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The Caves of Périgord (2002)

de Martin Walker

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1607129,017 (3.26)6
In a brilliant and ambitious thriller that combines elements of Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear and Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth into a riveting, multifaceted tale of love, art, courage, and war, Martin Walker brings to life the creation of an extraordinary work of prehistoric cave art and the struggle to possess it in our own time. Walker's richly interwoven novel opens with the arrival of a mysterious package for a young American woman working in a London auction house. Brought by a British officer, it contains a 17,000-year-old fragment of a cave painting left to him by his father, a former World War II hero. The fragment, significant and stunning in itself, is also the key to the existence of an un-known cave that may be more important in the history of art and human creation than the world-famous one at Lascaux. It triggers a storm of publicity and commands the attention of the French authorities all the way up to the President of the Republic, who seems to know more about the painting's origins than anyone else... As the young American woman, the British officer, and a French government art historian explore the ancient province of Perigord to determine the painting's origins, their search serves as backdrop for three compelling stories. There is the tale of the British officer's father who lands in Nazi-occupied France in 1944 to organize the Resistance, culminating in a series of battles to prevent the SS Das Reich Panzer Division from reaching the Normandy beaches in time to repel the D-Day invasion, which leads to an account of the subsequent discovery -- and cover-up -- of the lost cave and its paintings. And there is also the moving story of the young artist who painted them, the woman he loved, and the ancient culture that produced the first recognizable human art but required the sacrifice of its own creators. Filled with vivid, historically accurate details and imaginative re-creations of prehistoric life, The Caves of Perigord blends a complex plot and richly diverse characters into a seamless narrative of romance, tragedy, and heroism from past to present.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 7 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The book was fine. The characters were interesting. The plot was very good and the three stories held together well. It was it's best when the caves came in. I think that the story set in the pre-history was really contrived. I know that we know little about the people who captured their world in their paints to leave them forever grazing the walls of granite. But I didn't care for them. I don't know why. Probably just my own biases and since I liked everything else about the book; it's probably a worthwhile read. ( )
  Smsw | Oct 20, 2020 |
Martin Walkers früher Roman über die Entstehung einer prähistorischen Höhlenzeichnung, deren Verwicklung in blutige Kriege und Intrigen und den erbitterten Kampf von fünf Menschen, sie heute zu besitzen. Denn wer sie findet, erhält den Schlüssel zur Aufklärung eines Verbrechens, das bis in die höchste Politik reicht und von dem bis heute keiner wissen darf.
  Fredo68 | May 26, 2020 |
Ein Fragment einer Höhlenzeichnung, vermutlich aus den Höhlen des Perigord taucht in London auf. Die Recherche nach seiner Herkunft fördert zugleich ein Stück prähistorischer Geschichte und eine bislang unaufgeklärte Episode aus der Zeit der Résistance zutage.

Das Buch wird auf drei Zeitebenen erzählt: Die Entstehungsgeschichte der Höhlenzeichnung, die Geschichte der Résistance im Perigord im Kontext des alliierten Landung in der Normandie sowie die Gegenwart.

Trotzdem ist das Buch lähmend konventionell und psychologisch so einfältig geschrieben wie bei Ken Follett oder Sebastian Fitzek. Mich hat die Geschichte kalt gelassen, und ich war froh, als ich das Buch endlich fertig gelesen aus der Hand legen konnte ( )
  Florian_Brennstoff | Sep 22, 2018 |
Tough to pick shelves for this book: it has several timelines/plot lines, and so a protagonist for each; the times are current, WW2, and pre-history all dealing with the same area of France. There is a mystery - several really - but the main focus to the book is the art.
I have always wanted to see the parietal art of southern France. This book deals with that area and the caves, brings in thoughts of yet-unknown art from un (re) discovered caves. The story begins in current times, when the son of a WW2 vet asks for an assessment of a piece of art, obviously cave art, possessing such is now a crime, so many questions needed answering.
This leads to asking experts, a visit to the Dordogne region, and introduces the pre-stories. One is 15,000 years BCE, when the art was created, the other during 1943-44, when UK & American governments assisted the French Resistance fighters.
I enjoyed it (again, a fan of the art), and would recommend it to those looking for a slightly different, non-formulaic novel. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
This novel is a tripartite narration. It begins in the present with a sort of romantic mystery about a stolen piece of Paleolithic art. Then there is the story of those who created the art at Lascaux and other caves in the Perigord. Finally we have the tale of how the piece of art was taken from a Perigord cave by a WWII Resistance fighter when he and others attempted to sabotage the Nazi war effort as the Allies were about to launch their D-Day attack on Normandy. The contemporary mystery/romance is a bit lame. The Paleolithic tale is somewhat intriguing but ends in a rather cliche fashion. It is obvious that the author is most interested in the exploits of the Resistance in the face on the Allied invasion -- and his after-notes indicate that the characters are based on the exploits of Andre Malraux, Francois Mitterand, Baron Phillipe de Gunzbourg, Jacques Poirier and George Hiller -- all vital to the Perigord Resistance. ( )
  janeajones | Sep 8, 2014 |
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Jede interessante Frau hat eine ganz eigene Art zu lächeln, und Lydia Dean machte diese Erfahrung bei sich selbst, als sie ihr enges Mansardenbüro betrat und das Glas eines gerahmten Posters ihr Spiegelbild zurückwarf.
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In a brilliant and ambitious thriller that combines elements of Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear and Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth into a riveting, multifaceted tale of love, art, courage, and war, Martin Walker brings to life the creation of an extraordinary work of prehistoric cave art and the struggle to possess it in our own time. Walker's richly interwoven novel opens with the arrival of a mysterious package for a young American woman working in a London auction house. Brought by a British officer, it contains a 17,000-year-old fragment of a cave painting left to him by his father, a former World War II hero. The fragment, significant and stunning in itself, is also the key to the existence of an un-known cave that may be more important in the history of art and human creation than the world-famous one at Lascaux. It triggers a storm of publicity and commands the attention of the French authorities all the way up to the President of the Republic, who seems to know more about the painting's origins than anyone else... As the young American woman, the British officer, and a French government art historian explore the ancient province of Perigord to determine the painting's origins, their search serves as backdrop for three compelling stories. There is the tale of the British officer's father who lands in Nazi-occupied France in 1944 to organize the Resistance, culminating in a series of battles to prevent the SS Das Reich Panzer Division from reaching the Normandy beaches in time to repel the D-Day invasion, which leads to an account of the subsequent discovery -- and cover-up -- of the lost cave and its paintings. And there is also the moving story of the young artist who painted them, the woman he loved, and the ancient culture that produced the first recognizable human art but required the sacrifice of its own creators. Filled with vivid, historically accurate details and imaginative re-creations of prehistoric life, The Caves of Perigord blends a complex plot and richly diverse characters into a seamless narrative of romance, tragedy, and heroism from past to present.

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