Skip to content

Improve your Gippslandia browsing experience by using Chrome or Safari.

Contribute to Gippslandia and support positive local storytelling. — donate here

Connecting Gippsland through
positive storytelling.

Shop GippslandiaSupport Gippslandia

Connecting Gippsland through positive storytelling.


A wise hairy elephant.

Phillip Island author Chris Flynn delivers the chuckles and chortles with his latest release, Mammoth.

Jul 7, 2020

Words: Don Leeson

Contribute to support more positive local storytelling.


This highly entertaining and thought-provoking story traces the exploits of a 13,000-year-old beast and provides a rollicking introduction to how we, humans, journeyed to where we are on this globe today.

As an older person, whose reading in recent years has been either economics, social analysis or ‘whodunnit’ material, it took my brain a little while to settle into the idea of a tale being written in the first person by the spirit of a long-dead mammoth that has been freed from the mire! The resurrection of my own grey matter in adapting to our woolly narrator was greatly assisted by the light, humorous writing developing nuanced ideas that stir your mind onto an intriguing analysis of human impact.

Chris with his book, a wise hairy elephant.
Chris with his book, a wise hairy elephant.

Our hero, ‘Mammut’, provides fascinating tales of the conflict between early man and the mammoth-era wildlife that was around a handful of years before I was, as well as his spirit life after being reassembled and put on display in a museum “on the second floor of the American Philosophical Society, on Fifth and Chestnut”.

The development of these two eras provides many opportunities for insightful reflections on human behaviour in an amusing way that strangely evokes deeper thought. Chris, the writer, stimulates thought but does not create responses of anger, despair or criticism with his clever use of humour. Mammoth as heartening as it is engrossing.

As a retired teacher, I see this book as a fantastic tool for use in schools, as a story to open up an interesting conversation with young people about how humans continually influence the natural basis of life on this globe, and how to gain a balance to enable longevity.

Development of supplementary materials by Chris to assist teachers to understand his motivation in writing the book and his approach would help foster profitable conversation with many students, as the humour and humanity of Mammoth provide a great basis for learning!


Mammoth (UQP $32.99) is also available as an audiobook, narrated by Rupert Degas (Wavesound). The cover artwork of Mammut is by Webuyyourkids and the chapter heading illustrations are by Chris’ partner, Eirian Chapman, whose whimsical animal illustrations were featured in Gippslandia #12.

to Gippslandia.

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.

More in

    Bass Coast Shire

Share this article


Read this next


Island life.

Island life has worked its magic and the new, relaxed setting has proven to be a creative... Read more

More in Culture


Drawn to art.

Artist and curator Melanie Caple shares insights into the immense power of art to lift our spirits. Read more

Support Gippslandia

Support from our readers is what keeps the lights on and the printing presses running.


Get Gippslandia in your inbox

Get fresh updates from your favourite periodical.... periodically.

Browse topics

Food & Drink

Explore regions

East Gippsland Shire


Gippslandia is made possible thanks to our supporting partners. They are businesses that believe in the value of sharing optimistic tales from our great region. We encourage you to support them in return, as without them, Gippslandia wouldn’t exist.

About Gippslandia

Gippslandia is a community, non-profit publication. We curate an ever-optimistic take on regional, national and global issues, in a local context. Leaving you feeling like a Gippslandia local, no matter where you’re from. Read more

© 2021 Gippslandia, All rights reserved