REVIEWS: My Date with Neanderthal Woman

By David Galef; another first person POV, and exposition immediate to start the story arc.  The narrator is planning his date with yes, a Neanderthal. First conflict: what to bring, flowers or beef?  The concept here is terrific–we simply have to accept the facts as the narrator tells us the story.

We’re placed right into the action by the second paragraph after the intial setup in the first, and the second conflict arises: she doesn’t immediately answer the door.  Here, while the narrator/protagonist busily attempts to overcome this problem by kicking and calling, Galef sneaks in some background: the TransWorld Dating Agency, thus answering the big question raised of What the f…? that magical realism brings with it.

What the protagonist evidently wants is a date without meaningless small talk and other aggravating tendencies that he assigns to the contemporary female.  And this is how far he’ll go to achieve that.

Interesting though that even he notes "Anyway, there’s a limit to what I can achieve by gestures."  Though I take this as tongue-in-cheek.

There is a definite story arc in this strictly linier narrative, the backstory being just used as explanation and not really episodic enough to break the timeline. Verisimiltude is in place as the differences in culture are noted yet overcome.

Lotta humor here, i.e., "She smiled, the gaps in her teeth drawing me in.  Her earthy aroma was a definite aphrodisiac." What’s interesting however is what allowances he will make for this, and how his perspective is voiced.  I get the image of stink versus chatter, both of which introduce and call up the senses to the reader.

The ending is a bit anticlimatic (and even hokey), though in truth, I wondered where the actual climax took place.  Perhaps in this:  "What a woman!" Even so, the resolution is not clear and raises new questions to hold the tension throughout: "I like rock music and she likes the music of rocks" and "(…)but I can’t e-mail her."

In any event, I wish them well. 

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