The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6)

The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6)

by Jean M. Auel


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780517580516
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 03/29/2011
Series: Earth's Children Series , #6
Pages: 768
Sales rank: 166,923
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.30(d)

About the Author

Jean M. Auel is an international phenomenon. Her books have sold over 45 million copies worldwide. Her extensive research has earned her the respect of archaeologists and anthropologists around the world and she has honorary degrees from four universities and colleges. She lives with her husband, Ray, in Oregon.


Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth:

February 18, 1936

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


M.B.A., University of Portland, 1976

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Excerpted from "The Land of Painted Caves"
by .
Copyright © 2011 Jean M. Auel.
Excerpted by permission of Crown/Archetype.
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6) 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1713 reviews.
DebKinnard More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to luck into an uncorrected proof, and I eagerly started reading. At the time, I didn't realize I could've virtually skimmed the first 300 pages and been none the worse to understand the story. The tale starts with our dear Ayla and Jondalar sharing the lives of the other Zelandonii with their daughter, Jonayla. Since Ayla is in training, the First plans a tour for her. They visit a local painted cave, Ayla and the others admire the artwork. They wonder what the animals, dots and handprints mean. Lather, rinse, repeat. I lost count of the number of caves Ayla and Co. visit during her tour. At many junctures, she asks what the art means. Nobody gives her a coherent answer, not even the artist Jonokol, who stops in one cave to create his own vision on the walls. By this time, I began to skim. The story doesn't really take off again until Part III, by which time Jonayla is six years old. No spoilers -- but had the first 2/3 of the book undergone better editing (maybe a cave or two, but so many? and what was the POINT?), the tale would basically have begun here. Many threads from the prior books would come together, though some did not. I have no issue with this -- it's like life. But the book would have done better at 400 pages than 755. My opinion, and I've loved the previous books. This one would've been really terrific, had it not lost focus on story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been an avid fan of this series since I was in high school and I was thrilled when this book came out. Until I got halfway through it and realized it was the most boring, mishmash of stupid plot devices known to man. Was there any purpose to the "Donier Tour"? Did the Mother's song really need to be in the book six times in it's entirety? The only true plot development occurred in the last third of the book and it felt like an afterthought stuck on to appease people. I don't think that this book adequately finished the series and I'm disappointed that this is the way it has ended for the series.
ReadingGG More than 1 year ago
This book should only be read by Ayla fans. Hallelujah this is billed as the last book of the series. The author takes a long and tedious road to tell us about Ayla finally becoming the woman she was meant to be. The story could have been told in 200 pages rather than 700. There is a lot of repetition from the previous books. But there is more than a fair share of repetition of scenes in the latest book. After all, once I've read about the "absorbsent pads" Ayla uses on her new baby, I don't need to read it ten more times. Savvy readers will have figured out Ayla's destiny by the time they finally labor their way to the middle of the book. There are the usual love triangles that are just as obvious. In this reader's opinion, this is middle school writing. I'm glad it's the last of the series as I don't think I could bring myself to read another. If you have read the other 5 books and have a need to complete the story, then go ahead. Oh...and don't let the thicknness of the book fool you. Most of you will read it quickly because, like me, you will find yourself skimming through page after page of fauna/flora descriptions and mind-numbing repetition of the countless introductions of the "woman who rules horses and the four-legged hunter called Wolf".
raesv1 More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to this book I had read the series over again as soon as I found out number 6 was being released. This series has been 30 years in the making and I loved them so much. Maybe that was reason enough not to get too excited about this one, maybe there was no way it could live up to my expectations. This wasn't a bad book and since this was an advance copy maybe the editors will fix some of the things that weren't really right with it and make it more enjoyable. The main thing is that nothing really ever happens. The advance copy was a 757 pages long trade paper and NOTHING all that exciting happened in all those pages. It was too many repeats of things already covered in the other books. The titles repeated again and again, the tea preparations, the Mothers song, another bunch of renegade men for Ayla to deal with. At least Jondalar does something unexpected but it wasn't a good thing and it made me not like him any more and it ruined that for me. The beginning starts out with Ayla still an acolyte, training to be a Zelandoni (a shaman or medicine woman) they go on a tour of sacred cave sites to see the paintings put there by the ancients. They go from cave to cave, page