ASK THE NAME OF THE LION by Ralph Allen

ASK THE NAME OF THE LION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a situation as muddy as the great river, a polyglot lot- a Canadian doctor and a nurse serving the Red Cross, a H.N. head of mission for the province, a Belgian and his native Combe girl, and a government man whose Cambridge accent reveals his educated superiority, find themselves trapped in the uprising in the Belgian Congo. They all represent various national, racial or political positions (the U.N. -- the Belgian- the ""evolus""; the educated African vs the insurgent primitive; etc.), and must make a getaway through the jungle in the hope of crossing the Ubangi river into the French Congo. They are pursued by the lustful, boastful Tshibangn who takes the name of the lion ""Nkosi"" and becomes ""Monsieur le President. Like Kasavubu... Like Tshombe."" The Belgian Chartrand's native girl attempts to decay Tshibangn for a time, but when he catches up with the escaping party, hampered by injuries, the confrontation is both a show of courage as well as a test of true leadership.... There's no real depth here, but this makes popular, expedient use of the situation to tell a reliably dramatic story of survival- in this case not of the fittest.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday