Short and to the point, lessons included

May 24, 2008 (Updated May 25, 2008)
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Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Typical Quinn style teaches lessons through dialogue

Cons:short, simple, perhaps not deep enough for some

The Bottom Line: I would recommend it to avid Quinn fans, and newcomers alike as it is simple and short, and quick to read


My dad bought this book for me for Christmas, and I believe I read it in a night. I am a Daniel Quinn fan, but for one of his less popular books, The Holy. I also enjoyed this book if for nothing else than its simplicity. The other thing about this book is Quinn seems to still want to tell stories with a deeper meaning and lessons to be learned by his audience. Like in his more popular Ishmael where he uses dialogue to get his audience to think deeper about simple stories. Quinn's usual style is just that to have a character who seems at least somewhat naive and have another character that is perhaps wiser teaching them. He often has the naive character asks questions that hopefully we may ask in our heads as we are reading and then has the wiser one answer or give examples. That is to say Quinn as an author becomes our teacher through his characters, and also will help as playing the role of student as well. However in this story the dialogue passes between father and son.
In this case, it is hunter-gatherers that the story focuses on, the lifestyle that Quinn so admires. I would recommend it to any Quinn fans because of the simplicity and shortness of the story, and it also carries so many of his points across, about our society as a whole and about basic lessons of life. The father passes down the lessons of their lifestyle as him and his son are out hunting.
One of the highlighted is when they have been blessed with a mountain goat that they successfully capture and kill, they carry the carcass back towards the tribe when they spot a rabbit. The son, Adam, eagerly wants to also kill and take back the rabbit, but the father warns that that would be greedy, and points out that if he saw a lion with a goat already as a prize and then tried to kill his son as well, the lion would have to be killed because it was “sick” to want both when all it needs is one or the other to survive. The next day the father and son are again out hunting when they spot the same rabbit and this day they kill it. It is these deeper lessons, the culture of the hunter-gatherer life that are taught throughout the book, and not in fact the surface lessons of this is how to track, aim, and shoot.
The book is filled with short simple stories and lessons like this, and overall I enjoyed it. I also recommend it for any bright young children who seem to enjoy stories with deeper meaning and require them to think.


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