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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

Nothing really happens in this book and the novel's climax is revealed within the first few pages. The events of this book though are incidental; the Lizard Cage is a book about people. It's a book about spirit. It's a book about love.

The 'Lizard Cage' is a prison in Burma filled mainly with political prisoners held by the country's insidious Junta. Karen Connelly skilfully peels off layer after layer of the corruption and brutality that affects every strata of Burmese life. Although the story is fictitious, Connelly's tale is all too real and makes for bleak reading.

The novel's mistreated prisoners are a metaphor for the shackled citizens of the country and her beleaguered characters display the spirit in adversity that Burma's citizens often show whilst living under the most oppressive of regimes. The Lizard Cage makes for bleak reading at times, right up to its incredibly bitter-sweet ending and is perhaps a little overlong. That said, this is a powerful, moving novel and anybody who has a passing interest in Burma or Human Rights should read it.
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on 15 December 2011
This is the best novel I've ever read.
When I first got hold of it, I had a peep inside as I was walking home.I was unable to put it down and probably risked my life a few times, reading as I walked the streets.I am naturally quite a gloomy individual but this lifted me to somewhere special and new!
What I love most about the book is the circular nature of the plot.Many novels leave you hanging.You've enjoyed the body of the novel but this can't be sustained as it moves to a close and you're disappointed. I don't want to put in a spoiler, but this ending drives you straight back to the beginning for more and this process makes sense!
If you think Buddhism and yoga are daft.Read it.If you think Buddhism might help: read it.If you want to find hope in hopeless circumstances: read it.If you're a realist: read it:it's a treasure trove.
I can't believe this is her first work of fiction.Her skill with words is utterly engaging.Her character construction is vibrant.The plot is remarkable and has the internal action of a wild thriller.
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on 6 September 2014
I can wholeheartedly recommend iThe Lizard Cage - It is both starkly brutal and achingly beautiful. It taught me a lot about the repression in Burma and will stay with me for a long, long time
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on 7 March 2011
This is not a pacy, intricately plotted story. It is extremely detailed and perceptive, though at times too drawn out, and it took me some time to get through it. But any time I was finding it too harrowing or tedious to read, I wondered how much more harrowing and tedious it would be to live under those conditions.I enjoy fiction which gives me a window into real-life events and places, (eg. Poisonwood Bible, Half a Yellow Sun, The Good Earth, Cellist of Sarajevo etc.) I know I should study them more formally, but find fiction more accessible. The Burma of this story seems very real and well researched and Karen Connelly's beautiful writing enables us to see and experience it through each of the characters all too well; a book to be admired rather than enjoyed. Leaves you feeling sad and uncomfortable.
I would also recommend 'The Glass Palace' by Amitav Ghosh; a tale of Burma's troubles in earlier times.
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on 13 September 2013
This is one of those books that stays with you for days afterwards. The characters are so carefully crafted that I believed in them totally. I am amazed that the author could draw such a realistic picture of the horrors of life in prison, without having experienced it herself. This was a book club choice, and not everyone enjoyed it, but most comments against were along the lines that it was too realistic. It was challenging, and confrontational, but also uplifting. If you are looking for something different, then I recommend this book.
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on 12 February 2014
I love both the factual and the intimate storyline. You cannot fail.to be touched deeply by the accuracy of the tail and be totally engrossed with each character spinning a web of.intertwining coherency through a maze of suffering and acceptance and yet non acceptance! I literally could not put this book.down and was nearly late for work as a result. We all need to.take a.greater
role in Learning about far reaching corners of.the earth where just staying alive is a struggle. Be grateful for the life we lead, it's so easy in comparison!!!!
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on 21 October 2013
Yet another gift, a book I probably would never have read if it had not been given to me, and yet another 'warning' about being too choosy in what we pick to read for ourselves. A very clever, well written - the authoress is a poet and this appears to come through in the style and flow of the writing- novel. That the end is given at the start does not detract from the story at all. Even for those without at least a passing interest in Burma, and those with a very limited knowledge of Buddhism (like me) will find this an absorbing read.
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on 25 September 2013
This book is the 2nd I have read of Karen Connelly's and this one is even better than the first - Burmese lessons. It is breath taking in its description of how life was for a political prisoner in Myanmar and how that life was endured. Having visited Myanmar recently, I can relate to some of the customs but none of the horror to which Songbird was exposed.
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on 20 February 2013
Found it to be a very uplifting book despite the horrors that the hero in the book is subjected to being a prisoner in a harsh uncompromising burmese prison.
Beautfifully written, captivating characters that you find yourself genuinely caring for.
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on 12 June 2013
Why did it end there I feel something is missing. Very open for a sequel. Brilliant but I need more. A definite need not a want I was enthralled throughout.
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