after page and talk about the different paintings and what they think they all mean. This takes up a good half of the book. Very little happens through the whole thing, in places it was like she thought about writing something and you thought ok something is going to happen now but then she would just stop where she was going and start in about tea or introductions, or how "pleasures" really do make babies. I would liked to have seen less repetition and less about her having to make water and using the night basket, her moon cycles, Wolf taking a dump in the caves, and about her holding her daughter up to make water, it was all WAY unnecessary. I would loved to have read more about them trying to start trade meetings with the clan with Ayla using their sign language, finding and raising more horses and showing other people how to train them. I also thought there should have been more about their daughter Jonayla, she's there, but her character just isn't explored enough for you to really get to know her. All in all, if you've read the whole series so far you'll want to read this one just to finish the story but don't be expecting anything much to happen, or for this to be a big wonderful finish. Now I wish she had just finished it with Plains of Passage or Shelter of Stones. If I ever read them again that's where I'm stopping.
bookbug-prn More than 1 year ago
When I read Clan of the Cave Bear in 1985, I thought it was one of the best books I had ever read-loved it and couldn't wait to read the next one. Valley of Horses, if possible was better. I was were ever to be stranded in the wilderness, I felt I could live off the land, pick berries and dig a pit!! It was a great read. Mammoth Hunters-at first I wasn't too crazy about it-became more of a romance novel, and Plains of Passage...well I know more about grass, soil and mammoth mating practices than I need too. But, still, it was a good book, and was still re-reading all of them, everytime a new one was coming out. Then, came the big one, the anticipated Great Book! What a huge disappointment. 750 pages of...soap opera. And only one year?? THe first time I read it, I actually though that Ms. Auel didn't write the book; it was just too childish and the style was wrong. Then, after re-reading it, came to the conclusion that she had, but was just getting bored with Ayla, and was filling pages to fill a contract. She is contracted for only 6 books, so Painted Caves will be the finale. How can she fit the rest of Ayla's life into just one more book? I'm just thankful that she gave us Ayla as she was in the first 4 books-it will leave me with my own image of how she lived the rest of her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hugely disappointed in this book overall. As a huge "Clan Series" fan, I was thrilled to see this book finally hit the shelves, only to be bored to death by the first 400-500 pages or so. The entire first two-thirds of the book can simply be ignored, because the real "meat" doesn't happen until the last few hundred pages (reading it on a Nook makes it difficult to determine the exact page content). While I generally love Auel's descriptive style, I believe the entire donier cave tour (which was fully 2/3s of the book) was simply a waste of her time and mine. Little of it had relevance to who Ayla is or was to become. While the last third of the book was better, there were no surprises, and old story lines seemed to have been re-hashed. That being said, I still loved the story once things began to "happen" again. The ending was ambiguous at best, and left the field wide open for another sequel. I would love to see another book in the series that holds true to the older titles...with things actually happening throughout the story and, finally, an absolute ending. Characters who have been largely ignored or forgotten need a new voice...especially that of Jonayla, who it seems is the new hope of the Zeladonii, though she is largely ignored for the most part. The future of the Cave and its people need a definitive bridge to our current world. And the voice of Ayla needs to find her true power in her new life and span the bridge between her world and ours. One more and much better, please, Ms. Auel!
Trina Martin More than 1 year ago
Is this the same person who wrote 'Clan of the Cave Bear?' This author has to be an impostor writing under the name Auel. I say 'has to be' because i find it impossible to believe that Jean Auel would allow such a travesty to happen. If in fact Auel did write this novel, she must have been under duress of some kind. A gun to the head? Debilitating illness? Lobotomy? Financial strain? Did a real life Ayla run off with her man? What happened? Does Jean hate us or what? How many times do we need to hear about what was eaten, how it was eaten, who ate it, where the food came from, and what kind of dish they ate it in? I get that they're big tea drinkers and there's lots and lots of caves, with lots and lots of animals drawn in them. I just don't think 700 pages were needed to establish that. It pains me deeply to say this, but this book rambles like your grandpa talking about the war.
My_Fathers_Daughter More than 1 year ago
