The Lion Seeker (Paperback)

By Kenneth Bonert

Mariner Books, 9780544334519, 576pp.

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

November 2013 Indie Next List

“This is a perfect book, and given that it is Bonert's debut novel, it's even more astounding. He uses South African apartheid, where blacks are treated like the Jews of Eastern Europe, to convey the drama of a Lithuanian family's emigration to escape the very debasement that they then perpetrate on those who live in their new community. It's a complicated story well told, emotional, fraught with angst, but also with some of the most memorable characters in recent fictional history.”
— Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
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Description

"A taut, visceral account of a young Jewish boy's African life . . . offering at times page-turning thrills and at others a painful meditation on destiny and volition." -- NPR, All Things Considered

A powerful family saga, The Lion Seeker is a thrilling ride through the life of Isaac Helger, from redheaded hooligan on the streets of Johannesburg to striving young man on the make. Growing up in the shadow of World War II, Isaac is caught between his mother's urgent ambition to bring her sisters to safety out of the old world and his own desire for the freedoms of the new. But soon his mother's carefully guarded secret takes them to the diamond mines, where mysteries are unveiled in the desert rocks and Isaac begins to learn the bittersweet reality of success bought at truly any cost.

" A] master storyteller . . . Bonert's zest for description, his attention to social nuances, and his eagerness to tell a large story in a large way . . . creates] a big, richly detailed novel." -- Tablet Magazine

"Raw and ambitious." -- Moment

"Astonishingly mature, admirably incautious . . . It's visually and thematically sweeping, rich with diverse personalities, packed with tender waves and roiling crests of love, loss, hope, hatred." -- National Post (Canada)

"Stunning." -- Jewish Daily Forward

"Powerful and thoroughly engrossing . . . To read it is to be reminded how great a great novel can be." -- David Bezmozgis, author of The Free World
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