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The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)
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Prehistory (< 3400BC) > Clan of the Cave Bear Books

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message 1: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Has anyone else read the Clan of the Cave Bear series?
I read the first two a long, LONG time ago, but never continued with the series.
Recently a 5th instalment was released.

I also remember the movie from the 80's or 90's????? Which I didn't like.




The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1) by Jean M. Auel The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children #5) by Jean M. Auel The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children #3) by Jean M. Auel The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children #2) by Jean M. Auel The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4) by Jean M. Auel


message 2: by Lee (last edited Nov 16, 2011 12:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Broderick | 482 comments I'm told a sixth has also now been released.

Like you, I read the first four in the early nineties and loved them. When the fifth one came out, my ex parents in-law bought it for me for yule. It's still sat on my shelf.

My aunt's actually reading them now for the first time, but I can't help thinking I wouldn't like them now. I read a lot of Dragonlance books a year or two before reading these, and I wonder if both would be our equivalent of "young adult" before the genre was invented. i.e. overly simple writing that would annoy the hell out of me as an adult.


message 3: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 16, 2011 01:11AM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I couldn't have said it better myself. This is why I haven't continued with the series now as a grown up.

I read quite a few Dragonlance too. And I used to be a HUGE fan of Anne McCaffrey and I have most of her Dragon books still to this day. I often wonder....would I like them today??
I am too scared to try one because I prefer to keep my happy teen memories of them.

I also loved Watership Down and wonder what that would be like to read as an adult. I don't want to ruin memories.

RE: Clan of the Cave Bear
Maybe it is the 6th in the Earth Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear) that I was thinking of when I said a 5th has been released. The one I am talking about has only been released this year I think.


message 4: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "I couldn't have said it better myself. This is why I haven't continued with the series now as a grown up.

I read quite a few Dragonlance too. And I used to be a HUGE fan of [author:Anne McCaffrey|..."


Just a hunch, but I'm guessing Watership Down would be OK, I mean, that's classic Children's lit. No different to reading The Wind in the Willows or The Hobbit as an adult.


message 5: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments My gut says that Watership Down would be still okay too.


Monique (mamabear07) I read these books back in middle school and I loved them. I think I read the first one about 13 times but the fourth as always a bit tough for me to get through. I was (and still am) extremely impressed with her research and, therefore her knowledge, of the times. Like you though, I am a bit hesitant to read the newest book (6th) because it has been so long that I feel I would have to re-read them all. That in itself is a reason I am hesitant but I am also worried that the books just won't stand up to my memories of them.

I think, eventually, I will end up re-reading the series and getting to the newest book but until then I will hold tight to the great memories I have of these books.


message 7: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited May 07, 2012 02:35PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments And there lies the danger of the reread. :-) There also lies the quirks of being a book lover.
When we have great memories of books it is not a good feeling to ruin those memories. I just did this with The Last of the Mohicans.
I had really good memories of this book from when I was a teen. I read it this week for our May Group Read and it was a different book to the book I remember liking as a kid.
I will worry about rereads more from now on.
I don't want to reread the first two books in the Clan of the Cave Bear series even more now. I don't want to ruin my memories. :(


message 8: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Roberts | 1 comments Missed the film. Did it follow the story?


message 9: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Gosh, I don't recall. I watched the film, starring Darryl Hannah, about the same time as I read the books. I think that was in the 80's?? I have sketchy memories of book and film. I don't think I remember any storyline from either. :-)
My kingdom for a good memory!


message 10: by Inge (last edited May 15, 2012 07:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Inge Borg (goodreadscominge_h_borg) If I may say so: The film was ghastly! Lots of grunting and hunting... I am sure Jean Auel was petrified what they did to her book.

For a while (back then) I resisted to start the series but then did like Book 1 quite well, really liked Book 2 and 3, but lost interest later on as the story dragged on. Do not intend on reading more.

Sometimes, writing is a bit like composing an opera - there is a point where one should end it lest the listener (reader) starts to nod off.


message 11: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I had a sneaky suspicion that the movie was ghastly. I am sure I would remember something of it if it were good in any way. Lol


message 12: by Iset (new) - rated it 4 stars

Iset I read this entire series over the past six years. I really enjoyed the first book, Clan of the Cave Bear - really drew me in, and great character drama, if a little plodding and detail oriented at times. But it prompted me to eagerly pick up the second book, Valley of Horses... It felt different from Clan of the Cave Bear, more awkward and forced, and the main character started to become a little too speshul. Still, I moved onto the third, hoping that maybe the second had just been a dip in Auel's usual high standards. It wasn't. The Mammoth Hunters was a dreary, cliched soap opera, and the fourth book, Plains of Passage, was dull and dragged interminably, punctuated by absurd episodic escapades that remind one of bad 1950's adventure serials. By this stage I would have given up, but it was morbidly compelling watching this series pick up speed as it went downhill. The fifth book, Shelters of Stone was a real mess and had nothing going for it at all. And yes, the sixth book came out last spring, and I read that too. If anything, it was even worse - disjointed, out-of-character, lack of care, rehashing, repetition, Mary Sueism in abundance, and so many missed opportunities for a good plot that had been set up in previous books!

