This book is a series of simply told anecdotes from the 1st person perspective of a child in the memoir style. As such, it's innocent, poignant and often humorous. The descriptions of the flora, fauna and mountains are pure joy.
Jeff Woodman was excellent at narrating in an adult voice, with guileless childlike inflection without sounding silly or cartoonish. Achieving this balance is probably quite difficult, but he made it sound effortless. However, the language is front to back colloquial Appalachian... very thick Appalachian, and hearing phrases such as "we was might near runnin' away" spoken in General American was jarring. The language is intrinsic to the book's richness and the narration style did not honor that a t'all. This critique isn't aimed at Mr. Woodman as he's clearly adept at what he does, but he was a very poor fit. (Imagine Winter's Bone or True Grit delivered by Walter Cronkite).
Beyond the story itself, the book and author have controversial histories. I gently recommend readers perform at least some light research for thought provoking context.
I would recommend a friend read this book, but not listen to it.
Ayla, of course. She is the primary character.
I wish so hard a more talented narrator had read this book (and series). Sandra Burr is simply not qualified to read any book in which there is the slightest scrap of dialog. Period. All treatment of people talking are cartoonish. Her range encompasses shrill boys and girls, normalish adult men, women and crackly sounding old folks. Up until now, the incompetent reading has been tolerable at best, but in this book Ayla has suddenly acquired a some vague ~*exotic woman*~ accent in which she rolls her r's and speaks in a husky, vaguely Eastern European voice. Something between Werner Herzog and SNL's The Continental. It went from cartoonish in the previous books to right over the edge in this one. It's been a struggle to find listening enjoyment. As a book, The Shelters of Stone is worth the read, but Ms. Burr has rendered the audiobook an incongruent joke.
Clan of the Cave Bear is a movie, I saw it and it was not at all representative of the book. Eew. I'd go see it if it were remade.
Shelters of Stone is a continuation of the Children of Earth series and, as other reviewers have mentioned, is repetitive to the point of annoyance. This repetition started to really grate my nerves in the previous book, The Plains of Passage. How many times does the function of a
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