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Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 11 Nov 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (11 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575076046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575076044
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 4.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

This is the story of SILVERHAIR, LONGTUSK and ICEBONES, Stephen Baxter¿s epic drama of nature¿s behemoth: the mammoth.

About the Author

Published in more than 20 countries, a bestseller in the US, the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award and numerous foreign language awards Stephen Baxter is perhaps the single most important writer of SF in the world today.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
When i first saw this book i was stunned by the sheer lenth of it. But i soon found out that this was nbecause the book contains not one strorie but three. It starts of about the final manmouths left and their story as they escape from a new threat, one so strong it could wipe out manmouths out for good. The second book takes the reader back in time and tells the story of Loungtusk, a manmouth who is just a legoned in the first book, and the reader discovers he did in order to save his familey. Then the final book is set in an unkown time and place at first and a young mamouth has to find out where she is and soon relises she has a desteny that she must forfill. At first the reader might have trouble understanding what is going on but soon the phrases the mamouths use become second nature and the readert feels more at home with the whole idear. Only Stephen has the skill to create a new perspective to life as we know it, simple things like boats are utterly bizzar to the mamouths and their jorney for surival is both gripping and touching.
In all this is a book that is hard to put down with many twists and unexpected endings making it a true work of art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Dann, FBCS CITP on 14 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Bought last Christmas as an experiment, I read all my other books before trying this one on holiday in September as the information on the back cover does not do it justice. Once started I could not put this book down and although extremely busy with different types of work, I always looked forward to getting through a chapter or two every day and had to school myself not to get too little sleep. The complex but accessible way in which Stephen Baxter gets you to sympathise with these animals and respect them is remarkable. You are drawn into their world - their intelligent and wise fight for survival. You become desperate to know how things will turn out for them. A work of exceptional imagination yet simply written and a compelling read. More please Stephen...
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By Sera69 on 21 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
Behemoth is Baxter's Mammoth trilogy Silverhair, Longtusk and Icebones collected together. Respectively, it follows the story of the last mammoths, the greatest mammoth and finally [...Pigs in space] mammooooooooths on Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaars! But, don't worry, Behemoth is very readable and not really that far fetched.

In Silverhair, a paltry group of mammoths find themselves pushed further and further into the inhospitable Northern icecap by marauding humans. This is the last family of mammoths and Baxter makes you feel their isolation and loss, and there is no little horror in seeing human actions from the point of view of the mammoths. This is the only slightly disconcerting issue I have with Behemoth. The anthropomorphic nature of the mammoth's behaviour, probably necessary for telling Baxter's story, just seems at odds with the animals in nature. I have no doubt of their ability to communicate and emote but these mammoths are opposable thumbs away from Euclidian mathematics and Pyramids!

In Longtusk, the hero of the mammoth's own cycle of creation is given centre stage. We follow the legendary mammoth, spoken of with reverence in the cycle, from young bull to saviour of the species. This story is set some 15,000 years ago just before the coming ice age and both the lives of the mammoths and the people they interact with are excellently presented.
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Format: Paperback
Having read Stephen Baxter's "Timeships" again recently I decided to have a look at some of his other stuff and selected "Behemoth" because it looked rather strange. I was not disappointed - this certainly one of the strangest SF books I've ever read. It is also one of the best. The stories of Silverhair, Longtusk and Icebones, the book covers the history of Mammoths in the past, present and future and, if that's not strange enough, it gives humankind only an incidental walk on part. I can't even begin to describe what this book is about, but I strongly recommend that you read it and find out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Believable, enjoyable SF! 10 Jan. 2006
By Quintin Schnehage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed these books immensely.

The first book, Silverhair, is the story of the last living Family of mammoths, who have somehow survived into modern times on an isolated island. The story follows Silverhair, the daughter of the Family's Matriarch, Owlheart, and her Family's fight for survival against an unforgiving environment and the brutal humans, whom they call the Lost. Silverhair takes place sometime between 2000 AD and 3000 AD.

