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Just read the newest Jean Auel book "The Shelters of Stone," fifth in her Earth Children series. Anybody interested in discussion?

Moonglade
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Just read the newest Jean Auel book "The Shelters of Stone," fifth in her Earth Children series. Anybody interested in discussion?


Wow, it finally came out? Is it on the best-seller list yet? Does it suck?

-mapletree
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Just read the newest Jean Auel book "The Shelters of Stone," fifth in her Earth Children series. Anybody interested in discussion?

I read the first few (3?) in this series, but it's been awhile. How is the latest book?

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From Glup: How is the latest book?

From Mapletree: Does it suck?

It's a continuation of the first four. Make of THAT what you will.

Yes, the sexual scenes are still graphic, though they seem lesser in quantity than in the second through fourth books. This book covers the arrival of Ayla and Jondalar at his home and Ayla's acceptance (or not by some) into his tribe. I liked it since I tend to like the characters (at least Jondalar isn't constantly presuming and bemoaning in this one that Ayla might not really love him, his lack of esteem was getting annoying) and find the situation intriguing. I just hope I don't have to wait as long for the sixth (last) book as I did for books four and five.

To some extent, given Jondalar's initial revulsion in book two when he found out that Ayla had given birth to a halfbreed, I was surprised at how many people in his tribe seemed accepting that the Clan might be people and not animals (major paradigm shift while he was away, apparently). Not that all are that accepting: it seems their Histories suggest that they stole their homecaves from "flatheads" and some people don't want to accept that they killed Clan people (much easier to live with yourself if they are animals, not people).

The last book should resolve the issue of Cro-Magnon acceptance of Neanderthal humanity just in time for the Clan to either die out or be assimalated by cross-breeding into the Cro-Magnon line. It will be nice if Ayla is reunited with her long-lost son but those Clan are quite a distance to the east and beyond a glacier.

My favorite book is still the first one. The knowledge of plant and herbal lore alone was very interesting and useful.

Moonglade
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My favorite book is still the first one. The knowledge of plant and herbal lore alone was very interesting and useful.

I enjoyed the first book. I liked the idea of the genetic memory of the neanderthals versus the ability to learn of the cro-mags. The idea that the genetic memory was reaching it's limit, but that the learning ability of the cro-mags was essentially limitless. I know I read the second book and I think the third, but I have just about no memory of those. They haven't continued to captivate me enough to have to read the the rest of the series.

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I use to be a fan
but got bored of the clan.

Penny
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Greetings,

I loved the first book, the second book was fine, but Auel had Ayla invent just about half pleistocene technology all by herself was pushing it a bit.

The third book was passable.

I very rarely give up on a book. Hell, I slogged my way through Heinlein's number of the beast, so I have a strong endurance factor.

But I gave up on the Plains of passage. Jondalar's insecurity and Ayla flightyness was really getting on my nerves.

I'm debating going back to finish Plains and see if book 5 is worth it.

Cheers,
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<<Hell, I slogged my way through Heinlein's number of the beast, so I have a strong endurance factor.>>

You are strong to be able to get through that mess of a book.

Thuvia
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<<Hell, I slogged my way through Heinlein's number of the beast, so I have a strong endurance factor.>>

You are strong to be able to get through that mess of a book.


I liked that book. It has been along time since I read it thought. It does help if you have read most of his other stuff before reading "number of the beast"

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I liked that book. It has been along time since I read it thought. It does help if you have read most of his other stuff before reading "number of the beast"

It also helps if you realize it's one long in-joke.

-mapletree
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I adore Heinlein and have read and reread his books since I was a teenager. That's what makes some of his later books such a disappointment.

Thuvia
whose favorite Heinlein just might be
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
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It also helps if you realize it's one long in-joke.

-mapletree

Now, I'm intrigued. I read it so long ago. Can you please let me in on the joke?

Thuvia
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Greetings,

It does help if you have read most of his other stuff before reading "number of the beast"

I guess I just didn't read enough of his other stuff, but for the record, I had read prior to NOTB, the following works:(I may be omitting a few titles)

double star
puppet masters,
starship troopers
stranger in a strange land
time enough for love
I will fear no evil
The moon is a harsh mistress
the door into summer
methuselah's children
have spacesuit -- will travel
glory road

expanded universe (non-fiction)

In my bookshelf not yet read: Friday, Job.

After NOTB, I just couldn't bring myself to crack open these books.


Glup I respect your opinion of the book. It still strikes me that the printing of NOTB is arboricide.

I give Plains of Passage another look before I decided to buy book 5.

Cheers,
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I adore Heinlein and have read and reread his books since I was a teenager.

I still think one of my favorite short stories is "By His Bootstraps," though "Menace from Earth" was well-done, just a little too cutesy. I also liked the one about the teenage girl who was born on Mars though her name (title of book) escapes me..."Podkayne from Mars" or something like that. The switched perspective at the very end (from the girl to her brother) was well done.

Moonglade
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Now, I'm intrigued. I read it so long ago. Can you please let me in on the joke?

It's surpremely self-referential! The characters discuss Heinlein and dis some of his work - Stranger in a Stange Land in Particular. There's some discussion about bad writing and how annoying it is when authors use lame plot devices instead of constructing a plot - and every time they start talking about this, another alien bad guy shows up or they hie off to another planet/timeline. Lastly, several names in the books are anagrams of Heinlein'sname, his wife's name, a pseudonym he used, and a friend's name. Those are all the details I can remember!

The following is a loving explanation.

http://www.heinleinsociety.org/numberbeast.html

-mapletree
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I guess I just didn't read enough of his other stuff, but for the record, I had read prior to NOTB, the following works:(I may be omitting a few titles)
double star
puppet masters,
starship troopers
stranger in a strange land
time enough for love
I will fear no evil
The moon is a harsh mistress
the door into summer
methuselah's children
have spacesuit - will travel
glory road
expanded universe (non-fiction)
In my bookshelf not yet read: Friday, Job.


You've read most of the really good stuff. Friday and Job are terrific as well, and they are not among that set of his late work which includes Number of the Beast, The Cat Who Walked Thru Walls, To Sail Beyond the Sunset. "Cat" and "Sail" were extensions of "Number" - hating that book, you won't like them. But if you liked the earlier work, you will like Friday and Job.

Also check out The Past Thru Tomorrow, a vast collection of the "future history" short stories. Some of them you will have seen - I believe "Methuselah's Children" is included in that collection - but it's great stuff. "Blowups Happen", "The Roads Must Roll", "Let There Be Light", etc etc etc.

Heinlein might be worth a thread of his own. Before he passed away, I had read every one of his published works. There have since been some posthumous releases I've missed. I'm one of the rare fans of Heinlein's "spiritual" work, like Assignment in Eternity and the stuff collected in The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. I also really like his "juveniles", like Red Planet and Starman Jones and the Lord-of-the-Flies homage Tunnel in the Sky. The person who mentioned "By His Bootstraps" is dead-on right too: that's terrific. "All You Zombies" is considered his classic time-travel story (collected in "Hoag"), but I like "Bootstraps" better.

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I enjoyed "If This Goes On", if only for the title. Also Space Cadet and The Rolling Stone are perennially rereads.

Thuvia
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