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The Inferior [Kindle Edition]

Peadar O. Guilin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

STOPMOUTH AND HIS family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live, they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. It is a savage, desperate existence. And for Stopmouth, considered slowwitted hunt-fodder by his tribe, the future looks especially bleak. But then, on the day he is callously betrayed by his brother, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change his destiny, and that of all humanity, forever. With echoes of Tarzan, Conan the Barbarian, and The Truman Show, Peadar Ó Guilín’s debut is an action—and idea-packed—blockbuster that will challenge your perceptions of humanity and leave you hungry for more.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—In this epic story of survival, betrayal, and community, the fittest humans are prized as hunters and for taking care of the Tribe, while those with a number of marks on their Tally sticks, or otherwise deemed useless, are traded for food with other tribes in the region. Stopmouth, a "savage" human with a stutter, is healed by a strange visitor from the Roof following a hunting accident. He and Indrani develop a bond that is scorned by the rest of the Tribe, but is one that will see them through some challenging times as they set out on a journey to try to return Indrani to whence she came. This well-paced fantasy/science fiction blend perfectly introduces community conflict at a base level. Stopmouth and his brother are constantly at odds over their roles in the family and their individual ambition. Power and influence are accepted and controlled in very different ways by these main characters and, from the very first chapters, readers can see that lies and deceit are strong forces on the characters. There are numerous situations that could be used to supplement classroom discussion on moral and ethical behavior. Easy to follow and intriguing at every turn, The Inferior will hold readers from page to page, chapter to chapter, to the very end.—Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

EADAR Ó GUILÍN has been writing curious stories for as long as he can remember. One of his school reports claimed that he had "a talent for communication, which he abuse[d]." Since then, he has written plays, published short stories, and performed as a standup comedian. This is his first book for children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 325 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385751451
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (June 10, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001AWZ1QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,137 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Inferior" is superior fiction June 12, 2008
I loved it.

This is Peadar's first novel, but I've admired his short stories for a long time. They stick in my memory them for years.

Although the novel's SF, it begins like standard fantasy dystopia, with the protagonist, Stopmouth running for his life, chased by intelligent animals who want to eat him. Then he turns back to help his brother, who escapes, leaving Stopmouth in mortal danger. When Stopmouth finally makes it home, he finds that his brother has grabbed all the credit.

Ó Guilín keeps up this pace all the way, with the surpises jumping out at you like marauding Bloodskins.

Stopmouth is my kind of hero. He doesn't think he's special - just the reverse - because he has a stutter and a charismatic older brother. But he's not stupid, and he has one plausible talent - he runs fast. He has to win through by his own efforts, so I cared. The other main characters are distinct and plausible too, from the brutal Crunchfist to the enigmatic Varaha.

It turns out that in Stopmouth's world there is no plant food. Apart from the insects, there are many intelligent species, and everything hunts everything else for survival. At this point I started thinking, "Hang, on, this ecosystem doesn't work," but this is indeed SF, and Stopmouth's world isn't what he (and we) thought at all. The truth is much nastier than that.

My only real problem with this novel is that it's the first of a trilogy, and I'm going to have to wait far too long for the next installment. No wonder it's coming out in eight (count 'em!) languages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye popping. My favourite book this year. July 8, 2008
"And ten heartbeats past, you grabbed a piece of flesh out of my hands. Didn't you like the taste? Because if you can be a savage, maybe I could be civilized? It's possible, isn't it?"

Stopmouth is a young man in a world where humans live solely by hunting and consuming flesh. He is a hunter blessed with incredible speed, which is the only thing that saves him on a daily basis. Stopmouth, considered stupid by his tribe due to a stutter that impedes his speech, must prove himself constantly in order to survive. In his world when people outlive there usefulness they volunteer for flesh trades between the other beasts, because some beasts prefer their flesh still living. Stopmouth will be encouraged to volunteer if he ever fails.

