Feb 182011

After enjoying the 2010 One Book, One Community selection, I decided to check out previous selections. I recently read Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer, which was the selection for One Book, One Community in 2005.

The book is about a Neanderthal scientist whose quantum computing experiment opens a bridge between his Earth and ours. On his Earth, it is humans who went extinct while Neanderthals survived and evolved.

There are many parallels between each version of Earth, and main extreme differences. There are mammoths and mastodons still living with the Neanderthals. They still live a hunter/gather lifestyle, with no agriculture. Their Earth is healthy and vibrant, without the pollution and overcrowding of our Earth.

Reading the book, several times I found myself thinking that the Neanderthal Earth sounded like a much better place to live. Safe, clean, and healthy. They have less personal freedom as everything they do is recorded, they have no beliefs of religion, men live separate from women except 4 days a month, and there is only one month a decade when they conceive children. Many modern people would take exception to these differences, but I don’t. Overall, I think their Earth sounds splendid.

The book really makes you think about the choices humans have made regarding how they live, and what they have accomplished. It is very thought provoking. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Rating: 4/5
Source: Local library

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