Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke

A Lion Called Christian (1971)

by Anthony Bourke, John Rendall

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4361724,126 (3.81)16
  1. 00
    The Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa's Wildlife by Kobie Kruger (Ella_Jill)
    Ella_Jill: This book also tells the story of a human-reared lion rehabilitated to the wild.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Wonderful, wonderful book. Make sure you see the video of their meeting. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
This is the story of two men (Ace and John) who see a lion cub, Christian, at Harrods Department Store in London and purchase him. Once Christian becomes too big, they return him to the wild in Kenya with the help of George Adamson, called the "father of lions." Leaving aside the irresponsibility and stupidity of Harrods in having lion cubs for purchase in their store, it turns out to be a heartwarming tale of love between man and beast as Christian adjusts to being in the wild, mating with wild lionesses and hopefully establishing a pride of his own. Ace and John reunite with Christian one year and again at two years after Christian has lived in Kenya, but thereafter they have no idea what happened to him as he was never seen again. One hopes that he had a long and magnificent life in the wild. There is a YouTube video of the first reunion which has caused quite a sensation, and I want to thank a co-worker of mine for telling me of this story as I had never heard of it. ( )
1 vote flourgirl49 | Apr 4, 2015 |
I purchased this book at a bookstore that was closing it's doors. The price was discounted, and it looked like a quick read. I had never seen the youtube.com video, or heard of it......When I got home, I watched the video and started the book immediately!

The Youtube.com video brought me to tears and I just had to read the story of these men and this lion who obviously loved each other....how did this come to be? How does that happen?

This story is about 2 men who came about puchasing a lion cub from Harrod's in London. They took this cub home to where they lived above a furniture store. You read about the goings on in raising this lion cub...how Christian would romp around the furniture store and play with the customers! As he got larger, he would sit in the windows of the furniture store and watch pedestrians walking by....they in turn, would stop and stare at the lion in the window!

John and Ace (the 2 men) realized they wouldn't be able to keep him forever, so they found a way to "rehabilitate" Christian back into the wild. I will not give away the end of the story, but it's a heartwarming story of relationship, trust, love, nature.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves animal stories. ( )
  thebigreader | Dec 12, 2013 |
A lovely updated version of the 70s book written by two young Australians who became besotted with a lion cub for sale in Harrods and decided to take him home (as you do)... They lived with him in London for a year, first in a furniture shop, and then they were taken under the wing of Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna (of Born Free movie fame) who built a compound for Christian on their country estate just outside the city. From there he was flown to Kenya to be rehabilitated into a new wild pride by George Adamson (of actual Born Free fame), with Ace and John staying in the camp alongside him for several months. The book is updated to include the YouTube-famous reunions between Ace, John and Christian, first after a year, then again after two; the footage of a fully grown wild lion running to greet his old friends after all that time apart went viral and brought Christian's charming story to a whole new generation.

The delightful stories from Christian's year in London are so funny and sweet, and his intelligence and playfulness make them a joy to read. Whether they're playing football in the garden, or Christian is playing coy with them, climbing onto their knees for a cuddle, or practising pouncing on shop customers from behind the furniture, the affection between the trio glows from every page. Oh, and there are photos! Highly recommended for lovers of heartwarming wildlife stories and cats of all sizes... ( )
  elliepotten | Jul 27, 2013 |
i am a sucker for wildlife stories and this one has it all. the you tube video is remarkable. the book is good. somewhat amaturish but good. ( )
  Smits | Apr 12, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Bourkeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rendall, Johnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adamson, GeorgeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Christian and our families who never met him
First words
No zoo is complete without lions.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767932307, Hardcover)

Book Description
In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.

A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up--fast--and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.

A Look Inside A Lion Called Christian

Click on thumbnails for larger images

Christian with Mark at Todd's Hairdressers in the World's End Football in the Moravian Close John, Christian, and Ace relaxing at Leith Hill

Easter, 1970 Ace (left) and John (right) with Christian on The King's Road, Chelsea

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A wondrous, serendipitous tale that tracks Christian's migration from London streets to Kenyan wilderness and the new friends, both lion and human (notably lion expert George Adamson of Born Free fame) that he finds there. Most astonishing, however, is that in 1971, after a year's absence, his old friends Bourke and Rendall returned to Africa and successfully reunited with Christian.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
10 avail.
95 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.81)
1 1
2 2
3 25
3.5 10
4 28
4.5 3
5 19

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,169,647 books! | Top bar: Always visible