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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

The Mud Man (Author: Donna Marie West)

The Mud Man (Book Cover)

Engaging, Absorbing, Captivating

Genre: Pre-historic Fiction/Contemporary Fiction/Mystery

The Mud Man By Donna Marie West

Veronica had no idea that the telephone call she had just taken was the most important call of her career. Yet, when she arrived at the site, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. It was the ultimate ‘artefact’ that an archaeologist could ever wish to unearth.

As they began to uncover the man who was still wearing part of the original skins of his people, it became evident that he was still alive, albeit barely, and Veronica hadn’t even began to contemplate the long and difficult road that lay ahead and how to communicate the intricacies of the modern world versus his rudimentary past, not to mention the whereabouts of the people he would have undoubtedly left behind, and what they could learn from him……but the bigger question of all hung in the air, would he even survive?

The Mud Man is a well constructed thought provoking novel and I have to commend the author for the amount of research and preparation that must have gone into writing this book. From medical facts to medication, to the tools he and his people would have made and used, clothing and practices that existed in the Mud Man’s time, and also the language, although I gather from the ‘About the author’ blurb at the end, that she is a translator so therefore has a flare for languages.

The book gave a fascinating insight into the indigenous man’s customs and all the modern culture that he would have to cope with and learn. Particularly the trauma of realising that he no longer has a friend or a living relative in existence .

The eventual reason discovered for his survival was very cleverly explained but at the same time was undemanding for anyone reading who does not have a great interest in detail of pre-historic times. It was contemporary with today enough to keep any readers attention.

The Mud Man was very childlike in his demeanour but also, clearly, extremely bright, being able to pick up words and activities from Veronica and the others. However, his frustration at finding himself ‘alone’ in a strange place when he expected to die all those thousands of years ago was evident, and although he continued to put on a good front after his initial reaction to the news from Veronica because he felt that that was what was expected of him, it was hard to believe that he would be happy existing in ‘Vee’s world’.

The conclusion didn’t particularly feel like an unexpected one to me. Towards the end of the novel I had wondered whether the end would allow for a sequel but it felt fitting for our ‘Mud Man’ and for all concerned to end on the note that it did. The ‘Mud Man’ is an extremely absorbing and captivating read. I may not have been inspired purely by the title and the cover and on this occasion and did read something of the synopsis but it was most definitely worth my time and I hope the author considers my review to be worthy of her work. I have already recommended it to others.

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