Jean M Auel and 'Earth's Children' ('Clan of the Cave Bear' Series)

'Land of the Painted Caves' - Press Release

When a press release was issued, indicating that Jean Auel's latest book in the 'Earth's Children' series ~ the long-awaited, sixth and final, 'Land of the Painted Caves' ~ would be published, worldwide, on 29th March 2011, her fans were thrilled. This was what they had been waiting for!

At the time, Jean Naggar , 'Auel’s long time agent', is quoted as saying:

“Once again, the launch of this latest book in Jean Auel’s unique series promises to be an international extravaganza.

"Working with this extraordinary author and series from its beginnings has been a great personal and professional pleasure.The Land of Painted Caves is a triumph and a wonderful read".'

And, ever since, the full epic story of Ayla and the people she meets during the Stone Age, have been available for our delectation.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32056404/Press-Release-The-Land-of-Painted-Caves-by-Jean-M-Auel

Who is Jean Auel?

Jean M Auel (pronounced 'owl') is an American novelist, who is famous for her fictional recreations of prehistoric human life ~ Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal ~ in the Europe of thousands of years BC.

Ms Auel was born Jean Marie Untinen, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 18th February, 1936. It was not until 1977 that she began to research for a book idea that she had in mind.This idea evolved into 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' and the whole 'Earth's Children' series of books.

As a result of her work, she has been awarded honorary degrees from American universities and has also been made an Officer of the 'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' in France.

Ms Auel is married to Ray Bernard Auel and has five children.

Her books have sold in their millions.

The Land of Painted Caves - Hardcover, Paperback, AudioCD

Auel's long-awaited final 'Earths Children' book was published in March 2011

With the 30th anniversary of 'Clan of the Cave Bear', Jean Auel's long-awaited sixth and final work in the 'Earth's Children' series ~ was published! it arrived in bookstores on 29th March 2011

For those of you who have yet to meet 'Ayla', and the rest of 'Earth's Children', you now have the opportunity to read all six books. They are hefty volumes, but do not be put off. They are unputdownable, so you will read them more quickly than you might imagine.

Although this is a series of books, telling the life story of one specific person, as she journeys through life, from young childhood to maturity, each book is also a self-contained novel in its own right.

Admittedly, not everyone is a fan, but the world would be a boring place, if we all had the same likes and dislikes. One criticism is that the books can be repetitive and some readers have found the pace to be a bit slow in parts.

I would recommend that you read the Amazon reviews ~ and then make up your own mind.

Jean Auel Talks About 'The Land of Painted Caves'

Ayla

Ayla - Heroine of Jean M Auel's books.
Ayla - Heroine of Jean M Auel's books.

Who is Ayla and who are 'Earth's Children'?

Who is Ayla and who are 'Earth's Children'?

Who is Jean Auel and who are the books for?

Jean Auel is the author of a series of books which tells of the life and loves, struggles and adventures of Ayla ~ a thoroughly modern woman who lived around 30,000 years ago!

Ayla is the heroine of the stories and, through her, we meet other member of 'Earth's Children'.

'Earth's Children' are us! Or, rather, they are our ancestors ~ ancestors who lived in the long-distant past.

The stories mainly concern the earliest Europeans, though people from other parts of the world are also involved.

These early 'Europeans' include both Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis ~ Modern humans and Neanderthals.

Clan of the Cave Bear

Clan of the Cave Bear. Cover showing prehistoric cave art
Clan of the Cave Bear. Cover showing prehistoric cave art

A very good read!

Who are these books for?

Anyone who enjoys a good read ~ a good story, well-told.

And if you happen to be interested in anthropology, archaeology, pre-history, genealogy, people, romance, adventure and travel, then you are sure to be hooked.

There aren't many of us who haven't wondered about our origins and this is an easy way to digest some fascinating and useful knowledge.

The books are works of fiction, of course, but the stories are woven around facts, expert theories and plausible possibilities.

I don't deny that some parts may seem a bit far-fetched, but, at some stage back then, humans did do what Auel says that they did ~ so, who can say whether her ideas are right or wrong!?

Deep Genealogy

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

Author: Bryan Sykes. Paperback. Other formats available.

 
Deep Ancestry: Inside The Genographic Project
Deep Ancestry: Inside The Genographic Project

Athor: Spencer wells. Paperback. Other formats available.

 

I mentioned genealogy

I mentioned genealogy. How does this come into it?

Well, in this time of deep genetic genealogy, we are becoming able to take our 'family history' knowledge much further back into history and prehistory. We may not be able to find individuals, but more and more information about our ancestors is becoming available ~ and, even without these genetic discoveries, we know that these ancestors actually existed.

We know that, amongst the fictional people who shared Ayla's world, there were real people ~ people who are the ancestors of those living today ~ our ancestors! These books can help us to find out more, and to imagine what life was like for our distant-past relatives.

