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Pourquoi j'ai mangé mon père

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,807 ratings  ·  326 reviews
183pages. poche. broché.
Mass Market Paperback, 183 pages
Published January 4th 2008 by Pocket (first published 1960)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,807 ratings  ·  326 reviews


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Alex Sarll
I learned of this book through a recommendation in an interview from Terry Pratchett - author recommendations still being a better way of discovering new books than any algorithm I've met, even if they do occasionally go awry and leave you reading Jonathan Carroll. Anyway, the central conceit here is that mainstay of historical comedy - the people in the past are aware of our terms for and perspective on their period. So the narrator's father is given to grand speeches about how the family are o ...more
Roberta
I read the presentation on the back cover of the italian edition, and I've been hooked ever since.

è un libro inclassificabile: una riflessione romanzesca, acutissima e leggera, su tutta la storia dell'umanità, contrassegnata in ogni dettaglio da quella limpidezza e da quell'ironia che appartengono alla migliore tradizione letteraria e scientifica inglese. Quando Théodore Monod lesse questo libro, segnalò all'autore uno o due errori tecnici, subito aggiungendo "che non importavano un accidente, p
...more
Laurence R.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I absolutely hated how impossible everything in this book was. The story itself and the characters weren't too bad, but everything else happens so much quicker than it really did and the way they speak is so different from the way they spoke at this moment that I always felt the need to point out every difference and it made my reading experience awful. I'm not one to hate books generally, but I would never reread this one.
Ken Ransom
Terry Pratchett in his A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-Fiction recommended The Evolution Man: Or, How I At My Father.

That's about all you need to know to decide whether you want to read the book. Fans of Pratchett will and non-fans won't.

Tucker
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
This is a book about cavemen on the inexorable march toward technological, cultural, and moral progress. They invent flint strikes and feathered arrows, capitalism and exogamy. They have names like Griselda and Oswald and traipse around the jungle discussing simple human behaviors in deeply analytical language. They sound highly literate, although they never get close to inventing written language. This story may have been intended to mock anthropological histories about eras when "Man invented ...more
Jason Beck
What a strange little book!

This was recommended to me by a friend, who found the overall conceit and voice of the book (essentially, self-aware "cave men" actively working to push sub-humanity forward in the style of a British comedy of manners- or something adjacent). I have a fondness for such a style and was positively disposed to like this text.

The text is occasionally funny, and Roy Lewis' portrayal of these cave men and their deliberate quest for technological progress (or not) is vaguel
...more
Stanley Trice
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I found this book, published in 1960, on a library table in Fredericksburg, VA. It was a great find, a humorous satire that follows Ernest, his father, and the rest of his ape-family as they learn to live in the Pleistocene period. Ernest grows up watching his father try to get them out of the Pleistocene period by evolving them through his inventions and entrepreneurship such as discovering fire by carrying burning wood down from the volcanoes. With each invention, the author presents some inte ...more
Georgene
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This book was recommended reading by I forget who (someone on Face Book, maybe?). Anyway, I bought a good used copy of it.

So, imagine a group on not-quite-evolved to homo sapiens status, but still climbing the ladder to civilization. Add large dollops of quotes from Shakespeare and other writers and combine this with the development of making fire, developing better stone tools, mating with someone who is NOT your sister or aunt, learning to negotiate with others who may or may not be as high o
...more
Jennifer
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
This is a very original book. There's not a great deal of literature set in the Stone Age and what there is seems more like a fantasy novel (obviously) Roy Lewis manages to create a genteel comedy out of the acquisition of tool making and fire by bringing much more recent sensibilities to the situation. It could easily be a one joke book or a slavish parody but isn't at all. It's a lovely story of inventor paterfamilias Edward and his family, complete with iconoclast Uncle Vanya who disapproves ...more
Brian Switek
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book bears the mark of its time. Not the Ice Age, but 1960 - when the "Man the Hunter" hypothesis loomed large in paleoanthropology. There are some cringe-worthy parts for modern readers, particularly in relation to prehistoric women as envisioned by Lewis, but it's nevertheless an entertaining, scientifically-informed satire of the March of Progress (if such a thing even exists).
Jane
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Living in the Pleistocene as man comes down from the trees and starts to eat meat, we have the story of a family whose patriarch wills the family to evolve further. They discover fire can be useful, breeding with other tribes is the way forward and art can be treasured. It is funny and clever, at times philosophical and human nature is candidly demonstrated.
Alicia Siekierski
3,5 stars

I had to read this book for school and it was pretty good. I didn't love it, but I liked it enough.
Holly
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can totally see why this was one of Terry Pratchett's favourites. It was so brilliantly funny and so cleverly done. I just really thoroughly enjoyed this.
Shanu
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice short read who talk about the evolution of men (acquisition of fire, exogamy, utilization of tools,...) in a playful way and ends up dealing with modern issues. Well done.

Brooke Bowen
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
T.I.M. James
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one of those books that I had not even heard of, let alone thought about reading, but I saw it recommended by the late Terry Pratchett, which was a good enough endorsement for me.

Evolution Man was first published in 1960, written by Roy Lewis.

