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!
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.
"Gripping but emotionally exhausting"
In general in thought this was a great read. The setting is fairly unquie and the author manages to make the world come to life. The writing is evocative and I found myself easily imagining the dark of the cave, the smell of the fires, the emotions of the characters and the freedom and wildness of the lush green untamed world outside the cave. I felt for the characters very strongly and felt like a knew them as well as Ayla did by the end of the book.
My main problem with this book isn't really a criticism it's just a difficulty that I personally had with the way it made me feel. As I mentioned above, the characters are very well written and you really feel for them. The character you are most made to identify with is Ayla the main character who has a difficult life to say this least. As a result of this I found my emotions veering from extreme anxiety for her to anger towards some of the other characters. And that was my main experience listening to this - anxiety then anger then anxiety then anger.... It just went on and on.
As I said, this is not really a criticism, for example a lot of the anger was directed as the misogynistic practices of the clan, this is not a fault with the book as the book itself is not misogynistic, it portrays the behaviour as a result of the culture and time and as unlitmately detrimental to the clan. However, witnessing this behaviour was very frustrating and I would warn future readers to be ready for this. It's definately worth reading and you shouldn't let this put you off but just make sure you are in the right frame of mind. I finished this some time ago now and I'm still pretty angry at one of the characters, I literally fantasise about slapping him in front of the entire clan before have a certain magician put a certain curse of him of a permanent nature. You'll know who Im talking about once you read it. So angry. SO ANGRY!!!
Ive noticed no once else seems to have this issue, it's probably just me that has this anger.
In conclusion to a long review, Ayla is amazing, the clan are mostly wonderful but often frustrating and one character is the devil incarnate. The world is well described and the story doesn't let you go. Read it.
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.
"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.
I read these books as a child and I love them just as much at 28! I can't wait to read the next one!
I was a bit dubious if I would enjoy this, but it was recommended to me so I gave it a go. I was drawn into the story line quickly and am now hooked! The narration is fantastic.
"Different but fantastic"
So not my kind of book usually but I was spellbound. It was a bit slow in the beginning but then I was gripped throughout. Read this fascinating book. The narrator has a soothing voice very pleasant.
"excellent series, read them all"
loved it, you have to read the whole series. valley of the horses is great.
Seems very accurate from scientific point. Makes one reflect on evolution and explains how our world is the way it is by describing very probable founds of society.
I was not 100% on the performance not quite sure why. It could be the voice or intonation, not sure, but still strong 4*
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