Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk

“Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk

“Below the mill the rivers merge. First they flow close beside each other, undecided, overawed by their longed-for intimacy, and then they fall into each other and get lost in one another. The river that flows out of this melting pot by the mill is no longer either the White or the Black, but it is powerful and effortlessly drives the mill wheel that grinds the grain for bread.

Primeval lies on both the White and Black rivers and also on the third one, formed out of their mutual desire. The river arising from their confluence below the mill is called The River, and it flows on calm and contented.”

Contained herein are tales from the inhabitants of a magical little village called Primeval. There are stories of love, despair, regret, and war. This is a very spiritual book. The stories all touch upon what it means to be human - to live, and to die. It is told in a series of stories, that flow from one to the next - but that’s not to say it’s entirely linear. Some of the timelines overlap, or go back, but the whole book keeps going forward, through World War II and some of the barbaric things humans do, on all sides, and beyond to the end.

“It’s not about whether God exists or not. It’s not like that. To believe, or not to believe, that is the question.”

For me, this book was better than Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead. This feels like a book of fables, or even like a Bible. Some of the stories read like parables, but the meaning or correct answer isn’t shown fully. This book requires more from the reader in tracking all the characters, and teasing out the meaning, whatever you think it may be, from each story…but if you put in that effort you will be rewarded. I can’t wait for Ms. Tokarczuk’s massive book, The Books of Jacob, to be released. I hope it can take me on a spiritual journey just like this one.

““God sees. Time escapes. Death pursues. Eternity waits,””

Rating: ★★★★★

Book #31 in my #ReadingChallenge2021 #Books #BookReview #OlgaTokarczuk #shortstory #spiritual #fable #poland”,

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