The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1)

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Overview

This special edition includes the first 2 chapters of The Shelters of Stone.
In 1980, Jean M. Auel?s debut novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear, blazed up the bestseller lists and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide. In this first book of the beloved Earth?s Children (R) series, Auel takes us back to the dawn of mankind and sweeps us up into the amazing and wonderful world of Ayla, one of the most remarkable heroines ever imagined.

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The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1)

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Overview

This special edition includes the first 2 chapters of The Shelters of Stone.
In 1980, Jean M. Auel’s debut novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear, blazed up the bestseller lists and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide. In this first book of the beloved Earth’s Children (R) series, Auel takes us back to the dawn of mankind and sweeps us up into the amazing and wonderful world of Ayla, one of the most remarkable heroines ever imagined.

The Shelters of Stone, the long-awaited fifth novel in the Earth’s Children (R) series, will arrive on April 30, 2002. To celebrate this major publishing event, a special edition of The Clan of the Cave Bear is being offered. In addition to a personal letter from Jean M. Auel, this reissue also contains an exclusive bonus for the many fans anxiously awaiting the publication of Book 5: the first two chapters of The Shelters of Stone! Earth’s Children (R) fans everywhere will be clamoring for this collectible edition, available just in time for the holidays.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Imaginative, exciting."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle."
--San Francisco Chronicle

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517189184
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/11/1998
  • Series: Earth's Children Series, #1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.37 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Meet the Author

In 1980, Jean M. Auel became a literary legend with The Clan of the Cave Bear, the first book in her Earth’s Children® series. Now a mother, grandmother, and author who has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide, Auel is a heroine of history and prehistory alike, changing the world one enthralling page at a time.

Biography

Born in Chicago in 1936, Jean Marie Untinen married Ray Bernard Auel after high school, raised five children, and attended college at night while working for an electronics firm in Portland, Oregon. Shortly after earning her MBA in 1976, she was inspired by a story idea so powerful it effectively consumed her for the next few years. In a single creative burst, she conceived a sweeping epic set in prehistoric Europe and featuring a unique heroine: a young Cro-Magnon woman named Ayla, raised as a misfit in a society of inhospitable Neandertals. Auel quit her job, immersed herself in research, and began writing nearly nonstop.

At first, Auel imagined she had the makings of a single book. But when she completed her first draft (more than 450,000 words!), she realized that the story fell naturally into six parts, each one demanding a novel all its own. She worked feverishly on the first installment, revising parts of it as many as 20 and 30 times. Published in 1980, The Clan of the Cave Bear became an instant bestseller, marking the start of the thrilling, totally original Ice Age saga, Earth's Children.

The series owes much of its appeal to Auel's feminist protagonist Ayla, a preternaturally resourceful woman with all the skills and abilities of men but without their warlike qualities. She is the first to ride a horse, tame a wolf, and make fire from flint; she understands the healing power of herbs; and, as the novels progress, she develops mystical, even shamanic powers. Readers were understandably intrigued.

Although Auel writes speculative fiction, she receives high marks for historical accuracy. In the interest of creating an authentic Ice Age setting, her research has led her in interesting, unpredictable directions. She has read extensively, traveled to archeological sites around the world, and learned through various sources how to knapp flint, tan hides, construct snow caves, and prepare medicinal herbs. What emerges in her writing is a precise evocation of time and place that provides a realistic and enthralling backdrop to Ayla's adventures.

Good To Know

Jean's last name is pronounced like "owl."

Before becoming a bestselling novelist, Jean worked as a clerk, a circuit board designer, a credit manager, and a technical writer.

Jean's extensive research into Ice Age Europe has taken her to prehistoric sites in France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine, the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Germany.

When Jean first gazed at the Paleolithic paintings on the walls of Altamira's caves, she was so moved she began to cry.

Jean's advice to aspiring writers of historical fiction: "Write what you love to learn about."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jean Marie Untinen Auel (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Portland, Oregon
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 18, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      M.B.A., University of Portland, 1976
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The naked child ran out of the hide-covered lean-to toward the rocky beach at the bend in the small river. It didn’t occur to her to look back. Nothing in her experience ever gave her reason to doubt the shelter and those within it would be there when she returned.

