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Father of Lions Reviews

Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan

Father of Lions

How One Man Defied Isis and Saved Mosul Zoo

Louise Callaghan

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Head of Zeus
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 3 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781789540765

This is a story of human decency in the midst of barbarism - how the zookeeper of Mosul Zoo saved the animals during the Isis rule of the city between 2014 and 2017.

3 stars out of 5
Justin Marozzi
10 Nov 2019

"Part feelgood yarn, part portrait of terror and resistance"

At times the writing can be a little pat. “It was his first encounter with an important truth — that good things come from being kind to animals,” Callaghan writes of a dog-whispering moment from Abu Laith’s childhood. In fact, some of her best, most revealing passages are nothing to do with rescuing animals. An award-winning Middle East correspondent for The Sunday Times, Callaghan knows her way around a war. Her portrayal of a city under siege is many-layered and brilliantly told. The gallows humour and defiance of Mosulis in the most desperate circumstances will appeal to British readers.