The Land of the Painted Caves

The Land of the Painted CavesAfter waiting so long to read the final episode in Ayla s story, I can only say disappointing.You can read the other reviews to find discussions of the repetition from previous books, from section to section within the same book, of cave painting descriptions, etc , and in my opinion, the use of repetition was worse than usual for this author however, what struck me was that it felt as though each section was written entirely separately as the tone was completely different for each This would explain a lot of the repetition and why it was so particularly bad this time round The first two sections were fairly uninteresting There were a few little gems here and there, but for the most part, could have been easily summarized The last section, where there is a lot detail about Ayla s training and the action really picks up although in a way that was repetitive from previous works in the series , was the most interesting and enjoyable SPOILER It livened up a great deal when her Mamutoi friends showed up, which, in my opinion, could have happened a great deal sooner to very good effect.Perhaps the most disappointing part was that throughout the book, the characters felt one dimensional, even the two that we readers have spent the most time with Ayla and Jondalar There was far less internal dialogue than previously and when it was present, it still felt flat The flavor of their thoughts was missing sometimes I had difficulty deciding who was doing the talking On top of that, despite time, motherhood, and achieving her destiny as a spiritual leader, her relationship with the most important person in her life Jondalar changed not one iota.I would have liked to see a lot from the First about the internal struggles of one who holds the spiritual well being of thousands in her hands She never had doubts What about the time and energy all of this took, on top of which she was now training the one she believed would follow in her footsteps Would this not be an exacting and exhausting task Would there not be some one on one instruction It appeared that all of Ayla s training took place in a group This would have been the place to add all new material.To revisit the repetition issue once again if I had to read the Mother s Song one time, I was going to start ripping pages out As a matter of fact, I just started skimming those parts It seemed pointless and was no longer special.I was saddened by the appearance of poor copy editing in this work While the typos from the ARC complained about by other reviewers appear to have been fixed, there were other problems, such as dropped plot lines there was a particular ne er do well family mentioned in the first section, not at all in the second, and suddenly picked up again in the third and a great deal of internal repetition While there was a great deal of recycling of material from previous books already mentioned here and other reviews , descriptions of caves and travel mind numbingly similar, she often re mentioned actions that had occurred in previous sections chapters, almost as if she had forgotten she had already put it in.I think that perhaps one of my biggest disappointments was that there wasn t an epilogue of some sort showing that Ayla had truly turned into an enigmatic zelandoni, giving up her name, becoming First, perhaps in extreme age looking back on her life and what happened to her mate and children yes, she had one child in the book but wanted It honestly felt like that the author left it open enough to continue the story in some way, assertions on the dust jacket aside the last in the series , it said.When all is said and done, even if I had read the reviews before purchasing this book, I would still have purchased and read it In my opinion, however, I would much rather have preferred that the series end with the fifth book when I could imagine what happened SPOILER The ending of this one was a real let down the Gift of Knowledge and people already starting to fight over paternity..blech Overall, it felt like Jean Auel was really tired of this project and just wanted to be done with it.UPDATE After thinking about it a bit, I just want to point out that the author is 75 years old I certainly hope that I would be able to put out a tome of this size at that age. I can save you the trouble of attempting to plough through Ms Auel s Potteresque doorstop in a few easy sentences view spoiler 1 Ayla, who has become increasingly superpowered with each book, is described in the first chapter as having been born with heightened acuity in all her senses, but not realising just how unique she is Why didn t we know about this before And what about the detailed descriptions in Clan of the Cave Bear of how Ayla had to work hard to learn all these skills because she didn t have inborn knowledge Wouldn t her years of hunting practise heighten her acuity Is Auel just making up things as she nah, couldn t be.2 Ayla continues to work as a healer, and takes Zelandoni lessons.3 Note to Auel When you are writing the verses to chants or songs in another language, especially sacred ones, do not, I repeat, do not try to make the words rhyme in English No matter how compelling or beautiful the original, you ll end up with fourth form tyro drivel.3 Ayla explores a lot of caves with beautiful wall art, like visiting a lot of museums Along the way, she accidentally discovers evidence that one of her fellow Zelandoni apprentices has been cheating on his OWLs The poor guy gets kicked out and told to study a craft or something 3a I like this so much that I m going to quote from it We have foreshadowing multiple times that something bad is going to happen to Ayla, particularly that a band of evil bad rapist men are going to kidnap her and drag her off But no They grab her and Jondalar