The Gnoll Credo

The Gnoll Credo

by J. Stanton




"We are born and we die.

No one cares, no one remembers,

and it doesn't matter.

This is why we laugh."

There are no such things as gnolls, they never kill and eat people, and they can't read or write -- much less write something so stark, so raw, so beautifully bleak.


Because if there were, someone might have risked a violent and painful death to find them, study them, and bring back this book.

Then you might read it.

And then you might have a joyous and bloody and terribly strange adventure, and you might find yourself laughing with the gnolls.

And then what?

From a world in which Avatar is Fight Club instead of Disney's Pocahontas, James Tiptree, Jr. wrote The Dice Man, and magic doesn't work any better than it does here...

...we bring you The Gnoll Credo. Sell that 'enchanted' sword and come join the hyena-people. Don't wear your good clothes.

You can read sample chapters at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780982667132
Publisher: 100 Watt Press
Publication date: 07/22/2010
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.42(d)

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The Gnoll Credo 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
MoochPurpura on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first impression of _The Gnoll Credo_ is that it offers provocation without fully-worked out underpinnings. I read politically stimulating mundane, SF, and fantasy, so it's not just the all-too-usual misunderstanding of the genre conventions. I will give it another try and revise if necessary.
Osbaldistone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve put off writing a review of this for quite awhile. When I finished this totally engaging work, I wasn¿t sure I knew what to say about it. It may not be possible to describe this work without making it sound like one of many other-world sci-fi or alternate world fantasy novels. This could be categorized as sci-fi or fantasy, but that doesn¿t really say what this work is about. Writing about a time/place somewhere between Tolkien¿s Middle Earth and 19th century Australia, Stanton uses the interaction between an academic bureaucrat and a `savage¿ (whose people are direct competitors with humans for space) to explore questions of what is `civilized¿; was the shift to agriculture, settlement, and ever growing communities good for humankind; and, can we even consider abandoning the path we¿re on for an alternative that we rejected thousands of years ago. Stanton presents these issues without answers while weaving a completely engaging and sometimes shocking story that encourages the reader to empathize with a creature and a culture that one would normally reject outright. Well, there¿s my attempt to describe the experience of reading this book. The short review is this ¿ Just read it. It¿s a quick read, with no wasted pages, and whether or not you enjoy the story itself, as I did, it will leave you thinking about how we live on this planet in ways you probably have not considered before.Os.
oelusiveone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I don't totally agree with this credo, I thought this was an interesting book. I think anyone who enjoys controversial & thought provoking books will enjoy it. One question: If all we need for communication & information gathering is a cell phone (as portrayed in this book), then why was this published as a "real" book as oppsed to an ebook?
elli0188 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have a bit of mixed feelings about this book. It held my attention throughout, but I am thankful it is fairly short. I found the dialogue sometimes repetitive, but the discussions were also thought provoking at times. In the end, it is not a book I would recommend reading.
estarriol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Gnoll Creedo is a fictional ethnography/memoir about an academic who studies a species of hyena people known as the Gnolls. During the course of his fieldwork, he develops an intense friendship with his main contact, a Gnoll female. The fictional anthropological style is definitely this novel's strongest point. The author, J. Stanton, establishes the narrator's worldview as the "normal" baseline, making the culture and way of life of the Gnolls "other." Stanton's employment of this old-fashioned style of anthropological methodology and thought really helps the reader to understand the fantasy world that the characters inhabit, although the obvious condescension is sometimes a bit much. The style can come off as pretty ethnocentric (another reviewer compared it to Avatar, which I thought was pretty apt). All in all, though, it's worth a read. The writing is stylistically pleasing, and the pace remains steady throughout the story. I'll be interested to see what Stanton comes out with next.
heina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have very, very mixed feelings about this book, and I am going to try to express them as best I can.Overall, I found the book itself, purely as a piece of writing, to be not difficult to read. Other than the awful Epilogue, the book is tightly-paced and does not drag. Aside from that, however, I found it hard to enjoy the book for several reasons.Firstly, the world in which the book is set confuses me. At first, I figured that it would be a subtle fantasy world, something with which I have no problems. However, as the book moved on, references to people and religions in our world show up -- even an "in Soviet Russia"-style joke, which really jarred me. It really confused me that the book's world would be so different from ours and yet contain contemporary references. Secondly, the story is rather stereotypical: white man (and yes, you can tell he is white, despite the fact that his world is not ours) goes out into the African wilderness and falls in necessarily unfulfillable love with a strong-willed native woman (or hyena-woman, whatever). Thirdly, the book, like any book or movie about a white man who goes out into the wilderness to spend time with a native woman, has him idealizing the heck out of the native culture without having to deal with its harsh realities first-hand. The fact that it's a hyena-woman/gnoll doesn't erase the fact that the gnoll culture is a thinly-veiled reference to the way that native cultures are seen by idealistic white people in the real world, and a rather condescending and slightly offensive view at that. Fourthly, the hyper-masculine and mildly misogynistic world proposed for human life by the narrator is depicted by the narrator as ideal without ever really exploring any of the repercussions of such a world for non-white and/or non-male people. Last, but not least, any enjoyment I might have had of the book was utterly erased by the epilogue. The ideas hinted at and joked about in the book are taken and fashioned into a club with which the author then beats you to ensure that you understand that he wants you to stop being a squishy, lazy, sheep-le farmer and become a fast, efficient predator (even though the model for civilization that he proposes is utterly unrealistic, especially for human women).The story of White Man Goes Native (and Usually Gets a Female in the Bargain) is one that has been done over and over again (see: Avatar, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, Lawrence Of Arabia, even Ace Ventura). As a non-white non-male, I am kind of tired of seeing and reading the same story, but I suppose it's so compelling for certain people that we'll keep seeing it coming up. I guess I just can't get behind the ideas of anyone who see cultures that lack the basics of civilization as somehow superior to civilizations where we can actually cure diseases and such.
