Read West of Eden by Harry Harrison Online

west-of-eden

"An exciting adventure into a ?what if? world. A brilliant work of creative imagination, one that rivals in conception, scope, and execution of plot Jean Auel's bestselling novels." ?The Nashville Banner Sixty-five million years ago, a disastrous cataclysm eliminated three quarters of all life on Earth. Overnight, the age of dinosaurs ended. The age of mammals had begun. B"An exciting adventure into a ?what if? world. A brilliant work of creative imagination, one that rivals in conception, scope, and execution of plot Jean Auel's bestselling novels." ?The Nashville Banner Sixty-five million years ago, a disastrous cataclysm eliminated three quarters of all life on Earth. Overnight, the age of dinosaurs ended. The age of mammals had begun. But what if history had happened differently? What if the reptiles had survived to evolve intelligent life? In West of Eden, bestselling author Harry Harrison has created a rich, dramatic saga of a world where the descendants of the dinosaurs struggled with a clan of humans in a battle for survival. Here is the story of Kerrick, a young hunter who grows to manhood among the dinosaurs, escaping at last to rejoin his own kind. His knowledge of their strange customs makes him the humans? leader . . . and the dinosaurs? greatest enemy. Rivalling Frank Herbert's Dune in the majesty of its scope and conception, West of Eden is a monumental epic of love and savagery, bravery and hope. Rivalling Frank Herbert's Dune in the majesty of its scope and conception, West of Eden is a monumental epic of love and savagery, bravery and hope....

Title : West of Eden
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553050653
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 483 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

West of Eden Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-12-28 10:59

    If you've been searching for ages for a book where someone has sex with a dinosaur, then look no further. You've found it.

  • Apatt
    2019-01-24 08:00

    John Steinbeck's East of Eden is one of my all-time favorite novels, the late great Harry Harrison’s West of Eden is another one. So whether you choose to go east or west of Eden you would be on to a very good thing in either direction.The following paragraph is lifted entirely from Wikipedia:“In the parallel universe of this novel, Earth was not struck by an asteroid 65 million years before the present. Consequently, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs and other reptiles never happened, leaving the way clear for an intelligent species to eventually evolve from mosasaurs, a family of Late Cretaceous marine lizards closely related to the modern monitor lizards.The intelligent reptiloid species is called the Yilanè.”OK, that saves me at least 45 minutes of trying to think of a coherent description. What the above quote does not state clearly though is that the Yilanè are dinosaur people!. It is would not be accurate to say they are descended from dinosaurs as these creatures are still around in the universe of this book. No, the Yilanè are a species of dinosaur. A sentient one that walk upright, has developed language, culture, social organization and science. That is very nice for them but they make the Homo sapiens seem rather shabby in comparison. In this book humanity is not much in advance of cavemen in term of technology, and most are still living the lives of nomadic tribes. Fortunately they really know how to kick ass. The two species do have one thing in common though, an instinctive hatred for the other sentient species from the first encounter. An itch that can only be scratched by genocide.The first half of the book tells the story of young Kerrick, a human boy captured by the Yilanè for research purposes, in order to find the most effective way of annihilating mankind. They are amazed to find that a dirty mammal (“ustouzou”) is able to learn to speak their language. It also tells of Kerrick’s loss of his humanity through a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. The second half of the book tells of the aftermath of Kerrick’s escape and warfare between the two species.Why West of Eden is not better known is beyond me. It is an astonishing feat of world building and storytelling. The Yilanè’s mastery of biotechnology is very richly imagined. Where we (in the real world) use machines for transportation, weaponry, healthcare etc. the Yilanè use bioengineered creatures all these. For example their equivalent of guns is a squeezy creature that expels poison darts, their boats are creatures that need to be grown and instructed instead of steer, their manacles are animals engineered swallow their own tails etc. If you love the biotech of China Miéville’s Embassytown as I do, you will have a field day with this book (with much easier neologisms to figure out too). The Yilanè’s language includes voice, body and tail movements, plus skin colour changes, the very sort of thing I read sci-fi for. To be astonished. Even more astonishing is Kerrick’s adaptation of this language for which he must compensate for a lack of tail and inability to change skin colours.The second half of the book is less fascinating than the first as the story leaves the exploration of the Yilanè’s language and culture, but the pacing of the story is quite rapid in this part and there is not really time for anything to drag. The central Yilanè and human characters are very well developed enabling the reader to appreciate both species’ perspectives. The only snag is that the human women characters are completely flat, though the Yilanè females are all badasses (theirs being the dominant sex). I kind of wish the Yilanè and humanity would learn to get along and coexist and perhaps they will do in the sequels which I have not read yet. In any case if both species get along like a house on fire right off the bat we would not have much of a story.Harry Harrison is one of sci-fi’s best storytellers. His most popular work is the Stainless Steel Rat series. Comical sci-fi adventures which are not really my thing. He also wrote the classic dystopian Make Room Make Room, before the subgenre became fashionable. For my money though West of Eden is his best work. There are two sequels to this book that I will surely get around to before long.Read without delay.

