Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Summer Savings Up to 25% Off Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Learn more Shop now Learn more

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars39
4.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 15 May 2009
Most people of my generation know the famous story of Elsa the lioness from the 1960's. I have seen much about it over the years including the moving film with Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers who themselves became wildlife conservationists, but have never read the book until now.

Written by Joy Adamson herself who with her husband George Adamson rescued Elsa from certain death in Africa. The story tells of the amazing bond between the wild lioness and humans. As I read the book I was touched by the amazing relationship the Adamsons had with not only Elsa, but eventually her cubs Jespah, Little Elsa and Gopa, but one question which did arise in my mind was whether they should ever have nutured this relationship in the first place. The lions grew to rely on them and this suppressed some of their natural wildness and made it very difficult for them to re-adapt fully to their wild state and in particular with other wild lions - also their ensuing lack of fear of humans could put both at risk.

Despite some misgivings re human interference etc in a situation which they could not and possibly should not try to control, I loved the story which portrayed great love, commitment and resolve on the part of the Adamsons (although possibly a little misguided) - I would have liked a map in the book showing the places mentioned in the book.

At some point I would like to read "Christian the Lion" book which is about another lion reared in captivity before being released into the wild and where George Adamson was involved also.
55 comments|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Born Free by Joy Adamson is an enjoyable and timeless read that is also rather poignant.

This book details the true story of the lioness Elsa who is raised by Joy and her husband in Kenya after George (a senior game warden) kills her mother on a safari hunt while in search of a man-eating lion. Despite shooting the lioness in self-defence, George is remorseful to discover that she only attacked the hunting party in order to protect her three young cubs.

As they are now motherless and vulnerable, George brings the cubs back and although two of the cubs are sent to live in a zoo, Elsa remains with the Adamsons with the notion that she will eventually go into captivity.

However, inevitably they fall in love with her and have difficulty stomaching the idea that she will go into captivity. Thus they embark on a painful journey to reintroduce the domesticated Elsa to the wild...

I enjoyed the way it was written and Joy's writing style really draws the reader in. Having the book split into three parts emphasised the major milestones of Elsa's life and the importance of animals being allowed to live in their natural habitat.

The images are lovely and the bond between the Adamsons and Elsa is awesome. This is a very descriptive book with a heavy emphasis on minutae which I love, but it may not be for everyone.

Overall I would definitely recommend Born Free to those who enjoy memoirs, reading about Africa and love animals. It is a bittersweet yet fantastic book.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 July 2011
Loved reading this book and reading between the lines. Since her books/films, more information has come out about the life of colonials such as Joy living in Kenya, in particular around the treatment of natives/locals. If you are interested in conservation or animals you will not be disappointed, if you are interested in colonial history you will also not be disappointed. Written a bit in diary style (I did this and that) it was easy to follow.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 November 2010
thoroughly satisfied with my purchase, I saw the film when it was first released in the 60's, have always been a supporter of wild life, and this book brought back many happy memmories for me.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 October 2012
Great Book. Bought it because I read it as a child, enjoyed it and wanted my daughter to do same. Unfortunately my daughter is 10 and it is a little too difficult for her to read but I'll keep it for when she is older.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 June 2011
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I lost the first copy I read of this. Bought it again to re-read and loved it even more.
Wonderful photos and a great edition.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 May 2011
I recently bought this book (the fiftieth anniversry edition) having read and loved it as a child. I realise there have been several re-editions of this book over the years and have done my best to research to find the one I remembered. Unfortunately, the book descriptions do not say how many illustrations are in the book and I may be mis-remembering but I think there are far fewer in this version. It also turns out to be the three stories, Born free, Living Free and Forever Free all in one which was not made clear in the book description.
I'm re-ordering a different version and hoping it's the right one with loads of photos as it's for a child.

Why do the book descriptions not mention how many pages of photos or illustrations there are? It would be very useful if re-prints of books are different from originals?
11 comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 June 2014
If I could give it six stars I would it's a great story written by one half of a wonderful team, Joy and her husband George did fantastic work with wildlife and their story is an inspiration and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in wildlife conservation. A great book a lovely film and a book that is a wonderful addition to my bookcase.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 November 2013
I loved the film's as a child, indeed I have just bought the Dvds, I did have the books as a child and misplaced them when moving. So I was over the moon to download them to my Kindle. What a joy....I had forgotten how great they were. So well written you can just see yourself there and the photos are amazing. Well worth downloading.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 March 2016
Joy seemed to treat Elsa as a 'pet' rather than a wild animal and I would say she did everything to stop Elsa returning to her own environment. George Adamson was dedicated to returning her to the wild.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse