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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot put "Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones" down, 14 Dec 2005
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This review is from: Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing at first but thrilling., 21 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Mammoth book of mammoth!, 21 Mar 2012
This review is from: Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and enchanting, 25 Oct 2008
This review is from: Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (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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Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Behemoth: Mammoth, Long Tusk, Icebones (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Stephen Baxter (Paperback - 11 Nov 2004)
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