OK read, but not that exciting.
Set in a coatal Stone Age village at the advent of bronze, Jim Crace's second novel is marked by astonishing poetic resonance and daring imagination. As the story of the narrators unfolds, conflicting truths are revealed - trutsh which deal with contemporary issues of work, love, lying and the forces of change.
This was a beautifully written book about storytelling, imagination, change and people's resistance to change. I liked the interaction between the narrator's father and the village members. I also liked how the narrator told the audience how sometimes telling stories can backfire when one wants to tell the truth.
Ever since I read William Golding's 'The Inheritors' many, many years ago I have been fascinated with pre-historic man - by that I mean the era before recorded history. In this short but powerfully evocative little novel Crace brings us the story of a stone age village of flint workers told through the eyes of a young girl adopted by a one armed young man who, unable to work the flints, found his calling as a story-teller who fashioned tales to suit his audience just as the workers fashioned flints for various purposes. The events take place in a small orderly village somewhere on the coast of England amid the chalky, flint filled hills where the people huddle in safety while the bigger world seems to be in a state of change and turmoil as hinted at by the occasional appearance of horsemen traveling through the village. The introduction of bronze heralds the end of the stone age and the villagers must adapt or perish and it is the story-teller with his somewhat wider knowledge of the world and his imagination who must lead them on to a new life with greater possibilities. The story speaks to the power of story-telling to inspire and motivate people to accept change and rise to the challenges that lie before us.