The Land of Painted Caves: A Novel (Hardback)
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DescriptionTHE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES concludes the story of Ayla, her mate Jondalar, and their little daughter, Jonayla, taking readers on a journey of discovery and adventure as 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. Once again, Jean Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived thousands of years ago, rendering the terrain, dwelling places, longings, beliefs, creativity and daily lives of Ice Age Europeans as real to the reader as today's news.
- Published: 01 March 2011
- Format: Hardback 672 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780340824252 ISBN 10: 0340824255
- Sales rank: 2,456
Reviews for The Land of Painted Caves
unlike all the other people who gave reviews, i actually really enjoyed the parts in the book describing the caves. i did not find them boring at all, but then again i read a very wide variety of books, including non-fiction, historical, medical and religious/ancient history books, so that may have had something to do with that....
i did find that on the whole Ayla's, Jondolar's and Jonayla's story were told in a very hurried and wishy washy way (in fact Jonayla was barely mentioned at all which i was sorely disappointed in after all Ayla's longing for another Child after having to leave behind her son). this book does sort of give us an ending to the series but at the same time it is left wide open for continuation...
if you have read all the other books i truly think you should read this final book. i enjoyed it a quite a lot and hope you will too
i gave this book 4 stars because i did in fact enjoy the cave paintings, her whole journey in the book and how Ayla's character was portrayed. not boring, but it did seem a bit hurried. by marleen molloy
The plot - missing in action
I have read the whole series and thought both the Clan of the Cave Bears and The Valley of the Horses were extremely interesting books with well developed plots. The books since that time have, in my view, become progressively weaker and repetitive and, sadly, the Land of the Painted Caves has hit rock bottom. It seems to have served as a thinly-veiled platform for demonstrating the author's knowledge of the period, using the intellectual capital of previous books in place of a plot. Even Jondalar's betrayal was a virtual re-run of an earlier story and was a weak artifice to add some interest to the book.
I found it an excruciating read and like some other readers, I ended up skipping through the book as the visits to the caves were virtually a repeated cycle of descriptions and reactions. It becomes increasingly difficult to accept that Ayla's relationship with animals is so unique and unusual in a society of hunter/gatherer's that it inspires awe wherever she goes. Unfortunately her character as a guileless innocent, which suited her so well in earlier books, let's her down as she is aged.
Oh well - my first review and not a good one. Hopefully the series is either stopped or returns in a way that invokes the reader's interest. by Vincent McMahon
Another disappointed reader
Oops forgot to change the rating on my last post. Definitely not a 5!! Sorry folks.
I totally agree with what most other reviewers have written. This is by far the worst book in the series, and I would probably say, the worst book I have read in many years!
It was so tedious and boring that I did contemplate giving up but kept reading in the hope that some of the unfinished story lines of the past book(s) were closed. Alas, I was disappointed.
What was she thinking when she wrote this book? It seems so self-serving. This is how much I know about painted caves, look at all the research I've done, blah, blah. It's all good and well, but I was well over it by the end. I even commented to a friend, that I was 600 pages into it and still felt that nothing had happened!
My recommendation: Don't read the damn thing! by Lee-Anne McKinnon
Where was the editor?
I've just finished ploughing through this book, willing myself to finish it, hoping for a good ending. It was a chore. I feel as though the editor, if there was one, didn't dare suggest any changes or serious cuts to the esteemed author. So much unnecessary repetition! I really enjoyed the previous books in the series, especially the early ones which I read 20 years ago, and reread over the past year. But I really felt as if the author had run out of inspiration. There was no real plot. The painted caves which are incredible (according to National Geographic articles I've read) sounded dull and boring. The descriptions were remote and technical and did not give much sense of wonder or personal experience for Ayla and her companions.
For a final book in a series, there are so many loose ends left hanging, and a few more created. Characters such as Brukeval and Madroman conveniently run away; visions of Durc and others are left unexplained. All the action in the story was concentrated in the final 100 pages or so. I'm sure the rest of the book could, and indeed should, have been culled significantly. 661 pages could easily have become about 400 with a strong editor.
If you haven't read the series yet, stop with the 6th book - Shelters of Stone. You don't need to read the final one. by Michaela Patelunder review
Like many readers, this series is one of my favourites (and I only have two). I anticipated the arrival of this book so much and I do feel let down though I wouldn't go to the extremes of some reviewers I've seen (not on this site).
Firstly, as everyone is pointing out, it's repetitive and oftentimes, tedious. I found myself skimming over the cave visits, introductions (there's only so much you can take of Wolf sniffing one's hand or people wondering about the 'foreign women with animals and strange accent') and eventually skipping the Mothers Song and references to past books as I already know the series so well. I understand that the author writes these past references to benefit new readers who didn't read the earlier ones, like she does with all her books. Though I felt LOPC's past references seemed longer but I could be wrong. It could be that the tedium was getting to me.
I too felt that this book was written by a different person. In the first 5 books, it's almost a day-by-day story of Ayla's life, but in this one, we skip years ahead at some points. The first 5 books drew me in to the point where I feel like I know Ayla and Jondalar personally. This book didn't have the same feeling - their relationship almost seemed non-existent, nothing like the loving couple who I admired so much previously. Their love gets lost in this book and we don't see it emerge again until the end by which time you've had that feeling of deja vu (MH) and over the same story occurring once again (jealousy, Clan roots ceremony, Jondalar's love saving Ayla's life).
