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Publisher's Summary

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 unknown 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.

©2002 Martin Walker (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about The Caves of Perigord

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A wonderful construct

This novel has a remarkable 3-D structure to it: a narrator from prehistoric times overlaps with one from France during the resistance in WW II, who is superimposed on one from the present day. The unifying factor is a fragment of prehistoric cave art that features on all three levels.

The learning that underlies the structure is nothing short of amazing, and can only be the result of extensive exploration in the environs of Perigord. My only fault is with the anachronistic attempt to make the prehistoric characters arresting by having them speak and think with a twentieth century frame of mind, while still preserving their reliance upon paganism and superstition. This undermines the 3-D structure by tending to collapse the various levels into a single, unitary narrative framework.

But that is surely a minor cavil. The stories are marvelous, the ingenuity is unending, and the result is a highly informative and enjoyable read (or listen). The narrator does a great job in differentiating the multiple voices.

3 people found this helpful

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Good introduction to author and Perigord

Bruno, Chief of Police, series is not as audacious in structure but for most readers will be more entertaining. Authentic sounding exposition of French history, politics, and geography, which only gets better through the Bruno series, and which I have listened to and enjoyed immensely.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointed

I so wanted to like this book but it just got boring especially the war story! I always like this narrator but he couldn’t save this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Very boring

I have read and enjoyed many books by this author,but this book is very boring. Just impossible to get into! Maybe it's the narrator he just has an voice and inflection that make the book impossible to listen to!

5 people found this helpful

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4 1/2 stars Good history of the Perigord ...

The three time periods are Present Day, 1944 in the Perigord, and 15,000 years ago also in the Perigord. Present Day sections are fictionalized. The 1944 World War II sections are based on fact with fictional characters. The 15,000 years ago sections contains fictional human characters with the caves such as Lascaux being the main "characters."

The Present was quite intriguing. The 1944 war sections were intense and sometimes disturbing. The 15,000 years ago sections were mildly interesting.

The narrator, John Lee, did an excellent job--as he always does.

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You'll want to go to France

A well done tale that will leave you longing to visit Perigord. Perfect escape reading.