Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Land of Painted Caves

Concluded. Three decades ago, a co-worker told me that I had to read a hefty new novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear, telling me that the strong female protagonist was a very well-developed character. I plodded through that first novel, and agreed that the story was engaging and the character interesting, but I found the writing to be flat. Every few years, author Jean Auel has added another hefty novel to a series she called Earth’s Children, and I think I’ve read them all. What we expect to be the last novel of the series has been published recently and is titled, The Land of Painted Caves. Well-developed protagonist Ayla returns with husband Jondalar, the horses, wolf and child, as they are now living in what we assume to be the Lascaux region of France. It takes Auel over 750 pages to present this installment, and at times the repetition made me think that even the author never bothered re-reading or editing what she wrote. Somewhere inside, there might be a 250 page well-written novel. Instead, we’re presented with a bloated manuscript. For those readers who like to finish what one starts, this novel might be required reading. For most readers, there are plenty of better novels to select.

Rating: One-star (Read only if your interest is strong)
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