THE YEAR OF THE LION by Gerald Hanley


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..... and even madder Englishmen in the noonday sun of East Africa, this is nonetheless the Africa of the forest and the beast-- social and political change is yet to come- and the chief struggle is against its natural, primal forces. Here, in 1935, Jervis arrives from England, and his youth and inexperience are a fresh contrast to those who have been settled there for years and who now approach the edge of eccentricity. Major Fawn Cochley, on whose farm Jervis is apprenticed, is lonely, querulous and ""full of queer corners"". Loule Brinden drinks his way out of his dissatisfaction in his wife; and Helena Brinden uses her sluttish, sexual magnetism to provoke new situations she cannot control or conclude. And so, from the zebra drive, to Helena, to the hunt for a man-eating lion in which four men are killed, Jervis' ""year of the lion"" is a time of probation -- and the final proof is also to bring a loss of innocence and integrity.... A sere landscape, the pattern of native and colonial life is carefully and sharply observed- while on a more external level, the hunting sequences match the cold terror and sanguine excitement of a killer sport.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1954
Publisher: Macmillan