Criticism of PRIMAL

(for praise instead, click here )

More to come – check back in a week or so

From Professional Critics

News of the World (28 June 2009)

… not as weird as LOST and nowhere near as revelatory as LORD OF THE FLIES. But if all you are looking for is something to get you through a day’s sunbathing, this will do the trick.

Highlander (17 June 2009)

Coming across as something like a cross between BIG BROTHER, LOST and LORD OF THE FLIES this is one of the strangest books I have read in a while. Containing more sex than a bumper collection of PLAYBOY yet strangely un-erotic, this coupled with the cod-documentary style of the narrative makes the book interesting if not particularly entertaining. … The author is trying to make a point about animal instincts throughout … Unfortunately in order to prove that point the author has to contrive some very strange plot points most of which left this reader smirking with incredulity rather than any sense of anticipation. … It’s a book that is designed to shock … but for me it lacked narrative cohesion and hence tension. The uncomfortable split between the first and second sections didn’t work for me as the pace inevitably ground to a halt just as things had begun to get interesting. … It’s not for the shy and retiring types either, the sex and violence (and often both) are portrayed in graphic detail and make for uncomfortable reading. … just not my kind of thing, only really recommended to those who enjoy philosophical and psychological questions, or who collect names for genitalia!

From General Readers

M. Daly (11 April 2013)

Man at the mercy of instinctual drives . This book is a very crude reductionist view of humanity, and does a disservice to the field of sexual biology. Predictable plotlines, simplistic, one dimensional and transparent characteristation along with base motivation make for a nasty read. It’s less “Lord Of The Flies” and more a cross between “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here” and “Big Brother”. I was unable to get past page 70.This feels like porn masquerading as genuine science. Avoid. (

Rob Lundy (18 July 2010)

This could have been a great story and started out in a believable, intriguing style of writing. However, it soon descends into one of the nastiest books I have read. I think it is an insult to mention LORD OF THE FLIES in the same breath. … I was so disappointed that what started off well just ended up as bilge. I am sure the author got great pleasure out of writing it but I got very little pleasure from reading it. (

Dave Adamson (9 July 2009)

… some moments of dullness … In the background, we’ve got a slew of other characters … The(ir) characteristics are painted on with a trowel and form the weakest part of the narrative. The ending isn’t very satisfactory … There is no justice mentioned in the book; an addendum explaining what happened post publication to each character would have set this off nicely. … there are no press clippings, nor are there any photos to give the metafiction that added sense of reality … Baker’s prose is occasionally self indulgent, especially in the first part … (

TASHA (3 July 2009)

… There is a mystery, though one I worked out fairly quickly. I do read a lot of crime fiction, so can perhaps spot the signs more quickly than someone who doesn’t. I don’t think the mystery was really the main point of the book, so this doesn’t necessarily distract from the overall read, though it was a little disappointing for me, personally. … Would I recommend it? … I wouldn’t buy it for any of my teenage relatives … Nor for my mum! (