Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Books Before 2008: Mutant Message Down Under

It's that time of year again, and your friendly neighborhood librarians are eager to tell you about the best books of 2008. Here is Barbara with a review of her favorite book read this year, though it was published earlier. An oldie but a goodie!

Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan (1994)

It was not published but read for the first time in 2008, and it was for me the heart-stopper of the year. Yes, I can remake a concept of my place, my “being one” in the universe.

This supposed fiction by Morgan blew me away with a unified universe philosophy created by a people with the most basic technology but a mind boggling, all encompassing world view.

Morgan was taken on a walk-about for three months by a group of Aborigines who abhorred contact with “civilization". She lived as they did, gradually learning their methods of communication and traveling across a featureless area of Australia with only their songlines to guide them. She ate what they ate: insects, animals they caught, plants. She went naked into the wilderness, laughed, sang and played. It was for her a journey of incredible discovery.

If you see the movie Australia this year, this book will illuminate aspects of the Aboriginal interactions which may mystify you if you are not familiar with their culture. It will explain the songs, the communication between protagonists, and other aspects only briefly touched upon.

Can this story be true as Morgan insists, or is it really fiction? Is there a message for us, the Mutants?

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