mstan'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 01, 12

bookshelves: american, historical-fiction, src-winter-2011-12
Read from December 21 to 31, 2011, read count: 1

Mixed feelings about this one. The writing is really quite dry and factual (and straightforward!), and while this has the advantage of presenting the pre-historical times Auel writes about very clearly, it also makes the book feel more like a historical document than an arresting story. Some readers may be entranced by the names of the various herbs Ayla (representing one of the first Cro-Magnon characters in the world) picks for her clan (still Neanderthals); the tribal customs and rites are also interesting. However, I read to be entertained (first and foremost!) and it took me a long while to get into this. I like the parts where the Neanderthals eye the Cro-Magnon with suspicion, and the ways Ayla pulls ahead of the clan when it comes to certain skills due to the way her body is constructed.

I can see why this has been a favourite of many people for many years now, but I think 500+ pages of caves and bears became rather too 'Discovery Channel' for me. I wonder if anthropologists and sociologists would find this interesting/accurate?

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Reading Progress

62.0% "The story picked up after the first third of the novel or so."
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