The Inheritors

The Inheritors

Book - 1963
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Eight Neanderthals encounter another race of beings like themselves, yet strangely different. This new race, Homo sapiens, fascinating in their skills and sophistication, terrifying in their cruelty, sense of guilt, and incipient corruption, spell doom for the more gentle folk whose world they will inherit. Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, won the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Publisher: San Diego : Harcourt, [1963], c1955
ISBN: 9780156443791
Characteristics: 233 p. ; 21 cm


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Aug 22, 2011

I haven’t read Golding since Lord of the Flies, but picked this up because Penelopy Lively (Moon Tiger) said it was one of her favorites in a recent “The Week” article. Apparently, it was one of Golding’s favorites too. It’s a slightly disconcerting story of the meeting between a band of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. For more than half the book we live the mundane, somewhat narrow-viewed lives of the Neanderthals Lok, Oa, etc. Narrow-viewed, yes…they are a loss as to what to do when their crossing log disappears from the river, however, they communicate telepathically through pictures of past events that they form in their minds. Then a band of homo sapiens comes along. Very interesting ending. Writing is not the most thrilling prose style ever but it will do…it’s the ending that makes you think…hmm, are there Neanderthals among us?


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Jun 05, 2013

This novel is the bleak, poetic dramatization of a tragic encounter between the last Neanderthals and the first humans - the inheritors. A group of Neanderthals returns to its summer quarters, a cave in a cliff above a river, expecting to continue the old routines. Down by the river one of the clan disappears. And lingering in the bushes is the unfamiliar scent of another creature that follows and watches them and has the power to cross the water. Golding's Neanderthals are powerfully plausible. He gets inside their heads, seeing the world through their eyes; and gives them their own simple personalities.


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