My father introduced me to the Earth's Children series when I was in middle school, and I LOVED it: the writing, the characters, the way the book was able to transport me directly into the series. Sadly my father passed away before Shelters of Stone was published, but I remember with great fondness the excitement we both felt when Plains of Passage was issued. So obviously, I have strong sentimental ties to this last book, beyond enjoying a fantastic story. *POTENTIAL SPOILERS* Admittedly, I read it on my Nook, which changes the experience from a traditional book, but even taking that into consideration, there didn't seem to be any flow to the story. It takes place in 3 parts, but the 3 don't tie together well AT ALL. As others have mentioned, the second part of the book is the Donier Tour, and the only point I think Jean was trying to make was how much research she did on the caves in the area. New characters were introduced, and then dropped rather quickly, without the full character development we got in the first few books of the series. It was, "here's a new cave, here's new people, moving on now..." While I found the endless repetition of the previous books boring, I knew enough to skim through those sections. It was the last third of the book that really irritated me (no other word for it). A major character all of a sudden acts in a way that is completely inconsistent with the other books in the series, and it was done abruptly and I felt cheated of the wonderful story/character development that had been going on through out the series. As others have mentioned there were several plotlines that were hinted at, then left hanging at the end. I know Jean said this was the last book in the series, but it seemed like a deliberate attempt to set up another book. If it wasn't, than I think it was a horrible way to end a series that so many people loved for so long. There were many potential storylines that could have been used (interaction with the local Clan, reconnecting with her son/old Clan, etc.), which would have been better than what she actually published. My recommendation, if you have been a fan of the series you may need to read the book to give yourself the conclusion you have been waiting for, but it may leave you sadly disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After awaiting the final book in this series for several years to come out I must say it was disappointing. 700+ pages of rehashing old stories from the other books and a tour of the painted caves that really explained nothing. And the only thing learned was knowledge of how children are conceived? Auel waited too long to write this book and semed to forget what made these books a good read. Ayla's adventures along with Jondular. What about her son Durc and the Clan? What about the Others and Clan members interaction? THeres was whole lot I think she could have written about to complete the story of Ayla. Sorry I was sadly disapointed. :(
DaziQ More than 1 year ago
I cannot believe I am going to say this, but I am 300 pages in and don't think I can finish it. It is so boring and repetative. I absolutely loved the rest of the series and just find this book so lacking in everything that makes the others so great. It's like another person wrote this one using notecards from the old books. If zero stars was an option, I would have chosen that.
zbth More than 1 year ago
After waiting 9 years or so for this final (?) installment in the series, I was sadly disappointed. There were warning signs...some of Auel's previous books were bogged down in needless and repetitive retellings of events that her readers were already totally familiar with (and I'm looking at you, "Plains of Passage"); but Land of Painted Caves takes it down to a whole new level. By page 450 or so I actually found myself skimming the pages, skipping past endless descriptions of one cave after another, one plant's medicinal and culinary properties after another, one rendition of The Mother's Song after another and God only knows how many of Ayla's flashbacks to her experience with the Clan Mogurs and their scary ceremony (we get it, she was scared. move on). Readers of Auel's books have come to love her strong characters-this book weakens and flattens them into voices for anthropological theories with no real motivations or feelings of their own. The have become Ayn Rand characters, simple vehicles for theories and statements. Ayla's continuing development into modern human's intelligent Eve is the driving plot line and rather than interesting and enlightening it becomes tedious and worn out. I have nothing but admiration for Auel's exhaustive research and even her theories, but I was looking forward to a good story about great characters and a strong resolution. Instead, I'm filing this in the "done and over" section and moving on.
Mary_T More than 1 year ago
The problem with the latter volumes of the Earth's Children novels is the same we've seen with other series that start out with a bang and then wander off. Anne Rice's Vampires, Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta mysteries and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander spring to mind. The problem is they may not have started as series. The author, talented as she may be, did not start out to create a multi-volume saga, but one great book. But what happens when the book becomes a phenomenon? Suddenly fans, publishers, booksellers, agents and your mom are pestering you day and night, "WHEN's the next one!!??" The author may wonder, dismayed, "WHAT next one?" Then she goes back to her desk and pulls together those ideas that had to be cut from the first one and writes a second book. A good writer can sustain this for a while, til all the juice has been squeezed from the initial (admittedly great) idea. But by this time the fans are even more numerous, the money even bigger, your mom even prouder, your agent greedier. And they all demand "WHERE'S THE NEXT ONE!!?? The amount of time between books grows longer as the author struggles to meet the expectations of hysterically devoted fans. So cut poor Jean Auel a break. The Land of Painted Caves is probably a book she never intended when she wrote the outstanding Clan of the Cave Bear so many years ago.
catastr0phe More than 1 year ago