  • Wildan
    2019-01-11 05:37

    Whoa, what a ride! Here are some quick & random points:1. Amazing portrayal of Yileni culture and advanced biotechnology. Very vivid and creative. 2. Vast differences of Tanu (humans) and the Yileni (reptiles) made the extreme xenophobia of both species very much understandable. Solid Othering on both sides.3. Rampant anthropocentrism even though there was no right or wrong side. I could even argue that it was the human who started it all. Yet the book sided with them. Not exactly disagreeable but slightly disappointing.4. A reptiloid female mounting a human male? No, just no. *shivers*5. Kerrick's character development was amazing, absolutely brilliant and well done. 6. What's up with that hideous cover? 7. Again and again, I was convinced that information is a great weapon, as well as the ability to change and adapt.8. Interesting take on pacifism and its moral dilemma in a highly militaristic setting.9. (view spoiler)[Fire shouldn't have spread that fast in forest, especially without any other flammable substance. Too convenient as a plot device. (hide spoiler)]10. The ending wasn't bad, but not great either. It was okay I guess. 11. Will definitely check the sequel!

  • Susana
    2018-12-31 04:00

    (review in English below)Este é um incrível livro de aventuras que mistura pré-história com ficção científica!Gostei mais da primeira parte (a vida de Kerrick entre as Yilané) do que da segunda (a guerra entre os Tanu e as Yilané), mas vale seguramente as 4 estrelas, pela imaginação do autor e pelo desafio aos conceitos estabelecidos, que competem no mesmo nível com os melhores autores de ficção científica.Recomendo vivamente, a toda a gente a partir dos 16 anos.This is an incredible adventure book that mixes pre-history with sci-fi!I liked the first part (Kerrick's life among the Yilané) better than the second (the war between the Tanu and the Yilané), but it's surely worth 4 stars, for the author's imagination and for challenging our concepts. It's on the same level as the best sci-fi authors.I strongly recommended it to everyone, from 16 up.

  • David
    2019-01-22 06:48

    Harrison has created a stunning ‘what-if’ scenario – what if the dinosaurs had not become extinct, but had gone on over millions of years to create a civilisation based on bioengineering? Sounds a trifle far-fetched, but just think how far mankind has come in just a few thousand years: what might another enterprising species not have done, given an extra seventy million?The great brontosaurs, theropods and ceratopsians are still there, but they are small-brained and are hunted and herded by the ruling reptiles (Yilane), which are lizard-like, walk erect and live in great cities that they grow from vegetation. Because of climate changes, the Yilane are colonising another continent, and are setting up a new city there. But this has brought them into contact with humans (Ustuzou, who are at the Cro-Magnon stage of development, essentially like us but hunter-gatherers), and the inevitable conflicts arise. The Yilane regard the Ustuzou as vermin who must be exterminated and the Ustuzou are not overjoyed either.The story follows the fortunes of one particular human called Kerrick, who is taken by the Yilane for medical research after his family and tribe have been wiped out in an ambush. He learns about them ‘from the inside’, and after escaping uses his knowledge to rally the scattered Ustuzou tribes and destroy the Yilane and their city.But this is not a simple ‘us against them’ scenario in the style of old war films. There are of course the ugly extremists on both sides, but there are also those who sympathise with the plight of the enemy, and are able to appreciate their dilemma. Both species have a right to survive and to fight for that survival, but the ethical questions are fully explored through characters who occupy a more middle ground. On the Yilane side, there is even an organisation of conscientious objectors who are held in contempt by the military, used as slave labour and thrown into the front line as ‘cannon fodder’ during battles. This sort of plot could of course be transposed to any genre, but the novel is also interesting for the great ideas it has on bioengineering and how it might be practiced in an advanced society such as the Yilane’s. Their cities are vast, living things; their ships are specially bred giant ichthyosaurs, and not only their ammunition but their weapons as well are live. In fact, it is the perfect eco-friendly environment, if you don’t mind gene-manipulation on a gigantic scale. The bulk of the Yilane population is female, with a few big, stupid males being kept in harems and taken each year to ‘birthing beaches’. There are a lot of evocative line drawings in the book as well. The conflict between the Yilane and the Ustuzou can, of course, also be read as a sort of fable, and you could draw parallels with the Spanish ‘conquest’ of Peru, the European colonisation of North America, and the expansion of Germany in the 1930s as it sought more ‘living space’. The only reason there are no concentration camps in ‘West of Eden’ is that it is set in the Upper Palaeolithic, when the human population consisted of widely dispersed tribes.

