Tuesday, August 30, 2016

American Neolithic by Terence Hawkins



When it comes to food, I'll try anything once.  Unless it has green pepper in it. I hate green pepper.  Despise it, even.  So, when this book came up next on the chopping block , I shrugged, didn't find any green pepper, and jumped into it.

The basic plot is that there's a high profile murder.  The suspect turns out to be a neanderthal.  You can't go wrong, right??

What I did really enjoy about this book is the amount of for-thought that Hawkins put in to it.  The neanderthals are clearly and realistically created.  The society he built is perfectly conceivable.

Part of the book is told from the perspective of the suspect.  Those parts tend to warble and ramble on, but they are still interesting.  I assume that a neanderthal would warble and ramble on, so it makes perfect sense to me that those areas would be written to join in.

The highest marketing point of the book is that it's full of political satire.  Full.  Stuffed so full that there isn't really much room for any decent story building.  Alright...so it's a high marketing point for others but not for me.  The story-telling is slow and dry.  I don't care about any of the characters.  Any.  That includes the suspect who was painstakingly built.  I don't care about this society.  There wasn't any real connection with me that made me even want to consider caring about them.  At least not until well into the second half of the book.  By then, I'd stopped caring if I'd care. I hope there's a sequel and they all die.  But that's just me.

If you're the type of person who wants an interesting story to study, this could be a really good book for you.  You could probably take weeks pulling this book apart and finding all of the hidden nuances.  You could probably spend weeks studying the neanderthal way of life that has been built here.  The fact remains that there are people who might actually enjoy the slow, painful way that the story is told here.  Personally, I think this is a perfect book club book.  It's chock full of wonderful discussion points.


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