The second book, Longtusk, is the story of a figure in Mammoth history, an individual of mythical proportions who was reputed to have brought the mammoths across the ocean to live on the Island. It is the story of the mammoth behind the myth, relationship with the Dreamers (the neanderthals) and the Fireheads (early humans), and his trials to prove himself as the greatest hero of them all. It takes place circa 16,000 BC.

The third book, Icebones, takes place on the planet Mars, in 3000 AD. With no room left for Mammoths to live on Earth, the Lost have sent Icebones, the daughter of Silverhair, to become the Matriarch of the Martian Mammoths. Icebones tells of her struggles to bring the Lost-raised mammoths together as a proper family and to lead them to prosperity on a barren world.

The mammoths are portrayed interestingly. They are given emotions and personalities that the reader can relate to, but they are far from humanized. One can clearly tell that they are animals from their language and mannerisms. Their legends are colourful, reminding me of childrens' Bible stories, and their relationship with the Earth profound.

This book's only failing, which cost it the fifth star, is that the reading can sometimes become slightly laborious. Baxter is intensely descriptive, and this can sometimes detract from the pace.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mammoth book of mammoth! 21 Mar. 2012
By Sera69 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Behemoth is Baxter's Mammoth trilogy Silverhair, Longtusk and Icebones collected together. Respectively, it follows the story of the last mammoths, the greatest mammoth and finally [...Pigs in space] mammooooooooths on Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaars! But, don't worry, Behemoth is very readable and not really that far fetched.

In Silverhair, a paltry group of mammoths find themselves pushed further and further into the inhospitable Northern icecap by marauding humans. This is the last family of mammoths and Baxter makes you feel their isolation and loss, and there is no little horror in seeing human actions from the point of view of the mammoths. This is the only slightly disconcerting issue I have with Behemoth. The anthropomorphic nature of the mammoth's behaviour, probably necessary for telling Baxter's story, just seems at odds with the animals in nature. I have no doubt of their ability to communicate and emote but these mammoths are opposable thumbs away from Euclidian mathematics and Pyramids!

In Longtusk, the hero of the mammoth's own cycle of creation is given centre stage. We follow the legendary mammoth, spoken of with reverence in the cycle, from young bull to saviour of the species. This story is set some 15,000 years ago just before the coming ice age and both the lives of the mammoths and the people they interact with are excellently presented. It is also nice to see a representation of ancient man that doesn't succumb to block-headed stereotypes, both Sapiens and Neanderthals come off as well rounded species and the progress and expansion of the Sapiens is frighteningly reminiscent of modern mans viral like spread over the Earth.

In Icebones, mankind has moved to and evacuated from Mars. We're not quite sure why man has departed and left behind a partially terraformed planet but the huge mammoths also left behind are like lost souls cast adrift. These are genetically engineered breeds, born without any natural instincts and solely reliant on their human masters for everything. Only Icebones, calf of the matriarch Silverhair from the first book remembers the nature of what mammoths are supposed to be. This is the story of how she leads a disparate group of tame and naive mammoths to better pastures, forging them into a herd and a family. Unfortunately, despite a well realised alien landscape, the story suffers for being a very long trek, with the petulant immature mammoths like squabbling kids in the backseat asking "Are we there yet?" every two minutes.