  • Marvin
    2019-01-05 05:55

    I was at a science fiction bookstore back in the 80s shooting the bull with a few people. This included a well known science fiction writer who will remain nameless. Someone mentioned West of Eden by Harry Harrison which recently came out and asked if anyone liked it. The SF writer said "I read it. This is how Harrison came up with the idea", then proceeded to imitate a man pulling something from his ass.I didn't think it was all that bad but it isn't up to Harrison's best. In style, Harry Edison was basically a pulp science fiction writer mainly known for his Stainless Steel Rat series. In West of Eden the author was trying for an epic somewhere between Dune and Clan of The Cave Bear and doesn't quite succeed. It's enjoyable but a lot on the silly side. The premise is great: Dinosaurs do not go extinct and become the dominant intelligent species on earth with humans languishing behind. It's a good potboiler if you like that sort of thing. But whenever I think about this book, I remember two things: The experience I related above and a bumper sticker I saw a few years ago, "I've got flying monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them."

  • Carmen
    2019-01-13 03:00

    This series is one of the best, if not THE best, series I've ever read. Am currently rereading it after 20 years!

  • São
    2019-01-01 05:06

    Quando peguei neste livro, para o começar a ler, confesso que tinha alguma expectativa e curiosidade. No entanto, nada previa que se tornasse num dos livros mais fantásticos que li nos últimos tempos.Resumidamente pode-se dizer que “A Oeste do Éden” conta-nos a história de um rapaz, Kerrick, pertencente a uma tribo de nómadas e que vê o seu sammad (grupo de pessoas que vivem em comunidade) ser totalmente destruído por uma raça desconhecida e que fazem dele seu prisioneiro, aos 8 anos de idade. Desta forma, Kerrick, conhece as Yilanè e a sua sociedade altamente desenvolvida. Com a curiosidade que lhe é característica ele aprende a linguagem, costumes e a organização da cidade onde vive por uns 7 anos. Quando reencontra o seu povo fica dividido, sentindo-se que não pertence nem a um nem a outro. Ele não é mais o mesmo, mas o ódio pelas Yilanè vence, levando-o a vingar a destruição de vários sammad e a respectiva morte dos seus membros, até á destruição da cidade onde cresceu.Este livro, tem tanto conteúdo que me agradou, que é difícil, conseguir transmitir-vos tudo o que dele retive.Por um lado, o realismo antropológico e a descrição das primeiras sociedades humanas no tempo da idade da Pedra. A descoberta do fogo e todo o seu potencial, á passagem das tribos nómadas ao sedentarismo, as primeiras comunidades/cidades destes povos, a descoberta da agricultura, a arte rupestre e o próprio aperfeiçoamento dos utensílios e armas de caça e ou guerra.Por outro lado a sociedade muitíssimo desenvolvida das Yilanè que dominam magistralmente vários campos da biologia e outras ciências. Povo descendente dos dinossauros, cuja evolução permitiu um conjunto de modificações genéticas, nomeadamente o desenvolvimento de polegares oponíveis. Por forma a combater a escassez de alimentos e a defenderem dos predadores os animais destinados à alimentação, criaram cidades com barreiras biológicas para o exterior. As transformações genéticas e a biotecnologia utilizadas no desenvolvimento das cidades onde vivem, são magistralmente criadas pelo autor.Ainda a ambiguidade dos sentimentos em Kerrick, que se sente preso a um povo, o seu, mas que ao mesmo tempo se sente deslumbrado pela evolução e conforto que o mundo das Yilanè lhe proporcionam. A sua crescente vontade de evoluir face ao conhecimento que aprendeu com as suas sequestradoras em oposição ao seu povo de caçadores-recolectores.A zoologia incrível que o autor cria e apresenta num conjunto de seres, em que alguns mais reais são antepassados dos existentes nos nossos dias, mas outros que são mutações genéticas oriundas do desenvolvimento das Yilanè e que servem para a sua subsistência.A riqueza da narrativa aliada ao realismo das personagens, transformam este livro numa obra verdadeiramente fantástica. Um livro que junta todos estes factores de que falei anteriormente e que se revelou, na minha opinião, verdadeiramente espantoso.Livro a não perder. Aconselho vivamente.

