GBR #2: Varley’s MAMMOTH

Look who stopped by from! Printed with kind permission.

Guest review by R.A. MacAvoy


In this novel John Varley gives us the most intricate sort of time travel story, and no time travel story is easy in itself. On top of this he donates some very believable portrait sketches of people, some of whom are human and some mammoths of assorted species. Even including mammoth teenage angst. And to tie all this in a bow is an over-story that is a children’s informative introduction into the world of the Pleistocene, complete with bold type for vocabulary building and ‘hyperlinks’ to other source material.

What makes this layered complexity work is humor: over-the-top humor with lovely comic timing.

And my response to it is, as I began my review, is Wow! (See – it’s in bold, too.)
Make that double-Wow.

2 thoughts on “GBR #2: Varley’s MAMMOTH

  1. I’ve always appreciated Varley’s willingness (and sheer ability!) to write strong female characters as central to the story. This was a fun book! That one scene was a little graphic for me, but I guess it didn’t surprise me. I’m questioning myself over my lesser response to violence against humans in the Connie Willis books I’ve just read. It’s a character trait, I guess, but not an uncommon one (as you know): the audience may react more strongly to harm done to animals than to humans.


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