Book Review: Pride of Baghdad

Posted: June 7, 2012 by VerryJerry in Book reviews, Comics, Novels


Brain K.Vaughan knows how to pull emotional strings of people. The author of Y, The Last Man and Ex-Machinma is one of those simple but brilliant writers of our generation.

Loosely based off a true story, Pride of Baghdad is a very fictionalized account of a group of lions who escape from their zoo during the bombing of Iraq.

During the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, when the bombs were high and mighty, 4 lions did escape from a local zoo when the zoo got attacked.

Brian K. Vaughan and artist Niko Hendrichon puts the emotional bonds on the plot when they give the animals a voice, to attach to the reader.

This is no Lion King. More like a dark tragedy about society and family. A beautiful and necessary story that may be to surreal for many.

The book begins in the Baghdad zoo where life is easy for Zill a male lion, his two mates Noor and Safa and Noor’ son Ali. While Zill and Ali seem content with their zoo life, Noor dreams of escape while Safa has mood swings about their lives, silently missing the attention Zill used to give her .

Then the bombs start to fall an opportunity is at hand and naturally the next thing you know four are out of the zoo and into the streets.

Freedom won; but at what cost?where to go? and what is there to eat? Especially in war-torn Iraq where bullets, tanks and landmines all around. More challenges soon face them and the questions begging to be answered.

The story is played out very with simple expressive art, the book is very straightforward. This is a not a kid read but at the same time it’s definitely worth telling to a kid.

In Iraq war, there are no happy endings. The true strength of the book lies in the thought-provoking ideals and the simplicity of the nature of the animals that questions our humanity.

Review Rating: Off the chain! 5/5

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