As regular readers of my little book blog (Troutbirder II) probably know, my reading tastes are fairly eclectic but leaning a little to history and biography. My latest read ( a novel) perhaps leans way too far back in human history, like maybe thirty thousand years to the upper Paleolithic period. The reason for this stretch is quite simple…. My lifelong love for dogs.
Set against the most dramatic time in our species' history, The Dog Master tells the story of one tribe's struggle for survival and one extraordinary man's bond with a wolf - a friendship that changed mankind forever
Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, who was both predator and prey.
No stranger to the experiences that make us human-a mother's love and a father's betrayal, tribal war and increasing famine, political intrigue and forbidden love, joy and hope and devastating loss-our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape.
Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction...but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new “technology” - domesticated wolves.
Only a set of extraordinary circumstances could have transformed one of these fierce creatures into a hunting companion, a bodyguard, a soldier, and a friend. The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming of age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog.
The story follows three timelines: the present day life of a professor who believes humans succeeded because of their early relationship with dogs, the early life of Mal's mother, and Mal's attempts to survive with a wolf he names Dog. The story opens with Mal struggling to survive on his own after being cast out of his tribe. He finds a wounded wolf with three puppies and they bond together in a cave. I was instantly hooked by this premise. Every chapter ended with a cliffhanger that propelled me through the book. I cared deeply about Mal's mother and both of her sons. She is intelligent and resourceful, my favorite type of character. The pre-history setting was fascinating, in part because everything is truly life or death. I also loved Clan of the Cave Bear, which I read some years ago. This book is better. I highly recommend it. Even to people who prefer cats….:)
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