  • Jason Bloom
    2019-01-05 07:47

    You know those books that stay with you long after the cover closes? The ideas float around in your head, images rattle in your brain for days, weeks even. Well, for me, this was one of those books. The kind of books that puts the science back in sci-fi. Do you like dinosaurs, alternate history, Clan of the Cave Bear paleolithic kinda kinky stuff? Well, this book has all of that, and more; an entire appendix chock full of zoology and cultural anthropology and even a description of two entirely thought-out and made-up languages. The world-building is extreme, and the nerdy payoff is even more enormous; the kind of 'What If?' I've been thinking about, unconsciously, ever since I was a little boy snuggled beneath my dinosaur bedsheets trying to read books by flashlight.The meteor that killed off the dinosaurs never hits, and so the long road to sentient, tool-using, civilization building dinosapiens is underway, but there's a problem. Humans also exist, and, as yo might guess, these two races don't seem to want to play nicely with each other. The story unfolds through the eyes of the hunter-gatherers (Tanu) being pushed south to look for more plentiful game, and the race of lizard creatures (Yilane) who use genetic manipulation to mutate creatures into amazing things; transport, mounts, tools, weapons, even warping and shaping entire forests into gigantic tree cities, complete with defenses, nurseries, laboratories, and fields full of grazing dinosaurs to be used as beef cattle.The languages are rich, although the words unfamiliar and at first the reading was slow-going due to the tough pronunciations, after a while it became clear just how much research and work went into this book, and it set my head spinning for the duration. The action, the feels, the interspecies sexual intercourse, the DINOSAURS! This book has so much going for it, and I was sad to see it end.Luckily for me this book is actually part one of a trilogy, and so I have just requested the other two volumes from my local library and am eagerly awaiting a return to this wild world of lizard people, tree cities, and hot, steamy dinosex. Wish me luck!

  • Cherie In the Dooryard
    2019-01-02 04:06

    Look, I'm not going to pretend that this series is going to change your life or that it's a great contribution to the literary canon. The prose is serviceable and...that's about it. But that's okay, because this is plot- and scenario-based writing, and I think it works. The premise is pretty simple: what if dinosaurs had never gone extinct, but instead continued to evolve, with one particular species, the Yilane becoming as intelligent as the humans living just north of them? Now imagine that the coming Ice Age is freezing the reptiles out and forcing the humans and Yilane to battle over habitable land. And there you have it. Harrison enlisted anthropologists and other experts to help him build the world of the Yilane, and this is where the book really shines. Their language, thinking, and way of interacting with the world is all consistent and completely different than the human experience. It all works to liven up and ground what could have been another one-note science fiction work.If you like what-if science fiction, and are willing to dig into something a little pulpy with a premise that's embarrassing to describe out loud, then this will probably be enjoyable for you. If you only enjoy Serious Literature with Heavy Morals, you might find it a little silly. But you probably also have little imagination.

  • Lee
    2019-01-21 08:54

    West of Eden takes place on an alternate Earth timeline where the K-T meteor event never took place and thus never wiped out the dinosaurs, paving the way for a race of mosasaurs (marine lizards) to evolve into a sentient species with some pretty cool biotechnology at about the same time humans reach the cusp of their neolithic revolution. However, the Yilanè and humans are extremely hostile to one another and unrelentingly seek to annihilate each other. The main character is a boy who is captured and raised by the Yilanè after his entire tribe is slaughtered. The degree of detail given to the social, linguistic, and technological aspects of the reptile race is very thorough and vivid. My father is a mosasaur paleontologist, so this book has been floating around Vert Paleo circles since the mid-eighties. I regret that i took so long to finally read it. For any sci-fi fans looking for a refreshing twist to the genre (i guess this could technically overlap into the Clan of the Cave Bear style genre as well) by going back in time i HIGHLY recommend this book. Be warned however, it is part of a trilogy, although i can say the plot of the first book resolves adequately enough that you probably won't feel obligated to dive into the next two, unless of course you just fall in love with it!

  • Kaho Liang
    2018-12-25 06:52

    What if dinosaurs survived the disaster that had wiped every single one of them out? This book imagines that the reptiles have developed a human-like nature and have excelled in bioengineering and that the humans are just appearing on Earth. The dinosaurs, who now call themselves Yilane, are out to kill the spear-wielding humans in an attempt to conquer the Earth. The humans are at a disadvantage with their primitive technology and a human boy named Kerrick is captured by the Yilane. Over the years that he is captured, Kerrick is able to understand the mind of the Yilane.The concept of this book is very unique and I enjoyed the whole story. I would recommend this book to other science fiction readers.

  • Rose
    2019-01-15 06:37

    i gave this book 5 stars because even though it is science fiction, i still remember it after many, many years

  • Ben Goodridge
    2019-01-23 07:57

    "Chalufuf had to spend extra time toiling at the Fufulofar, since his gedezah Nerahdu was in the Yulah talking with the Bedzoh of Henani. The Bedzoh was a kindly Gehufahrt, but many of Nerahdu's volehzahs were now spent in fefulon with the Bedzoh in his efforts to acquire additional Gubahs for his igulafaks."If the sentence above makes any sense, you might be ready for "West of Eden," a book in which Harry Harrison calls every single rabbit a smeerp. Just to double your pleasure, he throws in not one alien glossary, but two - one for each side of the conflict.Once you've more or less resigned yourself to a bumpy ride, he introduces the Yilanè, a race so proud, arrogant, and cruel that the first half of the book provides few redeeming features - and the handful of deviant (read: compassionate) elements are rendered nearly inconsequential. Had the species been more diverse, one could hope for some kind of detente, but the Yilanè are so unsympathetic that we just want to watch the world burn.There are contradictions within the Yilanè as well - a species with such an advanced technological civilization that they can breed living cameras, but most of them have never heard of fire. Apparently none of their cities have ever been struck by lightning. Nor have they ever heard of humans - the North American continent is entirely a mystery to them. They just plant a flag and start to build a city without considering that the local wildlife might be hostile.I'm not saying it's a bad book and you shouldn't read it, but it's predicated on some heavy conditions. Everything I like to see in a book is there - a rebellious faction in an autocratic society, a perspective on social ossification as a weakness when chaotic elements are introduced, a meditation on the morality of total war - but so downplayed that the causal reader has to dig for them. Victory for the protagonist depends entirely on a weakness that, to say the least, seems narratively unlikely. There's a needle in this haystack somewhere, but whether finding it is worth the search is up to you.

  • Matt Mitrovich
    2019-01-21 04:54

    Review originally posted here: http://alternatehistoryweeklyupdate.b...The 1980s were a great time for alternate history. I know some people give credit to Leinster, Moore and Dick for starting the alternate history genre, but if they started it, than the authors of the 1980s perfected it. This was an era were a new crop of writers were entering the speculative fiction genre with backgrounds in history, instead of science and engineering. They used their knowledge of the past to craft new works of science fiction and to fill out the tiny library of alternate history. Authors who were part of this era included Harry Turtledove, SM Stirling and, of course, the late Harry Harrison.Harry Harrison has contributed a lot of works to the alternate history genre, especially through his "trilogies". There is the fun historical fantasy Hammer and the Cross trilogy (which I had a blast writing in) and the notoriously implausible Stars and Stripes trilogy. There is one more trilogy, however, that we have not discussed yet: the Eden trilogy. This series is set in a world where the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs (which for some reason Harrison stated it hit Iceland in our timeline and not the Yucatan...was this a popular theory?) never happened and thus Earth's entire evolutionary history is changed leading to a world where a sentient race of amphibious reptiles that walk upright compete with humanity. If this seems implausible...you're right, but more on that later.The Eden trilogy began in 1984 with the publication of West of Eden. This tells the story of a young hunter (or Tanu) named Kerrick who is captured and raised by the Yilanè (the aforementioned smart lizards) after they wiped out his family and tribe. At first Kerrick thinks of nothing but escaping, but as he learns the Yilanè language to survive and comes to understand more of their culture, he begins to forget his "humanity" (the quotations are significant, but again more on that later) and sees himself more like a Yilanè and less like a Tanu. The Yilanè, however, fear the walking/talking mammals enough that they seek to rid them from the continent they are now colonizing as longer winters threaten their homes in the Old World. A chance encounter with one of the survivors of these raids convinces Kerrick that his place is with his own kind and he finally escapes. The Yilanè, especially the ambitious Vainte and vicious Stallan, are not ready to let him go and chase him and his people across the continent. Meanwhile, Kerrick uses his knowledge gained from his years of captivity to better fight the Yilanè and eventually prepare the Tanu and their allies to take the fight to the invaders across the sea and drive them from their home once and for all.A lot of stuff to unpack here, so lets begin with the Old World where the Yilanè are from. Without the extinction event, dinosaurs never died out and instead continued evolving and the Yilanè are a product of this. They have built an advanced civilization, but not with technology as we know it. Instead their civilization, which has existed for millions of years, uses advanced genetic engineering to create houses, tools, transportation and weapons made entirely out of organic creatures and materials, reminiscent of the Yuuzhan Vong from the old Star Wars Expanded Universe. If this sounds impossible without some sort of period where they first obtained a level of inorganic technology first, you are probably correct, but trust me, the craziness has just begun.You see Kerrick and his people aren't human. They look like humans, talk like humans, think like humans and do all the other human-y things humans do, but they are not humans. In our world, humans as we know them evolved from apes in Africa, but in West of Eden the dinosaurs prevented mammals in the Old World from going down this evolutionary path...but not in North America. Yep, the Tanu are actually descendants from a North American ape/monkey that somehow managed to evolve into a human-esque species during a brief (relatively speaking) period of time when Central America was flooded and all of the dinosaur species had died out in North America, giving the Tanu and related peoples a chance to develop and later flee to the cold north when the dinosaurs eventually returned. Man, the stars really had to be aligned for evolution to create something exactly like the humanity of our timeline.So in terms of plausibility, West of Eden is making Stars and Stripes look like historical fiction that Richard J, Evans would be proud of. So what about the story itself? Well actually it has a lot of similarities with the Hammer and the Cross trilogy. Protagonist hates invaders, but joins invaders and learns their ways, only to inevitably escape from invaders to lead his own people against them. The Yilanè even have a troublesome religious cult called the "Daughters of Life" that fulfills much the same role as the Way. To Harrison's credit, this series predates the Hammer and the Cross so he can be forgiven for being derivative. Nevertheless, the story wasn't bad, especially if you enjoy the older style of writing that emphasizes telling over showing. You learn about Kerrick's struggle as he finds himself stuck between two alien societies. Even with the death of his family, he struggles to sufficiently hate the Yilanè like the other Tanu and at times even sees some benefits to Yilanè civilization over the hunter/gather culture of the Tanu. Furthermore, I like societies that use living things as machines and such. It might not be practical or plausible for that matter, but its a cool aesthetic that appears again and again in genre fiction, including alternate history, such as Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy.I can see why a lot of people won't like this book and I am not going to try and push it on you. That being said, I enjoyed it and will probably read the next book, Winter in Eden, when I get a chance. Harrison may not always tell a plausible story, but at least he tells an entertaining story. If you want to witness a clash between two alien species take place on our own planet, go check out West of Eden.