over the years ive read and reread this series, always loved it and wished for another book to either continue or wrap it up so i was so excited about this. But sadly i was disappointed too, I found myself skipping entire paragraphs and pages of recapping events from previous books, description after description of cave paintings etc etc...and Ayla and Jon having ANOTHER dramatic fight?? come on, that was done in the Mammoth Hunters and it was as melodramatic then as it is reading about it AGAIN. it felt like the author had run out of ideas or was cashing in on the franchise almost. I enjoyed reading about Aylas promotion and Jonayla, i also enjoyed reading about various events such as the murderer that threatened Ayla and how he was dealt with, the rest just seemed to be borrowed from previous books and was quite frankly - boring :( I had hoped to find the author delving into things she had hinted at in previous books, such as the Others trying to trade with the Clan and the complications arising from this, and maybe even Ayla finding her son through this It was so very very bland, I do hope there will be another installment that ties up the obvious loose ends and indulges the fans a bit more
DmarieDF More than 1 year ago
I will not be rushing to immediately purchase this book. After the total disappointment of Shelters of Stone, I refuse to purchase until I can be sure it's not a repetition of books one through 5 with a bit of something thrown in all wrapped up in 700 plus pages. Like other fans of the Earth Children's series, I waited 12 years for SoS only to find a book that was basically made up of complete pages of the other books. There may have been 250 pages of new text in a 700 plus page book. This time I wait a few months then I'll decide whether or not to download onto my nook.
herdoula More than 1 year ago
This is a two part book. The first two parts are utterly devoid of anything called plot or conflict. Repetitive descriptions of cave after cave and meeting characters you don't care about and are quickly forgotten. Her last book had a cheat sheet in the back to help keep tract of the hundreds of characters with similar names that you were introduced to. Here that is missing. It is incredibly boring. In part three the pace picks up but it more like watching a soap opera than reading anything interesting. It involves two incidences of using hallucinigenic plants, some infidelity, and a lot of misunderstandings. Most books that I buy I usually re-read several times. This book I will not.
DebraJ24 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the previous books in this series and really have been enthralled by them. I even met Jean Auel at an American Booksellers Convention one year and was very happy to tell her how much I liked her books. At the time, I owned a bookstore and used to sell a lot of her work. You can imagine how saddened I was to to wait years for this book only to be treated to this lack luster story. What a shame.
LadyBem More than 1 year ago
I had read all of Jean Auel's books about 2 years back. So when I saw the 6th book come out I was soo excited! I just recently bought myself a Nook, downloaded all 6 books and started from the beginning. I just finished 'The Land of Painted Caves' last night and felt cheated. The book it self was ok, slow in some parts, very repetitive and that ending left me feeling empty/blank?.. I was honestly disappointed in it. :(
Steadysteamin More than 1 year ago
Sadly this is mostly a rehash of the books that preceded it. It felt like taking a strenuous dump. You get it done, there is something to look at but the entire thing was forced and a little painful. For Clan of the Cave Bear Fans you'll enjoy parts but it pretty much killed me wanting to read another one. Time to flush.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started this series when Clan of the Cave Bear was released. I loved the books and continued to read each book as they were published. I was so excited when the sixth book was released...I could not get through the book. It is so boring, repetitive. One or two caves would be enough. I am so sorry to say this is one of the worst books I have read..
JFJ99 More than 1 year ago
Not Auel's best work. I struggled through the first half of the book with the repetitions of the lengthy recitations of each characters ties, seemingly back to the dawn of time. These are repeated numerous times for each character until my eyes rolled back in my head. Then we get to the "Mother's Song", a droning and lengthy recitation that, amazingly enough, satisfied the meter and rhyme requirements of the English language. There are, of course, the porn sections where coitus in all its wonderful permutations are carefully described. In the Navy, this book would have been passed around with the significant pages well dog-eared. Then there is the over worn "She/he hates me, we'll never love again" that is dragged on and on while your mind is screaming at them to knock it off, already. Auel tries to describe her tour of some caves in France and manages to drag that out interminably without actually creating a mind's eye picture of what she is trying to describe. A half dozen pictures would have covered as many chapters of description, and left the reader with a better idea of what is in these caves. If you are an Auel sycophant or a member of her fan group, (ecfans-com) this will please you, but for the average reader, it leaves you with a feeling that you wasted your money.
iammeegs More than 1 year ago