somehow miraculously goes from in front of the evil band of rapist men to behind them, breaks the leather thong assisted choke hold the dude has on Ayla, and saves her from them Then the Zelandoni beat them to death in an instance of mob justice Well At least something sort of happened 4 Ayla gets pregnant again, but loses the baby She and what s his name have another breakup He goes off and does it with his old girlfriend, who has always had it in for Ayla Ayla goes off and does it with someone else, during a festival where it is proper to do it with anyone you like What you may call it becomes very annoyed, especially since he now believes that sex makes babies, and delivers a terrific beating to the party in question, meanwhile bellowingHe s making MY babieswhich doesn t even make sense Blame it all on the barma, I suppose I was actually hoping that the two of them would end up mating with other people, so that there would be at least a bit of a surprise Nothing doing 5 Surprise Sex makes babies The people accept this and coin the word fa ther , etymology as follows Fa in Zelandoni means to do with men , and there is a fa lodge where fellas hang out and scratch, burp, watch football, drink barma, c Fair enough However, the priestess also says that fa ther comes from combining the words far mother together The man is the child s far mother or fa ther Huh Don t they speak Zelandoni or something 6 Ayla, understandably upset by everything that s happened, makes herself a bowl of the sacred Clan medicine, gives a taste to the Reverend Mother and drinks the rest herself She sees that she has wrecked the entire Mother Goddess religion and early Cro Magnon culture with her insights about men s essence thereby creating internal combustion engines, airplanes, freeways, Jersey Shore, and the Bush Administration 7 Ayla is near death from excessive ingestion, but what s his name comes back and saves her Fade out on them swimming in the river, happily ever after.Annoyingly enough, we never learn Ayla s real name, what happened to Durc , or who her people were The original mystery, the thing that kept us reading, has just gone off into endless repetition of non essential details hide spoiler I just read the interview with Jane Auel that came out before the book was published It was a LOT interesting than the book was While reading LOPC, I kept finding myself saying AGAIN Wolf helps to find Jondular AGAIN You re repeating the Mother s Song AGAIN You re talking about cattails AGAIN Someone is jealousAGAIN It seemed to me that Jondular and Ayla still hadn t gotten past the problems that they had in MH They haven t grown as characters at all It would have been far interesting if there would have been a few scenes with Marona sorry if I spelled it wrong and WHY and HOW he decided to relieve his needs with her I also didn t quite understand why Marona packed her things and left She had at least a part of Jondularhe and Ayla weren t talkingwhy give up the high ground And it would have been awesome if he and Ayla would have actually TALKED about it instead of just hiding from each other AGAIN I LOVED Clan of the Cave Bears It had a good vibe a clash of culturesa variant of nature vs nurture Valley of Horses was AWESOME Coming to terms with known prejudices Mammoth Hunters was GREAT A look at a society that values differences Wasn t so crazy about Plains of Passagebut it was interesting seeing the way different cultures handle things.I even liked Shelters of Stone as it defined relationships in a community and the effect of an outsider on the dynamics of said community.Land of Painted Caves was just.nothing There was nothing newexcept for the red and black dots No relationship went forward or backno one learned anythingno one had any insights.I could go onbut I won t. The Clan of the Cave Bear was a masterful character driven drama, if slightly plodding, an intensive study of both the nature of characters and relationships The protagonist, Ayla, was a flawed and vulnerable girl possessed of genuinely admirable determination, existing in a very dangerous, brutal and unfair world which caused her to suffer real hardships and even be threatened with death on than one occasion The Land of Painted Caves is a poorly written, repetitive, tedious, unenjoyable mess The pace of the book moves at a bare crawl, the plot doesn t even show up until the last third of the novel and even then it s a half baked, implausible affair that s essentially just a rehash of the plot of the third book The protagonists are overpowered and boring, but even worse, in an attempt to inject some drama into this story, they act inconsistently and out of character with their previous incarnations, whilst a veritable tide of thinly sketched secondary characters are introduced and never heard from again How could the debut novel of the Earth s Children series have been so good, whilst its finale is so bad The Land of Painted Caves was touted by publicity campaigns as the bestseller of 2011 Instead the negative reaction from fans this time round has been overwhelming, and the word I have seen being thrown out there most often is disappointing.Disappointing is the word that comes foremost to my own mind in regards to this final instalment in the Earth s Children saga, but to be honest I can t pretend that, after having observed the decline of the series and problems inherent in The Shelters of Stone, I actually expected The Land of Painted Caves to be on a par with The Clan of the Cave Bear I went into Painted Caves with the strong suspicion of what I would be getting myself into, and the book didn t prove me wrong in that regards What I found so disappointing about it was that beyond the mess that this book was, it had the potential to be so much better Previous books had established a few potential conflicts