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Review: The Hominids by Robert J Sawyer

I’m surprised at how quickly I finished this book. I only just bought it Thursday evening and now I’m done! And it certainly wasn’t an easy read.

In my heart I’ve always been a math and science kind of person, but life does what it does and I ended up in the humanities instead. Certainly, I don’t regret that, just sometimes I miss all the discussions and the logicality (not a word is it?) of it all. Since I don’t have cable I can’t watch the Discovery channel, so I’m left with reading.

So where is this all going? Basically, I have friends who are in various bookclubs but they are all reading the Hominids because that is our One Book One Community selection. None of my friends are really enjoying the read; they are doing it out of a sense of obligation. I, on the other hand, picked up the book for 2 reasons – 1) one of my friends mentioned to me that a large part of the book takes place in Sudbury and at Laurentian University. I attended Laurentian for my 1st two years of uni and had a terrific time! I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone away to school for those years. Second, I have been talking to a local librarian and I’ve been thinking of joining the book club, so I might as well start now.

So, unlike my friends, I was actually motivated to read this work, and I think that helps. Of course the plot and characters that Sawyer creates are really great. I enjoyed it all. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I wasn’t too sure where he was going with the rape, and he did kind of go where I expected, but not as far as I thought he would, so that was nice. There were times in the text when the science talk was too overwhelming. I had to read parts 2 or 3 times to make sure I undestood, but even if I didn’t the author made me feel that it was ok since there were characters in the text who didn’t really understand either. I think this science talk may be what is throwing some readers off – they can’t overcome it and think about the other issues that are there.

One of these issues is the difference between the character’s two societies: ours which does have a lot of influence from our beliefs on religion, and “theirs” that is a fairly pure science type society. A little too controlled for my liking – for some reason I’m thinking of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, I guess a few comparisons could be made. Overall it was a good read – otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it so quickly, and I expect that I will read the others in this series. I hope I get to meet the author. I know if I join the book club I can go to the “exclusive” author party, but I was planning to go away that weekend and my friend up in Midland would be quite disappointed. I guess I could go to the non-exclusive author event, but then my chances of getting him to sign my book will likely be slimmer. Oh well, what’s a homo sapien to do?

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About Jen

An instructor, a reader, a dog-owner, and advocate; that's how I define myself and these aspects directly impact my interests and conversations.

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