I had looked forward to Ayla getting closure regarding Durc, and perhaps the Clan being more involved - at the end of SoS, Joharran and the Zelandonii are all considering trading or meeting with them at least but this leads to nothing in the last book. I also would've preferred a Madroman/Brukeval showdown of some sort instead of them both just running off never to be heard of again - at least the gang that was rounded up showed more guts and tried to fight!
I must also admit that Jondalar being with Marona upset me hugely! Of all people for Jondalar to do it with? After she humiliated the love of his life (whom he feels too strongly about for his own good apparently) and who is just such an unlikeable character!! I was gutted and angry. But for Ayla to counteract with Laramar, someone she despises greatly because he doesn't care for his kids - it's all very out of character and odd. Especially given she'd just found out the essence of man is what makes a baby, then she hits the sack with Laramar?
I would've liked Jonayla to play a bigger part...she always seems to be with her dad or, at the summer camp, at Levela's.
I know there's many other issues but I'll leave at this for now. I'm sure other's can come up the rest.
Let's hope we see a 7th book with all these issues addressed! Though I won't blame people for being skeptical about buying/reading the 7th book (if there is one) after the letdown of this long awaited book. by Leahunder review
Complete Waste of Time
As someone who fell in love with the Series while I was still at school, it has been one hell of a wait for the next instalment. I am now 43 and although I have reread the other book several times, this one has left me cold. I haven't finished it yet, despite having the book for two weeks and can only read about 10-20 pages at a time. Great for getting to sleep at night and although 3/4 of the way through, I am now skipping past the endless descriptions of cave paintings and repetitions of the Mothers song (yawn). Luckily we've had to wait so long, our emotional investment in the series has dimmed. i can only imagine what would have happened if J.K. Rowling presented the public with such a lacklustre finale to the Harry Potter series. If this is the best that Jean Auel can do, it's probably best that she put away her pen and paper rather than ripping off her fans with such rubbish. by Jeanette Stoffregenunder review
Land of the Painted Caves
What a shame Jean Auel did not stop when the going was good. Clan of the Cave Bears is still one of my very favourite books and the next three in the series were also very exciting with good story lines and character studies.
This is not a spoiler because nothing happens in this book that had not already been written about in the previuous five.
"Shelters of Stone", the fifth book should have sent warning bells ringing that the writing style had changed. The constant repetition of the Mothers song was simply page filling and the gratutitous sex scenes between Ayla and Jondalar were really tedious! Still I gave Auel the benefit of the doubt and purchased "Land of thre Painted Caves". What an unbelievable disappointment. Definitely more boring than" Shelters of Stone". NOTHING happens that had not already happened in the earlier books.
There is a teenage style jealousy theme played out between Ayla and Jondalars ex. Spiteful and petty. Ayla also tries the powerful herb again with "yawn"...the same result in Jondalar calling her back. Hundreds of descriptions in minute detail of cave wall paintings and Ayla's lion growl. That's about the story line.
Apart from that Ayla gets up. feeds her baby, says hi to a few peiople chats to Jondalar., has lunch, speaks to a few more people introducing herself formally, which takes up a good half page or so, then wanders around and chats some more then goes to bed..oh and she becomes a zelandoni!
Thats it!! I skimmed about ninety percent. Waste of time and money!! by Kathy Hollowayunder review
Land of Painted caves and boredom maximum
I was a fan of her other books, book 1 was the best, but I enjoyed the others... until painted caves, clearly Ms Auel has just learned to use a computer and the cut and paste facility it provides, I'm at page 341, and I want to chuck it in the bin.
I want a refund! If I have to hear one more time about her 'strange accent because she clearly comes from so far away' or hear, yet again, the repeat description of of one of the now boring characters I think I'll scream!
Who are the editors? What were they thinking? Do they not have cut and delete keys on their computers? They should be given the sack. by Geraldine Headleyunder review
Not quite up to par
I was ten when I first read Auel, and twenty years on, after numerous rereads, I rush out to buy any book she gets around to releasing.
I felt 'The Land of Painted Caves' was almost a reintroduction to the series, with too many previous events and background relationships described in detail, that fans already know and have read before.
The first four books felt almost effortless, you get wrapped up in the story and the characters and it just flows. Painted Caves was very stilted, it didn't draw me in. I almost wondered if someone else wrote it.
To be honest I didn't empathize or even like the main characters, I felt their personalities took almost a 180 and I got sick of the same events and relationship struggles, it sometimes felt like Mammoth Hunters regurgitated. 600+ pages, I assumed it would be full of absorbing writing, and it just wasn't.
There was too much repeated information for a true fan, and not enough information for a stand alone novel. So you are left either skimming over pages of songs and lengthy wordage or struggling to grasp what it is all about.
Not the best in the series, mostly for the fans. Not one I will be rereading in a hurry. by Amy Macnamaraunder review
- Top review
On a par with book 5
review: Not as bad as most reviews I'd seen. Bit much going on about cave paintings (and listing songs) in the middle. Bit of a soap opera drama near the end.
Critisicms: Considering the end of Book 5, she didn't write much at all about Aylas next thing (trying not to spoil), seemed Ayla lost interest there a bit? Or Ms Auel couldn't be arsed. Considering the length of time it took her to write it, it wasn't up to standard. I'd put it on a par with book 5 however.
My opinion, Book 1 the best, book 4 the worst, Books 5 and 6 about the same rating.
Book 7?? Who knows, it's open enough that there could be, but as she takes longer and longer every time I'd say she'll be dead before she ever finished. It doesn't need another though.
Worth it if you like the series. by H Mooreunder review