and hinted at a few intriguing little strands that if these conflicts had been handled better and given any element of risk, or these loose strands picked up on and pursued, Painted Caves could have been a whole lot better There was potential for a good story somewhere in there, it was simply wasted and the easy option taken instead Even, with a severe editor eliminating all the repetition and unnecessary chaff from this book, something could have been produced that would have been half as long and at least concise and acceptable enough to pass muster.Repetition is a major problem in The Land of Painted Caves Certain themes or sentences are repeated over and over again, characters would pause right in the middle of a scene to embark upon a lengthy reminisce about an event from one of the previous books, characters would even speak to one another about such prior incidents as if the other person hadn t been there at the time and didn t know what had happened The repetition was so interminable that towards the last third of the novel incidents that had happened earlier in the book were revisited and readers reminded of them This was probably the single most annoying thing, to me, in this book, the one thing that really got my rubbing my temples and having to simply stop reading because I could only take so much For fun, and to pass the time a little, whilst I was reading the book I kept an accurate tally of the number of times certain things were repeated.Number of times Wolf is introduced to someone 4Number of times Ayla s baby waits to pass her water on the ground instead of in her blanket 4Number of times Ayla s titles and ties are recited 12Number of times the Mother s Song is either wholly or partially recited 13Number of times Ayla s accent is mentioned 32Second to the repetition is the sheer dryness of the descriptions In The Land of Painted Caves the sheer page space devoted to description alone overwhelms all other aspects plot, action, characterisations and as a result those elements really suffer from being sparsely drawn and not nearly developed enough Had these descriptions been written with skill, vigour, or imagination, it might not have been too bad, but unfortunately the vast majority of descriptions in Painted Caves are dry, dull and technical This has a knock on effect and drags the pacing down incessantly, turning the book into a tedious, laboured drudge that takes real effort to get through, or even pick up Most of the description is centred around the eponymous painted caves of the novel s title, and the heart of the book is simply the main characters visiting cave after cave after cave The first whiff of a real plot doesn t even show up until three quarters of the way into the book, and by that time, clich d and awful as this last minute contrivance is, you re desperate for something, anything, to happen in this breeze block of a tome Auel mentions in the Acknowledgements that she s particularly grateful for a certain book which told her the exact positioning and placement of every image in the painted caves that Ayla s visits in this book, and whilst I d probably say that s fair enough and it s a good idea for the author to be sure of such information just in case the need crops up, it is totally unnecessary for her to pass on such level of detail to the readers Now, as an historian I m not saying that these details are unimportant far from it but if I wanted a coldly factual site report I d read an academic publication about it I am not looking for this level of dry detail in a fictional novel which I am reading for personal entertainment Auel s done her research, kudos there, I do prefer my historical fiction to be accurate rather than inaccurate, but surely the point is that she wants these historic sites to capture the imagination of her readers the way it s captured her imagination If that was the effect she wanted, she should have focused on creating the right impression, conveying how exciting and interesting these cave paintings are, even if that meant using broader brush strokes in her descriptions of them and omitting a few unnecessary details here and there it shouldn t be as important for us to know exactly how high up on the cave wall the painting is or whether it s facing left or right, what we should walk away with is an interest and a general idea Instead Auel seems to have shoved every last one of her research notes in here, tacked on a lame plot at the end, had it published and called it a fictional novel Here s an example of the kind of scintillating stuff I had to read through Page 326 The cave was high above the river valley floor, and reasonably dry inside, but it was calcareous rock, which was naturally porous, and water saturated with calcium carbonate constantly seeped through it. Painted Caves might still have been salvageable had it had a decent plot, but it doesn t There s very little plot to speak of in the first three quarters of the book, Ayla and Jondalar go to a Summer Meeting, visit a lot of caves, meet a few people and that s pretty much it The timeframe jumps ahead by four years at one point, totally without warning and apparently totally without reason too When the actual plot does show up it s so awkward and artificial that it just falls flat The first strand of the plot, the big revelation, falls flat because it s not actually a big revelation at all, but something that Ayla has known pretty much since the first book view spoiler Auel draws thick implications, through Ayla s later drug induced hallucinogenic trip, that the revelation that men have a role in creating babies through sex is what actually leads to the downfall of the Zelandonii s female dominated goddess worshipping society and is responsible for the spawning of patriarchal societies that subjugate women and overexploit the planet