No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Sunday, February 25, 2018

2018/08: Wolf Brother -- Michelle Paver

For the first time in his life he was truly alone. He didn't feel part of the Forest any more. He felt as if his world-soul had snapped its link to all other living things: tree and bird, hunter and prey, river and rock. Nothing in the whole world knew how he felt. Nothing wanted to know. [loc. 181]

Ooops, another unintentional reread: though it's been twelve years ... ...
Torak is eleven when his father is slain by a gigantic bear that seems to be possessed by a demon. Torak's last instruction from his father is to seek the Mountain of the World Spirit, and to stay away from men. But even in the New Stone Age (around 4000 BCE) this isn't easy, and Torak makes both friends and foes as he encounters other tribes, and becomes more confident in his quest to defeat the demon-bear. Perhaps his most faithful companion is Wolf, a wolf-cub who Torak rescues and who he finds he can understand.

This doesn't have the sheer horror of Paver's ghost stories (Thin Air and Dark Matter) -- probably just as well, since it's aimed at a younger audience. There is plenty of tension, though, and a plot that evolves satisfactorily: and as Torak discovers his world, so does the reader. An interesting and credible take on prehistoric religion, and on the social structures of early humans.

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