Summary

In this Hugo-nominated novel, Neanderthal physicist Ponder Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naive visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population, and environmental degradation. The Neanderthals have developed a highly artistic, ethical, and scientific culture without ever inventing farming - they're still hunters and gatherers - and this allows the author to make some interesting and generally unrecognized points about the downside of the discovery of agriculture. BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains why one particular chapter of Humans is his very favorite.
Hunt and gather: listen to more in the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.
©2003 by Robert J. Sawyer (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 30-05-18

If you like the 1st book this is more of same

it's okay, similar to the first, so if you enjoyed that then definitely read this.

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3 out of 5 stars
By lesley on 30-07-10

ok book 1 better

I did not find this quite so good as the first book in the trilogy but worth listening to and I liked it enogh to carry on with the third book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By West02139 on 11-03-15

Wanted to love it, but...

A lot of people have commented on the politics and religion in this series. My dislike isn't at all due to the inclusion of controversial topics, but rather due to the heavy-handed approach the author took to those issues. Among other problems, he apparently has not learned the show-don't-tell maxim regarding writing, which is what makes his coverage of ethical issues feel so preachy and off-putting (and as a politically-liberal female scientist, born in the US and raised in Canada, and a sexual assault survivor, I'm probably the choir he thinks he's preaching to). Benign example: cop is shouting/yelling at Ponter and then Sawyer writes "two more cops had appeared at the entrance to the interrogation room, presumably coming in the response to the shouts." The bit about presumably coming in response to the shouts is unnecessary. And since Sawyer does that with ethical issues - instead of just describing the responses and actions of the characters and letting the reader think about them, he "explains" them- it gets old fast. His characters are also incredibly stereotyped and one dimensional. He doesn't address the various nonsensical aspects of his characters either (ie. violence supposedly having been bred out of the neanderthals and yet in the only two current-day examples included in the books, they choose violence).

The premise is intriguing, which is what got me to halfway through book 2 before giving up, but that's about all I can say as a positive, aside from the narrator, who is fine.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jho on 23-03-12

Entertaining AND Educational!

I've always been interested in Evolution and have enjoyed fiction focusing on Neanderthals and our relationship with them way back when. I really debated whether or not to take a chance on these books (I'm half way thru the 2nd book, Humans, as I type) and I'm so glad I did. I love the actual science and feel like I'm learning so much. I love the characters too. Ponter and Mary are carrying the story so well. This idea of what could have happened or might still happen has me "thinking" so much about religion and politics and life in general. I love it when a book makes me think like this. Can't wait to finish Humans and then start on Hybrid. This author, Mr. Sawyer, must be one fascinating MIND.
Bottom line is... Go for it! Take a chance. Not many will regret the opportunity to think outside the box. It's really a treat to be so entertained while learning so much.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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