*shakes head* I sympathise with those people who read the first book, loved it, and waited those looooooooong years in between each new breezeblock of a tome, only to have the series end like that. My recommendation - read the first book by all means, but don't give into the temptation to find out how it all turns out, even though book one teases you with a major cliffhanger. Overwhelmingly, the word used to describe book six is "disappointing" - from long-term fans and newcomers to the series alike.


message 13: by Inge (new) - rated it 4 stars

Inge Borg (goodreadscominge_h_borg) Isis wrote: "I read this entire series over the past six years. ..."

While I am sad that we have to agree on this series, I am glad (not the right word) that I was not the only one to be roally disappointed. The latter books were a tour de force - perhaps prompted by a publisher's advance? So sad, because it takes such a long time to complete that confounded wordcount.


message 14: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments A shame that the series as a whole is a big disappointment for people. It has such legendary status. When we think fiction in this era, most people automatically think Clan of the Cave Bear.
I can't imagine I will ever read the rest of the series.


message 15: by Bryn (last edited Jul 01, 2012 03:45PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments Me too. The quick slide into soap was a sad thing. Inexplicable to me, unless she was told 'inject the romance and sex', and then had publisher's demands. Not the way to write, though possibly the way to earn - they did sell. Waste of talent (the first had talent) and I have to wonder how she herself feels?

I liked these two by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Reindeer Moon and The Animal Wife

PS. on a topic early in this thread: Watership Down was as great for adult me as kid me, or almost so.


message 16: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments Chris wrote: "...Question: would you speculate she wrote Cave Bear more for herself than potential readers? In some long forgotten successful author's writers how-to, that novelist raised a question about whether we really write for ourselves. "

Yes, I'd so speculate - that she wrote the first as an unknown, without an eye to markets, perhaps without a thought about the audience, only about the book. It was a hit, and from then on, the factory line, the milk cow... It's a syndrome. Watch out the unwary writer with a first-time hit.


message 17: by Iset (last edited Jul 02, 2012 01:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Iset I have a whole Stone Age wish list lined up to read, so when I get round to them I'll let you folks know if they're any better!

Chris - that's an interesting question because I hadn't thought about whether she wrote the first book for herself, but I had thought that the later dire books had been written too much for herself. They became self-indulgently focused on the historical facts and there was little to no plot. Watching interviews with Auel about her latest book she goes on and on about the research process and how she got involved with experimental recreation and so on - but there's hardly any discussion of a plot.

I think she was compelled to start writing the first book for herself, but she was aware that it was a story and that it had to have a compelling plot. I also think that her first book was much more heavily edited than the later books - as a debut novel, that would be expected, and the writing in the first does feel a lot tighter and more focused than the later books. Then, I fear, with the massive success of Clan of the Cave Bear, she gained more control as an author and the publishing houses gave her greater free rein because they were just pleased to have a big name author like her with them who would sell a lot of books and make them a lot of money - so when she became more caught up in the research and the story and characters began to side, editors backed off instead of steering her away from such a path. The sixth book seems to be a classic example of editor absence - I've read many people commenting that it feels like a shoddy first draft, not a completed manuscript, and they can't believe the publishing houses went to press with it. I think the publishing houses just wanted to make money and didn't care about the readers, thinking that we'd gobble up anything with Auel's name on it, and telling their editors not to touch whatever she produced for fear of offending her. I think that was bad. Even deeply loyal fans who loved every single book including the fifth (which I thought was downright awful!) came out expressing their disgust. Publishing houses should be more concerned about the readers than catering to an author's ego.


message 18: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Isis wrote: "I have a whole Stone Age wish list lined up to read"

Does it include The Gift Of Stones?


message 19: by Iset (last edited Jul 02, 2012 10:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Iset It does.

Some of the most famous "classic" authors used pen names. George Sand, for example.


message 20: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Isis wrote: "It does.

Some of the most famous "classic" authors used pen names. George Sand, for example."


Well, I hope you enjoy it.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Inge H. wrote: "If I may say so: The film was ghastly! Lots of grunting and hunting..."

I tried very very hard, when this discussion started, to find the text of the Newsweek (magazine) review of the movie made from The Clan of the Cave Bear. I have not laughed so hard in years (up till then. I have laughed harder since...)