thus leading to skyscrapers and a ruined Earth, but this implication is so inelegantly drawn that it just comes across as preachy and sweepingly damning hide spoiler Big thanks to all the Good Reads and reviewers who have already given this one a big THUMBS DOWN You ve given me permission to stop wasting my time hoping it will get better I m always afraid of being the one to burst everyone s expectation bubble without putting in a fair effort No problem with that here As of this writing, there are 398 ratings on Good Reads, and the average rating for all editions is 2.80 As I scroll through the first dozen reviews, ALL of them are one or two star ratings This has to be the biggest bomb I ve ever seen for a long anticipated book by a popular author I don t know what happened to Jean Auel s writing skills in the hiatus, but this book is purely awful The dialogue is worse than the worst chick lit I ve ever read, and the story is confusing and just plain BORING I know the lady did a lot of research, but where were her editors She didn t have to make this an epic If she wanted to share what she d learned about the painted caves she could have done that in a much shorter book Bummer, dude Back to the library it goes for the next eager person in line. All right, that s finally done Nothing like making a stomach bug feel worse by reading a very disappointing book.First off, I will say that I do admire Ms Auel for a couple of things 1 She researched this like no one else The depth and breadth of her experiences while writing all this are absolutely commendable Above and beyond Very few people get interested in something and go that far into learning about it And 2 She has always said in the few interviews I can find that she wrote this whole thing for herself Few writers can say that and mean it and I hope she is satisfied with what she produced Ultimately, all writers know that that is what really matters I d like to thank her for introducing me to this fascinating world.That said, here I go Spoilers very much follow The first 2 parts of this book are just an agonizing repeated ad nauseum rehashing of incidents from the first 4 books nothing of note happened in the 5th, really , and Ms Auel s own field journal of tours of painted caves Nothing happens The end Didn t even make me want to see the caves, and I ve ALWAYS wanted to see those caves Now if I do see them, I will just be thinking of the fat chick peeing in the corner and Wolf taking a crap on the path Note to aspiring writers Telling about people and animals bodily functions is not a detail needed for realism Just not The third part was where the published story should have started A few halfway exciting plot points happen, or start to happen and then.just don t fulfill Even Ayla s drug induced calling was disappointing And while it might be realistic and refreshing to show that Neolithic Paleolithic My college Anthropology escapes me right now people were not benign noble savages with strict cultural morays against violence by showing them beating a group of criminals to a bloody pulp, I don t think that was necessary It made me sad that this book ended on such a negative note that instead of Ayla contributing somehow to the future of mankind as had been teased throughout the saga , she was the singular cause of its eventual downfall into a patriarchal system All because she realized that the penis has a biological function for procreation I expected from Ayla.And let s talk about that for a moment, shall we I have never, ever seen an author turn on their protagonist in such a blatant and hostile way The narrative of this book, the underlying tone, makes it very clear that Ms Auel was sick to death of this story That by the end of it, she hates this wonderful character she created and wants nothing to do with her and lost the will to help Ayla become what we all thought she would Ayla is flat and unsympathetic and simple Even when Jondalar cheats on her with that malicious slut, I just rolled my eyes at the rehashing of the plot of MH that followed I know she struggled with a huge bout of writer s block That happens to every writer me included I shall not throw stones into her little glass house I wish Ms Auel could have come through it with a little grace and dignity, with some recognition that she was not alone in this endeavor, that there are millions of us out here who needed this story to be Is that too maudlin Did I hold her pedestal up a bit high Maybe But you can t start a meal with filet mignon and end it with green jello.I ve never been a fan of fan fiction But I think I might take a stab at this one Someone needs to fix this book And, following Jean Auel s own credo, I shall write it for myself And now back to reading ChickLit crap that I love. I loved these books as a kid It s been a looong time since I read one, though Now I m 40% of the way through this one, complete with Part One If you ve read her previous books, you could probably skip part one and just go straight to Part Two unless you wanted to read and reread and reread all the major points of the previous books just for fun Key points you will enjoy being beaten over the head with 1 Ayla has an accent Everyone notices Sometimes than once 2 Wolves, they are social creatures They like children Because they re social creatures 3 There are caves They have paintings in them Please enjoy this tour of every single cave and every single painting in every single cave Hey, I know, let s discuss them in our strange accent With a wolf I couldn t finish it. I know, I knowthis series went crashingly downhill after Clan of the Cave Bear, but I still want to find out how the saga ends.Andnow I m done Bleah Talk about going out with a whimper Even though it got to be a little ridiculous about how Ayla invented everything from needles to helicopters