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Publisher's Summary

Featured title in the 2018 PBS Great American Reads

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blonde, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly—she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them.

Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

First in the acclaimed Earth’s Children® series

Listen to more in the Earth's Children series.
©2004 Jean M. Auel (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Imaginative, exciting." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle." ( San Francisco Chronicle)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,786
  • 4 Stars
    1,391
  • 3 Stars
    524
  • 2 Stars
    147
  • 1 Stars
    90

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,933
  • 4 Stars
    1,188
  • 3 Stars
    533
  • 2 Stars
    152
  • 1 Stars
    95

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,347
  • 4 Stars
    1,038
  • 3 Stars
    372
  • 2 Stars
    93
  • 1 Stars
    65
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The best of the books so far

Where does The Clan of the Cave Bear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened to the first 4 books in this series, and the first book is definitely the best.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Clan of the Cave Bear

Jean Auel interacts early mankind with one of our own. The Pleistocene Ice Age is a grueling world to live in and all must learn to work together to survive.

A most superb tale of the different daily physical and mental roles between man and woman, their thought process and survival. How medicines were made, foods stored, tools and clothing designed all provided by nature. A hard life with joy and sorrow.

The book continuously picks up momentum and keeps one reading. Not simply a survival story as we know survivalist in our day in time but the story of lives. Humanity working together finding out the consequences of not working well together.

A myriad of logical emotion and strength. Although the narrator moves a bit quick for me it is an excellent listen. I will listen to it again.



42 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

This book is one of those that once you start reading you don't want to put down. Chapter after chapter has new and interesting things happening between the people and culture of the clan and the Girl Ayla from the others. Highly recommended reading.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth an annual read

I love this book. This is my third time through it, once reading and twice listening. Sandra Burr reads a little fast at times and some of the "voices" are not quite right, but this is still a very enjoyable edition of this most wonderful story. Sadly, Audible is missing the MIDDLE book of the five-book series. This one ranks right up there with the Outlander Series for me.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Clan of the Cave Bear

This is, by far, one of my favorite series. It begins with "Clan of the Cave Bear." Jean Auel brings us a detailed and wonderful saga, a poignant story that goes right to the heart. Like Beth, for me, it ranks up there with the "Outlander" Series by Diana Gabaldon. I do wish Audible would get the third book, "The Mammoth Hunters." It's weird to have a missing book, especially smack dab in the middle of the series.

Although the story is fantastic, I wish the narrator put a bit mroe emotion into the reading. At times, it was a bit stagnant. All in all, I enjoyed it very much and I'd certainly listen to it again.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best series I've read so far.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Clan of the Cave Bear to be better than the print version?

Yes, because Sandra Burr is a great narrator. She brought Ayla to life and really made the story captivating.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ayla, because she is a survivor.

Have you listened to any of Sandra Burr’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not yet, but would not hesitate to pick up another audio book narrated by her.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I am PC gamer and instead of listening to the game, I listen to the audio book.

Any additional comments?

If you have not read/listen to this series, do yourself a favor and pick it up. I was hesitant about listening to tales of cave men and historical stuff so for the longest time I avoided the series. It was not until a coworker who press me into giving it a try that I was so happy I did. The story telling that the author weaved was absolutely entertaining. She made me care for Ayla and cheer for her. The only regret I have so far is that I waited so long to listen to this series.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

huge, epic and educational

the best value on this website. The reading is fabulous, the story long and engaging and most importantly, EDUCATIONAL!!! Yes, there are things here that will make you think "no way."....but then that fleeting moment is gone, caught up in some twist of the plot or some insight that the author has made about culture at the time, and off you go again. Highest recommendation. Now, if I could only locate the rest of this series on this website! [=

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Better after 30-some years!

I read The Clan of Cave Bear when it first came out a very long time ago. I loved it and read it again a few years later. As each new book in the series became available, I bought and devoured them. None were as good as the original, but I relished the detail provided in each on natural history and different cultural practices. Of course, all of it is a fantasy. How realistic is it to attribute the domestication of animals and the inventions of so many technologies to one prehistoric young woman? But the books were all fun to read, and I enjoyed them on that level.

Having discovered that the final book in the Earth's Children series will be coming out at the end of March, I decided to listen to the original story of Ayla and the Neanderthals on my iPod, especially in light of new DNA evidence pointing to our genetic connection with them. I absolutely loved listening to the audiobook version of my old favorite! I went about my business, earphones on, for three days until I had finished it. Then I downloaded The Valley of Horses and continued Ayla's saga. My goal is to complete all books in this series before The Land of the Painted Caves is released. Hopefully audible will have it available.

The Clan of the Cave Bear is definitely the best of the series in terms of plot and character development. I recommend this audiobook highly and I'm looking forward to listening to Painted Caves! Ayla seems like an old friend and I have missed her between books.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Production and Narration didn't quite ruin it

Would you try another book from Jean M. Auel and/or Sandra Burr?

Yes to Auel. Maybe to Burr. I'm not sure she's the problem. The production was terrible

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Clan of the Cave Bear?

When Brun recognizes Ayla as someone more than just a girl

What didn’t you like about Sandra Burr’s performance?

Her voice was slightly clipped and monotone BUT though she wasn't the best narrator the main problem was the changing production. Every few chapters the pitch would change and he sound would be less clean. Also you could hear the pages of the book being turned and it often sounded as if the narrator had her lips ON the mike. It almost sounded like it was recorded on a scratchy 45rpm

Was The Clan of the Cave Bear worth the listening time?

Absolutely. It's one of my favorite novels

Any additional comments?

I love this book. I've read it dozens of times. I can quickly immerse myself in the Clans world and am thoroughly invested in every character. Even though the audio for this book is shameful I still enjoyed it. I really hope the publisher decides to rerecord it. This book deserves the best.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

LUV THIS SERIES

Wonderful story. I stumbled across this series when audible was offering a special on the first book in a select set of series. Thought I would give it a try since I had seen and loved the movie Clan Of The Cave Bear. Firstly ... I was surprised to find that it was a series. I fell in love with the "real Alya"! No comparison between the movie and the sieries. I immediately HAD TO HAVE all 5 books. So much was changed and even more was left out that I am still amazed. Well written and while the reader is on shaky ground with the first book ... she improves dramitaclly as she continues the series, finds her footing with it, and develops and makes distinct each character by book 5 ... adding to the charm of this wonderful story. So much so that I can not imagine anyone else reading it. I can't wait for the 6th book. Thank you audible for re-opening my love of the Clan and my interest in pre-history. Well worth listning to!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jacki
  • 12-23-12

Love, love, love

And love this story. Bet series ever. You have got to read it, it will make you mad and sad, happy, excited, shocked.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 02-28-09

Needs Pruning!

I enjoyed some parts of this book very much. There is lots of interest, action and plot movement, the beginning is good, and the end is excellent. However I was very irritated by the amount of repetition and reiteration. I don?t normally buy abridged books as I love detail and description, but I did feel that this is one book that would benefit from sharper editing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Toni
  • 02-02-09

fascinating and imaginative story

This story was an insightful and imaginative look into a shared history.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful