CHRIS FLYNN has written a brilliant, hilarious and curiously moving novel, featuring one of the best narrators in literary history and – without a doubt – the single best narrator in natural history. Why has nobody ever written a novel from the point of view of a mammoth's skeleton before? Because nobody was ever smart enough to do it. I simply love this story.
MAMMOTH is astonishing, a novel that is by turns playful, uncomfortably excoriating, very funny and always deeply humane. The voice in MAMMOTH doesn't sound like a voice I've ever heard before and for those of us who love books and reading this is the pleasure and the hope that we are always chasing. This novel delivers. It is both a requiem for lost worlds and lost time, and it is also a sheer joy.
MAMMOTH is an extraordinary gambit of the storytelling imagination of CHRIS FLYNN, and a new way of listening to all the narratives of what we have supplanted. MAMMOTH is playful and serious, encapsulating the macro-history of all life in the tale of one species. I don't think anyone else has quite done that.
What an absolute joy of a book! If you've been feeling like the novel is an endangered species, then MAMMOTH is the book to bring it back to life for you. MAMMOTH shows anthropocentrism as the laughable delusion that it is, while still affirming the value and significance of story. This 13,000-year-old skeleton is my favourite character in years, and this hilarious and heartbreaking book is precisely what we hominids need right now. Read it immediately!
Professor of Genetics,
Harvard Medical School
Long before the US-USSR "Missile gap" there was the US-Europe "Mammoth gap", which President Thomas Jefferson set out to fix. CHRIS FLYNN's riveting mixture of fact and whimsy makes previously foreign names like Palaeospheniscus and Canis dirus memorable fellow travellers like Huck Finn and Ulysses. He gracefully leverages history to help us think about the future, big pictures and deep time.
Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology,
University of Queensland
If a fossil could speak, it would tell a thousand words. CHRIS FLYNN's MAMMOTH elegantly fuses fiction with fact and reminds us that fossils are not just objects of curiosity and fascination. They are the remains of once-living creatures who had emotions, who fought, loved and survived. The duration of their lived experience pales in comparison with that of their geological history, not to mention their time as "trophy" specimens prized by avid fossil collectors. Flynn captures this history artfully, accurately and humorously in MAMMOTH, where he brings these extraordinary creatures back to life, from death to decor, through superb storytelling.
A tour-de-force, a brilliant book, a witty vaccine for the planet.