Reviews of Scorpion God, the (1971)
Review by johnafair (2009-01-23)
These stories are not linked in any way at all, except in the fact that they take place in the dim distant past, and Imperial Rome. In a way, the one set in Rome is the least successful in terms of a sense of wonder - we know just a little too much about that era (or at least think we do :-)). Even this, though *was* interesting in its own right, almost veering into the territory of alternate history as an ineffective emperor rises to the occasion when his reign is threatened.
The Scorpion King, the title story, is set in pre pre dynastic Egypt *or something very similar) and tells the tale of the passing of power from one dynasty to another.
Clunk Clunk is set way back in the prehistory of humanity in a small group of humans over a few days of potential threat to their survival. Golding is not explicit about this, but you get the feeling that these are amongst the very first group of what might be considered true humans. Although I was not really expecting to enjoy this story, and I would say that wasn't quite the right word, it was intriguing enough to keep me engrossed from start to end.
(This review refers to the 1971 version titled “The Scorpion God”)