Who would have thought a book about erasure, eradication, and extinction could be so enormously entertaining?
Chris Flynn’s colossally funny MAMMOTH is the stupendous story of a Mammut americanum, excavated and exhumed thirteen thousand years after he sank into the mire after a glacier fell on him.
A portrait painter dug him up in 1801, the painter’s son and a slave reassembled him with his tusks upside down, the skeleton toured to France under Government aegis in a scientific bid to make America great again.
Speaking as an original American, Mammut decries: Nothing compares to this nation’s willingness to promote patently false notions about itself in order to create a myth of American potency. Politics I this country has at its core an overcompensation for feelings of inadequacy. That is why men self-aggrandise so, and why successive paternalistic leaders have attempted to overcome their inferiority complexes by appropriating symbols of strength from the natural world.
You know you are in for a punning linguistic pleasure with the glorious opening line, “The passage of time is difficult for me to parse.” The passage of time is given an ingenious narrative as relics relinquish eternal hibernation, reminiscing and raconteuring on a plane of existence called fosilife.
Bare bones, literally, flesh out a behemoth epoch epic, as the main narrator, Mammut, a passionate proto pachyderm, a gargantuan grandiloquent, drives a tale throughout millennia, a revel without a pause.
The silver tongued trunk and tusker regales a tale of claws and jaws, Jurassic Park meets Raiders of the Lost Ark. This book screams out for a Spielberg film.
A jive talking Teen Rex, a pterodactyl, a famous Mummy, Nicolas Cage, Leonardo Di Caprio and Russell Crowe are just some of the colourful cast assembled in this colossal caper that romps from the prehistoric to the post hysterical, an eon leaping comedy of eras.
MAMMOTH is master storytelling of mastodon magnitude, a momentous and memorable millennium hopping hoot, complete with heart stopping action and heart breaking poignancy.
MAMMOTH by Chris Flynn is published by University of Queensland Press.