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Download A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond Between Two Friends and a Lion Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond Between Two Friends and a Lion Audiobook, by Anthony Bourke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,523 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Bourke, John Rendall Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9780739384596
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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 is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crystal | 2/19/2014

    " Can't believe they bought a lion cub at harrods! Lovely story, very charming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ramarie | 2/16/2014

    " a quick read...interesting that this all happened almost 40 years ago, and there's renewed interest in it because of YouTube. Christian was obviously a very unique lion, and if you're an animal lover, you'll enjoy reading this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/10/2014

    " I saw the reuniting clip on YouTube and wanted to know the TRUE story behind this lion. The book is written by the men who raised the lion and reveals which rumors are true and false. If you have seen the show, 'Born Free', there was a relation between the lions used in the film and Christian. It is certainly worth the reading as it is a remarkable story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat (Le Pauvre CÅ“ur) | 2/6/2014

    " This book and story is incredible. It's the story of Christian the lion, the story behind the Youtube reunion. Christian is bought by two young men in London, England and form an inseparable bond. Through the struggles they face raising and caring for a lion, the reward is priceless. An amazing tale of the love and affection animals can have on humans and themselves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 2/3/2014

    " Although originally written in 1971, this book was updated and re-released after the clip of the authors' reunion with Christian, the lion they had purchased from Harrod's Department Store, in Africa became a sensation on YouTube. The book corrects a good bit of incorrect information associated with the original clip posted, as well as talking about their return visit the next year, the disappearence of Christian, and the murder of George Adamson. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Larisa | 2/3/2014

    " Loved the pictures inside. I want a big kitty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 1/30/2014

    " This was an easy read. It was a wonderful tale about 2 best friends and their journey with owning a lion cub and then releasing him back into the wild with teh assistance of George Adamson. There were lots of quirky stories but the entire book left you with a warm fuzzy feeling. Cannot begin to describe how much i enjoyed the book. I even went so far as to dream what it would be like owning a lion cub! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy Cheah | 1/18/2014

    " Overall it's a good book. It shows that humans and lions/animals can coexist together without having to kill each other. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mitchell Hoare | 1/10/2014

    " Great book. Its a little funny and a little sad but over all pretty good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Corrie Keevel | 1/3/2014

    " Writing nothing spectacular but a great storey "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Glenwright | 12/28/2013

    " A truely beautiful book of the extraordinary story of Christian the lion from Harrods. Everything about it is remarkable, and the photos are breathtaking. Emotional and passionately written, it's a definite re-read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gill | 12/20/2013

    " Not particularly well-written but a great story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracie | 11/9/2013

    " Quick, fun read especially because I absolutly love lions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austin | 11/2/2013

    " This is a book about a lion that lives in an antique shop in London. EL. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lacey | 8/15/2013

    " I've always wanted to read this book once I had seen the interviews and the hugs given by Christian to his humans. Loved the videos and loved this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 12/7/2012

    " Actually, listened to audio book. Nice additional information after seeing the UTube video. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniella Wold | 11/22/2012

    " AMAZING story! This is a very short read and interesting. I had seen the YouTube video and wanted to read about it. It is a very touching look into Christian's early life and transition into his natural habitat. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jade | 8/24/2012

    " I really liked this book. I usually don't like nonfiction stories, but this one had lots of adventure. I also really like animals so I found the photographs in this book very cute! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee | 7/30/2012

    " Unbelievable that Harrod's once had a 'zoo' department... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 7/18/2012

    " We know so little about animal behaviour. This is a charming story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bubba | 4/14/2012

    " Quick little read. Heart warming story. Watch the youtube video for full effect afterwords. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rj | 1/13/2012

    " Sweet story. Amateur writing. Loved the pictures!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vasco Gomes | 12/30/2011

    " I loved this book. It was just great. I recommend it to everyone who likes animals! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madison Osel | 12/18/2011

    " This book will change the way I will look at lions forever.Never before have I read something that has described a lion so beautifully and inspired me into wanting to play my part in helping endangered species. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn | 12/15/2011

    " A nice, easy to read story of 2 men who adopted a lion cub and their exploits with him as well as what it took to have him released, and survived, in Africa. Quite touching. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqueline115 | 10/1/2011

    " there needs to be more 'johns and tonys' who understand and are sensitive to animals that belong in the wildlife. like the authors, i'm not a huge supporter of zoos and circuses. thank you for making a difference for christian! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 7/9/2011

    " Gosh, I'm already rating this book 5 stars. I'm quite partial to felids. If I let myself, I would have been crying at each chapter of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 6/23/2011

    " Amazing book! One of the best books i've read. I fell in love with Christian and their story (: "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 6/19/2011

    " Delightful and sad at the same time loved it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vasco | 6/17/2011

    " I loved this book. It was just great. I recommend it to everyone who likes animals! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 3/25/2011

    " This is an amazing book!! i love the realtionship between Christian and his two outgoing owners!! I would read this book over and over again. It does get sad towards the end, but still an overall great book. Excellent and funn :] "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 3/6/2011

    " Neat book that describes the story behind the youtube video of the "reunion". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 2/26/2011

    " I loved this book. It helped get out of my 'book funk.' It was a short book, but I fell in love with Christian and was cried at the end when Christian "grew up." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ceri | 2/13/2011

    " A remarkable heartwarming story. Easy to read, hard to forget. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 12/26/2010

    " An interesting and sweet story for animal lovers and those fascinated with London of a certain era when people could do things like buy lions at Herrods. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia | 11/20/2010

    " Very nice, feel good story. Read after seeing on You Tube. "

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About the Author
Author Anthony Bourke

Anthony Burke is one of Australia’s leading art curators. He lives in Sydney.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is also an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.