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The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children) Formato Kindle
|Nuovo a partire da||Usato da|
|Formato Kindle, 21 dic 2010||
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Auel's wonderfully lucid descriptions and rhythmic prose are a sumptuous delight that continue in 'Valley of Horses'. The flora and fauna pop out of the book and I can almost smell the grassy herbaceousness of the meadows where Ayla lives and hunts. When I am reading valley of the horses, everything else seems to melt away and I become a part of the landscape, and a 'fly on the wall' in an ancient clan.
Her musings on plant life and animal behavior will delight anyone who has read Thoreau or Emerson and you will recognize in her book some of the same childish wonder you often find in Thoreau's diaries or Emerson's poetry.
The structure of the novel is well plotted and executed. The story flows at a pleasant pace and has a good amount of action and excitement. We are introduced to a few new characters and Ayla invents spectacular new instruments for hunting and survival. The heart of the book, in my opinion, is her relationships with the animals who are her neighbors in the valley. Even though the real climax of the book occurs when Ayla and Jondalur finally meet, the biggest part of the book deals with her isolation and her relationship with the horse who comes to mean everything to her.
Highly, highly recommend.
The interactions are unrealistic and wordy, and people did things that had no real discernable motivation - they just furthered the story.
Why does the Clan family help Jondular when his boat careens out of control? They have no reason to. The Clan Aayla lived with gives us no indication that they're in the habit of helping out non-Clan people they come across; and in fact, it does the OPPOSITE. They make a HUGE point of Iza being weird for being willing to stop and help a young girl from the "Others" who's completely non-threatening, unconcious and possibly dying... and then they help a fully grown and potentially dangerous man whom they know absolutely nothing about, even leading him to their campsite, in exchange for a fish they can go catch themselves? This seemed to me to be a pretty thin attempt to make him stop and think about the Neanderthals as people to prime him for meeting Aayla (and get over her being raised by "flatheads" in record time) so they can get straight to making-like-bunnies after they angst for about 100 pages.
On that note, the book starts delving into some serious bad-fanfiction writing once Aayla and Jondular meet. There is so much plot contrivance, I just don't even want to go into it all, but once they do, it's one sad angsty misunderstanding after another.
Half of the dialogue in this part comes down to Aayla's internal monoglouge of "Boo hoo, I'm too big and ugly and non-Clan looking so this person who is bigger than me and also not from my Clan and clearly undressing me with his eyes every 5 seconds will be all turned off by me. I can discover the travois, domesticate animals, learn to communicate with them, survive alone for 3 years after being banished from the only society I know with hardly any supplies, can supposedly read body language and intention like a book, but I can't figure out that the guy who's about as subtle as a trainwreck wants to do me. *cry cry* life is so unfair..."
Jondular's dialouge is similar. "I want to have sex with her. A lot. Like so much sex. But she thinks I'm a jerk, which I kind of am. Still, boohoo. So much sex."
Also we hear a lot about his "manhood" and how huge it is and how all these women want to have sex with him but he's too big for them and women fall all over themselves around him. It gets old in a hurry and by halfway through the book I start rooting for him to get killed off, just so we could stop hearing about it.
They even make a special point of saying how sexy and awesome his brother is... BUT JONDULAR IS TOTALLY BETTER AND ALL THE WOMENS WANT HIM AND HE'S SO TALL AND AWESOME!1!! (oi... -_-)
Then we move on to the actual descriptions of their sex-lives, which are TMI in the extreme. They could suffice to say "They made love." or "They spent the night together" or some other phrase that tells us they had sex without describing in gory disturbing detail.
The ritual deflowering scene is about 100 times more disturbing than it needs to be and takes up roughly 5 more pages than it needs to. They could have left it at him entering the hut to do his thing and had them wake up together the next day. They spend so much time talking about how awesome it was afterwards anyway, there's no reason we need to read the whole thing in real time. (And I definitely didn't want to.)
Honestly, this book just falls flat. It's obvious the author was WAY more interested in the flora, fauna, and ancient customs than they were in telling a story. The characters are 2-dimensional standins to allow him to describe the world he wants to explore. I think the author doesn't really understand how real people interact, especially in tribal societies with deeply entrenched traditions. They wrote the story like a 14 year old who takes themselves WAY too seriously and it hobbles any potential interest the story may have otherwise had. I can only hope the characters aren't author insertion because ew...
If you're a history buff looking for interesting reading about Neanderthals, Clan of the Cave bear is ok for that. It's very descriptive and paints an excellent picture of the world of that time, assuming you ignore alot of the human interactions. The story is still so-so, but despite being repetative it's not too bad. This book is less description, more sex-scenes, filler, and implausible plot events. Save your time and your gross-out factor and just go read at text-book. You'll get the same information without the squick.