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Balook
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
He was the largest land mammal of prehistoric times. Now computers, genetic engineering, and a touch of luck have brought one of these magnificent creatures back to life...and into the life of a boy named Thor Nemmen. Nicknamed Balook, this nine-ton hornless rhinoceros has been living peacefully in his sealed-off scientific compound--content to play with his only friend, Thor. The world beyond the fence remains a mystery... But now, Balook has broken free. He's become bigger and stronger--and he's suddenly ready to levae hios quiet home, to encounter danger, excitement, and adventure. Balook is ready to discover the world. But is the world ready for Balook? I really liked this book. I thought it was a very good example of how Anthony can work. Read this book, you will like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Balook is a Baluchtherium, an ancient rhinocerous, three times the size of a horse, brought back from extinction by some enterprising future scientists. Thor is his companion, friend, and champion. Balook is anachronistic and misunderstood. What is his usefulness? Is he dangerous? The modern world must deal with these questions, and Thor must guide them to the answers. This is ostensibly a young adult novel, but quite complex in theme and science. The young characters are relatable to the young reader, but people of all ages will fall in love with Balook and wish they could have one as a friend. I was also quite enamored with Anthony's vision of a future where cutting down trees is illegal, and most everyone is conveyed by bicycles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can tell if I should read a book only if I can get absorbed into it. And this book really grabbed me! It was a beautiful story, written from the heart, and I couldn't put it down till I had read the last page. I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys Piers Anthony, science/fiction or stories about relationships w/ animals. It truly deserves a 10! PLEASE e-mail me w/ your opinions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Balook is a great book for all ages. It combines fun,romance and the love of one boy for his animal. A touching story, Balook is about a huge,
pre-historic rhino who's best friend is a lonely boy named Tor. When Balook wanders off one day, Tor follows him, ending up in one wild adventure after another with his rhino.
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on October 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Though written in a simpler style than most of Piers Anthony's works - thus opening it up for the younger readers of "Abarat", "Harry Potter", and other books you might find in the 'Young Adults' section of the bookstore - "Balook" should not lose any of its appeal to older readers, filled as it is with charm, conviction, engaging characters and a deeply compelling story. Perhaps too mature on certain levels for many of the younger Potter fans (or perhaps moreover for their parents), "Balook" nonetheless handles its touches of sexuality with great class and taste as part of the blossoming romance between the two human leads as their time together progresses. More likely to be too unsettling for younger redaers (though it probably won't raise as many alarm bells among many parents), is the frank, disturbing and realistic portrayal of how some humans view tormenting of and cruelty to live animals as some kind of perverse entertainment; though the novel clearfully comes down on the side of the animals and rightfully casts the tormentors in an unflattering light, it may really upset young readers. Nonetheless, it's clearly a great introductory book to Science Fiction for, say pre-teens (and some younger readers; each kid is different) and moreover, it, like the Potter books and "Abarat" is proof that a well-written 'Basically-All-Ages' book really can be for pretty much all ages, just as delightful for 39 year-olds and 99 year-olds as for 9 year-olds and 12 year-olds.

"Balook" takes place in a semi-near future, when humanity has finally begun to wake up from its globally-destructive tendencies only to realize they've driven too many of the planet's plant and animal species to extinction for natural eco-systems to be viable anymore. In desperation, mankind has turned to genetic engineering to 're-create' lost species (this was actually the first scenario I ever read in which widescale genetic manipulation by humans Might be ethically acceptable) and stop the natural world from collapsing (and perhaps atone for the shameless destructiveness of past decades?) However, limited surviving species to work with for core material and inherent biological limitations mean that not nearly all of the recently killed-off species can be revived, necessitating the resurrection of long-extinct species where possible, to fill ecological gaps. One of the long-extinct species brought back is the 13 million years-gone Baluchitherium (one of whom is named Balook for short).

This is the story of this recently revived creature and the young human caretakers who love them, filled with possibility, adventure, and the dangers of reviving radically different species in the midst of a human race that, despite its dawning maturement, still has more quarters apt to react with fear and hostility to anything different; and some of the gentlest and most alive romantic scenes in literature. Topped off with beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Patrick Woodroffe (though his forte is clearly with the creatures; the human characters illustrated look less photorealistic, and consistently a couple of years younger than the texts describe them to be; still very good though).

"Balook" is one of the best and most original books in Anthony's vast body of excellent work.
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on September 27, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The editorial reviews included above are quite scary "bad writing" "tedious narrative". Geez - I feel quite ashamed to say that I liked this book a great deal. Most everyone has given an accurate description of the storyline so I won't repeat it here. I guess the most that I can advise is if the storyline intrigues you - then go for it. This is not a romance novel (though it has some) and only loosely a futuristic novel and it is not in the same catagory as Jurassic Park (Balook is herbivore after all). (I think that E. S. Charpentier's user review is very helpful)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Silly me, I bought this book for the Patrick Woodroffe illustrations (being a fan of his 'n' all). Should have thought that one through. Alas, the piccies suffer from being on cheap pulp. Was there ever a hardback of this one, replete with full colour on decent paper, I'm given to wonder?

So, probably not a fair review of a Piers Anthony title, I must admit. That said. I showed it to my daughter, and she reckons she's going to try to pick up a copy for her children, for something to read as well as look at. So, with a little bit of luck, a review of the whole deal might well be forthcoming somewhere down the line.
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