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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"Beautiful, exciting, imaginative." (New York Times)
"A major best seller...a remarkable work of imagination." (Daily Express)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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very good narrator for a familiar tale

If you could sum up The Clan of the Cave Bear in three words, what would they be?

i read these books when I was a teenager and was looking forward to hearing them again. There is a version that I found online but the narrator was terrible! Reading like she was reading a recipe book. This narrator was very good and I enjoyed the story just as much the second time round.

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  • Joshua
  • Rustenburg, South Africa
  • 02-20-13

Live it!

If you could sum up The Clan of the Cave Bear in three words, what would they be?

An ancient journey!

Any additional comments?

A great story! Jean M. Auel takes you on a journey through a time we can not walk through on our own! Great experience!

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  • Claudia
  • 05-03-13

Interesting Research

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alathia
  • 04-11-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lorraine
  • 01-07-15

Loved 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mmc
  • 12-23-12

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 12-23-12

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Catherine Howard
  • 10-14-17

An interesting story

Narrated well, this is an unusual concept for a book. Set in the Ice Age, it tells of a child of 'modern' man who is adopted by Neanderthals. The author has incredible knowledge of her subject - the uses of plants for food and medicine, the geology and geography of the time, the uses of flint and other tools, the flora and fauna.
The characters are believable and empathy is built for them, the setting is drawn in great detail and the whole book is well worth reading.

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  • Angela Lovegrove
  • 10-06-17

Memorable and worth revisiting

I've read this series previously and found it so memorable that I wanted to read/hear it again. Not many books grab me enough to be revisited by me. I'm now looking forward to the next book in the series. ****** because 5 * are not enough.

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  • Michelle
  • 08-26-17

Gripping

I read the Clan series many years ago and hearing it is superb. I love the detailed research about herbs and food. Off to buy the next book now. I know what happens but still intrigued!

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  • Tibby
  • 08-22-17

Fascinating

This is a very enjoyable story based on a possible Neanderthal way of life at the start of the modern era. New research has shown that there may well be a lot of truth in this story and there is a lot for the reader to learn too.
I thought the narrator was excellent. A lot of the time I find the narrator ruins the story either having an inappropriate accent or having not researched the correct way to say things before starting to read. Another problem can be a male reading the story when there should have been a female narrator but Rowena Cooper did a perfect job. I am looking forward to the next book now - maybe next month when I get another token.

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  • E.Z. Riter
  • 01-15-17

Engrossing!

If you could sum up The Clan of the Cave Bear in three words, what would they be?

Engrossing, informative, enjoyable

What other book might you compare The Clan of the Cave Bear to, and why?

I have never read anything quite like it, so cannot compare it fairly, but it has clearly been very well researched and, although obviously the author has used her imagination, the story has an authentic air about it.

What does Rowena Cooper bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

An excellent narrator, who obviously understands and identifies with the characters she is portraying.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me think! The sympathetic portrayal of Neanderthal man was both interesting and believable.

Any additional comments?

I have read all the books in the 'Earth Children' series, and this, the first, is my favourite. It reaches out and grabs the reader's interest, making it imperative to find out what happens to Ayla.

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  • Jenna
  • 02-03-17

Classic

I've read the books a million times, just as good in audio book format!
Narrator has a brilliant, expressive voice. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo-Ann
  • 01-04-17

Clan of the cave bear while at work

I loved reading this book when I did the first time, but to listen to it while working was a real treat

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-17

Loved it

I really enjoyed this book. For a while i thought that I just didn’t like listening to audiobooks because I couldn’t get into a few in a row. I liked them but just wasn’t that engaged. But this book proved me wrong.

I really enjoyed this book and performance. I wouldn’t read it again (the mark of a truly amazing book IMO) but I have gone on to purchase the next in the series.

Things I liked. The descriptions of characters and surrounds were vivid and not overdone. Character and cultural explorations were fascinating. The storyline was generally interesting.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book were the frequent emphatic statements about how Ayla or some other female character was “only a WOman”, “but she was FEmale” so therefore she couldn’t possibly do this or that. Almost ever character had this disbelieving thought multiple times. How could Ayla do this? How dare she do this! Yes, yes, I get it!! Aargh!

Overall, highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-17

Great beginning to a “okay” series

The Clan of the Cave Beat is the first in a series of 6 books. It is a fantastic read that will have you hooked! Unfortunately the rest of the series doesn’t have the same quality as the first book but I would really recommend reading this one and the next 2.
As a format Audiobook is the best way to enjoy these books as Auel can be wordy and over-explanatory at times. I can imagine if I had of read these books myself I would have spent a lot of time skipping paragraphs.

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  • Robyn B
  • 11-07-17

The Earth's Children series

I have read all of these books and, as many others have, waited all those long years between book releases. It is absolutely fantastic that I can have these in audible format so that I can 'read' them again during the long commutes I have each day. Well worth the effort.
Rowena's voice is very pleasant to listen to.

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  • Jonathan Dixon
  • 10-19-17

Something different

I would have hoped for a slightly happier ending... But as it stands... It was a rather realistic ending. The sadness and pain one person can inflict on others through sheer jealousy has been with us since the beginning of time. This story was a painful reminder.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-17

Fantastic book...

Could not stop listening and got absolutely nothing done at all... just found myself constantly going back to it. A unique topic and brilliantly written... the narrator was a delight to listen too. Look forward to the rest of the series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-17

Stunning adventure.

This series made me fascinated with prehistoric humans and how they lived. The story itself is well written, and gives a good sense of adventure. I'm going straight onto the next book in the series.

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  • Faybear
  • 06-01-17

thank you for this.

i love this story and have no time to sit and read. listening is better

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  • Dan
  • 04-03-17

shouter no shouting

great narrator. understands not to actually shout during shouting bits (which there are a few of)