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Free read Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Ory of family of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution Emotionally gripping poetic and indelibly tragic Beneath The Lion’s Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.. First the cover is not doing this book any favors I assumed it was a memoir probably of a child soldier or somethingEven once I realized this was a novel I didn t have high expectations for it I was expecting another earnest but poorly written book published on the strength of covering awful events in a time and place most Americans know little about As it turns out I did like the book than expectedBeneath the Lion s Gaze is set in 1970 s Ethiopia a time of enormous upheaval following a devastating famine and governmental inaction student protests led to a revolution overthrowing the hereditary monarch The revolution was uickly co opted by the military which claiming to set up a communist government ushered in a period of terror and repression This book covers about four years and mostly follows one extended family a father two adult sons daughter in law and granddaughter along with some of their friends and neighbors The married son just wants peace while the single one becomes a high profile dissident meanwhile their father a doctor faces a terrible dilemma when the military demands that he treat a torture victimThe story is interesting and the short chapters move it along relatively uickly If you ve read other books about life under oppressive regimes you know what to expect here there are some ugly scenes including violence against children But Mengiste balances the bloody parts with scenes dealing with family relations and everyday life the book never feels like a simple news report It is however far from a light read the characters attempts to do good consistently make things worse and there s little hope in the inconclusive finishNeither the characterization nor the writing style is anything to write home about but even so I rather liked the book The author s observations and imagery ring true and the plot kept my interest If the characters often seem like representatives of various opinions and experiences than actual people it s still nice to have a range of them represented from dissidents to soldiers to collaborators Even the less sympathetic characters are believable and treated fairlyAs for the historical aspect the book certainly piued my interest in Ethiopia I might have liked a in depth look at events but can t complain with the book s focusing primarily on the family There s a decent sense of place with some good descriptions of the countryOverall this isn t among the best civilians in wartime books I ve read but nor is it among the worst A decent choice if you re interested in Ethiopia African fiction generally or civilian life during revolutions and military dictatorships

Free download ò PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB è Maaza Mengiste

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

An epic tale of a father and two sons of betrayals and loyalties of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia’s revolution This memorable heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa Ethiopia on the eve of a revolution Yonas kneels in his mother’s prayer room pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and countr. Let s be real here a lot of what we Westerners know of Ethiopia is based on those late night aid commercials soliciting support for starving children with distended bellies and flies swarming their faces This is incredibly problematic Maaza Mengiste s Beneath The Lion s Gaze flies in the face of that monolithic stock image of the country and gives a richly drawn description of Ethiopian life before the 1974 revolution that many people know little or nothing aboutThis is the story of a family set against the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie and is easily one of most gripping books I ve read in a very long time It looks baldly at the beauty of Ethiopian culture a strongly family community and faith centered way of life Ethiopian history Ethiopia proudly off Italian forces and was the only African nation not colonized by Europeans and the political machinations that tore at the fabric of that society Main characters include Hailu a medical doctor and the father and head of the household Selam his ailing wife Yonas their eldest son Dawit the younger rebellious son and Sara Yonas s wife There are a number of ancillary characters that weave in and out of the narrative to tell a story that is about family love war and convictionsFor me this novel renewed my interest in Ethiopian history As a black American I already had some idea of Ethiopia s rich contribution to black history and knew of Haile Selassie s importance to Rastafarianism but this book made me think about the ramifications of deifying political leaders black or otherwise The torturedeath scenes in the book were hard to bear because you realize how both fragile and resilient human life can be This book is definitely worth the read

