Jean M. Auel and ‘Glade and Ivory’

Stone Age Village

Stone Age Village

It has been a thoroughly dispiriting exercise for me to post Glade and Ivory on Literotica. This is no fault of the site itself, but rather the response I’ve had from the readers.

Although I consider Glade and Ivory to be one of the best and most mature novels I’ve written, the response from Literotica readers has been at best underwhelming. For instance, within seconds of a chapter being submitted it always earns a very low vote from (I suspect) the same dissatisfied reader, which obviously doesn’t help the novel gain new readers. And the comments I’ve received have been discouraging.

The following is the latest comment I’ve received on Literotica for the first chapter by the ubiquitous Anonymous:

I’m  very surprised that you didn’t at least give an acknowledgement to Jean Auel for ripping off much of the theme of her book series, even though you’ve changed the name of some of the characters! Out of good manners I would have thought that you would at least thank her for the inspiration!!

Well, there’s one very good reason why I didn’t and won’t follow this advice and that is because I’ve never read any of Jean M. Auel’s novels.

And I’ve most certainly never ripped off the theme of her book series or changed the name of some of her characters.

Obviously I’ve heard of Jean M. Auel and because I’ve long had an interest in prehistory I’ve been tempted to read her novels. However, I’ve had a skim through her novels and although I can see some areas of overlap between Glade and Ivory, (in the sense that Hilary Mantel’s recent novels and Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons have significant overlap) I’d contend that there’s no real sense that Glade and Ivory is a copy of Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series of novels.

In fact, I’ve not really been tempted at all to read Jean M. Auel’s novels for pleasure, let alone inspiration.

Glade and Ivory is a much more savage view of Stone Age life than anything Jean M. Auel’s written. It has much more sex, violence and deviant behaviour, and very soon wanders into territory which I can see from the synopses of the novels and a skim through the prose, would be something Jean M. Auel would probably very much prefer not to be associated with.

My main concerns in Glade and Ivory, as well as trying to get a feel for a period of prehistory not often written about, are related to political satire, sexual identity and a certain view of historical processes. I get the feeling that Jean M. Auel is mostly interested in an essentially rather conventional set of romantic tales (with a very contemporary, even American, view of sexual love and what makes an ideal man or woman) framed around accounts of Palaeolithic technology and life-style that emphasise, for instance, such familiar themes as human heroism, triumph through adversity and all that sort of stuff. I may be wrong, of course, but I expect that her novels are essentially unthreatening to any reader (especially ones from New England and Illinois) and this is one of the secrets of her huge success.

In the meantime, I have just three more chapters of Glade and Ivory to post and I expect that as far as Literotica readers are concerned I shall be quite relieved to have got them out of the way.

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