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The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel

The Shelters of Stone (2002)

by Jean M. Auel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Earth's Children (5)

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4,322661,144 (3.55)55



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English (59)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
It's worse the second time around. Much, much worse. ( )
  lesmel | Dec 9, 2014 |
Hmm. Auel is repeating herself. I'm sort of crushed under the weight of my disappointment. 12 years of waiting for a book that could have been 1/3 the length...and better for it. ( )
  lesmel | Dec 9, 2014 |
We waited for HOW LONG for this? Jean can and has done better. Rather disappointing. ( )
  amymyoung | Nov 27, 2014 |
Coming back to this series after some years away, I was looking forward to catching up with some familiar characters, and continuing what had been quite a compelling story. Though I got through it quite quickly, and there wasn’t any possibility of my leaving it unfinished, I was surprised by how wooden it was. I can’t remember if the previous books were so repetitive and over-explained, but perhaps what made them stand apart from this one was the existence of a plot, or some kind of hook that would pull the reader through the duller parts. Here, the story takes place over relatively little time – perhaps only a few months, and moments of conflict – surely the lifeblood of fiction – are few and far between, mostly consisting of prehistoric superwoman Ayla spotting a problem and instantly waving her magic wand and solving it before moving on to something else.

If there’s a theme running through this book I’d say it was the portrayal of modern-day problems in a prehistoric setting. So we had bitchy women in the ice-age. Premarital sex in the ice age. Racism in the ice age. Disability in the ice-age. And perhaps most startling of all, alcoholic welfare scroungers in the ice age.

I have a feeling the storytelling element of this series may be over, and all that remains now is to fill the reader in on the rest of the author’s knowledge – undoubtedly based on meticulous research. Much space is taken up with lectures given by the cave’s spiritual leader to other characters, which are really thinly veiled lectures by the author to the reader. And that’s veiled by nothing thicker than a single-ply Tesco Value tissue. It’s not that I object to being educated, but it all seemed a bit naked somehow. ( )
  jayne_charles | Sep 8, 2014 |
Some parts were pretty interesting, particularly the mating ceremony and the discovery of the crystal cave, as well as descriptions of the way people make objects, social organization, and hunting. However the story was not very well done. Some stories were repeated directly from previous books, some things were repeated over and over in this book. This really could have been half the length. But I wanted to know what happened when Ayla and Jondalar *finally* made it back to his people, after waiting since the second book for this to happen. Also, this is finally when Ayla and Jondalar have their first child (at the very end of this book). The next (and last) book is obviously going to be about Ayla becoming Zelandoni and raising her child, but I'm not sure I even care. ( )
  loewen | Feb 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
That's informative but not nearly as much fun as The Flintstones. The story is thin and the cast so distended—there are 86 characters—that few will make it to the end. Ayla and Jondalar's saga would have been a breeze at 300 pages, but unfortunately for readers and forests alike, Auel allows it to bloat to more than 700.
added by IslandDave | editPeople (May 6, 2002)
Bursting with hard information about ancient days and awash in steamy sex (though lacking the high suspense that marked Ayla's debut), Auel's latest will not only please her legions of fans but will hit the top of the list, pronto.
added by IslandDave | editPublishers Weekly (Apr 8, 2002)
The plot is slow to unfold, because Auel's first goal is to pack the tale with period Pleistocene detail, provocative speculation, and bits of romance, sex, tribal politics, soap opera, and homicidal wooly rhino-hunting adventure. It's an enveloping fact-based fantasy, a genre-crossing time trip to the Ice Age.

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean M. Auelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janson Borglund, ToveTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Kendal

who knows more about what's to come than almost anyone...
except his mother.

And for Christy

the mother of his boys

And for Forrest, Skylar and Slade

three of the best

with love
First words
People were gathering on the limestone ledge, looking down at them warily.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
French language editions of The Shelters of Stone are published in two volumes: Les Refuges do Pierre Volume 1 and Les Refuges do Pierre Volume 2. Do not combine these.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
blurb: Ayla and Jondalar, along with their animal friends Wolf, Whinney, and Racer, have completed their epic journey across Europe and are greeted by Jondalar’s people, the Zelandonii. These people of the Ninth Cave fascinate Ayla, and in their female spiritual leader - who initiated Jondalar into the Gift of Pleasure - she meets a fellow healer with whom to share her knowledge and skills.
But as Ayla and Jondalar prepare for their formal mating at the Summer Meering, there are difficulties. Not all the Zelandonii are welcoming. Some fear Ayla’s unfamiliar ways and her relationship with the Clan, openly opposing her mating with Jondalar. Now Ayla must call on her wisdom andf instincts to find her way in this complicated society, to prepare for the birth of her child, and to decide whether she will accept new challenges and play a significant role in the destiny of the Zelandonii.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553382616, Paperback)

Jean Auel's fifth novel about Ayla, the Cro-Magnon cavewoman raised by Neanderthals, is the biggest comeback bestseller in Amazon.com history. In The Shelters of Stone, Ayla meets the Zelandonii tribe of Jondalar, the Cro-Magnon hunk she rescued from Baby, her pet lion. Ayla is pregnant. How will Jondalar's mom react? Or his bitchy jilted fiancée? Ayla wows her future in-laws by striking fire from flint and taming a wild wolf. But most regard her Neanderthal adoptive Clan as subhuman "flatheads." Clan larynxes can't quite manage language, and Ayla must convince the Zelandonii that Clan sign language isn't just arm-flapping. Zelandonii and Clan are skirmishing, and those who interbreed are deemed "abominations." What would Jondalar's tribe think if they knew Ayla had to abandon her half-breed son in Clan country? The plot is slow to unfold, because Auel's first goal is to pack the tale with period Pleistocene detail, provocative speculation, and bits of romance, sex, tribal politics, soap opera, and homicidal wooly rhino-hunting adventure. It's an enveloping fact-based fantasy, a genre-crossing time trip to the Ice Age. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Ayla and Jondalar have reached home: the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, the old stone age settlement in the region known today as south-west France. Ayla has much to learn from the Zelandonii as well as much to teach them. Jondalar's family are initially wary of the beautiful young woman he has brought back, with her strange accent and her tame wolf and horses. She is delighted when she meets Zelandoni, the spiritual leader of her people, a fellow healer with whom she can share her medicinal skills. After the rigours and dangers that have characterised her extraordinary life, Ayla yearns for peace and tranquillity; to be Jondalar's mate and to have children. But her unique spiritual gifts cannot be ignored, and even as she gives birth to their eagerly-awaited child, she is coming to accept that she has a greater role to play in the destiny of the Zelandonii."--Www.jeanmauel.co.uk.… (more)

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