6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A storehouse of gems,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stonehenge People: An Exploration of Life in Neolithic Britain 4700-2000 BC (Paperback)
The Stonehenge People - Rodney Castleden
A wonderful book in every sense of the word, a true gem. If you too have nursed a life long fascination for the distant past and the fragmentary remains that have survived into our lives, you will find this book a revelation, no, an avalanche of revelations into the lives of our distant ancestors in British Isles.
The author treads a finely balanced path between the fine detailed scientific study of the archaeologist and the misty eyed dreamers of the new age visionary to evoke a new synthesis of what life felt like to those distant, forgotten people. Taking the results of countless meticulous surveys of monuments and artefacts throughout these isles and the related sites in Europe, he has lyrically brushed off the dust then carefully pieced them together like some massive jigsaw into a picture of such detail and clarity that I, for one, will never be able to look at some obscure, tattered little stone circle in the same way again.
This book has answered so many questions for me, put the whole subject of Stonehenge, who built it - and why - into its' true context for perhaps the first time. Many archaeologists must revile his name as he has overturned hundreds of tentative conclusions from so many digs by taking one long step backwards and reconsidering all of their work as a body and letting it speak for itself. In a way, it feels like he has organised a school reunion for a group of senior citizens, then taken notes of the flood of interconnections he'd never seen, or suspected, before and then re-written the whole subject again from scratch. In a similar way, the dreamers and crystal gazers, forever capitalising on their imagined fantasies of distant Arthur's battling dragons over Glastonbury in some timeless Golden Age must also be cursing into their beer as their visions crumble before this crystal clear - but loving - hard, steady look into the real lives of our forefathers of some 200 generations ago.
Frankly, I was gobsmacked when I first read this one and promptly ran out to buy my own copy. It was out of print - I was outraged, so outraged that I promptly set out to photocopy the whole thing to make sure I wouldn't loose this gem. Happily they've re-printed it - and it's available online, which is where I bought my latest, much valued copy. (It struck me also that its' a silly con of a world when a silicon chip is the only way to get the low down on the ultimate silicon chippers of all time...)
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Initial post: 22 Dec 2008 09:26:20 GMT
Mr. R. J. Drew says:
Yes, it was helpful to me - because I wrote it - and was flattered to be then thanked by the author, as the first reviewer. I'm glad to see further reviews are just as impressed. It's odd that Amazon forgot me, but then I'm not an author.
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