3 out of 4 stars
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Primatologist Andrew R. Halloran is the writer of the fable titled Lion Shaped Mountain. This book is majorly about chimpanzees as well as other creatures, which according to the author and in reality, are prominent in Africa. Chimpanzees and these other creatures weren't written about in isolation. Human beings are also major characters in this book. Precisely, this fable is about the relationship between humans, chimpanzees, and other creatures, as well as the role they play in each other's life, survival, and existence.
Halloran successfully fulfilled his promise of leading us into a full-blown and genuine description of chimpanzees. He did this by narrating stories coined around characters that include a lone chimpanzee, two communities of chimpanzees—Matamba and Mabureh, and villagers, including farmers and hunters. As farmers are enthusiastic about planting crops and fruits for the survival of their family and community at large, chimpanzees also source fruits for their survival. Again, hunters are keen on nailing animals for food or profit purposes. These interests appear to be intertwined and conflicting. Will they step on each other's toes for survival's sake? Read this book to follow the writer on this journey.
I loved that this book incorporates a historical perspective of these chimpanzees and other creatures like termites. As I gleaned from the former part of the book, a core concern of the author was to erase the misconceptions and half-truths about the behaviors of chimpanzees. He succeeded in doing this through chimpanzees like Caseby, Pip, Mrs. Jones, Richard, and Magwitch, just to mention a few.
My favourite part of this book is the manner the author depicted the behaviors of these chimpanzees. It was so real that I connected to them in the manner I did to some of the human characters. An encounter of an elderly woman with some chimps was borderline scary yet funny. Also, I felt a bit torn and heartbroken with certain occurrences in the lives of these chimpanzees.
As much as I was unusually slower in reading this book because I felt there was a lot of information to consume in a few pages, the book was a reasonably high-end one for me. However, I noticed some form of repetitions, especially with regards to a character, Caseby. When he was initially introduced, certain qualities of his were made known to the reader. However, most of the time he was mentioned subsequently, I found descriptions similar to the ones previously mentioned. Furthermore, I discovered that I couldn't ignore the presence of errors, as there were a ton of them. Consequently, I am inclined to rate Lion Shaped Mountain three out of four stars.
Lovers of fables or people interested in reading one will surely appreciate this book. As a result, I boldly recommend it to them.
Lion Shaped Mountain
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