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The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
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The Land of Painted Caves (2011)

by Jean M. Auel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Earth's Children (6)

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1,363855,632 (2.95)62
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English (79)  French (3)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
While it is a good read here and there, this one is a bit too much recycling everything that has happened in the earlier books. There are still people who do not know Ayla, and it is exhausting that they all need to have to hear why and when and where Wolf and horses came along every time. Also, these people are just so perfect and correct in everything they do that the villains thrown in there really seem out of place. ( )
  hirvela | Sep 29, 2014 |
It felt as though this series had run its course by the time I got to book 5, and I picked up this final instalment with some trepidation. Would it be possible to breathe new life into this stuttering project?

It wasn’t long before that question was answered in the negative. Okay, in a book called “The Land of Painted Caves” it would be reasonable to expect a cave or two to feature. But crikey, the first four hundred pages were little more than a tour of caves, each one more tedious than the next. Around about page 300 Ayla remarks that she has rather had enough of looking at caves for now, and I have to admire her staying power – I had reached that conclusion at least 100 pages earlier.

What has happened to this series which began so strongly? (Clan of the Cave Bear is one of my fave books of all time). Now the characters are flat, wooden and predictable, and drama has been replaced with the mundane. Elaborate and yawnworthy plans are made for two groups to go on an expedition and meet up partway. Except one group doesn’t turn up on time. Jondalar can’t get a signal on his Blackberry, or something like that, and they have to go back and look for them. What a drag. And you just know from the way things have been going for the last couple of thousand pages, if someone perishes in an earthquake or some random hunting disaster it won’t be anyone you’ve previously heard of, so it won’t register much anyway.

My genuine advice to anyone hesitating about reading this book is to start at page 522. Unless you’re keen to hear about Ice Age attitudes to capital punishment you will have missed nothing. And contrary to all expectation, in the very last quarter of the book something actually happens. In the context of such undiluted tedium it was like being hit by a swinging brick. I had genuine concerns over a certain person acting out of character (and given there is only one facet to his character, to act out of it is pretty bad) but let’s park that, because when you’re dying of thirst and someone offers you a beer you just drink it. What a relief to finally have a reason to read on. Until, of course, the author decided that what the plot needed was another cave.

There is far too much repetition, not just of the flipping Mother’s Song (which if I never read again it will be too soon), but of plotlines from previous books, as though it is hoped people will read this as a stand alone novel. Anyone doing so is going to be massively disappointed. The best place to start is with the first book – maybe followed by the next three – but then stop. ( )
1 vote jayne_charles | Sep 15, 2014 |
I was not disappointed with this book. The details of how people must have lived 10,000 are so fascinating, and the books are so fabulously researched. They tend to be a little repetitious, but because of their length and descriptions I am not sure this can be avoided. The cave explorations were many, and highly detailed, yet similar. The most valuable detail that I got is that no one really knows how or why the caves were painted, or what the meanings were, even during Ayla's time they were said to be done by Ancients. I read many reviews about this book, and I think they were mixed. Personally, I liked it a great deal. It is mostly Ayla's story and adventures into becoming Zelandoni; Jondalar and her daughter are not in the forefront, but are a big part of the book. Some of the reviews said that Ayla ignores her daughter and I did not find this to be true at all. I am very much glad to know more of Ayla' story. I think it does not end here; in fact, the ending was very much thought provoking. ( )
  Dmtcer | Jun 3, 2014 |
I was not disappointed with this book. The details of how people must have lived 10,000 are so fascinating, and the books are so fabulously researched. They tend to be a little repetitious, but because of their length and descriptions I am not sure this can be avoided. The cave explorations were many, and highly detailed, yet similar. The most valuable detail that I got is that no one really knows how or why the caves were painted, or what the meanings were, even during Ayla's time they were said to be done by Ancients. I read many reviews about this book, and I think they were mixed. Personally, I liked it a great deal. It is mostly Ayla's story and adventures into becoming Zelandoni; Jondalar and her daughter are not in the forefront, but are a big part of the book. Some of the reviews said that Ayla ignores her daughter and I did not find this to be true at all. I am very much glad to know more of Ayla' story. I think it does not end here; in fact, the ending was very much thought provoking. ( )
  Dmtcer | Jun 3, 2014 |
This is the long awaited sixth and final book in the Earth's Children series. It has been generally poorly received by fans and I can see why: it repeats the flaw of the fifth book The Shelters of Stone in containing a lot of repetition, both within the book and from earlier books in the series. The endless descriptions of painted caves in the first two thirds of the book will tire many readers, though I find prehistoric art a fascinating discovery and all these descriptions are based on real cave art, much of which shows a very high level of skill and beauty. There is frequent reiteration of the same points of Zelandonii customs and practices and of the behaviour of Wolf and the horses. The book is also somewhat disappointing in that it doesn't resolve plot threads from earlier books, in particular the fate of Durc, Ayla's half Clan son. That said, it does bring the welcome return of some old friends from The Mammoth Hunters (book 3, and my personal second favourite of the series), who add some colour to the somewhat bland and faceless nature of most of the individuals of the Zelandonii tribe. It also brings the return of the main theme of the latter part of that book, jealousy and misunderstanding between Ayla and Jondalar, though this does have the benefit of showing them to be less than the paragons of heroic virtue that they are throughout most of the books.