She splashed into the river and felt rocks and sand shift under her feet as the shore fell off sharply. She dived into the cold water and came up sputtering, then reached out with sure strokes for the steep opposite bank. She had learned to swim before she learned to walk and, at five, was at ease in the water. Swimming was often the only way a river could be crossed.

The girl played for a while, swimming back and forth, then let the current float her downstream. Where the river widened and bubbled over rocks, she stood up and waded to shore, then walked back to the beach and began sorting pebbles. She had just put a stone on top of a pile of especially pretty ones when the earth began to tremble.

The child looked with surprise as the stone rolled down of its own accord, and stared in wonder at the small pyramid of pebbles shaking and leveling themselves. Only then did she become aware she was shaking too, but she was still more confused than apprehensive. She glanced around, trying to understand why her universe had altered in some inexplicable way. The earth was not supposed to move.

The small river, which moments before had flowed smoothly, was roiling with choppy waves that splashed over its banks as the rocking streambed moved at cross purposes to the current, dredging mud up from the bottom. Brush close by the upstream banks quivered, animated by unseen movement at the roots, and downstream, boulders bobbed in unaccustomed agitation. Beyond them, stately conifers of the forest into which the stream flowed lurched grotesquely. A giant pine near the bank, its roots exposed and their hold weakened by the spring runoff, leaned toward the opposite shore. With a crack, it gave way and crashed to the ground, bridging the turbid watercourse, and lay shaking on the unsteady earth.

The girl started at the sound of the falling tree. Her stomach churned and tightened into a knot as fear brushed the edge of her mind. She tried to stand but fell back, unbalanced by the sickening swaying. She tried again, managed to pull herself up, and stood unsteadily, afraid to take a step.

As she started toward the hide-covered shelter set back from the stream, she felt a low rumble rise to a terrifying roar. A sour stench of wetness and rot issued from a crack opening in the ground, like the reek of morning breath from a yawning earth. She stared uncomprehendingly at dirt and rocks and small trees falling into the widening gap as the cooled shell of the molten planet cracked in the convulsion.

The lean-to, perched on the far edge of the abyss, tilted, as half the solid ground beneath it pulled away. The slender ridgepole teetered undecidedly, then collapsed and disappeared into the deep hole, taking its hide cover and all it contained with it. The girl trembled in wide-eyed horror as the foul-breathed gaping maw swallowed everything that had given meaning and security to the five short years of her life.

“Mother! Motherrr!” she cried as comprehension overwhelmed her. She didn’t know if the scream ringing in her ears was her own in the thunderous roar of rending rock. She clambered toward the deep crack, but the earth rose up and threw her down. She clawed at the ground, trying to find a secure hold on the heaving, shifting land.

Then the gap closed, the roar ceased, and the shaking earth stilled, but not the child. Lying face down on the soft damp soil churned loose by the paroxysm that convulsed the land, she shook with fear. She had reason to fear.

The child was alone in a wilderness of grassy steppes and scattered forests. Glaciers spanned the continent on the north, pushing their cold before them. Untold numbers of grazing animals, and the carnivores that preyed on them, roamed the vast prairies, but people were few. She had nowhere to go and she had no one who would come and look for her. She was alone.

The ground quivered again, settling itself, and the girl heard a rumbling from the depths, as though the earth were digesting a meal gulped in a single bite. She jumped up in panic, terrified that it would split again. She looked at the place where the lean-to had been. Raw earth and uprooted shrubs were all that remained. Bursting into tears, she ran back to the stream and crumpled into a sobbing heap near the muddy water.

But the damp banks of the stream offered no refuge from the restless planet. Another aftershock, this time more severe, shuddered the ground. She gasped with surprise at the splash of cold water on her naked body. Panic returned; she sprang to her feet. She had to get away from this terrifying place of shaking, devouring earth, but where could she go?

There was no place for seeds to sprout on the rocky beach and it was clear of brush, but the upstream banks were choked with shrubs just sending forth new leaves. Some deep instinct told her to stay near water, but the tangled brambles looked impenetrable. Through wet eyes that blurred her vision, she looked the other way at the forest of tall conifers.

