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Clan of the Cave Bear

A book by Jean M. Auel

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Prejudice, Gender Bias and a New and Better Brain

  • Apr 17, 2000
Pros: Good Story, Super Research

Cons: Very few, hard to pick one out.

I've read Clan of the Cave Bear more than five times which is a pretty good indicator that I like this book. I've taken a lot from it over the years, and my perception of it has changed as I myself have grown and changed.

When I first read this book, back when my children were small, I found it to be a good story with excitement and adventure. It seemed very exotic with poor displaced Ayla made to live with a band of more primitive humans. I felt for her, growing up feeling ugly and stupid. I rejoiced for her as she made intuitive leaps that her cave mates could not comprehend.

Later, I read the book again. What was different about the experience was ME. I had gone back to school and started taking art classes. One of them was the first semester of art history. I gained even more of an appreciation for the book as it described rituals and talked about the spirit of the animals and the "totem" of individuals in the Clan.

More time passes and again I pick up Clan of the Cavebear. I have some gardening experience under my belt and I appreciate the incredible research that went into the herbal pharmacology found in the novel. Shoot after I finished the book that time I felt I could do just about anything but heart surgery with a little sinew, herbs and spit!

I think this is a good book. I would definitely recommend it to someone with an interest in prehistoric culture. It is well researched, and the author has put all of her extensive research into a good story. Great Novel? I'm not sure. History will have to render THAT opinion.


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More Clan of the Cave Bear reviews
review by . March 23, 2011
After reading "The Land of Painted Caves: A Novel (Earth's Children)," the sixth and last book in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series, and happily catching glimpses of the more human side to her eventually Wonder Woman-esque protagonist, Ayla, I decided to re-explore the original offering, "The Clan of the Cave Bear," to rediscover the roots of my initial fascination with the "Clan" universe. Even after thirty years, "Cave Bear" still maintains its high standing in my world of notable characterizations. …
review by . August 03, 2010
My absolute favorite series of all time!!! Excellent reading/writing, and the books only get better.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
Many have tried to copy this authors style of "pre-history romance" but none have even come close to this well researched, well written series.
review by . July 11, 2010
An old favorite, the series by Auel was just recently brought back to mind when I found it at the library and reread The Clan of the Cave Bear. I had the entire series up to The Shelters of Stone but unfortunately lost them in Katrina. Between that and my 1st edition collection of Harry Potter hardbacks I still swallow a sniffle. An epic tale, deeply rooted in historical fantasy, the series is a wonderful view of pre-historic man's (woman's) life and a series that I cherished for a long time. While …
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
I love this book, and the rest of the seris. I just wish Ms. Auel didn't take so long to complete the next in the series. I am just dying to know what happens next.
review by . July 03, 2010
The Clan of the Cave Bear is the first of a five book series by Jean M. Auel. It is, to date, my favorite book. If you read the first book, you will not want to stop! Luckily, there are four more thick books that will keep you entertained for a long time! I picked up Clan of the Cave Bear at an outdoor book sale just because...I was not really that interested... Who knew I would fall in love with an entire tribe of prehistoric people?      As someone with a strong interest in …
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Favorite book series ever! everyone should read all 5 books!
review by . September 15, 2000
I first purchased this book nearly 20 years ago, and each time I re-read it I find new and fascinating things within. There is no doubt that this is a meticulously researched and crafted novel, and we all learn to identify with the waif Ayla as she struggles to survive with her new family.However I must say that even though I have read and enjoyed all the books in the series so far (one just has to know how Ayla is faring!), this is by far THE strongest and best. The characterisations are strong, …
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When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the "Others." Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health--a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.

Although Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of all our ancestors, her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through--especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla. Mostly, though, this first in the series of four is a wonderful story of survival. Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale. --Sara ...

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ISBN-10: 0517189186
ISBN-13: 978-0517189184
Author: Jean M. Auel
Publisher: Wings

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