fredag 29. april 2011

Bookreview! Land of the painted caves by J.M. Auel

The story continues the saga about Ayla wand her life in the stoneage. This book is mainly a story of how she becomes a shaman, spiritual leader and her journey to see the cave paintings in the area around where she lives.

The book is slow. It spends 500 pages repeating and re-hashing itself and the previous 5 books.
Don't get me wrong. It's interesting. But i need to admit to myself that certain passages, it does get boring. I was willing the story foreward and i was rooting for the characters to jump off the page as they have in the previous book but they only in brief glimpses come alive!
There are too many characters involved and some of the issues that Ayla had been building up to for 5 books does not come to any resolution. i mean, where is Durc, the child she had to leave behind. Where are te solutions to the Clan/the Others-conflict and why doesn't Jondalar act how he's suposed to!!!
I am disappointed but not without hope that a seventh book will bring my journey with Ayla to a more dignified and not so pathetic end....
Generally i feel as tho this book was a rushed project. It has untill now felt as though i've been reading a second or third draft of a novel in the process of being edited and although i'm not for a second going to say that it's a horrid book i will say that it's a piece of unfinished craftmanship i've been reading.
I LOVE caves. I loved the descriptions of the caves but it did get a bit much and a lot was repeated.
If she had followed the "plains" recipe and embellished the events along the way making the caves into an in-between i think i would have liked the tour better...
But it is an important part of the series mythology and the caves had to be there...
The mothers song was also a bit repetative.
during her calling i was expecting her (hoping rather...) that she would take a spirit-journey and see her son or a solution to the issues between Clan and the others, but instead she saw what every other animal on the planet knows insstinctively.

The series is kinda my "guilty pleasure". A lot of my friends see it as an embellished Harlequinn series and it's been described as "housewife-porn" by more than one of my friends but i can't help being addicted... it's been my "drug" from a very early age!!! This book was a bit like giving an alcoholic a flat non-alcoholic beer to staunch his thirst for more...

But i still LOVE the book for it's connection to a fictional universe i've often daydreamed i could be a part of. I've spent weeks in the forests trying to build myself a cave-man-life (to no avail as people would come with rations and flashligths and other modern equipment, plus the fact i couldn't make flint tools and had to use a modern knife...and matches... But hey... i tried...)
Whenever my life has been tough, i have returned to Ayla. not necessarily reading the books again but imagining how she would deal with the situation.
I could not have made it thru my teens in one piece without Auel's fiction. I would not have thought of loosing my virgintiy as first rites and therefore feeling sooo special the next day if i hadn't read those books. I'm pretty much the only one of my friends who had a peaceful and serene "first rites" as a result of thinking of it in terms of a ritual, not a random act of sex...

I have LIVED these books and been OBSESSED with Ayla's story since i was 12. it taught me soo much about independence and trusting your heart! It has mede me tolerant towards people of different skintones, sexuality and beliefs and it has made me who I am!
I LOVE these people. I even had a long relationship with a man which started because he looked like what i'd imagined Jonde to look!!!!

But i will not, despite it's repetative nature, give up on this novel.
I still LOVE the series and i probably always will. What I'm missing and thought this book was lacking was closure.
There is a lack of ending and a lack of resolving.
I miss finding a solution to where she came from and what her original name was. I miss finding a solution to the Clan/others conflicts and i miss her knowing what happened to her son.
as i say... it resembles a second draft gone straight to press...

I hope Auel, despite her ripe age of 75, will finish the series with a final book that takes us to the end of Ayla's life in a more dignified manner. this book was below Ayla's worth. we as readers and fans deserve a decent finale....

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