Thin beams of sunlight filtered through the overlapping branches of dense evergreens crowding close to the stream. The shaded forest was nearly devoid of undergrowth, but many of the trees were no longer upright. A few had fallen to the ground; more leaned at awkward angles, supported by neighbors still firmly anchored. Beyond the jumble of trees, the boreal forest was dark and no more inviting than the brush upstream. She didn’t know which way to go, and glanced first one way, then the other with indecision.

A tremble beneath her feet while she was looking downstream set her in motion. Casting one last yearning look at the vacant landscape, childishly hopeful that somehow the lean-to would still be there, she ran into the woods.

Urged on by occasional grumbling as the earth settled, the child followed the flowing water, stopping only to drink in her hurry to get far away. Conifers that had succumbed to the quaking earth lay prostrate on the ground and she skirted craters left by the circular tangle of shallow root -- moist soil and rocks still clinging to their exposed undersides.

She saw less evidence of disturbance toward evening, fewer uprooted trees and dislodged boulders, and the water cleared. She stopped when she could no longer see her way and sank down on the forest floor, exhausted. Exercise had kept her warm while she was moving, but she shivered in the chill night air, burrowed into the thick carpet of fallen needles and curled up in a tight little ball, throwing handfuls over herself for a cover.

But as tired as she was, sleep did not come easily to the frightened little girl. While busy making her way around obstacles near the stream, she was able to push her fear to the back of her mind. Now, it overwhelmed her. She lay perfectly still, eyes wide open, watching the darkness thicken and congeal around her. She was afraid to move, almost afraid to breathe.

She had never been alone at night before, and there had always been a fire to hold the black unknown at bay. Finally, she could hold back no longer. With a convulsive sob, she cried out her anguish. Her small body shook with sobs and hiccups, and with the release she eased into sleep. A small nocturnal animal nosed her in gentle curiosity, but she wasn’t aware of it.

She woke up screaming!

The planet was still restless, and distant rumbling from deep within brought back her terror in a horrifying nightmare. She jerked up, wanted to run, but her eyes could see no more wide-open than they could behind closed lids. She couldn’t remember where she was at first. Her heart pounded; why couldn’t she see? Where were the loving arms that had always been there to comfort her when she woke in the night? Slowly the conscious realization of her plight seeped back into her mind and, shivering with fear and cold, she huddled down and burrowed into the needle-carpeted ground again. The first faint streaks of dawn found her asleep.

Daylight came slowly to the depths of the forest. When the child awoke it was well into the morning, but in the thick shade it was difficult to tell. She had wandered away from the stream as daylight faded the previous evening, and an edge of panic threatened as she looked around her at nothing but trees.

Thirst made her aware of the sound of gurgling water. She followed the sound and felt relieved when she saw the small river again. She was no less lost near the stream than she was in the forest, but it made her feel better to have something to follow, and she could quench her thirst as long as she stayed near it. She had been glad enough for the flowing water the day before, but it did little for her hunger.

She knew greens and roots could be eaten, but she didn’t know what was edible. The first leaf she tasted was bitter and stung her mouth. She spit it out and rinsed her mouth to remove the taste, but it made her hesitant to try another. She drank more water for the temporary feeling of fullness and started downstream again. The deep woods frightened her now and she stayed close to the stream where the sun was bright. When night fell, she dug a place out of the needled ground and curled up in it again.

Her second night alone was no better than her first. Cold terror lay in the pit of her stomach along with her hunger. She had never been so terrified, she had never been so hungry, she had never been so alone. Her sense of loss was so painful, she began to block out the memory of the earthquake and her life before it; and thoughts of the future brought her so close to panic, she fought to push those fears from her mind as well. She didn’t want to think about what might happen to her, who would take care of her.

She lived only for the moment, getting past the next obstacle, crossing the next tributary, scrambling over the next log. Following the stream became an end in itself, not because it would take her anywhere, but because it was the only thing that gave her any direction, any purpose, any course of action. It was better than doing nothing.

After a time, the emptiness in her stomach became a numb ache that deadened her mind. She cried now and then as she plodded on, her tears painting white streaks down her grubby face. Her small naked body was caked with dirt; and hair that had once been nearly white, and as fine and soft as silk, was plastered to her head in a tangle of pine needles, twigs, and mud.

