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The Plains of Passage Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1991


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Frequently Bought Together

The Plains of Passage + The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, Book 5) + The Land of Painted Caves: Earth's Children, Book Six
Price for all three: $25.17

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (October 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553289411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553289411
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (506 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The long-awaited fourth installment of the Earth's Children series is as warm and inviting as its campfire milieu. sure fire bestseller. Auel again describes her characters' travails, a passionate interest of millions of readers, in impeccably researched detail. The continuous recitation of flora and fauna, coupled with flashbacks to events in the previous books, becomes somewhat tiresome, however. (Would that our "memory" were as instinctual as that of the Clan.) The saga continues the cross-continental journey of Ayla, her mate Jondalar and their menagerie to his homeland. En route, they encounter a variety of problems, yet manage to find panaceas for each. Their enlightened compilation of skills, inventions, therapies and recipes transforms the voyagers into spirit-like personas providing The Others with constant awe. A brief encounter with the Neanderthal Clan rekindles the unique charm of the first (and strongest) book. Such locutions as "out of the cooking skin into the coals" or "Mother's path of milk" for the Milky Way are coyly anachronistic. Nonetheless, this volume is as welcome as letters from a long-lost friend. A novel 1.25 million first printing; major ad/promo; first serial to Ladies' Home Journal; BOMC main selection; author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Auel follows the successful formula of the other books in this series--man's emergence from primitivism to civilization. Ayla and Jondalar continue their journey, accompanied by Whinny, Racer, and Wolf, closely observing the terrain and prudently, even inventively, developing "modern" techniques to deal with danger and evil. Perhaps most interesting is Ayla's triumph over the matriarchal despot Attaroa; the reverberating echoes of the women's movement's attendant strengths and weaknesses lend a nice touch of irony. The love scenes are not quite as steamy as in the other books. The conclusion is too abrupt, coming just as the characters reach their destination, but The Plains of Passage is still satisfying.
- Joan L. Reynolds, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jean M. Auel is one of the world's most esteemed and beloved authors. Her extensive factual research has earned her the respect of renowned scientists, archaeologists and anthropologists around the globe.

Customer Reviews

So much of the book became tedious and boring.
Susan M. Schreiber
I am not going to get mean, so I'll just say this: this book was the biggest let down ever!
Debbie Packer
Love this series, but it's good if you start with book #1 and read each one after in order!
Emily Bledsoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, a quick explanation of my rating - 3 stars only in comparison to Auel's previous novels. Compared to books by other authors in the genre, The Plains of Passage is definitely 5 stars! Those of us who are hooked on the Earth's Children series will, of course, read every book Jean Auel produces, but in comparison to the first three books in the series, The Plains of Passage wasn't up to Auel's usual standard. Unlike other reviewers whose complaints center on the extensive plant and topography descriptions, what I found hardest to swallow was the "Ayla and Jondalar Save the Day - Again" theme than runs throughout the novel. After just their second encounter with a group of people during their journey to Jondalar's home, a "here it comes again feeling" rises up in the reader. It is a bit wearing on the most diehard Auel fan to endure 800 pages of Ayla and Jondalar coming to the rescue of yet another group of miserably backward people. Another large bite for readers to swallow is the presentation of Ayla and Jondalar as singular saviors of the planet. However, I'm sure most readers, no matter how caught up in the saga of Ayla and Jondalar, are able none-the-less to keep in mind that the many innovations and inventions she and he discover were not their unique and singular developments. Their experiences and discoveries were repeated endlessly by many other people of their time. After all, had the fate of humanity depended on only one person discovering the processes and uses of fire, sewing needles, various weapons, etc., the human race would not now be enjoying such luxuries as books by Jean Auel! But in spite of my complaints, I have read (and reread) all the books in Auel's series, and, with her many fans, am eagerly awaiting her next novel (a copy of which I plan to own the very day it hits bookstore shelves!).
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading some of the recent entries, its good to know that my disappointments in this book are shared by some other readers. The Plains of Passage seems to immensely lack the quality of the earlier books in the series and the 'adventures' of the main characters, Ayla and Jondalar, reminded me vividly of the reality of the 'moralizing' that so many 'explorers' have done to indigenous peoples. Even with this aside, I felt that the book was poorly written and extremely over-drawn; I often found myself skiping over entire chapters without feeling as though I had missed any of the story or character development (or, more accurately, in both cases the lack thereof).
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved The Clan of the Cave Bear, but the successive books degenerated, and this one is the worst of the lot. The characters have become more or less one-dimensional, and Auel is much too fond of them, especially Ayla, who is too good at everything. This problem could be overcome if she had some character flaws, but by this point in the series, she really doesn't have much character at all. The biggest problem with this book, aside from its casting of Ayla and Jondalar as the universal saviours of prehistoric mankind, is its lack of plot. It's really nothing more than a series of episodes, each of which could stand alone; there really isn't much more to the book than how these people get from one place to another. The major underlying plot crisis seems to be the apparently inability of Ayla and Jondalar to conceive a child, but since we already know that this is because Ayla is taking contraceptives, where is the drama? And why does Auel feel the need to stretch out the length of the book by providing five-page sex scenes in each chapter? I don't mind sex scenes if they're part of the plot, but in this book they're quite unnecessary, and it's really rather nauseating (and boring) that Ayla and Jondalar's chief conversational topic is their fabulous sexual compatibility. I strongly recommend the first book, but this one is really a waste of time.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ever since the earthquake that forced young Ayla into a new and different world I have been hooked on this enduring saga. From the first book, "Clan of the Cave Bear" to the last book to date "The Plains of Passage" I have been able to escape to the prehistoric world Ms. Auel has created. In my opinion, any author that can take you from the stress of modern-day life to a fictitional but realistic past is gifted.
Some critics might like to nit-pick on each individual book in the series, and I suppose that there are some flaws, but, come on people, look at the whole picture! The author's purpose is to make each book stand on its own merits, especially for people who haven't read each book in the series. In my opinion, this is why each book is SO detailed and sometimes redundant about the plant and animal life of those times.
I like the developing love story between Ayla and Jondalar. It has all the believability of a modern romance, including jealousy, uncertainty, and even lust, to which we all can relate in the year 2000. Now their story is just becoming interesting to me--they've managed to overcome (so far) the initial relationship problems, and are ready to face their future together.
I feel that this has been a thoroughly enjoyable series to date, and eagerly await the much anticipated books 5 and 6 of the series. I've been reading this series for nearly 15 years, and have re-read the series several times. For many years it was an annual event, until I got to the point that I could probably knap my own flint spearpoints. Read this series and be prepared to be entertained!
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