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Starts out as an interesting, if decidedly flawed, anthropological look at a race of hyena-people. Ends up as some sort of preachy rant in favor of red-blooded, meat-eating, back-to-nature libertarianism. Yeah. Not impressed.
owen1218 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
J. Stanton has created an interesting world for his Gnoll Credo. Here we have an ethnological study of a fantasy race in a medieval version of our own world. The gnolls themselves are an interesting construction, large hyena like men with a death-defying utilitarian attitude on life and a morbid sense of humor. The relationship between one of these gnolls with a professional ethnologist asks and answers many questions of importance not only to the world of this book, but to our own world. It's also just good fun.It has its downsides, though. The author exaggerates the advantages of a gnollish way of life. Humans aren't gnolls, and shouldn't be. I part ways with the author when it comes to his advocacy of directed evolution, detached individualism, utilitarian notions of realism, an essentially carnivorous diet (I eat a LOT of meat, but humans need other things, too), and especially a comment he made along the lines of "The females of all species are always crueler than the males". Also I found it dissatisfying (and confusing) when things like guns, trucks, the Internet were mentioned in the epilogue, whereas prior to this I had the sense that the world of this book was essentially medieval. The mentions of Muslims and George Orwell also threw me somewhat, although from the beginning I did kind of see the book as perhaps taking place in a future time period, albeit one that has relapsed technologically.
deslni01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Gnoll Credo tells the tale of Gryka and Aidan, two tremendously different individuals - one being human and the other being a Gnoll. The two share tales and learn about each others' cultures through conversation, and we learn what it means to be a Gnoll in a world that initially seems distant but is littered with references from our world. This lack of a different fantasy setting may be enough to deter some readers, but the real deterrence may be in the actual writing. Though it is a book that can quickly and easily be read, there is not much to grasp from it. This is the typical story of a white man who goes above and beyond to join a native culture because modern society is bad. He learns what it means to be strong, fast and efficient.As countless reviewers have suggested, reading this is like reading a book version of Avatar, Dances with Wolves, The Lost Samurai, Pocahontas or many other modern movies - except the characters are weaker and the author's agenda is to make the reader feel as if he is living a wasted, weak life. For pure entertainment purposes it isn't a terrible book, but expect to be preached to for not living your life differently.
JEldredge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ever wondered what it would be like to openly converse with another species? To have philosophical debates with a savage beast? J. Stanton created an amazing story where a highly educated human is given the ability to discuss life, tradition, and survival with a species that we would normally consider to be brutal and uncivilized and not worth attempting to understand. So is the arrogance of man.The book wraps much of what is learned from the Gnolls into a package of nostalgia and remembrance for humankind's journey from tree dwelling vegetarians to the societies you see around you today. It asks a great question about why, if so many of us are miserable in life - with all of it's complications, we can't return to a simpler time where the hunt, the kill, and the pack are most important. I do agree that all of us are guilty of filling our days with "nerga" or "needless complication". When you pick this book up, don't try to compare it to Tolkien or Eddings. If you do, you may be disappointed. I don't know that the book belongs in the fantasy section. But compare it to the great works of anthropologists Jane Goodall and Jared Diamond to see it's true importance. We are primates - the third chimpanzee. This is what scientists from many fields know and study every day. Screaming out in protest of this with words like "libertarian" or "atheist" will not dissolve what knowledge has been acquired through constant study of our ancestors. Striving to understand our wonderful planet, and how we ended up at this state of it's evolution, is never "nerga". The Gnoll Credo reminds us of that.
dlweeks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Gnoll Credo is a pretty fun read, even if it is a bit disjointed. This is the kind of book that would do well in a reading group, because it raises a lot of questions which it then leaves unexplored. The fantasy aspect leaves something to be desired if you have no imagination, otherwise the lack of detail allows the reader to imagine a great deal more than Stanton could fit between the covers. Parts of the book really blur the lines of standard fantasy and academic reporting, which can leave a reader befuddled if they don't have the cognizance required to step outside boundaries. An enjoyable read for anyone who wants a fun story of awkward friendship and cultural clashes.
Spiceca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting social commentary on humans and the way in which we "began" and how often we end up like. It poses many internal questions that will keep you pondering (provided that you enjoy pondering) about your basic values and the why of your behavior and society's behavior as a whole. The concept of gnolls was fascinating along the way and drove out points that we might make upon groups that we may call "uncivilized"Recommended for those who enjoy examining and debating human behavior.Not recommended for those who aren't interested or have any inkling to discover the road of evolution.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, easy/very interesting read.