Traveling became more difficult when the evergreen forest changed to more open vegetation and the needle-covered forest floor gave way to obstructing brush, herbs, and grasses, the characteristic ground cover beneath small-leafed deciduous trees. When it rained, she huddled in the lee of a fallen log or large boulder or overhanging outcrop, or simply slogged through the mud letting the rain wash over her. At night, she piled dry brittle leaves left over from the previous season’s growth into mounds and crawled into them to sleep.

The plentiful supply of drinking water kept dehydration from making its dangerous contribution to hypothermia, the lowering of body temperature that brought death from exposure, but she was getting weak. She was beyond hunger; there was only a constant dull pain and an occasional feeling of light-headedness. She tried not to think about it, or about anything except the stream, just following the stream.

Sunlight penetrating her nest of leaves woke her. She got up from the snug pocket warmed by her body heat and went to the river for a morning drink, damp leaves still clinging to her. The blue sky and sunshine were welcome after the rain of the day before. Shortly after she started out, the bank on her side of the river gradually began to rise. By the time she decided to stop for another drink, a steep slope separated her from the water. She started down carefully but lost her footing and tumbled all the way to the bottom.

She lay in a scraped and bruised heap in the mud near the water, too tired, too weak, too miserable to move. Large tears welled up and streamed down her face, and plaintive wails rent the air. No one heard. Her cries became whimpers begging someone to come and help her. No one came. Her shoulders heaved with sobs as she cried her desperation. She didn’t want to get up, she didn’t want to go on, but what else could she do? Just stay there crying in the mud?

After she stopped crying, she lay near the water’s edge. When she noticed a root beneath her jabbing uncomfortably in her side and the taste of dirt in her mouth, she sat up. Then, wearily, she stood up and went to the stream for a drink. She started walking again, doggedly pushing aside branches, crawling over moss-covered logs, splashing in and out of the edge of the river.

The stream, already high from earlier spring floods, had swelled to more than double from tributaries. The child heard a roar in the distance long before she saw the waterfall cascading down the high bank at the confluence of a large stream with the small river, a river about to double again. Beyond the waterfall, the swift currents of the combined watercourse bubbled over rocks as it flowed into the grassy plains of the steppes.

The thundering cataract rushed over the lip of the high bank in a broad sheet of white water. It splashed into a foaming pool worn out of the rock at the base, creating a constant spray of mist and whirlpools of countercurrents where the rivers met. At some time in the distant past, the river had carved deeper into the hard stone cliff behind the waterfall. The ledge over which the water poured jutted out beyond the wall behind the falling stream, forming a passageway between.

The girl edged in close and looked carefully into the damp tunnel, then started behind the moving curtain of water. She clutched at the wet rock to steady herself as the continuous falling, falling, falling of the flowing stream made her dizzy. The roar was deafening, rebounding from the stone wall in back of the tumultuous flow. She looked up fearfully, anxiously aware that the stream was above the dripping rocks over her head, and crept forward slowly.

She was nearly to the other side when the passageway ended, gradually narrowing until it was a steep wall again. The undercut in the cliff did not go all the way; she had to turn around and go back. When she reached her starting place, she looked at the torrent surging over the edge and shook her head. There was no other way.

The water was cold as she waded into the river, and the currents strong. She swam out to the middle and let the flow of the water carry her around the falls, then angled back to the bank of the widened river beyond. The swimming tired her, but she was cleaner than she had been for some time, except for her matted and tangled hair. She started out again feeling refreshed, but not for long.

The day was unseasonably warm for late spring, and when the trees and brush first gave way to the open prairie, the hot sun felt good. But as the fiery ball rose higher, its burning rays took their toll of the small girl’s meager reserves. By afternoon, she was staggering along a narrow strip of sand between the river and a steep cliff. The sparkling water reflected the bright sun up at her, while the almost-white sandstone bounced light and heat down, adding to the intense glare.

Across the river and ahead, small herbaceous flowers of white, yellow, and purple, blending into the half-grown grass bright green with new life, extended to the horizon. But the child had no eyes for the fleeting spring beauty of the steppes. Weakness and hunger were making her delirious. She started hallucinating.

