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The Gnoll Credo Paperback – 22 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: 100 Watt Press (22 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982667132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982667132
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 576,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Stanton has written and published home and arcade video games, rock, electronic, and tribal music, automobile reviews, US and foreign patents, business plans, political campaign websites, and advertising copy. He spends much of his time ascending and descending mountains on skis, on bicycles, and on foot.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sergio on 20 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've put off writing a review of this for quite awhile. When I finished this totally engaging work, I wasn't sure I knew what to say about it. It may not be possible to describe this work without making it sound like one of many other-world sci-fi or alternate world fantasy novels. This could be categorized as sci-fi or fantasy, but that doesn't really say what this work is about.

Writing about a time/place somewhere between Tolkien's Middle Earth and 19th century Australia, Stanton uses the interaction between an academic bureaucrat and a `savage' (whose people are direct competitors with humans for space) to explore questions of what is `civilized'; was the shift to agriculture, settlement, and ever growing communities good for humankind; and, can we even consider abandoning the path we're on for an alternative that we rejected thousands of years ago. Stanton presents these issues without answers while weaving a completely engaging and sometimes shocking story that encourages the reader to empathize with a creature and a culture that one would normally reject outright.

Well, there's my attempt to describe the experience of reading this book. The short review is this - Just read it. It's a quick read, with no wasted pages, and whether or not you enjoy the story itself, as I did, it will leave you thinking about how we live on this planet in ways you probably have not considered before.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A quick and inspiring read. Renewed my interest in primal living, lots of info at Gnolls.org. Die biting the throat!
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By M Santos on 12 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book. It brings us back to reality and reminds us who we really are as humans and where we came from.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Powerfully told, blurs the line between fantasy and reality 6 Aug. 2010
By Fireside Traveler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Gnoll Credo is a decidedly thought-provoking read. Aidan O'Rourke is an ethnologist who sets out to study gnolls (hyena-people). Gryka is a gnoll who has learned to read and write so that her pack can trade with humans. She agrees to help Aidan, and her response to his first question, "Do gnolls have a written religion or philosophy of life?" is the blunt, powerful Credo that opens the book. As Aidan works to master Gnollish and hammer out a meaningful translation of the Credo, his respect for their primal culture deepens. His objectivity wavers as he struggles with a growing friendship with Gryka, which is complicated by their differing species. What begins as scholarly research becomes Gryka's life story, told in crisp, episodic chapters.

Several things set this book apart. There is the wonderfully compelling portrayal of Gryka, who accepts and embraces the stark reality of her savage, joyous life. Utterly lacking in self-pity and confident of her role in the gnolls' fiercely matriarchal culture, she shares with Aidan the customs and evolutionary strategies the gnolls have adopted to survive in a hostile world...and he is astounded. Gryka is competent, blunt, hearty, and thoroughly dangerous, altogether a beautifully drawn character.

Presenting Aidan's research on hyenas and gnolls as an academic paper is a brilliant literary device that contributes to the blurring of fantasy and reality. It makes the "willing suspension of disbelief" easy for the reader. I enjoyed this seamless blend of fantastic and real world touchpoints. The characters are not just plot devices - they are genuine individuals, and their actions spring from their very natures.

The Epilogue takes the reader from a medieval past into the present, recasting the story as an affirmation of the origin, nature, and future of humans. It takes a stand and will not be welcomed by every reader, but it is consistent with the central focus of the book. It is somewhat startling to realize that our fundamental nature and biology evolved long before the advent of agriculture in the celebrated Fertile Crescent of 10,000 years ago.

A note of caution: the book begins charmingly and has moving, tender, and funny moments, but the strategies of survival and the ritual nature of death amongst the gnolls are realistically portrayed.

Recommended for: Adults and mature high school students who enjoy a short, intense read that pushes boundaries and generates discussion. Also, a great read for women because of the vital, charismatic Gryka.
Not recommended for: Youth (some violence and sex talk), or those expecting a typical fantasy genre book about gnolls.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Case Study of Us 2 Sept. 2010
By Wright the Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Western culture is getting busier and busier every day. More than that, it's also going global. With the world locking into a single mind-frame, it's time for a fresh perspective--a reality check.

"Deal with humans too much, learn reading and writing, learn too much about us, you can easily start thinking that everything we do is important. It's not. Big, impressive, powerful, destructive, yes, but usually not important. We just got bored."

Aidan O'Rourke set off on a case study of the gnoll species. Through Gryka--his subject--his study was quickly switched inward to a deconstruction of his own species. What follows is a life-changing event for Aidan.

The philosophical lessons that are shined on Aidan are also presented to you--the reader. The lessons presented in this novel will stick with you and follow you around on your daily tasks just like the turtle shell of tools that you carry. The philosophy presented is like an epiphany from a deep meditative experience.

If you believe you've already learned life's many lessons; I still recommend this one more.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Amazing constructs and well written 11 Oct. 2010
By R E Beyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Loved the book and its exploration of our worldview. The anthropologist-meets-hyena-creature was a perfect way to examine the foilbles of our culture. The style is accessible and thoughtful. It's a quick read, but demands attention. You won't want to be put it down until you've finished the whole story. The Epilogue was striking. The metaphors for Gryka and the King are still rolling around my brain. Well done!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hard to describe - just read it! 20 Nov. 2010
By Sergio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've put off writing a review of this for quite awhile. When I finished this totally engaging work, I wasn't sure I knew what to say about it. It may not be possible to describe this work without making it sound like one of many other-world sci-fi or alternate world fantasy novels. This could be categorized as sci-fi or fantasy, but that doesn't really say what this work is about.

Writing about a time/place somewhere between Tolkien's Middle Earth and 19th century Australia, Stanton uses the interaction between an academic bureaucrat and a `savage' (whose people are direct competitors with humans for space) to explore questions of what is `civilized'; was the shift to agriculture, settlement, and ever growing communities good for humankind; and, can we even consider abandoning the path we're on for an alternative that we rejected thousands of years ago. Stanton presents these issues without answers while weaving a completely engaging and sometimes shocking story that encourages the reader to empathize with a creature and a culture that one would normally reject outright.

Well, there's my attempt to describe the experience of reading this book. The short review is this - Just read it. It's a quick read, with no wasted pages, and whether or not you enjoy the story itself, as I did, it will leave you thinking about how we live on this planet in ways you probably have not considered before.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A joyous book 29 Oct. 2010
By B. Collins-Sussman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a fantastic read. For a book filled with so much anger, sex, and violence, I find it great that I walk away from the text thinking "wow, that was one of the most joyous books ever!". "Joyous" really is the word here.

I don't think any of the philosophies in this book are particularly new to me -- there's some similarity with Daniel Quinn's _Ishmael_ for sure. And even the plot vehicle itself is as old as the hills (scientist investigates primitive tribe, but ends up becoming "one of them"). But heck, the book was so full of energy, vigor, and fun writing that I was completely lost in the entertainment of it all. Really well executed, and I'll happily recommend it to all my friends!
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