It is a story of a small tribe of cavemen slowly making progress in the world as they develop and learn to use tool, make fire and weapons. Of course, this probably did not happen as quickly as it does in the narrative, but that is all part of the cha
...more
Sakura Joy
Interesting for its metaphors and its ability to provide food for thought. As far as enjoyment is concerned, though, I found this extremely tedious to read at times. Critics say it's "laugh-out loud funny", but I think it's kind of an overstatement: this novel is often witty, sometimes so obviously written to be a criticism of modern times it makes you go "face-palming", but hilarious? Nope, allow me to disagree.

"The Evolution Man" is a lot of things, and sometimes it can indeed be "comical", b
...more
Sean Goh
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Funny mainly in part due to its absurdly self-aware characters (I’ve never even heard of the Miocene) hamming it up in discovering stuff like fire, cooking, and marrying mating outside your immediate family. Never mind that they invented language (and ridiculously complex words) before all this, don’t take it too seriously (unlike Uncle Vanya) and you’ll enjoy the ride.
One especially amusing scene was the impromptu percussion orchestra started by Uncle Vanya pounding his chest rhythmically, and
...more
Aj
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very amusing account of a family living at the end of the pleistocene, with a father who is antsy for technological, cultural and evolutionary advancement. his family goes along with many of his radical ideas (e.g. mate with someone OUTSIDE the family!) but things get tense when a division arises about whether new technology should be shared among all ape-men so that the species can advance faster, or kept for just their family in order to establish social superiority.
This is a farce, so don't
...more
Sarah
I'm not sure what this was supposed to be. I skimmed a review, which I no longer remember, that gave me high hopes. Unfortunately, the edition from my library is exclusively the story-- no preface, no notes, no commentary from anyone that could give this short story some context. The book's descriptions focus on the satire, but maybe that hasn't been carried forward very well (or maybe I just don't get the jokes). I see that this isn't meant to be historical fiction, but I was somehow under the ...more
Pam
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is certainly not a bad book, but nor is it one I would rave about. This review becomes one of those unfortunate situations-whenever a book has 'laugh out-loud funny' on the cover- when you know that you are frequently setting yourself up for a bit of a disappointment.

It makes you realise quite how subjective humour is and that this is even more so (in my opinion), than the things that scare us in novels. The book is well written and is very clever at times; my main concern, is that the hum
...more
Jenn
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ordered this in for a customer something like eight years ago, and had a mental post-it in the back of my head that I might want to read it. So when it turned up in a charity shop the other day, I had to get it, and it was as delightfully weird as I’d always hoped. A surreal satirical caveman novel, a comedy of manners where everyone talks in a jovial 1950s posh English way, this is probably not for everyone, but I had a delightful time.
Sarah
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, paul
Very satisfying, loved the blend of Pleistocene and modern sensibilities, the humour was just right for me. I grew up in the 60s and I have no idea how I managed to miss hearing about this book until lent it by friend this month. I notice most of the reviews on this site are in various other languages although the book is available in english, and it does appear on the neglected books website so as this was so good I shall explore what else is suggested there.
Judyta Szaciłło
Terry Pratchett recommended this book to me via his "Slip of the keyboard", and he did not disappoint. It's a great read, funny and engaging, and for these reasons it would do much better than any school textbook on the subject. Why torture poor children with tables and dates if they could learn everything that is necessary from a joyful satire? Bring it to the schools, I say!
Tom Leland
The worst cover I can imagine for this 1960 book -- it looks like a graphic novel. Anyway, imagine if a "caveman" family was completely literate and articulate. That's the device, and it was a great way for the author to illustrate humankind's basic tendency toward greed, how fear breeds conservatism, and how judgement of others comes all too easily.
LiteraryMania
The Evolution Man is a novella about a family of ape men as they discover the building blocks of civilization. It doesn’t take long to realize that this is a humorous book and requires the reader to accept a number of ridiculous details. The author makes this abundantly clear, as the patriarch of the family occasionally guesses at what epoch they must be in, according to the discoveries they’ve made. It’s better to read this book as you would a fable and not ask for too much logic. They start of ...more
Will
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not quite sure how to describe it. A short, satirical novel set in cave man times. I dunno if that makes it sound intense, but it really isn't. It's basically just the funniest book I've read in a long time. It could probably be read in one sitting, one of those books you can just zoom through.

Would recommend to anyone who likes having fun.
Elaine Tolbert
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book based solely on the fact that Terry Pratchett recommends it in his book A Slip of the Keyboard. This is a really funny take on human evolution. The book was first published in 1960, so those who are familiar with current research and theories will notice some dated aspects to the novel.
Eva
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it's a good book to read because of it's originality. I enjoyed the imagination of the author even though some times I found he could be a bit more clever at some points (specially when the narrator talks about his wife, I found it to much cliche)

Still a good fast-reading book :)
Valerie
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because Terry Pratchett mentioned having enjoyed it very much in his book of essays. I could see why Sir Pratchett had loved it. It was wry and clever in the way Pratchett's writing always was.
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There is more than one author with this name

The majority of the books that Lewis wrote or edited, often jointly, were nonfiction and closely related to his journalism. However, he is best known for his 1960 novel The Evolution Man, which went through six editions under a number of titles. This comic novel purports to be a first-hand account by the son of the first man to discover fire. To prevent
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“Tu non farai immagini dello zio tuo.” 0 likes
“«E ricordatevelo bene: la natura non sta necessariamente dalla parte del più forte. La natura sta dalla parte della specie che sa far valere un vantaggio tecnologico sull'altra. Ossia noi... per il momento».” 0 likes
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