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Publisher's Summary

THE 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.
©2011 Jean M Auel (P)2011 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By eva on 04-06-11

One word - Repetition

Having practically grown up with the Earth Series I was so completely disenchanted with this final sequel of an excellent series. The author has just rehashed the first 4 books with absolutely nothing new until the last couple of chapters. The Mothers Song is repeated so many times, I could probably recite it word perfect in my sleep. Ayla (who was my inspiration when I was younger) came across as a 2 dimensional personality, I was even beginning to get irritated with her. So buyer beware, there is not much new over 30 hours, but if you need help getting to sleep this is perfect.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

By Eivind on 04-06-11


Repetitious, tedious and quite disappointing. This book is but a weak echo of the previous books. And just like an echo it repeats itself over and over again. If you buy this be prepared listen to a dreary amount of ???mother songs???, explanations of what happened in previous books and descriptions of cave paintings. I do not mind listening to Auel describing them going about their business and doing everyday things like drinking herb tea and weaving baskets, in fact I quite like it. But really, what is the plot here? Where are we going with this? At the end of the book there is an attempt at a romantic twist that is once again but a weak echo of something that happened in one of the previous books. We briefly meet some cavemen criminals, but it is handled so fast and is such random part of the story that it might as well have been left out. I guess you could say that Aylas education to becoming a shaman is the plot here, but then why is her touring the painted caves the only part of it we really hear about?

There seems to be two narrations available. This one is very well done, but since the narrator strikes me as an elderly British woman I was deathly afraid of the explicit sex scenes I have come to expect from Auel. Thankfully there were fewer than usual.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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By Odilon on 05-15-11

so so disappointing

I'm afraid I have to agree with Raymond, Ingrid and Dawn. This book is so unbelievably bad that it is difficult to believe that Jean M Auel wrote it at all. The repetition is annoying to say the least. The reminding us of every detail/reason for something ten times over makes you feel retarded. The obsessive attention to detail for things which are so similar to what was explained the page before is tedious to the extreme. If I wrote something this bad I would have no hope whatsoever of getting an agent or editor to go beyond the first chapter. Nothing 'interesting' really happens in the book, it just wanders around in circles going nowhere. I had to read it because I had so loved the others but if there were another sequel I'd give it a skip.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

By Mand on 04-13-11

Oh, dear.

I wanted to like this book, I really did but it's almost as if, in the intervening years, Ms Auel has forgotten how to write. Golly, she's done her research, but that doesn't make for a good story. In this book Ayla visits a lot of caves and I mean a lot. All of which are described in loving detail on one occasion the same cave is described twice. Now, I like a good cave with the best of them, but page after page of bleedin' caves gets a little tedious. And the characters - I'm not sure where to start but they are written in a strangely childlike way. I know they are a prehistoric culture but they're still people, grown up people who speak like adults. As for Ayla and Jondalar, at least in this book we are spared the endless paragraphs of bonking, which quite frankly bored me rigid (for want of a better word) in the previous books. However, you'll be pleased to know Ayla is as completely marvelous as ever and she still has an odd accent, which you will be told about on what seems like every page. Dim but nice Jondalar on the other hand, at one point, does something so completely out of the blue that it screams 'plot contrivance' at you so loud that you'll be deaf for a week. On another note , do you remember 'The Mother's Song' in 'The Shelters of Stone'? Well you'll get to hear it again in this book. In fact you'll hear it many, many, many times until, eventually, you'll hear it in your dreams. I know I've been flippant, but I was really disappointed with this book. Set aside Rowena Cooper's mispronunciations and slightly school ma'amish tone throughout, no one could have made this book sound good. I've loved this series and for this to be the last one, well what a shame to go out on such a bum note.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By debra on 04-20-16


There was a few hours of story and the rest was recollections of the past books.
I had to finish the series and although I liked the concept of the story and the history etc, the series seemed immature like a book written for teenagers.
I was very disappointed.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Anthony on 04-24-17


I've loved the previous books in the series but found the land of the painted caves a bit repetitive sad .

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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