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Mammoth

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  961 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Not content with investing his fortune and watching it grow, multibillionaire Howard Christian buys rare cars that he actually drives, acuires collectible toys that he actually plays with, and builds buildings that defy the imagination. But now his restless mind has turned to a new obsession: cloning a mammoth...

In a barren province of Canada, a modern mammoth financed by
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Ace (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,445)
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Daniel
I hadn't realized how much I have missed reading Varley until getting into this.

The title, and the premise as described on the jacket, didn't do anything for me, but as I have always enjoyed a John Varley book I decided to read this as well, and am glad I did!

Varley has a way of engaging the reader, bringing us into his story, rather than keeping us as observers.

This is not Varley's best ... there are a number of "problems" I had with it, and it was moderately easy to predict the outcome, but a
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Wanda
I enjoyed this time-travelling adventure, still musing about the star-rating it deserves. Was it really a four-star read, or was it just so much more fun than my current book club selection, which is boring me mightily? I think I’ll leave it at the 4 stars.

A billionaire who is obsessed with prehistoric animals is having a frozen mammoth excavated from the barren wilderness of Nunavut with plans of cloning it. As the excavation advances, it becomes obvious that there is also a person frozen into
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Luann
This is John Varley's answer to Jurassic Park - including a mammoth theme park and circus! I was immediately interested in reading this when I read the premise: a frozen mammoth is found with a mummified Stone Age man and woman huddled next to it. The man is wearing a wristwatch. Sounds interesting, huh? I recommend it if you like time travel stories with a bit of science, a fair amount of action, a touch of romance, and a cute baby mammoth.

Note: I really liked how the chapter numbers were chron
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j
Interesting sci-fi yarn so far. Very fast read, amusing, but the characters are paper-thin. Sort of waiting for something to happen, as the climax seems a forgone conclusion, but that's what you get with a circular time travel narrative I suppose.

Ok, so I finished. It ended pretty well, but that doesn't really excuse a lot of the tedium that it took to get there. The ending IS predictable, but the way Varley pulls it off is quite nice. Bumped it up a good half star in my estimation. Call it 2.7
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Paul
Multi-billionaire Howard Christian is an eccentric sort who likes to actually play with his toys. His latest obsession is to clone a woolly mammoth. During an expedition in northern Canada, an intact, but mummified mammoth is found. Huddled in the mammoth's fur is a Stone Age man approximately 12,000 years old...wearing a wristwatch.

Matthew Wright, science prodigy, is brought in to figure out what is in the metal suitcase clutched in the Stone Age man's arms. It's some sort of time machine, invo
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Tracey
Howard Christian, an eccentric multi-billionaire (think Bill Gates crossed with Howard Hughes) has a new interest: cloning mammoths. However, his newest find, a male Columbian mammoth frozen in the Arctic, has a surprising companion - a human male... with a wristwatch and an aluminum attaché case.

Howard hires Matt Wright, the finest mind in mathematics to explore the mysteries of the attaché case, as it seems to be a time machine. Along the way, a few more mammoths pop up, and a romance develop
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Christina Zable
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ingrid
This book is probably better suited to a young teenager into mammoths and time travel. Easy holiday read but no depth to the characters and more holes in the plot than a fishing net. Basically multimillionaire business man, funds mammoth dig project, man with watch found next to mammoth... therefore time travel must exist. Millionaire then starts funding 2 parallel programmes, one into cloning mammoths and the other into time travel. Boy meets girl, strange things happen, and predictably everyon ...more
Farhan
An entertaining sci-fi thriller which leans heavily towards being a thriller and is quite light on the science. This could be described as a thriller with a science fictional premise. An eccentric billionaire decides to clone a mammoth. His team finds the well-preserved body of one buried in ice, but along with the mammoth, they also find the body of a man. And though the mammoth and the man are clearly from at least twelve thousand years ago, the man is wearing a wristwatch.

