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268
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children)
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2003
My dad had been trying for almost 10 years to get me to read the Earth's Children series. I finally picked it up at Christmas, and now, 5 months later, I have just started the fourth book - and that's even with my job and my university studies!!
This is an incredible series that grasps you right from the start and sucks you into the prehistoric world, and never lets you go. The Clan of the Cave Bear sets the standards which the following instalments live up to, describing in such detail every action and motive behind the characters lives.
It's easy to see just how much research was involved, and it makes you truly believe that this was how things once were. Whereas other books try to incorporate as much detail and simply succeed in boring you to tears, this series is so well written that it holds your attention, and, for me at least, I never want to stop reading, because I can't wait to see what happens to Ayla. She's such a strong character, one with which I'm sure many people can identify with.
I've told everyone I know about the Earth's Children series so that they too can enter the world of prehistoric man. Incredible. Breath taking. Brilliant.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2004
Jean Auel was recommended to me by a friend, I borrowed a copy not thinking much of the blurb on the back. I was so wrong. I could not put it down. Despite being a avid reader few authors can capture my imagination enough to hold me attention for such a long book. Without ruining it for those who have not had the fortune to read it yet, Ayla is descibed so vividly that you can see her. You understand her and the rest of the characters, you even develop a healthy dislike for some of them. Yes it is a long book, but the descriptions of events, landscapes, plants, customs and cultures is such that you are there. Without realising it you will be drawn in and after that you have as much chance of avoiding the following books in the series as you have of growing an extra head.
Compellingly written, descriptive and beautifully set this book will not allow you to put it down and the wait for the next in the series will seem like an eternity.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2002
The way that jean auel has constructed this book is wonderful. The story of the adventures of Ayla is an exciting and enthralling read, where you just can't put the book down. Even though it is set 30,000 years ago the characters are very real and complex. The detail that is given does not in anyway distract from the story, but allows you to understand how complex nature really is and allows you a new found respect for the planet.
Ayla goes though many struggles through out this book but where some people would of given up, ayla continues on, and on, and on, and on. Each time becoming stronger. The way in which the comparisons between aylas intuition of being one of the 'others' and the ways of the clan is brilliant, and comes to light when there is a conflict on interest and the way things are achieved. You put down this book ready to read the next book. The other books in the series are excellantly written, and by the end of each book I could not wait to get to the next one to see where aylas journey takes her. The 2nd book is a little slow but books 3,4 and 5 make up for it. Some people cant see past the sex in the books, but they don't understand that this book shows all parts of human life and that is just one of the aspects as the books deal with birth, death, love, hate, and most importantly adventure.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 1999
I was totally hooked when I read this book and the following three. The story is excellent, Ayla the main character really comes to life,probably because the books are so well written and informative; the amount of research Jean must have done to complete each book is incredible. It is virtually impossible to put any of the books down because you really want to know what is going to happen next. There are two more books still to be written, unfortunately I've heard that Jean Auel has died, I don't know if this is correct. I think her average writing time for each book was about four years and it's at least seven since she wrote the last one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2004
This is probably one of the best books I have read. It draws you into an unlikely world where you soon start conjuring up images of life 30000 years ago. You can't help but love Ayla and admire her for her trials. Written at a frenetic pace, this is the only book I have read through the night.
Read this book, you won't regret it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2004
I was dubious when the book was recommended to me, but Jean M Auel had me in the first 2 pages. Her writing is so intensly emotive - she has a way of describing surrounds and human behaviour that makes you beleive she lived it. I read this book in one day - I couldn't put it down. Thoroughly recommended - even if this is not your normal genre!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2002
Having just read this book for the second time i felt compelled to tell others how truly magnificent this book is.
Auel describes each part of the book with such intricate detail it is hard to believe it is a work of imagination.
The book is journey of discovery, as we see how Jean Auel envisaged Clan life and as the principle character, Ayla learns to adapt to clan life and ulimatley become a woman. This is not an easy task due to the inherent differences between herself and the Neandethal people and the creation of a deep rift between herself and future leader Broud.
This book is the first (and best) in the series of Earth's children novels but you will be compelled to read on with a thirst to find out where the brave heroine's journey will take her next.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2002
I read them (the 4 of them) about a year ago and I am often thinking about these people at that time and how they were so «civilised»!! They taught me a lot! I am often wondering if I'm teaching my children in the proper way to live in society. The way this Clan behave and interact with other Clans (and some also with people from the «Others») puts everything in perspective and makes one wonder about how «civilised» is our life nowadays...
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, because it was a great pleasure reading those 4 (huge) wonderful books. But, the bad thing is when it's over you feel frustrated because you can't easily find another book that keeps you so interested in!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I have read this book several times since it was first published and never tire of it. Jean M Auel has so obviously done a lot of research before embarking on this novel and by doing so has managed to re-create the ancient world of the neanderthals in a totally believable way.
It is such an evocative book, you can visualise the clan and their surroundings almost as if you were sat among them. The sights, sounds, smells, feel almost real. It makes for a fascinating glimpse into an ancient forgotten way of life.
Interwoven with this is the wonderful tale of Ayla, the young cro-magnon girl adopted by a neanderthal clan after she is orphaned. Her struggles to become one of the clan and the interaction between all of the main characters makes for a totally absorbing read.
This book works so well on all levels and I would highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2012
I really wanted to enjoy it. A very good friend of mine who shares many similar tastes in film and tv suggested I give this series a try, and so did.

It is clear from the outset that the author knows her subject well; descriptions of the culture (as far as we can tell from archeological finds) seem accurate, and the socialogical interactions between different bipedal species seem plausible. The descriptions of the scenery cast amazing images in my mind, as did the fine detail given to every other object encountered.

But the storyline was lacking. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike it, but I didn't feel like I had experienced anything spectacular. I think the problem was that there were no character flaws in the protagonist. Ayla experiences a problem; she solves it within a few pages. She solves it on her own with no assistance from anyone. She is, in essence, perfect.

Auel tried to imply that there were flaws, like having Ayla call herself ugly on numerous occasions. Except that the description of the character makes it clear that she could easily appear in a beauty pageant, and would win. What she is, is different. That's not a character flaw, that's just appearance. Yes, she has a scar from an attack by a cave lion, but it isn't debilitating or disfiguring; it doesn't hinder her in the slightest. In the end, it turns out that it is a pretty amazing thing to have!

The villain of the work is pretty one dimensional too. He, for no real logical reason, hates Ayla. And then does some nasty things for no other reason than to be nasty. No shades of grey, nothing remotely redeaming. He is there just to add adversity to Ayla, so that the reader feels sympathy for her. To be honest, I felt nothing for any of the characters.

If you enjoy marginal-thinking page turners where you get contrived problems followed by a solution that you feel has only been solved because the author declared it to be so, then you'll probably enjoy it. If you want to get a feel for what it might have been like to live in that period in a fictional setting, then you might also get something out of it.

But if you like your characters to have depth and to be placed in situations where it really isn't clear how they will succeed (if at all), then this really isn't for you.
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