BALOOK by Piers Anthony


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Thanks to genetic reconstruction, Baluchitherium--an enormous, rhino-like creature of the Miocene epoch--lives again. In a contrived, strung-out plot, two of these reconstructed gentle giants (Balook and Theria) plus their offspring (Balooky) survive various present-day challenges--ranging from a cut in research funds to a trial for manslaughter--thanks largely to their teen-age human companions, Thor and Barbara. The animals are engagingly and believably rendered, but Anthony fumbles awkwardly when it comes to people. Barbara is introduced as a "tomboy," since "portions of her body just had not yet done their thing," and Thor is all too capable of lines like "Let me down. I want to touch this realm, to experience it directly." Thor finally persuades the head of a power company that his charges would make good natural tree-surgeons and thus saves them from a second extinction. In a long, self-indulgent afterword, the author attacks magazine editors for not buying this as a short story. Woodroffe's illustrations, many of them in color, are elaborate and affectionate, but even they don't save it as a novel.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1990
ISBN: 88733-069-X
Page count: 197pp
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