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Please tell me you didn't read The Land of Painted Caves without ever having read another Auel book. It's the sixth and final book in the series-- a really bad place to begin with any author's work-- and more to the point, it is absolutely terrible. The first book was good (though it suffered from some of the problems you mention, like adverbs, wooden writing, and a tendency to jump out of POV and discuss the prehistoric era from the modern viewpoint), and the next two were okay. I can even read the fourth with some degree of enjoyment. But the fifth was dreadful, and the sixth was absurd. Most reviewers agree it could have been cut down by about two-thirds, at a minimum (scan through the reviews on Amazon to grasp the extent of readers' rage at the ridiculous amount of repetition in the book). It's clear it wasn't edited at all, and was just published for the sake of completing the series. In short, I don't believe it ever would have been published had it not been by an author the publisher knew to be a sure seller.
 

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I agree with Meg. Using her last book, Land of the Painted Caves is her worst book. It is like shooting a fish in a barrel. It is Jean Auel's absolutely worst book and written in her mid 80's. Great Grandma writes her book. You should choose her first or second books for a real comparison. Reading LotPC was sad for me and it was easy to know she was way past her prime and the book was just a strange fantasy. There were never 29 Zeladoni caves in the Vezere Valley or art festivals. Life was nothing like how she portrayed it in LotPC.

I have never been a fan of Jean Auel but she was a true pioneer of the genre and though written over 30 years ago the accuracy of her research of the Upper Pleistocene period was second to none for her time. She had input from some of the top archaeologists and scholars of the day. Although she strayed from scientific fact with author's license one expects that in fiction. I have to give Jean Auel a lot of credit. Her writing may not have been the best, but for decades she had a great story to tell and millions who wanted to read it.

I never liked her style of writing that much (too much padding etc) or her digressions, even in her best books. One can quibble about her writing style, but she has sold over 40 Million books and her stories resonated with millions for 30 years.

A friend of hers told me she wrote it to fulfill her contract and the publisher had been waiting 12 years for LotPC. She had a 3 book deal with a $25 Million Advance and LotPC was the final book.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've read 'Clan of the Cave Bear,' and the one about the people of the Mammoth. I should nip over and check that title, but those books seemed all right and I didn't have trouble finishing them. So it's not just me then.
 

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I've read 'Clan of the Cave Bear,' and the one about the people of the Mammoth.
The Mammoth Hunters. That's the third; the second is The Valley of Horses, which is pretty good (although marred by some pretty repetitive eighties-style love scenes). All decently written, though she could have used some tighter editing even then, IMHO. But the last two books are terrible, and the last one is spectacularly bad. As I said, take a peek at the Amazon reviews for The Land of Painted Caves. The ire is off the charts.
 

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Louis, her fans were greatly disappointed and some bitter because they were let down terribly. I doubt much editing was done the pub just wanted to get the book out. Last I heard it had sold over 5 Million. Read the Amazon reviews for LotPC. Her first 3 books were her best.
 

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I don't get the point of the comparison.

By the way, jackz, there are writers plenty of older writers, including, yes, grandmothers, who do some darn good writing. Ageism is not particularly attractive prejudice.

ETA: I'm not a fan of either writer, but I still don't see any point in such a comparison.
 
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