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The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
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The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980)

by Jean M. Auel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Earth's Children (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,105220329 (3.96)217
Recently added byprivate library, mcroson, sandrikoti, leo212, wjcolion, rnbwpnt, ljmk, AddieWeaver, HenryJOlsen
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    Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick (wali5905)
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    Raven : roman over een jagerszoon in het stenen tijdperk by Jan Houdijk (Smitie)
    Smitie: Dutch book about a young boy from a hunter/gatherer tribe travels to the east and discovers a whole new culture of the first farmers. A very nice tale from the historic period after the ice ages.
  4. 00
    The Kin by Peter Dickinson (mene)
    mene: I thought "The Kin" was a bit similar to Jean M. Auel's "Earth's Children" series (book 1 being "The Clan of the Cave Bear"), though Dickinson's book is really targeted at children and it's also written from the childrens' viewpoints. The similarities are that both books take place in the prehistory (although CotCB a LOT later, around 35.000 years ago), both have clans of people who speak and clans who don't speak (and the speaking-people debating whether the non-speaking clans are really people or just people-like animals), and in both books the characters travel through the land. Both authors also describe the landscape very well, though in a different way. The differences are the target audience and consequently the events. In Dickinson's book, it's not really a problem if someone from the speaking-clan gets a child with someone from a non-speaking-clan, but this is a big problem in Auel's books.… (more)
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    Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd (mcenroeucsb)
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» See also 217 mentions

English (196)  Spanish (10)  Dutch (9)  French (3)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
I accidentally read this out of order, but it probably helped me. This is a fascinating original fiction about what might have happened long, long ago, when homo sapiens first emerged. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Set 35,000 years ago this story takes you back in time effortlessly to a time of neanderthals and living in caves. When Ayla's parents are killed by an earthquake, the 5-year-old wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, she is near death when the Clan of the Cave Bear finds her. 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. Ayla's strange ways challenge the clan who live by ancient beliefs and tradition passed down to them from their ancestors. Ayla,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.


I am in love with this author's style. At first I was thrown, because of the way she moves from head to head. But it works because much of the 'dialogue' in this book is nonverbal. I am in love with Iza and Ayla's characters and even nasty Broud is one of my favourites. It's not really that he's a bad guy, he's doing what centuries of evolution has told him is right. Man is the boss, woman is subservient. That Ayla's tribe is a group of humans further up the evolutionary chain than the clan makes for interesting conflict. I root for her, cringe at the caveman mentality of male/female relationships and sit back in awe at the author's amazing description of how our world was during the ice age. the research she must have done is phenomenal, every plant, rock, animal, and person is described in such detail that it comes alive one the pages.

My final verdict is that this is definitely worth reading. It is intimidating because it is such a long book and it is one you have to really get into and focus while reading or you miss a lot. I imagine I could read again and again and each time find a new detail or nuance in the writing. I am going to read her other books as well. Of course, I'll be spacing them out, its heavy reading for me. I don't often get quiet time.

So great book, amazing and talented author, and I highly recommend reading. I'm a fan. ( )
  ReneeMiller | Feb 25, 2016 |
I can't wait to read more; this was a fascinating read. Amazing how I was drawn into a world full of characters from a non- homo sapien society. I read this for the three days I traveled through Yellowstone and was blown away. Reread again four years later and liked it even more! ( )
  bjoelle5 | Feb 10, 2016 |
Whoa I remember when this book came out! Not enough printed and everyone wanted this book!. Was a good story ( )
  Bruce_Deming | Feb 5, 2016 |
I was about 15 when I first read this book, and I remember thinking 'wow, I want to be as strong and independent as Ayla'. I think she is generally a much better role model for young women then Bella from Twilight. But maybe I am just getting old....

Read it again just to be sure. ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean M. Auelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hakala, ErkkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazenberg, AnneliesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mörling, MikaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for RAY
My worst critic
—and best friend
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The naked child ran out of the hide-covered lean-to toward the rocky beach at the bend in the small river.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
From the back of the book:Here is a novel of awesome beauty and power. A moving saga about people, relationships and boundaries of love. Through Jean Auel’s magnificent storytelling, we are taken back to the dawn of mankind nd swept up in the wonderful world of a very special heroine, Ayla. Her enthralling story is one we can all share. A natural disaster had left young Ayla alone, wandering, fending for herself in an unfamiliar land. One day she is discovered by the Clan of the Cave Bear, men and woman far different from her own people. The tall blond, blue eyes Ayla is a mysterious stranger to the Clan and at first they mistrust her and cast her out. But as she grows to know them and learn the ways of the clan, she is welcomes. And as she leads them in the struggles for survival, the clan comes to worship Ayla. For in her blood flows the future of humanity.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553381679, Paperback)

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 Nickerson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:08 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Twenty years ago The Clan of the Cave Bear became a blockbuster, launching a bestselling saga. Beginning April 30, 2002, its success will reach all - new heights, with Crown's hardcover publication of the fifth volume in the story, The Shelters of Stone. The new hardcover, paired with Bantam's spring mass market repackaging and repromotion effort, will ensure that a whole new generation is introduced to this incredible epic. Summer delivers trade paperback editions of this contemporary classic, available for the first time ever. That means that all readers - and all booksellers - can get the novels in their format of choice. With momentum for these epics at its highest in over a decade, readers will yearn to discover the magic of Ayla's saga, or to refresh their memory of it. And one woman's odyssey, beginning at the dawn of time, will once again capture the imagination of millions. 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, blond, 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.… (more)

» see all 16 descriptions

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