The Land of Painted Caves
By Jean M. Auel
Read by Sandra Burr
I have read all of the Earth's Children books, beginning with The Clan of the Cave Bear.
After the third book, they have grown progressively worse. This last one was the longest audiobook I have ever listened to in my life. And it isn't, really, the longest book I have ever listened too, at least not in terms of number of CDs and time.
It just felt that way.
To be honest, I have thought for some time that the last books, including this one, were not written, at least not entirely, by the original author. Auel was born in 1936, and while 76 years old is not too old to be writing a book, I think the books have been taken over by a book packager or something.
How else could one account for such a decline in talent?
Not only that, whoever edited this book should be fired immediately. Surely some editor could have reduced the length of this 800+ page tome to about 200 pages without losing a single bit of story line.
I was sorry I chose to listen to this book, instead of reading it. Had I read it, I could have skipped a lot of repetition. For this book repeats itself ad nauseum, endlessly, page after page.
There is little plot, and little character development.
But . . . there is detail. And depth. And the creation of a vast world. A world familiar yet not. That was why I kept listening, well, that and the hope that something would happen. Which it occasionally did, apparently enough, that, like Pavlov's dog after a bone, I kept on with the story.
This book received more than 600 bad reviews on amazon.com, and only a few 5 star reviews. Many people were disappointed, I fear.
I would not say I was disappointed so much as tired by the time I finally finished listening to disc 29.
If you are a fan of Ayla, the heroine of these stories, then you will want to skim this book (don't do the audio) for closure. But otherwise, unless you like repetitive, detailed books about humans who lived 30,000 years ago, look elsewhere.