  • Artur Coelho
    2019-01-11 06:01

    Uma das marcas da má ficção científica é o tipo de história em que homens primitivos, boa parte deles com a fisionomia de actrizes blonde bombshell de filmes de série B, coexiste com dinossauros. A menos, claro, que estejamos a falar de histórias de viagem no tempo. Recordo-me de pelo menos uma, excepcional, de Ray Brabdury, onde a coexistência de homens e dinossauros em caçadas temporais vai provocar subtis mas determinadas alterações ao fluxo da história humana. Mas estou a divagar. Todo o mundo ficcional de A Oeste do Éden parte de uma curiosa questão. "E se", pergunta-se Harry Harrison, não tivesse ocorrido o impacto do asteróide apontado como causa para a extinção dos dinossauros? Sem os desequilíbrios ecológicos trazidos pelo impacto, teriam estas criaturas evoluído até adquirirem inteligência, desenvolvido uma sociedade de base tecnológica? E teria sido possível aos mamíferos iniciarem o processo de evolução que deu origem à humanidade? Neste intrigante romance, as respostas a estas questões são positivas. O resultado é um fantástico voo especulativo, que coloca duas civilizações visceralmente antagónicas em contacto.Este livro não se aguentaria senão pelo fortíssimo detalhar das suas premissas. A construção do mundo ficcional assenta em bases especulativas sólidas e num meticuloso pormenorizar dos seus elementos. Harrison imaginou civilizações plausíveis, mas suficientemente estranhas para mostrar que o mundo não evoluiu como o conhecemos. Toda a civilização sáuria é um espantoso voo de imaginação, assente no explorar de possibilidades científicas. Harrison cria uma sociedade avançada, apesar de fortemente estratificada e assente no respeito incondicional pela vontade dos superiores. Elementos advindos dos condicionamentos biológicos de uma espécie matriarcal, que nasce para o mar, e que não é uniforme no desenvolvimento dos indivíduos. Poucos são capazes de atingir as competências intelectuais superiores, caracterizadas pelo desenvolvimento de um sistema de linguagem complexo que mistura vocalizações e postura corporal. A sociedade tem uma base científica curiosa, assente na capacidade de manipulação genética de organismos. Os seus utensílios, veículos e equipamentos são animais cuja evolução foi manipulada para se tornarem objectos tecnológicos. Organizam-se em cidades bio-construídas, manipulando a natureza para se organizar em espaços arquitectónicos.O desenvolvimento da espécie espelha e condiciona o dos indivíduos. Após nascerem, as criaturas desenvolvem-se naturalmente nos oceanos, sem sistemas formais de treino, gerando com isso laços fortíssimos entre ninhadas e assimetrias de desenvolvimento. Na base da pirâmide social ficam aquelas que não são capazes de desenvolver as capacidades linguísticas, com uma sucessiva estratificação onde a inteligência depende da linguagem. Os machos são considerados seres inferiores, meros cuidadores dos ovos das futuras crias. Harrison imagina esta intrigante civilização a espalhar-se pelos continentes, colonizando-os com a expansão das suas cidades. Uma expansão que está a atingir os seus limites, tornados mais estreitos pelo avizinhar de uma era glaciar, que provoca o caos numa civilização de criaturas que não suportam o frio.A necessidade de expansão para sobrevivência em climas quentes vai colocar estes saurópodes inteligentes em contacto com outra civilização. Desenvolvendo-se num continente isolado, os mamíferos irão gerar uma espécie humanóide inteligente. Esta também está a desenvolver civilizações. Harrison cria os primeiros contactos com tribos nómadas de caçadores-recolectores. O choque entre civilizações de seres antagónicos dará o mote a este livro fascinante. De certa forma, este é um romance-périplo, em que as peripécias em que o personagem principal se vê envolvido são as maneiras do autor pegar na mão do leitor e levá-lo a descobrir os seus mundos ficcionais. Primeiro na avançada mas homogénea civilização saurópode, depois a humanóide, com os seus vários estádios civilizacionais, entre caçadores-recolectores nómadas e incipientes civilizações agrárias. O conflito é inevitável. Apesar de inteligentes, ambos os seres partilham sensações de revulsão. O impulso é forte, primitivo, de nojo profundo perante o estranho. Ambos se vêem como pouco mais do que animais. Algo especialmente sublinhado no lado sáurio, onde raros são aqueles que não recusam ver os proto-humanos como algo mais do que animais selvagens, apesar dos óbvios sinais de inteligência. Civilizações antagónicas em choque, num mundo primitivo que nunca existiu. A partir de questões bem formuladas, Harry Harrison construiu um mundo sólido e intrigante, palco de conflitos em que somos mergulhados acompanhando um jovem humano que, capturado por saurópodes, aprende a sua língua e civilização, mas tornar-se-á o seu inimigo mais mortal. Uma leitura surpreendente, de um nome clássico mas algo esquecido da Ficção Científica.