I have been a passionate fan of the Earth's Children series ever since I discovered "Clan of the Cave Bears" nearly 30 years ago. I loved the storyline, characters, and the writing... right up to her last two books. I was non-plussed by "Shelters", which was a bit stilted and repetitive, but very hopeful that this book would bring life back to a faltering tale. I was so very disappointed that I barely have the heart to write this review. Repetitive, long-winded, boring, and lackluster are just a few of the descriptors I would have to assign to this tragedy. I had to skip entire long sections of cave descriptions, repetitions of already established information, and even some of the anthropological information (which I usually eat up) because it was so blah and uninteresting. The few moments of new story and character development were so few and so far between, and then once introduced so repetitive, that I got lost and disinterested in what was going on with anyone. I didn't care that Jondalar slept with Marona - go ahead, and no wonder since Ayla became such a wishy-washy dud now that she's on her way to becoming a zelandonii. I was even bored when Danug and Wymez showed back up, and I loved "Mammoth Hunters"!! So in summary, don't bother. Go back and reread the first four books that you know and love and cherish, and then make up your own fantasy ending for Ayla and Jondalar and their animal family - it will more than likely be much more interesting than this one.
dkwoolery More than 1 year ago
After years of waiting, it turns out this book is simply 780 pages of disappointment! I'm sure her years of research were very thorough, uhfortunately it didn't translate to an interesting read. If you must buy it, you'll find yourself skimming through all the repetitions of backstory and descriptions of flora & fauna.
LisaCurll More than 1 year ago
Jean M. Auel books: Clan of the Cave Bear - Fascinating from an anthropological standpoint. Fantastic. Valley of Horses - My personal favorite book, showed independence, development of new ideas, culture, struggles, independence, sexuality, everything. Awesome. Mammoth Hunters - Frustrating. It took me until about the third read through it to finally appreciate it, the first two I just wanted to scream at the characters to figure out what was going on. Plains of Passage - Active in culture and geography, development of relationships, generally good. Shelters of Stone - An in-depth look into one particular, dominant culture, and a greater view into the spiritual world of the people. Okay. ..... Cute: The Land of Painted Caves. So disappointing. I was perhaps less frustrated than most by the constant journeying and description of cave art. I was also perhaps more frustrated than most by the lack of sexuality, but possibly just because that's what I'd come to expect from Jean M. Auel. In perhaps the most memorable reference to sexuality, Ayla is not involved. I'll let you get to that part on your own, but I was crushed. It was past midnight and my husband came down to come to bed, and I slammed the book shut. He thought I was mad at him - he knows how much I loved the previous books, I was obsessed with them - and I had to explain, in tears, what terrible things had happened. He's never read the previous books, so all he got was some incoherent wailing and a collection of names he'd never heard before. I was angry, frustrated, and hopeless. I had identified with these characters, in a way, built myself after them, and they had suddenly turned on me. After finishing the book and discovering the feeble attempt to right the wrongs Auel had written in, I was left feeling generally disappointed. The last dozen pages or so of the book could have been heavily elaborated, definitely at the expense of the hum-drum first several hundred. These were always the books I turned to. I would finish the series and start back again at the first. I have the first-edition hardcovers of all of them (although somehow, although I preordered months ago, I was not sent a copy of Painted Caves with an augmented reality code, which was also disappointing), and paperbacks whose spines and covers are torn to shreds from use. I will likely read this book again, and perhaps I will come to appreciate it as I appreciated the Mammoth Hunters after time, but I had hoped for something that I did not have to force myself to accept. What happened to the spirit of this series?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been an Ayla fan since I read the first book as a young teen. I eagerly awaited each books release then read them as quickly as I could. The long waits in between new book releases gave me many opportunities to reread the series. I am sad to say this is one book I doubt I will ever read again. After waiting years for the release I am extremely disappointed that Auel took a long time to go nowhere with the story. She could have gone in so many directions with the build up to the book and instead she gave us a bland story that spent more time recounting what happened in other books and giving us descriptions of cave paintings than furthering story lines approached in the prior novels. I found it to be very one dimensional and completely lacking the rich story telling of the prior books. If your an Ayla fan you might want to read it just to say you finished the series but I wouldn't expect much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of this series for the past eleven years. The first four books were great. When the fifth book took so long to come out, I was a bit disappointed with it but still had faith that the sixth (and final) book would deliver. I could not have been more wrong. I feel as if I have wasted both my time and my money. Was it really necessary to have the "Mother's Song" in it's entirety four or five times? As aggravating as that was, I was thankful when I could skip several pages and be closer to the end. I kept waiting for something somewhat exciting to happen, but NOTHING ever did. Every conflict was neatly tied up within a couple of pages and we were back to describing herbs and singing songs. Unfortunately, this book has ruined the entire series for me. Ms. Auel did not due any justice to her previous success.