Velma's Reviews > The Clan of the Cave Bear

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
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Dec 20, 2015

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bookshelves: fiction, 2011-reads, banned-challenged, bbc-big-read, historical-fiction
Read from January 09 to 11, 2011

I am quite possibly the very last person I know who has read this "classic" series of historical fiction-cum-chicklit, at least the last with a vagina. Note: this review will serve for the entire series.

Maybe had I read it in my impressionable youth, as many of my contemporaries did, I would have formed a different opinion of these books. I, however, did not follow this path; I was in my mid-, ok late-forties when I read them, and I am thankful that my tastes have shifted to include more substantial fare than that provided by Ms. Auel's tales of pre-history.

Don't get me wrong: I liked them alright; I mean, I did keep on reading, didn't I? But I didn't like them-like them, if you'll forgive my reverting to the lingo of teen-age girls, to whom I believe these tomes are beloved. Bodice-rippers without the bodice, as it were.

Therein lies the flaw, for the adult reader me: the number of pages devoted to Harlequin romance-style lovemaking passages probably would have suited the pre-sexual me to a 'T', but now that I'm actually getting some, I no longer find that stories of sexual awakening do it for me.

So much for the fiction part; as for the historical, that I enjoyed, although it was taken with a veritable shaker of salt. I suspect that more than a modicum of poetic license was taken by the author regards historical accuracy, but there was enough there to keep me interested.

Finally, I found that the series became rather redundant as it progressed. The first volume in the series, The Clan of the Cave Bear, was the most compelling, with each successive installment becoming more and more repetitive. I only hope that Ms. Auel won't pen any more in this series, as I would feel compelled to read them just to learn the ending, but would be forced to do so under duress.
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Reading Progress

01/10/2011 page 134
27.0% "Intriguing story premise, even if the 'science' seems at times suspect."
01/11/2011 page 495
100.0% "End felt artificial, but it did work as a device to lead the protagonist into the next volume in the series."

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