Cover Image: My Pagan Ancestor Zuri

My Pagan Ancestor Zuri

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Member Reviews

I was very excited about this title, but had such a hard time getting into the writing style. The language was a bit too flowery and needed to be pared down a bit more so it wasn't taking away from the narrative as much.
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A tome where the author uses prehistory to ramble on about his far left socialist policies, using a fictional tribe and character he makes up with very little historical research other than his own imagination, in order to pontificate on his politics in the present.

Avoid.
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If I'm honest the Neolithic period is not one that has interested me much. I know it's where our history was forged but there is so little information it's hard to get a real handle on it. Enter Ken West, some great research plus a whole lot of imagination and finally, it has come alive for me! By drawing comparisons to today and conjuring up Zuri, a character very easy to emphasise with despite many difference West has lent some solidity to the period. I really enjoyed this - the writing style is informative but with some dry wit slid in to keep us entertained. A short but enthralling read.
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A very engaging, interesting read. well written and researched  If you know nothing about the time period, it won't matter, the book has you covered explaining everything. For such a short book, it's packed full of information. I recommend to any history lover
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I really enjoyed this book, which is a mixture of fact and fiction (but the fiction is plausible conjecture).  As such, it reads more easily than just fact, and is more enjoyable than pure fiction because it has the nexus with the real world.  I learned a great deal about the people of the Avonlands (as he calls them), Stonehenge, the Beaker culture, and methods of burial, pottery-making, skin-curing, and much more.  Ken West brings the past alive in a way that I liked and I think that older students would like, as well.
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Thankyou to NetGalley,  the publishers and the author,  Ken West, for the opportunity to read a digital copy of My Pagan Ancestor Zuri in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. 
I found this to be an interesting read. 
The storyline was well thought out and written.  The imagery was very descriptive and captivating.  
Worth a read.
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John Hunt Publishing and Chronos Books promises that My Pagan Ancestor Zuri provides insightful parallels between Neolithic life and present day, with a focus on social history. The author's imagination delivers a picture of the life of Zuri, a female in the farming community around Avonlands during Neolithic times. Ken West's portrayal of the every day life of Zuri is full of facts that are woven into a story of Zuri's life. 

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that I could read each chapter as an essay, a stand alone reading that allowed me to reflect on the similarities and the differences between Zuri and the current population of gerontacracy. It was a soothing read for me as the portrayals of wildlife, plants, climate and everyday living were woven into a view of life both ancient and modern. I was drawn into the sense of place, both natural and man made.

Another aspect that I particularly enjoyed was Ken West's sense of humor, particularly when he makes wry observations of the mindset of gerontocracy or the current state of the world in regards to politics. 

His title for Chapter 22, The Advent of Bling, made me laugh out loud. In that chapter West introduced the reader to the Amesbury Archer, which in West's view should be held with the same veneration as Otzi. The Archer was a tribe member of the Beaker People from Europe, and the Beakers would have introduced the Bronze Age to the Stone Age mindset of Zuri's community. They showed up to Stonehenge with copper and gold, and West described quite a dashing physical appearance for the Amesbury Archer, which included fancy leather in addition to the bling of the copper and gold. 

My Pagan Ancestor Zuri was a treat to read. I was fortunate enough to read an advance e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It's a book that I will purchase for my personal library as it truly was one of my favorite books to read in 2019.
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Takes place in Dorset, England and alternates between the author and Zuri - and is more story like. There is history laid through the book and what might have happened to Zuri and those around her. It talks about Rome coming in, Christianity, Sronhenge, burials and more.
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Book: My Pagan Ancestor Zuri
Author: Ken West
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Chronos Books, for providing me with this ARC. I really do appreciate you guys sending me your new titles. 

Let me start out by saying that I’m really not at all interested in the Stone Age; it’s just not my cup of tea. The only reason I took one this title was because Sarah and Ben asked me to give it a go. I must say that I was very surprised. Normally books about the Stone Age are based on whims and don’t have any support to go along with them. This one was different. You could tell right away that Ken had done his homework and put a lot of time and effort into creating this story. 

This book is a mix of nonfiction and fiction. We have Zuri’s tale, which is based on fact, but her story is fiction. However, it comes across as nonfiction. Ken has paid so much attention to his research and detail that it reads like nonfiction. Now, there is nonfiction in here. We get to learn about Zuri’s people and the culture of Ancient Britain. As Ken has pointed out, these were not simple people. There was a very complex society in place. I mean, do you really think that simple people built Stonehenge-which is something that I do want to see? 

I also like how Ken made comparisons and contrasted Zuri’s life with ours. This took a lot of craft, I think, to pull it off and have a valid point. I mean, I’ve read a good bit if nonfiction and so many times that argument is lost in the story. I read one like that not just too long ago. To hold onto your points and have that support really shows something. 

I really did enjoy Ken’s writing. This is not a long volume and it is not a difficult read at all. Ken really lays everything out and explains it in a way that everyone can understand. You really don’t need to have any kind of background knowledge on Ancient Britain or even the Stone Age. You really just need to read the book and go along with it. Now, all of the talk about the elderly did get old and that’s why I knocked off a star. I don’t really see what talking about Ken’s flowers and how society looks at the elderly has to do with this book. That’s just me though.  

Overall, a really well written and put together book. Again, it’s not all nonfiction, but the story part is so well done that you will think you are reading something right out of history. I mean, really, it does feel like you are traveling with Zuri and her family. 

This book comes out on August 1, 2019. I will hopefully have a book preview up on Youtube sometime soon; I usually post them closer to the release date.
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An interesting and engrossing read, I liked this book.
It's a good mix of facts and fiction, well written and well researched.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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I found this book to be an interesting read and something I would not generally pick up. The author has well researched his work and the combination of fact and fiction blends well. I did however find at times the use of certain words to repetitious - it was almost like he had found a new word and was putting it in at every opportunity.
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