heh , it was at least interesting to me to read how those things might have been created This book didn t have any of that Lots of long descriptions of caves, like Auel couldn t bear to leave a single one out Flat characters acting out of character No sense of personality for Ayla s daughter Depressing ending I hated it. I won t go too much into detail as other reviewers have exhaustively explained why this book sucks donkey arse, but essentially 1 Auel likes to repeat things A lot What I meant to say is that Auel likes to repeat things A lot.2 Auel really digs caves No, really Ayla spends 2 3 of the book shuffling through caves, peeing in caves, knocking the ash off her torch in caves, and scrutinizing all of the art in caves What a cavewoman snicker 3 Ayla and Jondalar s interactions consist of, Why don t you take Jonayla for a while, Jondalar I need to go and do something esoteric with Zelandoni that involves lots of celibacy 4 Jondalar Okay 5 Jondalar thinks about this for a while, and says to himself, Not okay It turns out he has spent most of the book bonking the shit out of Marona, though in secret, except since it is a small cave in which they live god, we can t get away from the fucking caves here, can we , everyone knows about their incessant bonking except for, naturally, Ayla.6 Ayla finds out about Jondalar s quasi infidelity we have to remember that although up to this point, Jondalar Ayla have been monogamous, they nonetheless live in a polyamorous society a week after having miscarried her baby while being called to the Zelandonia via you guessed it herbs She discovers this infidelity by watching Marona slurp on Jondalar s7 Well, at least this book went easy on the porn.8 Jondalar and Ayla act like lovelorn middle schoolers She hates me He hates me Jonayla cries a lot.9 As though Auel realised toward the end what a stinking pile of shit this book is, she decided to revive it by making Ayla carry out what consists of an intentional suicide attempt by trying out the Clan roots used by the Clan Mog urs and drinking nearly the entire contents of the bowl, after letting Zelandoni have the tiniest of sips Ayla nearly dies, and is called back to life by a contrite and suddenly passionately loving Jondalar.10 Ayla reveals to this cave dwelling society that it isn t spirits that make babies, it s sex Good, old fashioned sex Which is ironic, since we don t see a lot of sex in this book.11 The Goddess society is now on the decline, thanks to Ayla and her goddamned interfering.12 This book contradicts a lot of what is said in earlier books, especially in Shelters of Stone in that book, Ayla asks Jondalar what datura is called in Zelandoni, and he answers, Foxglove In this book, Ayla has absolutely no idea what the plant is called in Zelandoni, and has to describe it to Zelandoni, who has never seen the plant, which leads one to wonder how the hell a Zelandoni word for it ever existed in the first place.13 There is no character development Ever At all.Important Note You will cry once you ve shlogged through your fortieth cave, complete with exhaustive descriptions of the cave s art and its physical structure, and you find that you still have forty caves for Ayla to explore.Oh, and I have to warn you that you might just laugh until you cry when Jondalar beats the shit out of Laramar, who is bonking Ayla at a Mother Festival, while screaming in a high pitched falsetto, He s making my baby You see, Ayla has just announced prior to the Mother Festival great timing, naturally, since I m sure all the guys will be wanting their women to conceive by other dudes that men s essence creates babies So perhaps this pile of shit was worth digging through just so we could hear Jondalar screaming, He s making my baby All in all, drivel Complete drivel It s as though Auel looked at her body of work thus far, realised she still had to write one last book, said DAMN to herself, and told the characters, Frankly, my cavepeople, I don t give a damn and proceeded to write plastic people who could have substituted for one another without any of our noticing. In The Land Of Painted Caves, Jean M Auel Brings The Ice Age Epic Earth S Children Series To An Extraordinary Conclusion Ayla, One Of The Most Remarkable And Beloved Heroines In Contemporary Fiction, Continues To Explore The World And The People Around Her With Curiosity, Insight, And Above All, CourageAs The Story Opens, Ayla, Jondalar, And Their Infant Daughter, 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 ZelandoniaAyla And Jondalar S First Priority Is The Care For Their Golden Haired 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 Zelandoni 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, Aurochs, Rhinoceros, Reindeer, Bison, Bear The Powerful, Mystical Aura Within These Caves Sometimes Overwhelms AylaAyla S Final Preparations For Her Initiation As A Zelandoni Bring The Land Of 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 WorldSpellbinding Drama, Meticulous Research, Fascinating Detail, And Superb Narrative Skill Combine To Make The Land Of Painted Caves A Captivating, Utterly Believable Creation Of A Civilization That Resonates Long After The Reader Has Turned The Last Page, And Serves As An Astonishing End To This Beloved Saga

Jean M Auel, n e Jean Marie Untinen is an American author best known for her Earth s Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro Magnon people with Neanderthals As of 2010 her books have sold than 45 million copies worldwide, in many translations Auel attended University of Portland, and earned an MBA in 1976 She receiv

[PDF] ❤ The Land of the Painted Caves By Jean M. Auel –
  • Hardcover
  • 757 pages
  • The Land of the Painted Caves
  • Jean M. Auel
  • English
  • 10 June 2018
  • 9780517580516

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