I will try to reconstruct some of it:

Movie no use words but ugga-mugga language. People hunt, kill, wear furs. Daryl Hannah look good in furs. Jean Auel sue. Good luck, Jean! Ugga-mugga!

I understand (a little) why they don't necessarily want that group to spout the King's English - I believe they were more telepathic in the book, more inclined to express emotions than to speak. But couldn't they have voices (or something) expressing what they thought? Rather like the voices in one's head.

Hm. Perhaps I must extricate myself from my own thoughts.

At any rate, Jean Auel did sue over the movie. According to the Sunday Star-Times (NZ) she sued successfully: the producers had not honored the clause allowing her to have full control of the script. Here's a bit from the story:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-ti...
Of one thing Auel is sure. She isn't in a hurry to see Ayla on the big screen again. Clan of the Cave Bear was made into a movie in 1986 starring Darryl Hannah in one of her least memorable roles. Auel was so disappointed – "disgusted", actually – in the movie she successfully sued to regain the rights.

"The problem is I had such a bad experience with the first one that when somebody makes an offer, and there have been offers, I always say I want script approval. That's a deal-breaker. I'll wait till I die and let my kids sell if off.

"My advice will be `look kids, just take the money and run'. I won't be around to care."



message 22: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments I read a book, set in this time period, back in 92 to 94 and I no longer remember it very well but, I remember the mammoths and I am thinking that they honored them. I think that there were some mammoths on the cover as well, but I do not recognize any of the available covers of The Mammoth Hunters nor does its description ring a bell. Would anybody else happen to know what the book would have been?


message 23: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Hmm..sorry Darla..I can't help you on that one. I hope someone else can.


message 24: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Sorry, the only thing I can find that might possibly be it is Reindeer Moon and I doubt that's the one.


message 25: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments Thank you, Ladies. I just found it, The Mammoth Stone. I do not remember that cover but it is the story that I read. There is only one review there and it shreds the book. I remember liking it enough to think that I wanted to read the series but that was 19 years ago, the year I got married and was concerned with getting pregnant whenever my ship was in port. I distracted myself with reading almost anything when we were haze grey and underway.


message 26: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments I remember liking the descriptions and being able to picture it very well, better than some authors, anyway. That may be why I don't recognize the cover, I may have painted myself a different picture in my mind.


message 27: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That one review really wrote it off. There are plenty of ratings though. I hate it when people don't say something in their review. All those 4 and 3 star reviews. Some others should have said something, even if it was only a few words.


message 28: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "That one review really wrote it off. There are plenty of ratings though. I hate it when people don't say something in their review. All those 4 and 3 star reviews. Some others should have said some..."

Hear hear.


message 29: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments I read the first 3 or 4 many years ago.

Always meant to read the rest but never got around to it. Too many much better books keep getting in the way. :)


message 30: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments Terri wrote: "That one review really wrote it off. There are plenty of ratings though. I hate it when people don't say something in their review. All those 4 and 3 star reviews. Some others should have said some..."

I do like there to be plenty of reviews to read and I usually review the books that I have read since being a member on gr. Despite my intentions, I don't always get back to them. I don't write reviews for the books that I read years ago because I just do not remember them well enough to do so.


message 31: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I try to keep on top of my reviews. I have a back up right now. Hoping to get those done in the next couple days. It is like homework. lol
Just for me personally, if I can't remember a book enough to leave a review and an honest star rating, I will mark it as read, but not do any stars. Sometimes I will even write in the review box 'read long ago, do not remember it enough to give a star rating and review'.

I know everyone's different on Gr though. :)


message 32: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments Terri wrote: "I try to keep on top of my reviews. I have a back up right now. Hoping to get those done in the next couple days. It is like homework. lol
Just for me personally, if I can't remember a book enough ..."


If I remember reading it (in a good way) it gets 3 stars. :)

Popular rereads get higher ratings and if it's 5 stars its a personal favorite. :D


message 33: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Darla V wrote: "I do like there to be plenty of reviews to read and I usually review the books that I have read since being a member on gr. Despite my intentions, I don't always get back to them. I don't write reviews for the books that I read years ago because I just do not remember them well enough to do so. "

That's my policy too. Anything I've read since joining (including re-reads) is reviewed. Anything I added because I remember reading it is rated but not reviewed. Often (and the Auel books discussed in this thread are a good example of this) that means rating them for my feelings at the time rather than second guessing how I'd feel about them now (and there couldn't be a better example or bigger difference than those books!).


message 34: by Anne (new)

Anne (spartandax) | 797 comments Margaret wrote: "Terri wrote: "I try to keep on top of my reviews. I have a back up right now. Hoping to get those done in the next couple days. It is like homework. lol
Just for me personally, if I can't remember ..."


