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Prehistory

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Mon September 14th, 2009, 1:48 am

"annis" wrote:One of my favourites is Jim Crace's "The Gift of Stones". It's set in a period of transition, as the Stone Age moves into the Bronze Age. As much as anything it's a parable about the perils of refusing to embrace change..


I second this recommendation. Not the first I read by this author (think Quarrantine is my favorite, but any of his books are good), but this one probably stands among my fav.

I read the first Auel, loved it, and like others was disappointed in each new one (think I read or tried to read the next two). Reread the first again, and found it laughable.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Mon September 19th, 2011, 6:09 am

Today (September 19, 2011) is the 100th anniversary of Nobel prizewinning author William Golding's birth, and Annis has contributed a review of his historical - or prehistorical - novel The Inheritors to HistoricalNovels.info in honor of the centenary (see review). "Evocative and disturbing" she calls it. With more information coming out about Neanderthals year by year, it might be timely to read or re-read this novel.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Mon September 19th, 2011, 5:16 pm

The 19th of September being the 100th anniversary of novelist William Golding’s birth, I thought I’d mark it with a review of The Inheritors,.This moving and disturbing book was his personal favourite of all his novels, written with memories of the Second World War still fresh in his mind and imagination fired by the recent public exposure to the Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings. (Coincidentally, the 71st anniversary of the discovery of the Lascaux Paleolithic paintings was celebrated on the 12th of September.) The shaman stag/man figure on the cover of the first edition of The Inheritors comes from the Trois-Frères cave system, also in in France, and is significant to the story.

Image

Golding was profoundly affected by his wartime experiences (he served in the Royal Navy and took part in the Normandy D-Day invasion). He later said, “Before the Second World War I believed in the perfectibility of social man; that a correct structure of society would produce goodwill... but after the war I did not because I was unable to. I had discovered what one man could do to another... I must say that anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey must have been blind or wrong in the head.”

Like many other authors, Golding uses a historical setting to draw parallels to his own time, emphasizing the universality of the human condition. Given that we have also just marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11, The Inheritors seems particularly apposite – its theme is the “line of darkness” which is modern man’s inheritance; our ability to perpetuate horrors upon our fellow man and mistreat the world we live in seen as the price of evolutionary progress.

Stylistically brilliant, (his use of linguistic skills to recreate a Neanderthal consciousness is remarkable), it’s typical Golding; contentious, deceptively simple but multilayered, and open to as many interpretations as there are readers.
Last edited by annis on Tue September 20th, 2011, 9:38 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Gabriele Campbell
Reader
Location: Germany
Contact:

Postby Gabriele Campbell » Sun March 2nd, 2014, 6:04 pm

Bernard Cornwell has written a novel about Stonehenge. Not his best, imho, but he couldn't write a bad book even if he tried, so this one is perfectly readable. :)


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