Karen's Reviews > The Clan of the Cave Bear

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
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's review
Jan 20, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: series-to-finish
Read from March 09 to 25, 2011

When I was asked to review this book, I read the synopsis and a few reviews here on Goodreads and thought that it sounded really good. I was looking forward to it turning up at my door, but when it did and I saw the size of the print and how much text was squeezed onto each of those 502 pages, I was immediately intimidated, so I put it on my bookshelf.

Since then I’ve picked it up a couple times and put it back down again after reading a few pages. I was struggling and as the time for the review got closer, I realised that I really only had two options - I either contacted the agent who sent me the book and tell them I won’t be able to review it, or, I splash out a few pounds and buy the Kindle version.

So … I bought the Kindle version, snuggled down and immersed myself deep into the world of Ayla and her clan of cave people. Whoa, hold on a minute. This book that I was struggling to read has turned into the most powerful, beautiful, amazing book I have ever read!

I am totally in love with these characters. They are amazing. Iza the medicine woman and Ayla’s adoptive mother. Creb, the spiritualist/magic man or Mog-ur as they were called then. Ayla, the strange looking girl with the blonde hair and blue eyes – one of ‘The Others’ - found by Iza at deaths door and adopted into the clan. The characters in this book don’t just come to life, they take you back with them to their time. You watch as Iza grinds roots to make medicinal teas or poultices to dress burns or wounds. You see Creb hobbling off into his private section of the cave to talk to the totems and spirits to ask their advice. Brun and Broud and the other clan men will take you hunting Mammoth and you will watch as Ayla tries to overcome the differences in her body, her language and her instinct and learn the ways of The Clan.

These cave people with no foreheads but massive brains at the back of their heads to allow the storage of memories, and not just their own memories with large overhanging brow ridges were adults at the age of 8 or 9 and able to mate and have children of their own. By their mid 20’s they were very old and probably not long for this world. Ayla was different. She was what the Clan spoke about as ‘the Others’ and from the description I think Ayla must have looked a lot like we do today.

Jean M. Auel has done a lot of scene setting, but it’s interesting and beautifully written. I really enjoyed learning about how the land looked in the days of the cavemen, the plants, trees and animals that existed then. How the plants and shrubs were used for food and medicines and even as recreational drugs. It was like reading a novel and watching a very interesting documentary at the same time.

This book does contain scenes of ‘mating’ and violence, but these were ‘the norm’ in the days of The Clan and although this is an adult book I don’t think that I would stop a younger adult reading it because of those scenes.

I would definitely recommend that you read this book. It will be loved by young and old alike. If you, like me, shy away from larger books or books with tiny print, I do suggest you opt for the e-book version instead It really made a big difference to me. I have already bought and downloaded the second in the series, The Valley of Horses and am looking forward to reading it.

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Reading Progress

03/12/2011 page 16
20.0% "This book is excellent ... But so long!"
70.0% "This book is so good!" 2 comments
97.0% "97% and my Kindle battery died!"
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Gina (My Precious Blog) I read this entire series while I was in high school and just recently graduated. I fell in love with Ayla and her plight. Curious to hear what you think. I'll look for your review.

Karen Hi Gina, thanks. I had to put it aside for a week or two as I've got some other books due for review sooner but I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

message 3: by Jodie (new)

Jodie (Books for Company) When are you reading this Karen? The size scares me but l just started it now!
5 days is my aim as the writing is small!

Karen It is huge isn't it. I've had to put it back in my to read pile for a while longer as I've got a couple of more urgent reviews to do first, but I'm expecting over a week for me to finish it. I am a sloooow bookworm after all ...

message 5: by Jodie (new)

Jodie (Books for Company) Very huge! lol It's not just the size but the tiny writing.
l am planning to read it next but haven't started it yet!
A week isn't bad at all!! xxx

Jennifer Everitt Glad to hear you liked it. I read it way back when. :) what is suppose to be the last book in the series is coming out next month.

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