Birthright-Michael Stewart (1990)

michael stewart-birthright

Who knew having a Neanderthal around the house would be so dull? I’m guessing Stewart was trying to be accurate as opposed to getting overly dramatic with lots of slam bang action. No problem with his trying for reality but it’s a long,slow ride that has to speed up to stop.

Sam Wendell is an archeologist from Harvard. In the Soviet Caucasus mountains a twelve year old Neanderthal boy is holding burial rights for his father, Atta. His bones are laid out along with a flintstone he wore around his neck.

Sam comes across the site and puts the bones and flintstone in his backpack. While driving away in his Jeep Sam crashes. The boy finds the flintstone and thinks Sam is the reincarnation of his father. It’s not easy but Sam manages to get him across the Turkish border. In the hospital Sam dies. He left behind a notebook.

The boy is adopted by Sam’s widow Julia. She and her daughter Sandy from a previous marriage live in Boston where they moved from England. She names him Adam.  Adam has frequent temper tantrums and destroys furniture and anything else he can get his hands on. Fourteen year old daughter Sandy is less than thrilled but pollyanna Julia keeps calling for patience. She thinks love can conqueror all. Trying to help out is archeologist Max. Julia doesn’t know it but she was Sam’s mistress.

Julia takes Adam to watch Sandy play basketball with the school team. Adam ends up on the court and he looks like future NBA material. The team captain Scott is Sandy’s next door neighbor. She’d like to play more than basketball with him. A later and violent confrontation involving Adam puts that on hold.

Max is interested in Adam as a science project. She wants to investigate his genetic makeup and try and do some engineering to give him his birthright of civilization.

This is a good premise but it’s one of the dullest reads I’ve had in a long time. If I want a discussion about the meaning of  what is civilized I’ll pick up a philosophy book.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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