Clan of the Cave Bear is the first novel in Jean M. Auel's magnificent best-selling epic of life 35,000 years ago. Leave the 21st century and go back to Ice Age Europe. Follow Ayla, a Cro-Magnon child who loses her parents in an earthquake and is adopted by a tribe of Neanderthal, the Clan. See how the Clan's wary suspicion is gradually transformed into acceptance of this girl, so different from them, under the guidance of its medicine woman, Iza, and its wise holy man, Creb. Immerse yourself in a world dictated by the demands of survival in a hostile environment, and be swept away in an epic tale of love, identity and struggle.
©1980 Jean M Auel (P)1992 AudioGO Ltd
"Beautiful, exciting, imaginative." (New York Times)
"A major best seller...a remarkable work of imagination." (Daily Express)
An ancient journey!
A great story! Jean M. Auel takes you on a journey through a time we can not walk through on our own! Great experience!
"Read it, don't get the audiobook version"
This is a lovely story, but it doesn't work as an audiobook. Read it instead!
Jean Auel has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort not only researching Neanderthal Man, but also present-day hunter gatherer societies, and then superimposed a story to present her findings in a captivating, easily accessible form. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the result, although I found the narrator's voice strangely lifeless, indeed more suited to reading an academic paper than a narrative. Auel is, however, no real story teller. The narrative remains driven by by her wish to acquaint the reader with her research, the imaginery additions are not convincing (clan memories accessed through the generations?), and the characters, though quite engaging, are never more than functional. All the same, I recommend this book. It allows an interesting insight into man's early history.
"The history of each one of us"
This excellent story transports us back through our genetic code and explains how we react to things and how our instincts really operate in times of crisis, etc. The author has used intelligent research to bring us this little part of ourselves and our history
"A look at history"
The story is agreat insight into ancient history, complete with many facts. But is also very exciting.. As an audio book it leaves the mind open to experience the words.
Have read this several times but listening to it as an audiobook brought another dimension to the story. When reading a good book I have a terrible habit of 'skimming' when I really enjoy it to find out what happens next but with the audiobook you can't do that which really improved it for me! I usually listen when walking my dog who is also benefitting from longer walks! Thoroughly recommend. Can't wait to start next one.
"Cave woman extraordinaire!"
A time from the past brought to life for thr present, and so wonderfully done. The Europe of our far distant ancestors painted so lyrically and simply allowed being transported back in time. The narration was superb, and the book came alive through this recording. This has long been one of my favourite reads, and has been reborn as a favourite listen. Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book.
"Something isn't quite right"
The writing style. It was like I was trapped between a text book and a story. Information kept being repeated and repeated and the description was overbearing. I'm not even sure all the information was factual but it is certainly written as if it were.
Maybe, I might try something like it in the future but I will avoid this author.
I couldn't say. The way it was written, I'm ashamed to admit I never made it to the end of the book. I kept trying and trying but I was constantly thinking "really?! Again?? I get it.." and similar thoughts
Disappointment, this book was recommended by a friend who enjoys similar books to me. I had read other reviews but I decided to give it a go anyway. Mistake!
"A Personal Favourite"
I've read the print version of this book many times, so was dubious of the audiobook - but I must say I was really pleasantly surprised! The narrator was excellent, and brought the book to life for me in a whole new way.
I personally love historical fiction, so found this book fits into that genre completely. If I had to compare it to others i've read and enjoyed - it would probably be Diana Gabledon's 'outlander' series. These are available on audible, but i've yet to purchase the audio version.
The performance of Clan of the Cave Bear was steady and easy to listen to. Rowena Cooper really picked up the nuances of the story and writing style - I was hooked from the first few minutes!
This is a hell of a book in length, so not suitable for listening to all in one sitting, but I found it very hard to stop listening. You'll get drawn in and not want to stop!
All in all - if you have read the book, and enjoyed it, LISTEN to it! If you haven't, give it a go - it's a brilliant piece of writing.
"A beautifully read and wonderful story."
By far the best audio book I have downloaded so far.
I've read the book three times but this was my first time listening to it. Jean Auel's thorough research describes the world in wonderful detail and helps the listener imagine each scene with crystal clarity.
I'm currently working my way through the rest of the Earth Children's series and I'm happy that Rowena Cooper has recorded them all. As you form a kind of attachment with Ayla, the main protagonist of the series, I also find the same kind of attachment and comfort in Rowena's voice.
Every journey of a lifetime has a beginning.
I can't get enough of Auel's work. Since reading Clan of the Cave Bear in the late 90's, then the following books in the series, I found that the story, images and nature of the novels always remained close to my heart, I can imagine myself completely within the world that Auel so vividly describes. When I came to name my daughter, I could think of only one name; Ayla.
So put this audio book on, close your eyes and relax while submersing yourself in the beautiful world that Jean Auel has created.
"Better second time around"
I was looking for something a bit different over the Bank Holiday, and thought I would give the Earth's Children series a second look. Was surprised to find I enjoyed the first volume more the second time around, after a gap of a good few years. It is different - much is made of Auel's fantastic research into the Stone Age, but in fact I suspect a good deal is well-grounded fantasy, and why not? We can't really know what life was like then, we can only make imaginative guesses based on the evidence we uncover, and of course there is quite a lot. It is probably especially free with the limited archaeological evidence where Neanderthals are concerned. But of course it is reasonable to speculate that they died out because of their failure to be able to adapt, as a general principle. How that worked itself out is bound to be speculation.
In order to get over the point about the extraordinary range of changes and developments that occurred during the Pleistocene - the age when, as it were, it all happened as far as humans are concerned - it is necessary to endow Ayla, the heroine, with exceptional gifts and qualities of character. She hunts large predators single-handed, domesticates animals, discovers easy fire making, guesses at the roots of fertility, and so on. All this before the age of majority! Auel packs an amazing lot of information into this MO, and it can't be easy to sustain a whole novel on the doings of - mainly - one character. But she does it well and it held my attention all the way through with no trouble. I liked the way she portrays the gradual development of Ayla's capacity for thinking divergently - and how it becomes both a blessing and a curse. It enables her to survive, but at great cost. What else is new?
I tend to think this is a daft question. The point of the review is the story as it is written. I didn't write it myself, and I worry a bit about our tendency to imagine we could do anything, these days - we just didn't have the time, did we? Nuts - I could never have attempted such a piece of writing, and that's what books are for - to give me a glimpse of other people's worlds, literal or imaginative However, if you insist, I am noticing more and more how even excellent research can sometimes get in the way. There are times when it reads more like an archaeological/anthropological text than a novel. The point is, research is only good if it integrates well with the narrative. Information for its own sake is dull and interrupts the flow of the story. But authors seems very keen to demonstrate to us how much they know. Is the problem that they can't bear to have done all that reading without cramming in everything they know? In other words, their narcissism doesn't allow them to blue pencil it enough. You may know everything, but you don't have to tell us it all! That said, I loved Auel's descriptions of the steppes with their bounty of every variety of life. Makes you feel sad for the Earth as it has become in our time. Got me in touch with the inner woman who will never know that kind of freedom, space and superfluity of everything fish, flesh and fowl.
Not heard Rowena Cooper as a reader before. It was highly competent, lovely diction, though a bit BBC for the Neanderthal era!
I certainly listened to it over a long weekend which is pretty good for me, and had no desire to stop before the end. I am beginning to be more critical, and more likely to give up on things that seems increasingly 'made for the best seller lists'.
I started to look for the next in the series at once, and was disappointed to find it missing from the Audiobooks catalogue. I know it's a bit old, but I think if you're going to do a series you ought to try to complete it.
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