The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Being a completion-ist can sometimes be painful. Take the final chapter (thankfully) in this long running Auel series for example. I clearly recall when the first installment, Clan of the Cave Bear, found it's way into my adolescent hands. I was simply in awe. Titillating and unique, I devoured the book. So as the years slowly ticked by, in respect to Auel's original impact on me, I kept plugging through her increasingly bad installments. For a final hurrah, I spent the last few months rereading all the preceding books in this series in preparation to read The Land of Painted Caves. Folks who know me well, know that it's not the least uncommon for me to reread books several times through the years; sort of like revisiting old friends. I have to say though, the last (and final) turn through Auel's series took an interesting turn. I kept plugging away for the sheer comedic value. But dear Lori, this was not as comedy! Au contraire I say! I finally realized that there could be some amazingly good drinking games derived from the reading of these books. There are so many phrases, ideas and descriptions that were flat out copy/pastes of previous ones that it was hilarious. Had I taken a gulp of wine every time she recycled these phrases, I'd be a raging alcoholic!
As always, Auel, to her credit, was masterful at describing/creating details of every day life which I continued to find fascinating. Her characters were painfully laughable though; as was story arc. But I've been known to love bad movies for their badness and I guess in many ways, I feel the same way about this series. Had it been condensed down into 3 books (which it reasonably could have been), my feelings may be different. But that was not to be the case.
So dear friends, if you've wondered where I've been for the last 2 months...now you know. Thank heavens I'm a relatively fast reader else I could still be slogging through cave after cave with the wunderkind Ayla (she did after all invent everything from flint fire starting to monogamy). However I'm back in this millennium now and will forgive Auel her story telling short comings because in the end, we all know I'm a sucker for a series and every time I open a book for the first time, I'm always hoping for the best.
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