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The Plains of Passage: Earth's Children, Book Four [Mass Market Paperback]

Jean M. Auel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1991 Earth's Children (Book 4)
Jean M. Auel’s enthralling Earth’s Children® series has become a literary phenomenon, beloved by readers around the world. In a brilliant novel as vividly authentic and entertaining as those that came before, Jean M. Auel returns us to the earliest days of humankind and to the captivating adventures of the courageous woman called Ayla.

With her companion, Jondalar, Ayla sets out on her most dangerous and daring journey--away from the welcoming hearths of The Mammoth Hunters and into the unknown. Their odyssey spans a beautiful but sparsely populated and treacherous continent, the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe, casting the pair among strangers.

Some will be intrigued by Ayla and Jondalar, with their many innovative skills, including the taming of wild horses and a wolf; others will avoid them, threatened by what they cannot understand; and some will threaten them. But Ayla, with no memory of her own people, and Jondalar, with a hunger to return to his, are impelled by their own deep drives to continue their trek across the spectacular heart of an unmapped world to find that place they can both call home.

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The Plains of Passage: Earth's Children, Book Four + The Shelters of Stone: Earth's Children, Book Five + The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The long-awaited fourth installment of the Earth's Children series is as warm and inviting as its campfire milieu. sure fire bestseller. Auel again describes her characters' travails, a passionate interest of millions of readers, in impeccably researched detail. The continuous recitation of flora and fauna, coupled with flashbacks to events in the previous books, becomes somewhat tiresome, however. (Would that our "memory" were as instinctual as that of the Clan.) The saga continues the cross-continental journey of Ayla, her mate Jondalar and their menagerie to his homeland. En route, they encounter a variety of problems, yet manage to find panaceas for each. Their enlightened compilation of skills, inventions, therapies and recipes transforms the voyagers into spirit-like personas providing The Others with constant awe. A brief encounter with the Neanderthal Clan rekindles the unique charm of the first (and strongest) book. Such locutions as "out of the cooking skin into the coals" or "Mother's path of milk" for the Milky Way are coyly anachronistic. Nonetheless, this volume is as welcome as letters from a long-lost friend. A novel 1.25 million first printing; major ad/promo; first serial to Ladies' Home Journal; BOMC main selection; author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Auel follows the successful formula of the other books in this series--man's emergence from primitivism to civilization. Ayla and Jondalar continue their journey, accompanied by Whinny, Racer, and Wolf, closely observing the terrain and prudently, even inventively, developing "modern" techniques to deal with danger and evil. Perhaps most interesting is Ayla's triumph over the matriarchal despot Attaroa; the reverberating echoes of the women's movement's attendant strengths and weaknesses lend a nice touch of irony. The love scenes are not quite as steamy as in the other books. The conclusion is too abrupt, coming just as the characters reach their destination, but The Plains of Passage is still satisfying.
- Joan L. Reynolds, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Jan. 13 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The frustration I have with this book (and also with the fifth book in the series) is that, after reading the Clan of the Cave Bear, I know the talent of which this author is capable. We do not, unfortunately, see much of that talent in this book.
Readers do not appreciate being treated as though they lack intelligence, and the extreme repetition found in this book (and in the fifth book) sends the reader the message that she is just too stupid to remember what went on before.
So much of the book became tedious and boring. Even the [love] scenes were repetitive. You could sum it all up by saying that Jondalar is quite a lover. Jondalar has a really big .... manhood. Ayla is as vunerable as a virgin, yet deep enough to take in all of Jondalar, which Jondalar really digs.
Readers feel cheated because the first book was so very, very good. But now it seems that all we are getting for our loyalty and anticipation is a lazy, repetitive effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book April 3 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read all of the books in this series and enjoy them all. If you are interested in early history, I recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Again this was a book I didn;t want to put down...! March 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Plains of Passage was nothing short of amazing. All of Auel's books have left me with wanting for the next one. This one even though had more than enough details and descriptions was still good. I agree that I think this one had a little too much scenary but considering the trek across Europe emphasizing the geological differences was important and just proved that once again her research was taken not lightly. (But I still think there was just a little more than needed) Also the tribe of man-hating women seemed a lttle farfetched. After a little more thought I could see it happening possibly. Even though it is hard to believe people then had the same emotions as we do now, they are still people and I would think there emotions were similar. My daughter was spawned from an abusive relationship that ended through a more aggressive assult on me sexually. I know I hated men and would see them all dead for all I cared. A year later and I still have a problem trusting men, and from what the headwoman's history was it is a more believable story. Plus, considering the type of mad men we have loose on our streets today how could it be so hard to believe that it wasn't the same then. But then I though how could all the other women of the tribe not stand up to their chief and then I thought of Hitler. So overall this book was just another one of Auel's masterpeices.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST Feb. 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the 4th part of this amazing story about unusual Ayla, you"ll find yourself always interested- this is just amazing.