  • Luka Novak
    2019-01-21 03:36

    This book is set in alternate universe where meteor impact that wiped out dinosaurs didn't happen. Dinosaurs then evolved and developed intelligence, building a complex society. However along them exist small number of dispersed humans. When Ice Age starts pushing both societies in different directions they collide with cathastrophic results. Both species share deep rooted hatred for each other and will do everything to wipe the other one out.Dinosaurs, or Yilane, shape the environment with gene manipulation and use various organisms to aid the. They wear live animals instead of cloaks, they use animals that spew darts as guns, travel in animals across the ocean and so on. Humans, on the other hand, live in what would be stone age technology in our world and have hunter-gatherer type of society.While the idea of different intelligent species is interesting the book fails on several accounts. For one Harrison deals with different progress of evolution on dinosaurs and yet he has humans evolving to exactly what happened in out world. Considering that when meteor wiped out dinosaurs mammals were small, niche species evolution would go differently for them as well. In addition he has humans evolve in northern North American continent rather than African savanna. Then there is complete absence of our "cousins", the apes or anything resembling primates in human surroundings. And humans are not the only thing that evolved "as we know it". There exists whole set of familiar animals and plants, such as mastodonts and longtooth. Sea life is different though.And it doesn't stop there. Yilane have only theoretical knowledge of fire. While their knowledge and almost natural use of genetic manipulation could explain their development of society and advanced technology the fact that they have almost no knowledge of fire is hard to believe. Are there no ligtning strikes that would cause foreest fires? And Yilane being cold-blooded species they seem to simply accept the fact that they can't operate in colder environment. With their knowledge it would be logical to develop soe sort of heaters, even if biological in nature.It's an interesting thought about what would happen if two intelligent, but greatly different species collided. Too bad it's badly written.

  • Tony Nalley
    2019-01-12 05:41

    I can't remember when I read it, but I know I'll never forget it. The author created an alternate world, a different reality and his story line pulled you into it. I've read the complete trilogy at least 3 times just because I found it to be that interesting. Not only do you come away with new ideals that relate to our own political world in relation to ones own abilities to communicate effectively, you also come away with the knowledge that you have also learned and understand a completely different language.

  • Adebayo Oyagbola
    2019-01-20 05:50

    An alternate civilisation on earth based on the triumph of the reptile family and the extreme exploitation of biological rather than mechanical advances and engineering. An extremely well crafted work of fiction that explores and details events in the narrative but that also examines the psychological, emotional and social differences that would exist in societies with foundations so distinct from ours. In my opinion an excellent work on xenology albeit set on earth. I enjoyed this and the two sequels totally and had a sense of loss that the adventure did not continue further.

  • Andrea
    2019-01-20 08:45

    This series has to be the best depiction of alternate biology, and consequences of such differences to human biology, in the genre. Heinlein has meticulously depicted a dinosaur, life-sciences based society and contrasted it with our evolution towards a technologically based society. Contrasting solutions found by the clash of these two races is fascinating. All three books in the series are equally good. A classic.

  • Wraith Tate
    2018-12-28 10:49

    A really cool example of "speculative fiction:" What would the world be like if the dinosaurs hadn't died out? In this case, it's the dinosaurs who have the technology (all based on genetic manipulation) and "civilization," and humans haven't passed beyond hunter-gatherers.

  • Elaine
    2019-01-20 04:40

    I loved this alternate-world series. The basic premise, that dinosaurs and humans evolved in parallel on the earth, is highly original. The adventure story that evolves from that premise, and the intertwined nature of both societies, is fascinating.

  • Caroline
    2019-01-15 08:04

    This is a good read about an alternative world where the dinosaurs were not wiped out by a meteorand gives a very good story of what might of occurred if a form of saurian achieved intelligence before meeting mammels with intelligence

  • Malenkoe_zlo
    2018-12-31 06:45

    i have no clue why did i take this book from the library's shelfe. my suspicion is that i've thought first it's about parallel world but in fact i'm reading so-so fantastic called genre about stupid people and advanced dinosaurus. boring actually

  • R
    2019-01-13 09:51

    I read this book initially at ge 16. it struck a chord in my blossoming curiosity of life and religion science and politics. I appreciate it enough to plan to one day own an iguana deserving of the name Vainte (I already had a turtle named Fargi)

  • Heidi Eisenhauer
    2019-01-01 03:59

    A life where dinosaurs rule while plants and animals are machines and humans are pets. This series took me away into a world of wonder. I ate it up and wanted it never to end. I passed along the series countless times. Fun an whimsy.

  • Tammy
    2019-01-18 08:36

    This book is crazy nuts, fun and imaginative. It is so over the top. It is sci fi at it's best.

  • Beverly
    2019-01-14 03:42

    To say that this series is amazing is a total understatement. I love this sci fi adventure.

  • Travis Bird
    2019-01-10 02:49

    A real breakthrough in imagination. Although there are loose ends which I thought might be leading to another book or two.

  • Kathy
    2019-01-07 02:45

    Read this book several years ago and found the premise intriguing. I would like to read it again.