The Cold Moons

Aeron Clement, Author, Aeron Clemont, Author Delacorte Press $16.95 (333p) ISBN 978-0-385-29694-6
The history of The Cold Moons a first novel that was rejected by mainstream publishers and self-published by the author to become a runaway bestseller in Britainand the story it tells are heartwarming. Inspired by the success of environmentalists in their battle to make the badger a species protected by the full weight of the law, Clement has interspersed a brief history of that struggle among the events of this moving chronicle of survival. As explained in a brief foreword, in the early 1970s, the British government, convinced erroneously that outbreaks of tuberculosis in cattle were due to diseased badgers, ordered an extermination force to destroy the country's badger population. The extermination teams blocked all exits from the animals' underground setts and pumped in cyanide gas to produce a slow, painful death for the feisty, nocturnal beasts. In this narrative, one badger, Bamber, manages to avoid annihilation, fleeing pursuing hunters until, at death's door, he is succored by members of another badger colony long enough to convince them that their lives are endangered. The exciting story of their exodus, over mountain, through snowstorm, surviving treachery from within their ranks and attacks from the exterminators close on their heels, is made the more fascinating by insights into the habits of badgers: they clean their setts, live in extended family groups and bury their dead. Clement's love of the countryside is evident in his descriptions of flowers, insects, the very scents of the changing seasons. While his prose style is merely serviceable, his narrative will appeal both to children and their parentsthose who are ``pure in heart.'' QPBC and BOMC featured alternates. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-440-50331-6
Hardcover - 333 pages - 978-0-440-50112-1
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