29 April 2020

Review: Mammoth by Chris Flynn

Mammoth by Chris Flynn book cover
* Copy courtesy of University of Queensland Press *

Mammoth by Australian author Chris Flynn is like nothing I've ever read before, or likely to read again for that matter. Our narrator is a 13,000 year old extinct mammoth by the name of Mammut. It does sound crazy, but it also strangely works. The reader learns that as the bones or fossils of an animal (extinct or not) are unearthed, their consciousness returns to them and they can communicate.

Yep, you heard me right, this book has a cast of talking fossils. They talk amongst themselves by telepathy as they listen to Mammut's story of his life on earth and subsequent revival after his bones were discovered, dug up and sold.

I enjoyed the easy dialogue between the different creatures and their accents based on when and where they were unearthed and the humans they could listen in on. And boy did they have some things to say about we hominids.

What I didn't enjoy was the lack of punctuation for any of this dialogue. I was chatting with another booklover about this very thing last week, and it's an incredibly hard feat to pull off dialogue without punctuation. Unfortunately it slowed me down here and I frequently had to backtrack to find out who was speaking.

I enjoyed the majority of Mammut's story, however some parts of his story were too detailed and failed to hold my interest while others had me entranced. I wanted to learn more about the other fossils in the conversation, however I recognise the book wouldn't have been called Mammoth if that were the case.

Originality is hard to come by these days, and I take my hat off to Australian author Chris Flynn, because he's certainly achieved it here.

Carpe Librum!

My Rating:
★ ★

Would you like to comment?

  1. I didn’t think this would be my type of thing, and your comments have confirmed it, thanks for sharing.

    1. It's quite unusual and quirky but you might like it.

  2. I have a copy of this. Thanks for the balanced review.

    1. Thanks Theresa, keen to know what you make of this one.


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