Land of the Painted Caves

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Land of the Painted Caves

Postby graveleye » Apr 7, 2011 12:24 pm

I don't know if I ever mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of the "Earths Children" series of books by Jean Auel. Folks might know them better by the name of the first book "Clan of the Cave Bear" which was subsequently made into a dreadful movie by the same name - tolerable only by the presence of Darryl Hannah playing the role of the main character Ayla.

Anyway, the books are actually quite good. While none of the other books can touch the excellence of the first two books, the latest one has come out and it might be of more interest to cavers. Entitled "The Land of the Painted Caves" it follows the journeys of Ayla as they visit the various painted caves in the land now known as France. The author has obviously visited these caves and has learned a wealth of knowledge of the archeological sites in western Europe - enough to make a believable series of fictional novels about life in the Ice Age. In some of the scenes the cave descriptions and the descriptions of the prehistoric cavers as they explore are so realistic to me. We as cavers don't seem much different than our ancestors.

Has anyone else followed this series over the years? Read or reading the latest book? I'm only half through the latest (and last?) book so don't spoil it for me. These are probably some of my all-time favorite novels.
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Re: Land of the Painted Caves

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 7, 2011 4:23 pm

I read the first two many years ago and actually liked the movie. Haven't followed it since.
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Re: Land of the Painted Caves

Postby Wm Shrewsbury » May 16, 2011 6:54 pm

I ride a scooter to work and back so I've listened to audiobooks for the last 4+ years. They are word-for-word the same as the books and they have different voices (though all of them have a female sound, even the male ones) so it's easy on the ears. I'm about 1/2 way through the last book myself. This one is definitely better than a couple of the middle ones, though I do tire of hearing "The Mother's Song" repeated every few hours. It's better than "Oh, Ayla!"; "Oh, Jandalar!" every hour (Grimes will know what I mean...) The time book progresses nicely too - they actually age!

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Re: Land of the Painted Caves

Postby onewayjose » May 16, 2011 8:36 pm

I have read all 6 books and I am a big fan. They are so interesting and exciting to read. I've read the first 5 books at least 10 times over the years and book 6 twice.My husband can't understand why I would. I find them to be relaxing and soothing to my spirit. I wish Jean Auel would write another book, I'm sure she feels a special bond to her main characters. Just don't want to wait another 8 to 10 years.
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Re: Land of the Painted Caves

Postby graveleye » May 17, 2011 9:45 am

shoot no doubt... the last book took way too long.
I did like this one better than the last one, and a tad more than Plains of Passage. Most of the surface dweller fans found the cave descriptions to be boring, but that was some of the best stuff for me. The "Mothers Song" over and over was terrible, but if you imagine singing it to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies, it makes it more bearable.

I've re-read the books over the years too and my hands-down favorite will always be Valley of the Horses. The series could have ended there and I would have been satisfied.

I would like to see them made into a respectable movie series a la "Lord of the Rings" or something. I doubt any movie company would touch it after the first one though.
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