Adventures- there are quite a lot, and it's the best of them all
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much detail June 16 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I have read all the books in this series, and one thing I've noticed is that each subsequent volume is more superflous than the last in terms of detail. Auel does a great job in the first two books of describing the plantlife, people, and both physical and emotional feelings of each character. Unfortunately, she continues her series with more and more detailed explanations, even of things she's described before. I was curious how many times she felt I needed to be reminded what a "mother statuette" looked like. Once that has been described in a book, it should not be described again unless there are significant differences. Anyway, I love the story and would rate this book at 5 stars easily if only it weren't so long winded.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Goddess Feb. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Great Goddess
SOME people have gone gaga over the witches and warlocks of J.K. Rowling's seven-part Harry Potter mania. And some have equally gone crazy over the elves and hobbits of the non-existent "existentialist" Middle Earth in J.R.R. Tolkien's three-part Lord of the Rings fad. But dear, I choose to be neither, as I would rather go for the real-life Homo sapiens and extinct Neanderthals in the long forgotten world of Jean Auel's six-part Earth's Children classic.
As it is, Earth's Children is realist, justifiable, worldly, down-to-earth. For earthy reasons, I will tell you why. So here's why ... .
From the eye-opening Clan of the Cave Bear to the serene Valley of Horses, from the thought-provoking Mammoth Hunters to the uplifting Plains of Passage, readers are immersed into the world of a young girl as she is transformed into a teenage mother and high-spirited woman -- her heart, her mind, her values, her fears, her triumphs. Losing her family after an earthquake, blond-haired and bluish-gray-eyed Ayla is raised by creatures of the land far different from her. They call themselves the Clan, but the white men call them "flatheads" -- or worse, "animals."
In the Earth's Children series, Ayla is more than just a three-dimensional heroine as we sense her every struggle and will to live and survive in a cruel world peopled with crueler humans, mostly people of her own kind, whom the Neanderthals call "the Others."
Skillfully, author Jean Auel has molded Ayla into a four-(or even five-)dimensional character we can see, hear, smell, feel -- and even taste! The people whom Ayla has inspired and whose lives she touched along the way are all inclined to believe that she is the Mother of the Earth herself.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Overblown and silly
This is one long, lousy novel. The sex scenes amount to little more than caveman porn; modesty forbids quotation, but trust me it's fairly laughable, as these characters step out... Read more
Published on June 11 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A 14 year old girls review.
I am fourteen, and for a fourteen year old I am an avid reader. Jean's 4th book made me see what reading could do. Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by "x_holly_2k4_x"
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost too boring for words
Number 4 in the Earth Children Series, that should have stopped at number 3. This book details Ayla and Jondalar as they return to his home on the other side of Europe. Read more
Published on March 20 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars The Plains of Passage
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as well as the 3 previous. It was a little too detailed at times, and tended to drag on a little. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by "deputy2754"
5.0 out of 5 stars maybe the best in the series
i know it is hard to beat the first clan of the cave bear, but i really liked this one. i did not like the 3rd and am anxious to read the 5th. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2003 by Jeffrey Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Four Is Not Quite as Exciting!
There is much geology and botany in this book with its minute details of flora and fauna. The forward movement of the plot is not as exciting and the characters seem to be... Read more
Published on May 31 2003 by Evelyn Horan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as rest of series
Looking at the other reviews, I'm surprised this book has such good reviews. I enjoyed the previous 3 books but Plains of Passage is definitely sub-standard. Read more
Published on May 29 2003 by James L Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others
I have absolutely fallen in love with the Earth's Children books. Jean Auel is a masterful story teller. Read more
Published on March 31 2003 by "shellf99"
2.0 out of 5 stars From bad to worse
About 80% of this book os rewritten from the last books in this series. she has clearly run out of ideas. do not waste your money.
Published on March 13 2003
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