Using this intrigui
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JBradford
I was at a library book sale a few months ago and I picked up what appeared to be a brand-new book with a pristine paper cover and noted (1) the book was by John Varley and (2) a blurb across the cover said “One of science fiction’s most important writers.” I did not know whether to laugh or gag. The one book I had read by John Varley in the past, so many years ago that I can hardly remember, was so incredibly bad and ridiculous that I have studiously avoided anything he has written ever since. ...more
Al Maki
John Varley, whose books seem too few and too far between has been astonishing me pretty much all my adult life. I can't think of a time travel story written by a living writer that I think has a more interesting idea underlying it than this book. It's unfortunately not possible to elaborate on it without a spoiler alert and I want to praise this book highly so I won't do that. I haven't found a science fiction novel this interesting since "Anathem". In a few places the writing detracts from the ...more
Adam Czarnecki
A great science fiction adventure! A prehistoric man is discovered in the ice... wearing a wristwatch! How did the time piece get back there? Soon there are Mammoth's running around downtown, and the time line gets all kinds of visitors.
Chrisl
Enjoyed the Oregon setting and the Little Fuzzy references
Little Fuzzy
Kate Irwin-smiler
When a fully intact frozen mammoth is discovered in Nunavut, Canada, the private interest financing the excavation - a multibillionaire nerd named Howard Christian - is diverted from his initial goal of cloning a mammoth. Next to the mammoth is a human corpse...with a steel briefcase, etched with a message. Christian decides that the briefcase must be a time machine, and he hires a genius mathematician to fix it. The combination of time travel and a mammoth cloning operation, which draws the wro ...more
Graham Crawford
Dec 07, 2011 Graham Crawford rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
This is a very DUMB book. Varley wants to rant about animal rights and circus acts. Cobbles a re-hash of Jurassic Park and (yet another) tired temporal paradox theme. Populates the book with totally charm-less characters in unbelievable relationships having sex outdoors while animals and thermal imaging thugs look on.

oh- there's a Bond villain who lives in a Sky scraper with a giant revolving eagle taller than the statue of liberty that shoots laser beams out of its eyes.

And to top things off -
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Mick
Mammoth opens with one of the best teases, well, ever. It's evocative, exciting, and incredibly promising. And maybe it's the way these things always go, but I found the unspooling of that tease incredibly unsatisfying.

Varley is working here on solid, unimaginative genre ground; a mid-level Gregory Benford. The story isn't told terrifically, but there's enough mystery and verve to keep you plugging away for a hundred pages. Then there's a major scene, an early climax, and I found myself saying,
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Neil Fein
John Varley has taken some time off from his Eight Worlds series of late. It's been rumored by Mr. Varley's fans that the wonderful Steel Beach and it's sequel The Golden Globe will have a sequel called Iron Town Blues. But this book will have to wait.

This time-travel tale brings a mammoth child into the 21st century. Due in part to the efforts of a physicist, Matt Wright, who is continually plagued by being unable to articulate his theories (conveniently for technobabble-worn readers), and an e
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Dave
Tom Clancy says John Varley is the greatest American writer.

Meh. The story starts like this: a frozen, relatively intact mammoth is unearthed in Canada and a billionaire wants it so that he can clone it as a chimera with modern elephants. Then the team finds a man and a woman near its hindquarters, dressed in animal





hides and with bad teeth and long hair. A truly amazing find, but worrisome because it brings up native american claims to the remains. But they continue to clear away material and fi
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Jacqueline Tao
The book falls into the realm of magical realism or realistic science fiction because only one aspect of this book focuses on the alteration of reality. Which is, time travel.
The book takes place in Los Angeles where a eccentric maga-millionaire, Howard Christian, has hired leading scientists, including child-prodigy Matt and elephant trainer Susan Morgan to help him in his quest to procure a living Mammoth. Presumeably from the "old-fashioned" way of finding viable Mammoth DNA from frozen anci
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John Hood
Yet another Varley romping adventure:

"We sat in Howard Cristian's mint-condition 1936 Duessenberg coupe.

