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First edition cover
|Publication date||April 1996|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||368 p. (hardback edition) & 395 p. (paperback edition)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-679-44978-7 (hardback edition) & ISBN 0-312-96300-9 (paperback edition)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 20|
|LC Classification||PS3554.A727 N43 1996|
The plot of Neanderthal revolves around two rival scientists, Matt Mattison and Susan Arnot, who are sent by the United States government to search for missing anthropologist James Kellicut. Their only clue for their search is a neanderthal skull. The skull should have existed 40,000 years ago, however carbon dating shows it is only twenty-five years old.
The Russian and American governments are competing to study the surviving Neanderthals, because of their power of remote viewing. The Neanderthals are split into two tribes, a peaceful valley tribe and a cannibalistic, violent mountain tribe. Soon, the protagonists are captured by Neanderthals and must try to escape from the cannibal tribe. They hope to do so without jeopardizing the safety of the peaceful tribe. It eventually, however, becomes necessary to train the peaceful tribe for war. The novel explains that such a completely peaceful society was doomed in any case, and would have been destroyed soon by the mountain tribe.
Characters in "Neanderthal"
- Matt Mattison – protagonist, a scientist
- Susan Arnot – Mattison's scientific rival and former lover
- James Kellicut – an anthropologist who has gone missing
- Van Steeds – Scientist and representative of Institute of Prehistoric studies in the expedition
- Eagleton – Head of Institute of Prehistoric studies and using Mattison and Arnot
- Rudy – Russian-Tajik guide of the expedition
- Sharafidin – Guide of Kellicut
- Sergei – Member of the doomed Russian expedition
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