So not the classic from Anton Chekhov, this one was about a tribe of prehistoric hominids where Uncle Vanya was a member of the tribe that insisted that they were evolving too slowly.

He was the one that tried to eat everything, because how else would you know which one killed you.

I brought the paperback many years ago, at least 25, mainly because the cover had Terry Pratchett's name on the cover (in a rather larger font than the actual authors name). It was accidently disposed of and would love to read it again so any help would be appreciated.

  • Back to the trees!
    – njzk2
    Jan 20 at 21:34
  • Another Pratchett reference to Uncle Vanya, although it's a reference to the Chekhov work... From Wikipedia (Uncle Vanya page): The Fifth Elephant, a 1999 novel by Terry Pratchett, includes a pastiche of Chekhov plays in which "the gloomy and purposeless trousers of Uncle Vanya" are loaned to Captain Vimes.
    – Wossname
    Jan 22 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


The Evolution Man: Or, How I Ate My Father by Roy Lewis

Cover of The Evolution Man

Penguin Random House Canada has this review :

Here is a typical Stone Age family, reimagined by Roy Lewis in this hilarious novel as characters in some glittering drawing-room comedy. Father, who has a scientific turn of mind, has just discovered fire. Mother makes sure the children finish supper, even when the plat du jour is toad. Uncle Vanya thinks that the species has been flirting with disaster ever since it began to chip flint into tools. While little Alexander has gotten himself in deep trouble by making the first cave painting: artists are always so misunderstood.

This review mentions both Uncle Vanya and Sir Terry's recommendation.

I would not say it is as funny as Sir Terry, but it has its moments, Uncle Vanya being a particular favourite of mine.

Most likely cover with the Pratchett introduction:
Cover of the book with Terry Pratchett introduction noted in large font

Found with a search for site:goodreads.com "uncle vanya" -chekhov

  • 18
    That second cover is an affront on so many levels. I'd suspect deliberate deception in the excessive emphasis of Sir Terry's contribution, but the wonky and oddly placed "Evolution the Man" title presents a powerful argument for ineptitude instead.
    – Jay McEh
    Jan 18 at 22:18

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