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Download The Inheritors epub

by Harold Robbins

Download The Inheritors epub
ISBN: 0671270443
ISBN13: 978-0671270445
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Action & Adventure
Author: Harold Robbins
Language: English
Publisher: Trident Press; 1st edition (November 6, 1969)
Pages: 406 pages
ePUB size: 1273 kb
FB2 size: 1598 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 347
Other Formats: doc lit doc lrf

This is an older novel. I didn't like it at all at first: confusing to follow and know the main characters and their relationships to each other. But it is written from the point of view of the Neanderthal-like pre or very early homo sapiens, and I came to feel that even though there has been a lot of discoveries since this novel was written, it is quite a plausible understanding of both their and the early homo-sapiens advantages and disadvantages. By the end, I found it quite moving in the two species' reactions to each other.
...for recommending this thought-provokingly wonderful story about the Neanderthals. I was able to see myself as one of them and experience also, their dismay at the subhuman spear invaders. Read this book -- it's sort of a pre-historic version of "Lonesome Dove!"
felt boot
The Inheritors tells the story of a small group of Neanderthals, primarily focusing on Lok and Fa, as they encounter strange "new people" who walk upright, have little body hair, shoot pointed twigs through the air, and ride across the water on hollow logs. The Neanderthal tribe includes a young girl and a baby ("the new one") who end up with the new people. Lok and Fa must face their fears of the new people as they try to bring the girl and baby home.

The word that kept coming to mind as I read and thought about this book was "clever." Writing about life from the Neanderthal perspective poses a challenge, and Golding used some clever devices to describe the limitations of primitive beings. Golding's Neanderthals communicate by gesture and empathy as much as by language. Their names are simple compared to the polysyllabic names of the humans. The Neanderthals live very much in the here and now; they aren't good at planning; when they talk about doing something new they say they have a "picture" of it, as if they are having a vision. They search for food only when they feel hunger; if they're sated they don't bother to store food for the future. They prefer not to eat meat but they will if one animal has been killed by another; they don't want the "blame" of causing an animal's death. They have a touching burial ritual but they don't appear to contemplate the possibility of an afterlife.

A startling event occurs toward the end of the novel that makes the whole thing rather depressing, particularly for those who (perhaps unrealistically) expect humans to behave more civilly than Neanderthals. Golding may be saying that the simple decency of primitive life was supplanted by early humans who (like those who followed them) lacked respect for other forms of life, killed ruthlessly, and used their wits to advance at the expense of others. If Golding is saying that these are human traits, the product of an evolutionary imperative, I don't know that the point is particularly profound (although it might have seemed so in 1955 when the book was first published). Still, the story illustrates that lesson in an entertaining way. The last chapter shifts to the point of view of the humans: again, a clever way to distinguish between the dying past and the evolving present, and a device that adds insight by demonstrating that the human's view of the Neanderthal may not have been much different than the Neanderthal's view of the human.

According to the cover blurb, some critics think The Inheritors is Golding's best work (and Golding apparently thought so himself). I prefer Lord of the Flies, but The Inheritors is worth reading. I would give it 4 1/2 stars is Amazon made that option available.
Golding takes us back to one of the earliest clashes between Homo sapiens and another culture, that of Homo neanderthalensis. In doing so, Golding seems to be pointing out that humanity's distrust of, and often violent response to, alien beings and ideas goes back a long, long time. The Neanderthals are the protagonists for most of this story and we see virtually all the action through their minds. They have a different way of thinking about the world in which they live and in communicating about it. They are the innocents who have the misfortune to encounter an encampment of Cro Magnon men. At the very end, Golding switches the point of view to the Cro Magnons and provides us with a different take on events.
As a teacher, I've found this to be a terrific novel for teaching about the clash of cultures, fearing what we don't understand, different ways of seeing, thinking about and imagining the world in which we live. Students never fail to enjoy it.
Mr Freeman
I too, am appalled by the number of ignorant, uninformed Amazon reviews of "The Inheritors" by William Golding. It must be his greatness that has created such a polarizing reaction. It's difficult for me to be objective, however, because I am in awe of this book, Golding's craft, and his work in general (I have also read "Lord of the Flies" and "Darkness Visible"). However incomprehensible or confusing one finds this text to be, the writing itself is transcendent. And if this book is difficult, then Western culture is definitely in a serious decline. All right, the Neanderthals had some trouble articulating. But please, this is a work of fiction. I am impressed by what must have been prodigious research on Golding's part to gain insight into the world of the Neanderthals, about whose specific reality modern man can only speculate. Whatever the Neanderthals lacked in intellectual capability, they more than made up for in their ability to use their senses, especially that of smell. As well as their possible telekinetic activity, which would have been unencumbered by more advanced intellectual processes. Golding's Neanderthals have an intuitive grasp of their world that is lacking in the modern human; on the other hand, the Neanderthals also live more wholly at the mercy of "Oa" (Mother Earth). The innocence of the Neanderthals is endearing, the "new people" Homo sapiens are dangerous and menacing. I felt compassion for the Neanderthals, and contempt for "the new people". The emotion that binds both species together is fear; -IE- Homo sapiens refer to the Neanderthals as "devils"; Fa tells Lok that "the new people are frightened of the air".

The prose within "The Inheritors" is highly poetic; Golding paints an intricate portrait of a primeval landscape, such as our planet will probably never experience again; this description in itself adds to the atmosphere of suspense the author creates in this novel. It is not just that landscape in itself that is impressionable, but also how it is perceived by the Neanderthals and their "mind-dream-pictures"; -IE- the heightened colors seen by Lok during his hangover from the honey-drink. Golding shrouds his worlds in mystery to create a background of heightened effect, which becomes an integral part of the story; Richard Wagner used a similar technique by employing the orchestra as an additional "voice" in "Der Ring des Nibelungen". One of the major themes of this book focuses on the evolution of innocence into corruption; a problem, as other Amazon reviewers have noted, that still exists in humans today. This novel also points out the Machiavellian nature of mankind as whole, specifically in how that behaviour was starting to evolve in Golding's portrait of Homo sapiens. I actually found this work to be more engaging than the more commercially accessible LOTF (and certainly more so than the experimental-yet-inconsistent "Darkness Visible"). Golding is a recent discovery of mine, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work.

Stephen C. Bird, Author of "Any Resemblance To A Coincidence Is Accidental"