* * * *

Some related non-fiction books are:

'The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry' by Bryan Sykes

'Deep Ancestry: Inside The Genographic Project' by Spencer Wells

Jean Auel, Miami Book Fair International, 1990 - MDCarchives

'I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under creative commons
'I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under creative commons | Source

Quote from Jean Auel



"Actually, if I had planned to write a bestseller back in 1980, would I have picked a Paleolithic caveman?

"No ..."

[2002]

http://www.bookpage.com/0204bp/jean_auel.html

Quote from Jean Auel

'Most of the information comes from reading, library research, but I have learned a great deal from asking questions, taking classes and travelling.

'For example, I took a class from an expert in Arctic survival, where we spent a night on the snowy slopes of a nearby mountain to learn how to live in cold conditions.

'From a class in "Aboriginal Life Skills" I learned how people can live off the land, and how to brain-tan a deer hide into wearable buckskin.

'I've taken wild plant identification classes, and classes on how to cook wild foods. Ayla's medicine woman skills are a combination of first aid, books on herbal medicines, and asking questions of doctors and other skilled health practitioners, nurses, paramedics, etc.

'I have visited may of the sites I write about to get a feel for them, even though conditions may be different now.

'I even worked for a short time at a dig so I could understand where the information comes from and how the scientists find it.

'I have attended archaeology conferences, and have become acquainted with may of the professionals, some of whom have shown me some remarkable sites, including extraordinary painted and engraved caves.'

http://aukon.sf.org.nz/JeanAuel.htm

Quote from Jean Auel

"I got the idea for the story of a young woman living with people who were different... in January 1977..... I had never studied archaeology or anthropology. ...

"Libraries are wonderful. They started me on a remarkable odyssey ... They opened my eyes to the fascinating story of our Ice Age ancestors that modern science has to tell...not of knuckle-dragging apes, but the human story.....

'The first draft of the entire six book series was written at one time, in one single burst of creative energy, over a four month period of 12 to 16 hour days of sustained writing....

"I thought at the time that it would be one novel, Earth's Children ... It was only on rewriting that I realized that I had instead written an in-depth outline for a six book series."

http://www.copperfieldreview.com/interviews/auel.html

Quote from Jean Auel

"I think it's important for people to know that the characters, the people who lived then, were as carefully researched as everything else. They are written as contemporary people because they were.

"The Cro Magnon of France were the first appearance in Europe of people like ourselves. They were our direct ancestors, our many times great-grand parents. That's why I call the series Earth's Children ®, it was the childhood of the human race, of modern human people." [2002]

http://aukon.sf.org.nz/JeanAuel.htm

Shanidar Cave, Summer 2005

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Original uploader was JosephV at en.wikipedia Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. More details here: http://en.wikiped
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Original uploader was JosephV at en.wikipedia Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. More details here: http://en.wikiped

Fiction from Fact

Jean Auel has used scientific, anthropological, sociological, archaeological, etc, discoveries and theories to inform her fictional writing.

For example, the discovery of a disabled Neanderthal man, at Shanidar Cave, Iraq, ~ described in this quote ~ was the inspiration behind her ‘Mogur’ - Creb.

'The [Neandertal] man who had been so carefully buried .. [at Shanidar Cave] in a ritual manner had major orthopedic problems. Crushing injuries earlier in life resulted in multiple broken bones. This apparently caused degenerative joint disease, the withering of one of his arms, and blindness in one eye. ... he would have been severely handicapped, yet he lived 30-45 years. To do this, he must have had considerable family and community support.'  [Dennis O'Neil]

Copyright © 1999-2010 by Dennis O'Neil

http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_3.htm

Titles in the Series

The books so far:

1. The Clan of the Cave Bear, 1980

*

2. The Valley of Horses, 1982

*

3. The Mammoth Hunters, 1985

*

4. The Plains of Passage, 1990

*

5. The Shelters of Stone, 2002

*

6. The Land of Painted Caves, 2011

1. The Clan of the Cave Bear, 1980

Following the 461 customer reviews submitted to Amazon(dot)com by customers, the following results were published (as at 10th June 2010):

5 stars: 367 customer reviewers
4 stars: 53 customer reviewers
3 stars: 17 customer reviewers
2 stars: 8 customer reviewers
1 star: 16 customer reviewers

Some extracts, from just a few of the customer comments, are quoted.


Some Five- and Four-Star Comments from Amazon

'This amazing book remains one of my favorites ever.' ["keonie"]

'... the characters ... are alive' ..' [K.Beam] *****

'... it is incredible the vast talent that it takes to write a book such as this ...' [Sunnfllower "Sunnfllower"] *****

'... excellent .... you cannot put down ...' [John Pyle] *****

'I am in love with this author's style' [Renee Miller-Johnston] *****

'Experience life some 35.000 years ago and be amazed.' [Nicole Wilson, Author of "Undressing Chickens" and "The Callie Gang"] *****

'One of my all time favorites'
[Teddi Bear] *****

'One of the best books ever written!' [C. Mavrodin] *****

'Clan of the Cave Bear is one with glue that sticks with us forever' [B. Messina] *****'Window to a different time ... This is an outstanding book; the first and by far the best of the Earth's Children Series.' [David Rasquinha, June 14, 2001] ****

