Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)'s Reviews > The Shelters of Stone

The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel
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's review
May 26, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: adventure, historical-fiction, american-literature, read-in-2010, american-authors-translators
Read from May 24 to 26, 2010

This is the fifth novel in Jean Auel's "Earth's Children" series, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. I can only hope that it isn't all that long until the sixth novel in the series is published (rumor has it that it should be out in late-2010, or early-2011).

This novel is the story of Ayla and Jondalar returning from their long journey from the east and settling into their home with Jondalar's peoples, the Zelandonii, in the great cliff dwellings in what is now southwestern France. This book, of all those in the series, is the one that focuses the most on the social and cultural interactions among the Cro-Magnon peoples in their Ice Age environments some 30,000 years ago. I thought it was very intriguing that Ms. Auel spent so much time on the descriptions of the social, cultural, and spiritual organizations within and among the various moeties of the Zelandonii dwelling places and peoples.

Again, the reader is treated to example after example of Ms. Auel's incorporation of the latest archaeological research and data as she fictionally describes the day-to-day life of these peoples. She brings in the various thoughts and hypotheses associated with the shamanism and potential spiritual import of cave paintings like those found in the Paleolithic Lasceaux cave complex. In this novel, like the others, Ms. Auel also spends a lot of time making the reader aware of the ecology, environment, and the flora and fauna of this region of Ice Age Europe. It is almost like reading a 'Field Guide to the Ice Age.'

Also, Ms. Auel has continued to weave throughout the narrative her interpretation of current scientific data and research associated with the potential interactions between anatomically modern humans and the archaic humans, the Neandertals. Turns out that she probably has the right of it; as geneticists (in early 2010) recently completed sequencing the Neandertal genome and have determined that between 1-4% of our own modern human DNA is derived from our close cousins now extinct some 25,000 years.

In conclusion, I have really enjoyed my second complete reading of this five-volume series. I own them all in hardback, and know that I'll be back to visit this interesting period of human history again sometime soon. Good stuff!

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Reading Progress

05/24/2010 page 154
20.42% "I am loving my re-read of this grand series!"
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Sally Pearce Did you know that this was originally supposed to be 8 books long? I'll just settle for the sixth at this point! i feel the same way about them as you do.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) Oh, I know, I can barely stand the wait myself. I know that I'll have to re-read The Shelters of Stone again as soon as I know the sixth is available, just to get back in the groove. I genuinely do love this series!

Sally Pearce Wish I could reread it, but a certain friend of mine has my copy!

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) Sally wrote: "Wish I could reread it, but a certain friend of mine has my copy!"

Bless your heart! ;-)

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