That is the way I do it Margaret. If it was a good book, i rate it 3, if it is better than good-4 and if it is something I would re-read if I had the time because it was that good, a 5. I am rather stingy with 5's. It has to really grab me. However with the huge amount of books available today, I probably would rarely waste time re-reading something when there is something new waiting.


message 35: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments I am that way, too, for the most part. I can remember most of what I read as to how I felt about it (enough for a star rating) but I cannot remember the quality of the plot and descriptions enough to give a good written-out review. I did write short blurbs about my very favorite books when I was beginning to read for enjoyment. My 5s are something that I just loved and thought was really well written or they had a profound impact on me. I truly wish that we could give half-star increments, though.


message 36: by sarg (new) - rated it 3 stars

sarg (sargkc) | 17 comments I am currently reading The Clan of the Cave Bear Daughter read it several years ago and raved about it.
I'm 20% done with The Clan of the Cave Bear: Cant get deep into this book. Author spends a lot of her words explaining the process of being a human verses being a Neanderthal. Several pages on understanding the sign language of the Neanderthal. Does it get any better? or am I not into her style of writing?


message 37: by Aria (new)

Aria (AriaRoseReading) | 30 comments I read the first and second book in middle school as well. It was very exciting and adventurous at the time, especially as the subject matter and character were both female and cavewoman which was a rarity in books at that time.

I do not want to ruin the feeling that I had when I read these books, so what I will share is that it is well worth your time and money if you are just beginning in this genre. Otherwise, I would merely glance at the pretty cover and sigh.

The hot and heavy handling between Ayla and her lover(s) were "hot" - as they used to say when I was 13. ;)

The descriptions on the ice age and migratory clan history was fascinating.

If there was a book that would entice my adult senses in this style and setting I would snatch it up. Any suggestions???


message 38: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I honestly wonder if this book has stood the test of time. I am not sure it has..


message 39: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Hi ya Aria, :-)

If you check out this Prehistory folder, i bet you can find something in either the First North Americans series thread, or the Prehistory thread.
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_...

I too am going to try something again in this era. Probably this year, there are a couple in the Prehistory thread that appeal to me.


message 40: by Aria (new)

Aria (AriaRoseReading) | 30 comments Which did you prefer? If I am going to the library I want a platoon of books to order so the more the merrier.

I'll go on over to that thread now. Thanks hon.


message 41: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I'll meet you over there....in the Prehistory thread...


Stormnangel A lurker coming out of hiding for a moment to point out a wonderful booksite for those who haven't found it yet. I'm "reading through the ages" by referring to http://www.historicalnovels.info A lot of suggestions organized by time periods or area.

Lyse


message 43: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Thanks Stormangel.

I use that website all the time when I'm looking for something specific too. :)


message 44: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Hi Lyse,
I too use that website from time to time. One of things I really like about it is they list whether a book is fantasy or alternate history. It has helped me eliminate potential reads that I thought were straight hf and found out on that site that they weren't.


message 45: by Aria (new)

Aria (AriaRoseReading) | 30 comments Interesting, good to know.

Although, I find HF and AH are interchangeable for me these days as they are so far removed from my present life now it is nearly a fantasy!


message 46: by George (new)

George Green | 10 comments I loved CotCB when I was about 18, but found it almost unreadable a few years ago. Thinking of putting together a list of books called something like "Didn't stand the terst of time", or "If you read this at the right time of your life you'll love it, but...".


message 47: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Oct 08, 2012 12:52AM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments haha! This seems to be a common experience with CotCB!

Read it while young and it could be the best thing you'll ever read.
Read it over 27 it could be the worst.


message 48: by Ben (last edited Nov 26, 2012 07:34AM) (new)

Ben Kane (benkane) | 299 comments I read on another forum last year about the bad sex in the latest one (*quickly holds up hand and admits that the sex in his own books is not great - one reason why I don't really include it in any more.*).

On the thread about Jean M. Auel, I was introduced to the term "IKEA sex". I asked what that meant and was told something along the lines of: Take part A; slot into part B. Take C; insert into part D.
I thought that was brilliant! :-)


message 49: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments I agree, definitely brilliant. :)

And funny! I wonder if this will taint all my future IKEA constructions?? I'll see the little diagrams on the instructions and go off in peals of laughter.....


message 50: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments haha! IKEA sex. I like that description. :D
I guess there should be a sex scene named after one of those cheap, messy, ugly department stores where people from 'low socio economic backgrounds' shop and fight and let their screaming kids run amok.
Over here that is Kmart.
Kmart sex. Cheap, nasty, badly done sex. Kmart Sex.


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