Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The Last Neanderthal Clan by Lisa Lareau and Charlie Boring
My first response, before even cracking the spine, was 'Oh! A caveman book! How fun!' I wasn't wrong! This was a captivating and enjoyable read. It's so much more than a 'caveman' book, however.
The time period is absolutely fascinating. Anyone who knows me is aware of my fascination with cannibals. That was a huge bonus for me. It was amazing how these tribes survived. All of them, not just the cannibals. They had to set up these clans and superstitions and reason led them to make decisions that we wouldn't make with the knowledge we have today. There is no sense of security. There is no 'home'. It's the open field and movable tents and scavenging in order to eat. It's praying that deities will protect you and let you live another day. It's having to be the most intelligent and strong. There's a sense of constant peril that follows you throughout the book. It keeps you on your toes because anything can happen.
As for the characters, I found myself completely immersed in each generation. Though this is Raka's story, it starts long before him. The people are alive and you feel a kinship with them. All of their hopes and fears are laid bare for you, as the reader, to grab onto and make your own.
Normally, I'm a dialogue junkie, but you'll not find dialogue here. People communicate with each other in a different way. It was actually calming to read without hearing voices in my head.
My only complaint with this book is Charlie. No, not the author Charlie, but the low life Charlie who in fiction is writing the story. Every time we stepped out of the Neanderthal world and back into today's society to found out how Charlie was doing on his research, I felt like I was being ripped out of my skin. It doesn't happen too often, but I found it annoying and unnecessary.
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