Overall I preferred the story of Longtusk, Silverhair is marginally less believable and Icebones simply drags too often. Longtusk is considerably more dynamic and full of adventure. That said all three books are enjoyable. Behemoth is a very easy read and Baxter conjures believable characters and environments. At the end I was left with a definite sadness that these creatures, such recent extinctions, are gone forever.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of my favorite series of all time 31 Dec. 2014
By Shoko Cameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of my favorite series of all time. A beautiful blend of pre-history, science fiction, and a heroine's story in the present. The way he writes the past into each of his stories, and the colorful way he describes every detail is one of my favorite things about Baxter's writing. He has talking mammoths in the story and it doesn't phase you for one second because you can *hear* the mammoths calling to each other in the perfect, animal way that elephants communicate. The first story is in the present, following the last mammoths of them all. Their stories are passed down from mother to child for as far back as mammoths and their evolutionary family has existed, and it gives Silverhair the knowledge and strength to lead this last clan as best she can. The second story is of the greatest hero in all of the Cycle that Silverhair and her family are always referencing, but you can see that at the time of Longtusk's life, he was just a lone male mammoth trying to make sense of his world and forced into a leadership role. The last book is of Silverhair's daughter Icebones, stolen from her mother by human scientists and used in some grand, failed scheme to get life onto Mars, waking up hundreds of generations of mammoth later and forced to lead her far-downstream mammoth descendants to a life where they don't need to depend on humans anymore. It's completely outrageous and perfectly wonderful, and if you like Icebones you will love everything else that Baxter writes. The last book may catch some people off-guard but I am a huge Baxter fan and Icebones gets back to the sci-fi and "what-if" timelines that Baxter seems so fond of. I highly recommend this series.
Fantastic trip, backwards or is it forwards, and to another planet, written in lyrical, descriptive prose. 29 Mar. 2015
By Kyi May Kaung - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic trip, backwards or is it forwards, and to another planet, written in lyrical, descriptive prose.

I have never read anything by Stephen Baxter before, and how I got to this was from trying to find out what it must have been like for the first humans to cross the Bering Land Bridge from Asia into the Americas. I expected no more than a rather insipid strained reconstruction of archaeological findings.

Instead, I was taken on a fabulous ride.

Everything Baxter writes here is perfectly credible and logical, and it is all presented from "inside the head" of a major mammoth character.

In the time line, it is a bit like A Canticle for Saint Leibowitz, in that the 3 novels are separated by aeons of time, yet all part of one Cycle, as the mammoths call it.

Baxter has created the mammoths own epic creation story, and it is told as the mammoths talk to each other, sometimes by stomping on the ground.

This novel creates so beautifully the meaning of the old adage "Elephants have long memories." Perhaps it is easier for me to suspend disbelief, as I grew up on elephant stories, such as from the Buddhist jataka, where the Buddha was once an elephant king. And in other incarnations, he was always surrounded by elephants and other animals.

I must say the mammoth characters are all superbly rounded, and much more believable than many homo sapiens sapiens characters written by some writers.

You can't help but root for Silverhair, Longtusk and Icebones, Silverhair's daughter.

The writing is very visual and descriptive, but you are never bored.

The landscape is part of the story, and details of landscape are given at the moment, for instance, that the mammoth characters encounter difficulties on their trek, such as glaciers, volcanoes, Blood Weeds and Breathing Trees.

And there are just not mammoths, but also mastadon(t)s, and differently evolved mammoths.

It is not just whimsical, and God-forbid, not cute at all, but very deep, and displays a deep sadness at what humans have done to the world and are still doing to it.

The humans are called The Lost, and Baxter has only one Neanderathal or Neandertal left.

The new humans he calls "Firehead", and in the second story, they grow more and more sinister and the politics and interpersonal relationships of Bedrock, Crocus, the Shaman and Longtusks become intricately interlinked.

There is a lot of conflict and violence.

Very little sex, as this was meant to be for a Young Adult audience.

He also knows a lot about elephants.

It gave me an idea to write--but I cannot talk about it here.

I am now a card-carrying Stephen Baxter fan-

Wow! I don't understand why it has not been made into a movie, but I hope it will not be Disneyfied. That would be almost as bad a disaster as the disasters portrayed in the three novels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great books 27 Aug. 2013
By 123456789 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am kind of a fan of novels that are from animals' points of view. This trilogy fits the bill. This was an excellent value because all three novels were together in one book.
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