Overall, while I understand the reasons for many readers' disappointment, I still largely enjoyed reading this. Its slow moving, spiritual feel is a refreshing contrast to many other books I read and I found myself looking forward to immersing myself in this very different and largely peaceful world on the train home after a hard day in the office in central London. Being slow isn't necessarily a flaw - many pre 20th century literary classics are slow by modern standards. If one accepts this fundamental point, there is still a lot to be got out of this work, though it will never be as memorable as the first three books in the series. ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
Among modern epic spinners, Auel has few peers. And readers need not worry: There are enough loose ends to feed a half-dozen more books. We’ll hope to see more, magic mushrooms or no.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean M. Auelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For RAEANN
First born, last cited, always loved,
and for FRANK,
who stands by her side,
and for AMELIA and BRET, ALECIA, and EMORY,
fine young adults,
with love
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The band of travellers walked along the path between the clear sparkling water of Grass River and the black-streaked white limestone cliff, following the trail that paralleled the right bank.
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Book description
From the jacket:

Ayla, Jondelar and Jonayla are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave - a shelter of stone. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte and has embarked on an arduous task of training to become a spiritual leader. It is a daunting, often perilous work that sometimes takes her away from her family. Ayla, Jondalar, and Jonayla are welcomed by the Zelandonii, but problems arise.
They are faced with new challenges, not just the ordinary trials of sheer survival, but the complications posed by many groups of people who need to live and work together. the wisdom that Ayla gained from her struggles as an orphaned child, alone in a hostile environment, strengthens her as she moves closer to leadership of the Zelandonia.

Ayla and Jondalar's first priority is the care for their golden-haird child, Jonayla, and the well-being of their amazing animals Wolf, Whinney, Racer and Gray. The two participate in hunts to provide food, in travels to Summer Meetings for decision making, and in social activities. Whatever the obstacles, Ayla's inventive spirit produces new ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life; searching for wild edibles to make delicious meals, experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandonii must take, honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And then, there are the Sacred Caves, the caves that Ayla's mentor - the Donier, the First of the Zelandonia - takes her to see. These caves are filled with remarkable art - paintings of mammoths, lions, auroches, rhinoceros, reindeer, bison, bear. the powerful, mystical aura within these caves dominates overwhelms Ayla.
Ayla's final preparation for her initiation as a Zelandonie Bring The Land of the Painted Caves to a riveting climax. So much time apart from Jondalar has caused him to drift away from her. The rituals themselves bring her close to death. But through those rituals, Ayla gains a Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change the world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517580519, Hardcover)

The highly anticipated sixth book of Jean Auel's Earth's Children® series, The Land of Painted Caves, is the culmination fans have been waiting for. Continuing the story of Ayla and Jondalar, Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago. The Land of Painted Caves is an exquisite achievement by one of the world's most beloved authors.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:14 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni -- one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers.

» see all 7 descriptions

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