'I don't know what people have been telling you Mr. Christian. I wrote a bestseller on the nature of time. I do not know how to build a time machine, and I don't know who told you I could!'

'Yes, Matt, I understand. I don't want to contract you to build me a time machine.
'I already have one. It's broken. I want you to fix it.'"

Wow... Ok... Varley can write.

You want an adventure story that'
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Dale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mckinley
He's an award-winning author (Nebula and Hugo) who I've never read before. I'd have to say this was fun and entertaining, not too deep but fast paced with interesting characters.

There's Howard Christian, a multi-zillionaire who has financed the discovery of a fully intact frozen woolly mammoth. He is also a collector and since the discovery of the mammoth wants one for his circus. His idea is to clone the mammoth using elephant surrogate mothers.

So he hires Susan Morgan, the best elephant traine
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Bookmarks Magazine

Over the past three decades, Varley has won almost every SF award. Called "The New Heinlein" and described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a far better science fiction writer than [Michael] Crichton," Varley has written a captivating time-travel thriller. Although he delves deeply into scientific and metaphysical principles, Varley never loses sight of his characters, who, like the engaging baby mammoth Fuzzy, keep the book alive. Besides its great humor, intelligent prose, spiritual discover

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Irishlazz
I like the twists & turns. Well developed & believable characters. I found it interesting that it started with chapter 5. After 15 it jumps to 2. It ends with chapter 1. No - you don't want to hunt down the chapters and read them in numerical order - that would spoil some of the fun twists & turns in your journey with Fuzzy, the mammoth.

Nicholas Armstrong
Varley, Varley, Varley. I love you, I do, but sometimes you confuse me. I loved the world, and I thought the jumps in time and speakers was interesting, but it wasn't enough. I felt the ending was a bit predictable, and, although the characters were good I wanted more of them. So much time was spent making this interesting, believable world that I wanted to see more of the characters playing house together.

Mammoth isn't amazing, but it isn't bad by any means. My only complaints are points I'm a
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Dann Dempsey
Started out cute, but ended kinda stupid. I mean, the explanation of the central conceit of the book was flimsy and not really that much fun. And the romance was forced. And the main villain was predictable and one-dimensional and unbelievable.

At least it was a pretty quick read.
Donna Fowler
I liked this book very much. I figured out the probable outcome on the plot but it was enjoyable seeing how the author got there. I missed out on a lot of John Varley's novels due to raising family, working etc but I am glad I found him and will read more of his writing for sure.
Steven Cole
This was a great book. I really enjoyed it.

The story kept twisting and turning, giving me surprises every time, which was great. It starts with the title and the cover: "Mammoth," and a big picture of a woolly mammoth. My first thought was this was a book version of a Saturday Monster Movie, with a frozen mammoth like I've seen hundreds of times before. But then the back cover text provides the first twist: with that frozen mammoth is a dead human, frozen along side for 12,000 years, wearing a w
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Angela
I usually love Varley's work, but this one isn't great, at least not as an adult novel. The characters are, as others have said, very flat and cartoonish, and the whole thing just feels sloppy, like the story was cobbled together after being edited in parts, and no one bothered to go over it again after it was all put back together. I know Varley can write a fantastic story about time travel (Millennium is one of my favorites), so I'm not sure what happened here. His writing style is still enjoy ...more
Dennis
The story begins with the finding of a Mammoth fossil but a big surprise when two skeletons, one wearing a wristwatch are tucked in along side it. Also found is a strange box. Along with a good story, you learn a lot about Mammoths. It ends with a surprising twist, so all told an interesting read.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong first pub date for Varley's Mammoth 2 16 Sep 08, 2011 09:06PM  
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Full name: John Herbert Varley.

John Varley was born in Austin, Texas. He grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, moved to Port Arthur in 1957, and graduated from Nederland High School. He went to Michigan State University.

He has written several novels and numerous short stories.He has received both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

More about John Varley...
Titan (Gaea, #1) Wizard (Gaea, #2) Demon (Gaea, #3) Steel Beach The Ophiuchi Hotline

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