Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon

Pride of Baghdad written by Brian K. Vaughan and art by Niko Henrichon

In 2003, during the Second Iraq War an American bombing raid hit the Baghdad zoo. Several animals escaped including four lions. This graphic novel is an imaginative telling of the tale from the lions' point of view. One lion grumbles about their conditions at the zoo while another reminisces about life outside while a third is happy with their captivity (which means safety) when the bombs hit. They flee to the streets where they have to make difficult decisions with their new-found freedom. Life is a lot harder when you have to find your own food and your own way in the world.

The book is surprisingly graphic in telling the life of the lions. It's not just the gore of them eating or the bombs blowing apart animals, but also terrible betrayals and an implied gang-rape. The abruptness of events is bracing, leaving the reader with a sense of urgency and sympathizing with the lions, even when they are not the most admirable characters. This book is no Disney version of events and is not for kids. But it does give adults a lot of interesting meat to chew on.

1 comment:

  1. "Meat to chew on." Well played.

    This is a favourite of mine. Glad you enjoyed it!