I feel kind of guilty, like I’ve just read someone’s diary or sat in on his counseling session. It’s an intimate feeling and a bit uncomfortable; however, in the case of the King of the Jungle by KS Silkwood, I found it very successful. Silkwood really made me feel as though the main character – I guess we’ll call him Jonathan – was really speaking directly to me.
An artist of some renown who has fallen on hard times, Jonathan has become the King of the Jungle, or rather the keeper of a public garden, to make ends meet. He is very honest with us most of the time about his drudgery of life raking leaves, pulling weeds, emptying trash bins, shooing bums, whores, juvenile delinquents out of the garden. However, he grudgingly tells about his most private feelings of despair and reluctant descent into the depths of alcoholism. He’s honest about his personality, admitting he’s not that nice and that he hates mediocrity. Excel in your passion or quit is Jonathan’s mantra.
I really did want to “…be on his side…” as Jonathan asks us to be and I think I actually was – even despite his faults and his sometimes callous and shallow personality. I wanted him to have a great relationship. I wanted him to get out the jungle and get back successfully into the art that tore him apart.
I enjoyed Silkwood’s description of all the characters that strolled in and out of Jonathan’s jungle. They were real, amusing, and pitiful all at once and Silkwood’s succinct way of character development was quite effective on these peripheral animals.
A captivating read that plunges the depths of a unique character, even if a bit depressing, you’ll want to read this one to find out just how long our king remains seated on his throne.
Thanks to Unthank Books for providing me with this review copy.