One day Stopmouth's older brother, Wallbreaker, betrays him on a hunt. Thinking him dead Wallbreaker leaves Stopmouth behind to save his own neck. This cowardly act forms a gap between the two brothers that is only widened further when Wallbreaker takes all the credit for himself and uses that to buy himself a bride; a young woman named Mossheart, who Stopmouth has always had feelings for.

There are other things going on in this world. For one thing, there are people who watch over the tribes. Not gods, surely, but real people, as evidenced when a woman named Indrani falls from the sky. This strange and beautiful woman fuels desires in Stopmouth's heart that Mossheart never did. When Stopmouth breaks his legs and knows that he is on the volunteer list Indrani saves his life by splinting his legs and preventing the elders from taking him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Inferior December 21, 2010
The Inferior, by Peadar O'Guilin

Stopmouth is a human with speaking difficulty. Because of this difficulty he was almost "volunteered" (i.e. sacrificed) at an early age; simpletons cannot hunt, and if you do not hunt, you do not eat. You belong to the tribe, and if you're not good for hunting, then you're only good for eating; that's right, cannibals. But when there is little to no edible vegetation, you do what you must to survive.

Luckily for him, his brother Wallbreaker convinced them to let him live. And so he spends most of his life helping Wallbreaker with his (Wallbreaker's) "hair-brained" schemes, like digging fall-traps and other various tricks that end up killing severe amounts of the enemy non-human tribes. Eventually Wallbreaker gets elected as chief; it's really too bad that Stopmouth falls in love with one of Wallbreaker's two wives.

So when he runs away with her, he gets exiled from the tribe, and so has a few problems.

Really, this is a terrible summary, but there is no way to summarize this book; I'd basically just have to re-write it here. It would be worth it though, because I think this book is amazing.

Now when I say "I think this book is amazing", I'm being more literal than most people who use that phrase. I think it might be amazing, but I'm not sure; I've never read another book quite like it. It's technically a science fiction novel, but on a page by page basis I'd call it much more fantasy than sci-fi. Apparently it was intended to be the first in a trilogy, and I definitely look forward to the next one!

Memorable Quote:

'My point is this: after Idrani's victory here, the enemy didn't leave any bodies behind them. Not one!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brrothers.
Wallbreaker was everything that Wordstopper could want in an older brother. That is, until Wordstopper saved his life, and then Wallbreaker lied about it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth Anne Ensley
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
I read it a little over a year ago. I accidentally bought the sequel first and was happy because as soon as I read this one I need the next. Read more
Published 19 months ago by V. Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars "There is only one law: eat or be eaten."
I don't remember why it started, but I needed to read a YA book involving cannibalism. It had something to do with a conversation on Twitter, I remember, but the details are fuzzy. Read more
Published on December 4, 2012 by Nicole
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, and Unusual
Stopmouth is an unlikely hero - he stammers and lives under the protection of his high status and brave brother. Read more
Published on June 28, 2012 by Sir Furboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fun.
I just wanted to add my positive review to the others here. It's shame that this book hasn't attracted as much attention as other less well written books. Read more
Published on February 17, 2012 by sgarvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously, I can't believe the Nobel Prize Commitee overlooked this...
I know the header of this review sounds like hyperbole, but when you've read The Inferior, I'm sure you'll agree it deserves that degree of recognition and more. Read more
Published on February 6, 2011 by Stacy K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never thought I'd like a book about cannibals
Amazing, amazing, and amazing. Could not get enough of the book! Was very hesitant to read it in the first place. (This is coming from a 15 year old girl. Read more
Published on August 24, 2010 by MediocreKaren
4.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of Truman and Tarzan
When I first picked up O Guilin's book I wasn't expecting much; a cheap, stone-age based book where neandrathals hunt mammoths maybe. Read more
Published on January 26, 2010 by Robin Thames
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Stopmouth isn't the most respected hunter in the village, but he is the fastest. His speed makes him a valuable member of any hunting team because every team must come back with... Read more
Published on August 12, 2009 by TeensReadToo
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloriously gruesome
Seems at first more of a fantasy novel than science fiction, but that changes towards the end to give certain elements a more rational but still sci-fi explanation. Read more
Published on March 1, 2009 by Heraclitus
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