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The Land of Painted Caves: A Novel [Hardcover]

Jean M. Auel
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 29 2011 Earth's Children (Book 6)
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.

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The Land of Painted Caves: A Novel + The Mammoth Hunters + The Plains of Passage
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Product Description


“[T]here is real sweetness in the saga’s finale, when Ayla’s legacy to the world — both hers and ours — is made clear. Myriad things have changed in the last 30,000 years, but the endurance of human love is not one of them.”--Washington Post

“[Auel] does paint a convincing portrait of ancient life. And readers who fell in love with little Ayla will no doubt revel in her prehistoric womanhood.”--People

“As with her other books, Auel spins her tale with credible dialogue, believable situations and considerable drama. More than that, she deftly creates a whole world, giving a sense of the origins of class, ethnic and cultural differences that alternately divide and fascinate us today. Among modern epic spinners, Auel has few peers.”--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“[T]he millions of readers who have been with Ayla from the start will want to once again lose themselves in the rich prehistoric world Auel conjures and see how this internationally beloved series concludes.”--Booklist

“[R]eaders who enjoyed the previous volumes will relish the opportunity to re-enter pre-history one last time.”--Publishers Weekly

"[T]he book is compelling and will be in high demand by Auel’s fans."--Library Journal

About the Author

Jean M. Auel is an international phenomenon. Her Earth's Children® series has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide and includes The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage, The Shelters of Stone, and The Land of Painted Caves. Her extensive research has earned her the respect of archaeologists and anthropologists around the world. She has honorary degrees from four universities and was honored by the French government's Ministry of Culture with the medal of an "Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters". She lives with her husband, Ray, in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can I send it back?? April 6 2011
I (along with everyone else) waited nearly a decade for this book?!? Let me preface this review by stating I love this series. I am aware that many people found "Shelters of Stone" disappointing, I am sorry to say that it is a work of literary genius when compared to "The Land of Painted Caves". I will be succinct in my reasons why you should forgo spending your time and money on this book.

**Possible spoilers**

1.You've already read it. Read the last five books? Then you have already read 90% of this one.(Spoilers??!??)
2.A large portion of the "new" material is about dots on cave walls. Really.
3.The characters that we have grown to know and love have become flat, one dimensional and have changed in their underlying natures.
4.The climax was pulled almost entirely from a previous book.(see point number one)

I actually threw the book down in disgust when I finished it and am seriously contemplating sending it back to the author. Don't buy this book. Make up your own ending to the series; you will be much happier with it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a disappointing end to a great series April 10 2011
For all serious fans of the Clan of the Cave Bear series (Earth's Children), I would urge you to only buy this book if you need a decorative bookend for the rest of them. Not only is this book lacking in story depth, and a seemingly endless description of every blot of paint on every cave wall in Europe, but the author has also seemed fit to either demote main characters to mere shadows of themselves, or even worse, change their base structure entirely. ** SPOILER ALERT** Having Ayla vouch for the wholesale slaughter of a pride of cave lions in the very first chapter-her totem spirit?! Ayla barely pays attention to the child she dreamed of and loved before it was even born, and would have done anything for, like she did for Durc- really? Jondalar's screwing around on Ayla is beyond belief, and then Ayla's drug induced virtual rape is too much... HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?!?!
I spent the last $30 to my name to have this book...almost wish I never heard of it...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prolixity and an Editor/Publisher bungle. April 15 2011
I have concluded my reading of the new Jane Auel novel, the last of the Clan of the Cave Bear Series: "Land of the Painted Caves". I really don't know how I kept reading. (It was only the memory of such good stuff in prior volumes, I guess). At one point, I stopped reading it to take in "Imperium" and do some writing. In summary: I would recommend (light-heartedly) reading the first 200 pages and learn about caves and carvings from antiquity. Skip the next 400 pages and read the last 100. The last pages may be worth the price of the novel if you buy it paperback on sale. The rest is simply: prolixity at its 'novel' worst !

