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Ug Boy Genius of the Stone Age Paperback – 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 799 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox; Reprint edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856130541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856130547
  • Product Dimensions: 29.4 x 21.4 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 459,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At first reading this is a children’s book all about a Stone Age boy’s longing to have things (like trousers) which aren’t made of stone. Looking deeper it actually tells you a lot about children and adults.
Ug is constantly asking questions which drives his parents mad. His questions make sense to him and to us as a reader living in the future. Ug’s parents have always known a world where everything is made of stone and cannot entertain the notion things could be different. This is a wonderful example of how a child’s mind is much more intuitive and creative than an adult’s. As grownups we are too attached to the status quo and merely dismiss children’s insights as silly.
The art is typical square panels but these are varied in size and layout according to needs of the story. There is a wonderful page where the diagonal of a hill serves as an excellent divider and cleverly stretches over two pages. Day, night, interior and exterior are handled with aplomb by using palette changes and there is a wonderful sunset too.
There is plenty of dialogue with large oversized speech bubbles. These elegantly overlap to clarify the order of speech. There are a lot of footnotes, presented with the frames, which unlike the genius of Fungus the Bogeyman aren’t actually funny. They serve merely to highlight where a modern turn of phrase is used, the origin of which is far in Ug’s future. They prove an unwelcome distraction.
This is an enjoyable read that operates on many levels.
Thumbs Up!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, promptly delivered
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa201c36c) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ecbd7bc) out of 5 stars The first rolling stone subscriber 23 Nov. 2004
By E. R. Bird - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've just come to the painful and shocking discovery that I've never given Raymond Briggs much respect. To my credit, I never had any real reason to until now. The only Raymond Briggs creation with which I was familiar was his seemingly ubiquitous picture book entitled, "The Snowman". I'm sure you've seen it. Published the same year as my birth that doggone story always depressed me as a little kid. I never really saw the point of it all. Boy makes snowman. Snowman befriends boy. Snowman dies a horrible melty death at the end. Ugh. But hold that thought! "Ug" was just the storybook to rescue me from my unhealthy anti-Briggs mentality. With the discovery of "Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age", I've come to the slow realization that perhaps Mr. Briggs does not begin and end with "The Snowman". In this odd little book that seemingly draws on everything from Winsor McCay to the far more contemporary Chris Ware (there's more than a drop of "Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Boy On Earth" here) we meet a kid who yearns for nothing more than a comfy pair of trou.

Ug lives with his ma and pa (Dugs and Dug, respectively) in the Stone Age. Ug is a bit saddened by the fact that his pants are completely made out of stone. He keeps believing that there must be something better out there. Pants that are softer than sandstone. Food that doesn't have to be eaten raw. Homes that are not caves. The more Ug dreams, the more his mother attempts to squash his resolve. And when, at long last, he and his father seem to be on the right path, a lack of certain tools bars their final triumph.

The book is written more like a graphic novel than a picture book. Here we have voice bubbles and the occasional footnote. I've probably never seen a picture book that used the word, "anachronism" more often than this puppy. The book is undoubtedly odd, there's no question. Briggs has an odd off-kilter sense of humor that serves him quite nobly in this endeavor. It's certainly a book for older children, though. And it occurs to me that books such as this are just begging for squeamish adults to get angry about. The mom walks about without a shirt (it's really not that noticeable, but some people might object). The fam eats raw meat with bloody regularity. And then there's the rather depressing final picture in the tale. Kids yearning for a vindicated Ug to prove to the world that he's right will take no comfort in the image of our now adult hero cave painting above the graves of his parents. But then, Briggs has always sorta been a fan of the letdown ending. "The Snowman" should've tipped me off that this book would end similarly. Only in this case, it doesn't mean you dislike the rest of the tale. It's just ... odd.

I doubt you've really seen a picture book like this before. It's incredibly wordy and more than a twinge depressing. Yet Ug's a likable enough fellow and spending a whole book with him is a pleasure. I wouldn't go handing this tale to anyone who you fear is stodgy or uptight. And kids will certainly dig the format, even if they don't understand all the words and references. Possibly the most amusing caveman picture book available to consumers in this day and age.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ead8900) out of 5 stars reluctant cave man 17 Jan. 2004
By C. McLean - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Poor Ug. He knows there's a better world but his mum fights him on it and his dad isn't much help. Illustrations are wonderful and sense of humor is black. I think a clever child would enjoy this book but not the average kid. A child and parent would greatly enjoy reading this book together, I think. Educational without being pedantic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec3b7a4) out of 5 stars How can a boy genius survive among the primitives? 11 Jan. 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ug just wants a better way to live his life, but the prehistoric boy genius can't figure out how. He invents the wheel but finds no purpose in it, he discovers fire can cook food - which other cave folk find a disgusting concept - and he longs for warm clothing. How can a boy genius survive among the primitives? A fun cartoon style lends to this zany tale and will invite even reluctant readers to learn.
HASH(0x9f4d7e94) out of 5 stars An odd book but an important book - An absolute delight for children and adults 9 Sept. 2014
By D. Blankenship - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderfully odd book for children this one is. For something a bit different this is most certainly one you will want to expose your child to. Now let me stick my neck out here, at the risk of offending many, and state that the brighter the child is the better she or he will appreciate this work.This is of course true about most books but with this one it is particulaly true. The book approaches and addresses problems that have been with human kind since the beginning and are alive and well today.

Ug is way ahead of his time and Ug most certainly things out of the box. Why must he wear stiff pants made of rock...why not skin animals and make soft pants? Ug invents fire and know it will warm his cave but receives little help in figuring out how to move it inside. Why not build a boat? A new concept; a concept which is good but Ug finds that boats built of rock sink.

Ug has unhelpful parents; parents that look only for what is normal and embrace the concept that "what was good for grandpa, is good for us." Family, friends, the community as a whole simply are not open to Ug's unique ideas and Ug's superior mind.

Now for once I had to agree with the comment made in Publisher's weekly. This work is almost like a children's version of a series of Monty Python skits. Adults, as they read it with their child will many times see things that the child may miss which is good because this gives the adult a chance to do a bit of teaching and engage is some very interesting conversations.

The humor is quite subtle and the reader will catch him or her self constantly saying "I can't believe they said that." Every time I read this one I find myself smiling and snickering.

I think though that the most important aspect of this book is that it causes the reader to think; think about themselves and think about there special little place in the world around them and causes them to feel that some of their outlandish ideas; ideas that may be criticized, my not be that all outlandish after all. I feel this is important for a child to realize.

This work was first published in 2001 and is still available. It is one of my personal favorites. I have yet to have a child read this one or read this work with a child that did not like it.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f4d8750) out of 5 stars I saw her hiney! Yes the 8 year old loved it. 12 Jan. 2011
By R. Hillyer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Funny story. Really great art. Lots of information. Loved it.
Son has shown the hiney drawing to everyone ... he thinks it is funnier than the boobies.
cute book - be aware they are cave people and only wear bottoms!
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