Third in Anthony's series of ecological message novels (Shame of Man, 1994, etc.), each structured as a succession of (this time, 20) story-chapters that follow the fortunes of a single family while illustrating millions of years of genetic and cultural evolution. Way to go. Each chapter comes with an implicit admonishment (sometimes not so implicit) to mend our ways. Every story has a foreword to explain what's going on and an afterword to explain what's happened. The book also has an Introduction to explain the author's message (in case it doesn't register as you read) and an Author's Note at the end to explain everything else that might possibly need explaining. One thought just won't go away: Why not cut out the middle man and just write the explanations . . . and explanations of the explanations?