Each individual in the novel who had 'lines' was introduced by their formal title "....of the first cave, of the second rock, of the third moon, of the god dog, of the mother earth and father the traveling salesman of... et-cetera, et-cetera... This formal introduction was used so much and so repetitively that ones eyes glazed over after the first one hundred pages. Then, there were the caves - I am sorry for being so critical of such a sacred and symbolic part of the history of humankind - but it isn't a case of 'once you have seen one, you have seen them all'; it was/is a literary style of describing each cave (an opening of various sizes in rock) with shallow or deep passageways, left turns, right turns or straight aheads, narrow or stand-up, wet and slippery or dry and dusty, Stalagtoots or stalagtits, echoes of song or whistle or...??? The drawings encountered were like stick animals (most of us are familiar with them from the internet or our own research - but were there any photographs, diagrams? - perhaps in an appendix? Nope, this stood to the novel format our author describing in full detail EVERY one (or seemingly) of her exhausting cave adventures.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blech April 13 2011
I have nothing good to say about this book, so if you're hoping for positive comments, you'll have to read someone else's review.

I used to love this series, but now that I know how it ends, I'm donating all my copies of the books to my local library. I don't want them in my collection anymore. That's how disappointed I am.

This book is not only garbage, it's boring, predictable, unbelievable garbage. It's back-to-front, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, end-to-end crap.

Ayla and Jondalar have become one-dimensional and uninteresting, and the way they behave at the end of the book is not only completely out of character, it's despicable and almost makes me hate them.

If this book had been cut by half its length, it would still have been too long. There's a lot of repetition, and note to Ms Auel: read about one cave, read about 'em all. Do we REALLY need minute descriptions of every single painted cave the bunch of them visit? Yeah, we get it: you're good at research. Do you really still need to prove that after all this time? And do we REALLY need to hear everyone's names and ties every single time every single character gets introduced to someone? They spend the whole damn book travelling! They're constantly meeting new people! WE DON'T NEED TO HEAR IT 600 TIMES. Then there's that Mother Song thing, over and over and over. Please, somebody, make it stop!

For an experienced author, Auel does far more telling than showing. I confess I skipped page after page of this book, waiting for something interesting to happen. Something finally does around page 430, but sadly, that's where the book begins to jump the shark.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I have followed Ayla's story since the Clan of the Cave Bear. I am relishing this last novel.
Published 17 days ago by Andrée
4.0 out of 5 stars Jean M Auel, I find has brought back to ...
Jean M Auel, I find has brought back to life the way things may have been 30,000 or 40,000 years ago in a way that is intrigueing and insightful. Was this the way it was ? Read more
Published 2 months ago by jldy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
But not as good as the others
Published 2 months ago by Ray Latulipe
3.0 out of 5 stars so many caves...
There are only so many ways you can explain caves and red dots before it becomes boring...not the best book in the series, but still good
Published 3 months ago by Vanessa
5.0 out of 5 stars The land of Painted Caves
We have listened to a few times and l love ,there is a lot to learn from what is shared ,we have listen to the rest of the series and enjoyed them ,if you want to learn new things... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Suzanne Crane
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure crap amongst a wonderful series of novels. Why?
I did manage somehow to read through the entire novel; perhaps it was my loyalty to Jean Auel's works that preceded this, perhaps it was because somewhere, somehow, I thought to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Waymark, Graeme
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge disappointment to the series
After leaving the book before this with the cliff hanger of a battle between the "flatheads" and the cave people lead by her two sons, I was sure that this book was going... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Carly
3.0 out of 5 stars Is ok..but .....
Not as exciting as her earlier books. Long wait between books. I wonder if she will carry on or write something different.
Published 7 months ago by June Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars reading
I loved the book and a lot of friends and family did too I would reccomend this book to people of all ages
Published 10 months ago by Ena Poell
2.0 out of 5 stars Final Earth's Children book
I was seriously disappointed with this last installment of the series. Instead of adding to the story of
Ayla and Jondalar, it presents an albeit scholarly - view of the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ursula G. Webber
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