Maaza Mengiste è 6 Characters

Y His father Hailu a prominent doctor has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state sanctioned torture to die Beneath the PDF And Dawit Hailu’s youngest son has joined an underground resistance movement a choice that will lead to upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia Beneath the Lion’s Gaze tells a gripping st. Ethiopian Emperor Selassie s rule with all its flaws injustices and decadence was smashed into pieces by a fanatical new regime in the 1970s providing the setting for Maaza Mengiste s debut At the center of the story is a surgeon Hailu and his two sons Yonas a reflective realist and Dawit an impulsive idealist In Beneath The Lion s Gaze Mengiste gave us a story about a family and a nation at war with itselfThere s lots to admire in Mengiste s writing She manages to dance between both both plot and character driven narratives She captured the essence of the Ethiopian people their mannerism and their poetic language When you are convinced that everything that happens is the will of God what is there to do but wait until God has mercy and the sensory descriptions of Addis were mesmerizing in all of its horror Addis Ababa was buried in dark clouds of gun smoke Waves of arrests swept swiftly through the city Bullets fell like rain Blood flowed in currents Winds blew the rotten stench of the dead through deserted streets And then there are the little gems that I find delightful as a reader The naming of most of the characters for instance was deliberate and significant They either had a biblical symbolism Dawit after King David who gained fame after killing the enemy Goliath or their Amharic translation captured some personality trait Hailu Amharic for the power signifying his position as the patriarch of the family Its hard to miss the author s choice of naming Emperor Selassie but giving a fictional name to the leader of the communist regime who was later accused of genocide by the Ethiopian court A little deep digging reveals that the name Guddu is a variation of ueen Gudit who went on monastery burning rampages in AD960 and like fictional Guddu ushered in Ethiopia s dark agesThis is a dark and often violent book but it is on so many levels a love story The love of husband who can t let go of his dying wife the love of a father yearning for his estranged son the love of a brother worlds apart in temperament And also the love for a people for a country for the fight of what is good and just


10 thoughts on “Beneath the Lion's Gaze

  1. says:

    This novel is set in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa in the late 1970’s It’s the last days of Christian Emperor Haile Selassie who suc

  2. says:

    Let’s be real here – a lot of what we Westerners know of Ethiopia is based on those late night aid commercials soliciting support for starving children with distended bellies and flies swarming their faces Thi

  3. says:

    Ethiopia 1974 The country is on the cusp of a revolution that will overthrow the monarchy and see the Derg take power a communist military group The successive years saw hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians killed under the regime either from brutal torture and execution or famine from leaders who promised a better Ethiopia for everybodyI love it when authors of historical fiction create a fictional family to co

  4. says:

    This book has a tone and the best word I have for it is sombre I felt Mengiste's Ethiopia to be grand dignified ancient steeped in its rich mythopoesis The graceful prose seems to move glacially from idea to idea image to image never

  5. says:

    I had this book for a really long time but never got round to reading it Now that I'm done I'm kinda wondering why it took me so long The book is about the Ethiopian revolution as seen through the eyes of a fictional family in the time period The author goes to great lengths to get the reader to understand what each of the charact

  6. says:

    Ethiopian Emperor Selassie's rule with all its flaws injustices and decadence was smashed into pieces by a fanatical new regime in the 1970s providing the setting for Maaza Mengiste's debut At the center of the story is a surgeon Hailu and his two sons Yonas a reflective realist and Dawit an impulsive idealist In ‘Beneath The Lio

  7. says:

    I loved the characters and the setting was highly compelling But I needed plot I really really needed of a plot You've got to have something happen and that has to be shown as it's happening Too many time whenever there was movement in the plo

  8. says:

    First the cover is not doing this book any favors I assumed it was a memoir probably of a child soldier or somethingEven once I realized this was a novel I didn’t have high expectations for it I was expecting another earne

  9. says:

    Beneath the Lion's Gaze begins in 1974 during the last days of Emperor Haile Selassie's despotic rule of Ethiopi

  10. says:

    Beneath the Lion's Gaze threw me right into a country and an historic era I knew little or almost nothing about but Maaza Mengiste introduces gives a history lesson in an unotrusive way using the family and neighborhood she portrays for showing the influence of politics on simple people who get involved in different ways giving voice to various ideologies from the fiery Dawit who firmly believes in change and an egalitarian system his uiet

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