Frankie's Reviews > The Inheritors

The Inheritors by William Golding
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's review
Jul 05, 09

bookshelves: british
Read in July, 2009

Okay, the first couple of chapters are rough, but I'd encourage you to stick it out. Imagine how difficult it must have been to write in a balance of modern English and presumed Neanderthal utterances. The dialogue is appropriate but even some of the narration must include "utterances." For instance, "picture" here has several meanings – memory, thought, idea, plan, etc. – but whether a character says "I have many pictures" or the text "Mal had many pictures," it's this subtlety of Golding's definition of "picture" that creates the mystery. The lingo can be frustrating as it dips in and out of obscurity, especially the setting descriptions, but for me it became clear enough by chapter two. (It helps that everything takes place in the same area around a waterfall.)

I've read reviews that question the choice of main character, Lok, who is the most ignorant and thoughtless of the band. His mate, Fa, is more assertive and intelligent, and even their god Oa is a woman who gave birth to their world. Feminism wins in this reversal of "caveman pulls woman by hair" routine. Whether it's intentional or not, I think Lok is perfect. He manifests the end of his race by virtue of his barely conceptual thinking.

The writing style and originality win overall. It's absorbing and a quick read. The style is condensed, like Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.
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Reading Progress

07/04/2009 page 133

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