father were on the way to Africa but in an unthinkable time their plane crashes and they end up in a place called kopje (the place of lions). The story describes Chris’s desperate way of saving his fathers life. There is danger everywhere, and it seems to be a nightmare for Chris. But he is not alone. An aged, solitary lion is following him on a journey of his own. Chris is going through all kinds of problem you can imagine and it becomes a journey he will never forget.

It is interesting to compare Chris and the lion he meets on the way for help. The lion is old and Chris is young but somehow they develop a very strong relationship. The lion helps Chris when dangers arise but they never touch each other or are close. The lion seems to ignore Chris but whenever there is danger the lion is always there to help. Their relationship is strange and weird but on the same time it is nice and sweet and very special. Chris is wounded on his leg, and he is trying to find help to his injured father. The lion is old, tired and dying and somehow I got the feeling that they feel each other’s pain. When the people in Africa heard the story about Chris and the lion, they think they know why the lion followed the boy. Because, they say, the lion has looked at Chris and has seen a heart as brave as his own.

The story reminds both of “Lord of the flies” and “The jungle book”. In for example “Lord of the flies” being without food and more or less without parents in the middle of nowhere, is at focus. The children in “Lord of the flies” are almost giving up their hopes in their struggle to be saved but they finally become friends. Chris also almost gives up hope when everything keeps troubling him, but finally the lion becomes his friend and the adventure had a happy end. Furthermore, the “Jungle book” which also reminds me of this book, is about having a good friend in the Jungle/Africa. Chris and the lion are comparable with Mowgli and Baloo; a child and an animal that are great friends and help each other when problem arise.

What the author wants to say with the book is probably that everything works out if you have a friend and a will. However, I don’t think it was a lot of thoughts behind the book. It was more like an exciting story for booklovers and fairy-tales believers.

To conclude, it is a good book with an exciting and very special story. The book kept the curiosity alive and I wanted to know what was going to happen all the time. However, part of the book was boring and in general it was a quite difficult book to read. For non-English persons it is not a piece of cake so to speak but on the other hand you learn a lot. It is a typical story that people tell over and over again through generations and gradually the story becomes more and more unlike the first story, as a myth. If you like books with fantasy and not necessary realism it probably will be a book for you.

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