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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Reader's Diary #81- Jean M. Auel: The Plains of Passage (up to Ch. 27, p. 447)

Over half way there and Jondalar has been kidnapped. Hot-diggity dog, we finally have some excitement. But speaking of hot-diggity dogs, I'd first like to comment on Wolf (if you're going to keep coming back to my blog, you're going to have to put up with lame segues such as this).

Wolf is Ayla's canine companion, and we're to accept that he's probably the world's first domesticated dog. I'm not too crazy about it when an author's own views seep into their books too much, but it's obvious here that Auel is a dog-lover. And one of those annoying ones at that. I'm talking not about those annoying lhaso apso owners who put varsity jackets on their pooches, but that other group who brag that their rottweilers are so well behaved that the dogs often babysit their three month olds when they're out. Wolf is portrayed as a a child-loving, often comical beast that Ayla raised from a puppy. The problem is, he's still a wolf (as his name suggests). I find his friendly dog ways way too over-the-top and unbelievable- but then I guess he's the perfect companion to those ultra-humans Ayla and Jondalar. The only saving grace for Wolf's character, is the subtle jealousy/ animosity that Jondalar feels towards the animal, and towards Ayla's relationship with Wolf. It's one of Auel's more interesting sub-plots that I'm hoping will be brought to fruition in some way later on.

Now back to the drama. Yes, Jondalar has been kidnapped. And not just by some regular old camp either, not even by the flatheads. No, Jondalar has been kidnapped by a tribe of nearly militant females. It's not kinky. But it is interesting, even if the theme has been explored before. For the first time since beginning this novel, I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

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