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The Boy, The Mastodons, Book I Hardcover – April 1, 2009
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"Set in pre-historic times, where historians experience discomfort, The Boy, by James Strauss, surprises and rewards both historians and readers. The author blends science and myth, using his hyper-imagination to introduce a tale of power, authority, and traditional values. His themes are universal and timeless. His treatment is highly original. This historian eagerly awaits the arrival of Book II, The Warrior." - --Barry Machado, Ph.D Professor Emeritus, Washington and Lee. In Search of a Usable Past: The Marshall Plan and Postwar Reconstruction Today by Barry Machado. Lexington, VA: George C. Marshall Foundation, 2007.
From the Author
I write about the human condition. The interaction that occurs throughout social systems, among elemental forces of leadership, religion and science. I write about the individual's attempted integration into such social systems and attempt to define honor, integrity and duty, while I develop my stories. Pre-history points us back, in search and thought of our origins, so that we may better understand how and why we are driven to do the things that we do. Espionage allows for the development of those 'secret' sides of our honest intent, layered with conflicting assaults by interior and exterior forces. My novels area about self-determination and self-discovery. They are about arrival. The arrival and satisfaction of a blissful state from which one can intelligently reflect and then positively direct one's life. The meaning of life is all around us and ever changing, depending upon the perspective of others. I write about the meaning of self, and self-application to the meaning of life.
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Top Customer Reviews
One has no way to prepare for that, only to negotiate it as it moves within and without.
The mind of the Boy, who is alone in this Elemental assault, is filled with 'just so' apprehensions of the tangible reality around him. As his world collapses, he does not take energy to make sense of what is happening. He is a traveler of Earth's transformations in its nocturnal womb-space enclosing man's gestation here. That symbolism is acutely noted in the opening sentence of Ch. Three: "Casting all thought from his mind, the naked, mud-covered boy pushed himself quickly to his feet."
Simply, elegantly written, slim and smooth as a fine reed in its wordings, clean limbed and clear, The Boy begins at a run in a nether world, cruelly, starkly physical. Visceral. Its darker scenes alternate with beautiful, sensitively-wrought encounters, such as that first with `Mur' the mastodon beast, with the ailing bird he rescues at his own risk. The tale pulsates with the boy's own heartbeat, his "one hundred breaths." His stealth and quick decisions to every encounter, which must be faced with immediacy to survive, actuate within a mind of Zen 'empty' in order to accommodate the thrust of human, animal and primordial forces upon body and Psyche.
I am reminded in this work of a recent saying (pardon, I forget who)--that the only reason to be part of a tribe is to break from it. I think it is the individuation that must happen in the very act of interacting with family, society, culture as we are born into it.
Reviewed by M.M.Fahren 6/7/2009
I've told everyone I meet about this wonderful story, so well written, which has added human emotions into an ancient world about which we know so little and to which we owe so much.
Only a true anthropologist helps us journey back to the begining of our own time.
The plots Straus presents are adventurous, yet marvelous for those extraordinary times.
The characters given life here are very human thus realistic
The mythological aspect throughout the story is expressed by the embracement of the animals as part of the adventure.
And of course, Daryl-
Daryl is the hero (the one who is called to the adventure). He reminds us of those who become great men, or women, whose journey becomes historical and life-changing; thus adding a verse to the song of the ever expanding universe. Daryl reminds me of an old saying, "to great men, come great challenges".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
has real depth that strikes at the root of...Read more
This book was a great joy to read. I could not put it down.
I would suggest this book The Boy to anyone with
It's story of a boy who is blessed with an inquiring mind, and who is placed in circumstances where he...Read more