Born Free by Joy Adamson

Born Free
ISBN 0330518232
  • Author:
    Joy Adamson
  • Title:
    Born Free
  • Category:
  • Subcategory:
    Biological Sciences
  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Pan Books (UK); UK ed. edition (June 4, 2010)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1742 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1129 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1128 kb
  • Rating:
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Born Free by Joy Adamson
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Born Free by Joy Adamson
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Fifty years ago Joy Adamson first introduced to the world the story of her life alongside Elsa the lioness, whom she had rescued as an orphaned cub, and raised at her home in Kenya. But as Elsa had been born free, Joy made the heartbreaking decision that she must be returned to the wild when she was old enough to fend for herself. Since the first publication of "Born Free" and its sequels "Living Free" and "Forever Free," generations of readers have been enchanted, inspired and moved by these books' uplifting charm and the remarkable interaction between Joy and Elsa. Millions have also come to know and love "Born Free" through the immortal film starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers. But here is the chance to rediscover the original story in this 50th anniversary edition, in the words of the woman who reared Elsa and walked with the lions.

I know people get hung up on the movie -- which I have never seen. However, it is so much more to read the book written by Joy Adamson and to see the pictures she and George took. The pictures are truly marvelous and I would think it was wroth the cost of the book just to see the pictures. Elsa, the lioness of two worlds, got to the point that she did not like the camera (a black shiny box always pointed at her) and one day she got it and ran off with it over the rocks. She proceeded to chew on it
and shook it in every way possible while her "parents" attempted to get it back. When they did recover it, they found she had not done a great deal of damage to the thing which she disliked so much. You won't get that from the movie. ENJOY!!!!!
Great digital transfer. Note: while the ebook is titled as "Born Free," it includes the entire trilogy (Living Free, Forever Free.) These aren't available separately, only in this edition. Also, this does NOT include any of the pictures that always accompany the physical book, just in case that's part of your consideration here.
Here's what I think modern readers are afraid to say: the Born Free legacy is incredible, but the book that started it all...isn't. Born Free was an exciting, eye-opening read in 1960 because it dispelled myths about the savagery of "darkest Africa," it was the most cutting edge information anyone had about lions at the time, and it sparked an interest in conversation, making wild animals personable and deserving of protection rather than fierce beasts to be hunted.

Joy and George Adamson were the first two people we know of who were able to introduce a tame lion back into the wild. Born Free is Joy's story about that project, and the one to protect Elsa's three half-wild cubs. The 50th anniversary edition of Born Free is the sum total of Joy Adamson's journalistic descriptions of daily life with Elsa over the years. Once I had the idea of Elsa's duality, her habits, and how Adamson related to her and helped her, I found the rest of the book repetitive and at times tedious and too subjective.

If you want the whole story of Born Free, watch the great BBC documentary, The Born Free Legacy (2010). Whereas Adamson focuses entirely on the lions in her book, the documentary does this but also covers the incredible worldwide reaction to the book, the beginning of natural history channels and interest in wildlife in general the book helped to spark, the interesting lives of the authors and their rough marriage, the controversy about the way Adamson overused anthropomorphism, and the eventual grim murder of the authors and her husband.

If you watch that documentary, and find a way to read the original, much shorter Born Free, you've got the whole incredible story and you've spent less hours than you would if you only read the book. Even if you do insist on reading the book, I think you'll find that Adamson's explanation of Elsa's behaviors is a little too subjective given the rigor you've become used to in the last few decades of animal research. I'm not sure anyone today would claim that an animal is apologetic, or embarrassed, or proud, as easily as Adamson does. It was distracting, and hurt Adamson's credibility in my eyes.

Finally, someone else noted that all the great pictures are missing from the Kindle edition. Dude. I'm telling you, just watch the BBC documentary.
I loved reading this book!! I just could not stop reading it once i started.. Kudos to Adamsons for their efforts in successfully rehabilitaing captive lion into the wild!
I have already rated this transaction once. Did you not receive it? Very disappointed that the book is a pocket sized printing of a great story. Was expecting a full sized book, not a child's sized toy. And we all know what goes with a small sized book.....small sized print. Even with reading glasses eye strain prevents one from reading for very long. Unless I missed the description, there is nothing showing size of the book. I select my books on full sized, easy to read printings.
I've loved "Born Free" since I read it as a child. The adventures of Elsa the Lioness, along with Daktari on television, made me fall in love with the idea of going to Africa. I bought this copy to refresh my memory as I prepare to take that long awaited safari to Kenya next summer. I'll be visiting the parks where Elsa grew up and the burial spots of both Elsa and Joy Adamson.