- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Mass Market Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 12, 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034530067X
- ISBN-13: 978-0345300676
- Package Dimensions: 6.8 x 4 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Quest for Fire Mass Market Paperback – January 12, 1982
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There is no Wagabui tribe; instead they're a gigantic (in height) tribe called the Blue-Skinned men. It's the cannibalistic Kzam tribe that attacks the Oulhamr tribe in the beginning and vexes them throughout the story. The novel starts after the attack with the Oulhamrs already running for cover and to regroup. The novel's dialogue is in English, unlike the primitive language created by Anthony Burgess for the film. However, the prose is presented in a different (primitive?) manner. There is no Ika character (played by Rae Dawn Chong) in the novel, and the Ivaka tribe in the movie are called the Thin Men or the Wahs in the novel. Like the movie, they hold the secret to the sacred Fire.
The novel has the three Oulhamr warriors, Naoh the son of the Leopard, Gaw & Nam set out on the quest like the movie. Unlike the movie, the love interest is not Ika (as mentioned) or a girl from another tribe. If Naoh retrieves sacred Fire he gets the "ownership" of the Oulhamr's chief's daughter, Gammla, without giving any ransom in exchange and also be heir to the chief. In the novel, the Oulhamrs, based on their description, seem to resemble Neanderthals more than they do in the movie.
The novel is presented in three parts; the first part is about the attack aftermath, the death of the sacred Fire, the beginning of the quest, killing the huge gray bear & eluding the giant lion and the tigress. Part two concerns itself with the feud between the Oulhamrs & the Kzams, Naoh gaining the trust of the Mammoths and Gaw getting separated after a fight with the Kzams. Part three was about the battle with the red-skinned Little Men, befriending the Wahs, learning the secret of fire, a run-in with the giant Blue-Skinned tribe, an encounter with the giant bear in the gorge, and a final battle (as in the movie) with three renegade Oulhamr warriors called the Hairy Ones led by Aghoo son of the Aurochs.
Tremendous book, great descriptions without being too wordy. A real enjoyable & quick read with unusual and interesting characters, as well as exciting encounters and battles. Also, short chapters for readers with short attention spans. I felt the wait was worth it, and the search paid off. It also increased the enjoyment of the movie for me. Go figure?
Rosny paints a vivid picture of the landscape, without page after page of desription - quite a trick.
The film took only the bare skeleton of the novel, so, this will be a completely new story, even for fans of the film (myself included).
The plot is like the movie, three Neanderthals have to search for fire after their own is put out. Drama, action, adventure. Yes, kind of. And being so short means you can get through it fast. But don't mistake this for a masterpiece. If you have to pick between buying this or buying the movie PICK the movie.