'Clan of the Cave Bear' DVD

Some Three- Two- and One-Star Comments from amazon

'A great Science Fiction Novel about Neanderthal life ...... It is an enjoyable book to read. But it is an entertainment, not a Scientific research paper.' [Robert Bell] ***

'... while I did find the story itself compelling, at many times the writing got in the way. This book would have been well served by a copy-editor ...' ["Rachel Watkins"] ***

'... the editing process should have pared it down ...'
[Dave E "Dave"] ***

'... subversely racist, overtly pro-european ...' [R O "chapurukha"] **

'... the heroine is constantly making one earthshaking discovery after another .... It became really maddening.' [LionLady Pam, March 10, 2009] *

'This book falls under the category of being too well-researched .... Right in the middle of potentially deep plot twists we are assaulted with a treatise on plants ...' [Marie Schnoor "Literature Snob", December 24, 2004] *

'Intellectually and artistically roughly on a par with the Flintstones.' [A Customer, June 16, 2002] *

'... The first time I read this I thought, "This is great!" But I was a shallow reader then, easily entertained, and so I missed many of the (wrong) facts presented here. .... Who on earth is to say that the Neanderthals were all dark haired and eyed, whereas the Cro-Magnon were all ... blond haired, blue eyed, and basically the Aryan stereotype? ' [A Kid's Review, March 8, 2005] *

Other Auel Contributions - 'Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age'

'Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age'

Jean Auel has written the foreword to this 'dazzling visual record of one of Earth's most extraordinary species'. [Amazon Product Description]

Authors: Adrian Lister and Paul Bahn

Paperback ~ 192 pages
Published by University of California Press (2009)
Size: 10.5" x 8" x 0.6"
Weight: 1.4 pounds

'Earth's Children' 1-5

'Earth's Children' 1-5 Shelters of Stone cover ~ and possibly others ~ illustrated by Larry Rostant.
'Earth's Children' 1-5 Shelters of Stone cover ~ and possibly others ~ illustrated by Larry Rostant.

Official Trailer

Read Excerpt for Free!

Would you like to read an excerpt from 'The Land of Painted Caves', free of charge, online?

Or you can download the first three chapters, if you prefer.

Just go to Jean M. Auel's website and you will find it:

http://www.jeanauel.com/

Comments 19 comments

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL

I saw the Clan of the Cave Bear movie and read the Valley of Horses. Both were awesome. I have to read the rest of the books before the next one comes out. Thanks good hub!


ama83 profile image

ama83 6 years ago from San Jose, CA

I haven't read anything by this author. I may have to give one of her a books a shot. Thanks for the recommendation.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 6 years ago from The English Midlands Author

I love history and I've been to the areas of France that she describes, so I really enjoyed the series.

Thanks for the comments evvy_09 and ama83


Adela Rasta profile image

Adela Rasta 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

I loved the film; haven't read the book but I'm sure it's even better. Interesting hub, I didn't know there were a series of books, will definitely check them out!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Yes, do give them a try, Adela! :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

Thanks for the heads up! I didn't know her new book was finally coming out but am thrilled to hear it!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Tillsontitan :)

Yes, indeed!

Not long to wait now :)

Thanks for commenting!


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills

To young and old who may have seen the movie Clan of the Cave Bear... forget it it was crap... Read the books instead.

The film did a pathetic job in trying to bring this story to life and failed this great author miserably.

True the books are long and there are parts where Jean seems to lose her own plot and waffles on, over describing the scenery and there are endless repeats of some details, however these are minor distractions to the overall story lines.

I look forward to the end of the month when I can get my hands on the next book.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Merlin :)

~Yes, I agree that the books ~ in spite of the various criticisms that they receive ~ are superior to the film :)

Thanks for commenting!


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

I have just finished reading THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR ,it was my reading matter ( when I could concentrate) on my recent train journey....the book was a christmas gift from a friend....now I am looking forward to the next one!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Loveslove

I am not surprised that you are looking forward to future reading :)


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California

I sell books on Amazon.com and just sold one of her Series this week--it seems like it is as much in demand as ever!I have sold quite a few of her books in this series over the years, and Australians especially order them. Very Good hub!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Garnet Bird :)

Thank you!

Yes, her books are, indeed, very popular.


camdjohnston12 profile image

camdjohnston12 5 years ago

Great review and fascinating hub.Thanks for sharing, Trish M


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thank you very much indeed, camdjohnston :)


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

Jean Auel is by far my most favorite writer and the Clan of the Cave bear series, my favorite read. Thanks for writing such an awesome hub on her incredible talent.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello lrc7815 :)

Yes, I agree, the 'Clan of the Cave Bear' is, indeed, a fantastic series!


Michelle M 2 years ago

Love this series of books and I have read them 4 times through, loved the movie "The Clan of the Cave Bear", just wish they would make more for all the books!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Michelle.

Thanks for your comment.

It's good to heard from a fellow fan :)

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