“I said I’d be careful, mother. I only swam a little ways, but where did you go?” she muttered. “Mother, when are we going to eat? I’m so hungry, and it’s hot. Why didn’t you come when I called you? I called and called, but you never came. Where have you been? Mother? Mother! Don’t go away again! Stay here! Mother, wait for me! Don’t leave me!”

She ran in the direction of the mirage as the vision faded, following the base of the cliff, but the cliff was pulling back from the water’s edge, veering away from the river. She was leaving her source of water. Running blindly, she stubbed her toe on a rock and fell hard. It jarred her back to reality -- almost. She sat rubbing her toe, trying to collect her thoughts.

The jagged sandstone wall was pockmarked with dark holes of caves and streaked with narrow cracks and crevices. Expansion and contraction from extremes of searing heat and subzero cold had crumbled the soft rock. The child looked into a small hole near the ground in the wall beside her, but the tiny cave made little impression.

Far more impressive was the herd of aurochs grazing peacefully on the lush new grass between the cliff and the river. In her blind rush to follow a mirage, she hadn’t noticed the huge reddish brown wild cattle, six feet high at the withers with immense curving horns. When she did, sudden fear cleared the last cobwebs from her brain. She backed closer to the rock wall, keeping her eye on a burly bull that had stopped grazing to watch her, then she turned and started running.

She glanced back over her shoulder and caught her breath at a swift blur of movement, and stopped in her tracks. An enormous lioness, twice as large as any feline who would populate savannas far to the south in a much later age, had been stalking the herd. The girl stifled a scream as the monstrous cat vaulted for a wild cow.

In a flurry of snarling fangs and savage claws, the giant lioness wrestled the massive aurochs to the ground. With a crunch of powerful jaws, the terrified bawl of the bovine was cut short as the huge carnivore tore out its throat. Spurting blood stained the muzzle of the four-legged hunter and sprayed her tawny fur with crimson. The aurochs’s legs jerked spasmodically even as the lioness ripped open its stomach and tore out a chunk of warm, red meat.

Stark terror charged through the girl. She fled in wild panic, carefully watched by another of the great cats. The child had stumbled into the territory of cave lions. Normally the large felines would have disdained so small a creature as a five-year-old human as prey, preferring a robust aurochs, oversize bison, or giant deer to satisfy the needs of a pride of hungry cave lions. But the fleeing child was approaching much too near to the cave that housed a pair of mewling newborn cubs.

Left to guard the young while the lioness hunted, the shaggy-maned lion roared in warning. The girl jerked her head up and gasped at the gigantic cat crouched on a ledge, ready to spring. She screamed, slid to a stop, falling and scraping her leg in the loose gravel near the wall, and scrambled to turn around. Spurred on by even greater fear, she ran back the way she had come.

The cave lion leaped with languid ease, confident of his ability to catch the small interloper who dared to broach the sanctity of the cave nursery. He was in no hurry -- she moved slowly compared with his fluid speed -- and he was in the mood for a game of cat and mouse.

In her panic, it was only instinct that led her to the small hole near the ground in the face of the cliff. Her side aching, and gasping for breath, she squeezed through an opening barely big enough for her. It was a tiny, shallow cave, not much more than a crack. She twisted around in the cramped space until she was kneeling with her back to the wall, trying to melt into the solid rock behind her.

The cave lion roared his frustration when he reached the hole and found his chase thwarted. The child trembled at the sound and stared in hypnotized horror as the cat snaked his paw, sharp curved claws outstretched, into the small hole. Unable to get away, she watched the claw come at her and shrieked in pain as it sunk into her left thigh, raking it with four deep parallel gashes.

The girl squirmed to get out of his reach and found a small depression in the dark wall to her left. She pulled her legs in, scrunched up as tight as she could, and held her breath. The claw slowly entered the small opening again, nearly blocking the scant light that penetrated the niche, but this time found nothing. The cave lion roared and roared as he paced back and forth in front of the hole.

The child remained in the small cramped cave through the day, that night, and most of the following day. The leg swelled and the festering wound was a constant pain, and the small space inside the rough-walled cave had little room to turn or stretch out. She was delirious most of the time from hunger and pain and dreamed terrifying nightmares of earthquakes, and sharp claws, and lonely aching fear. But it wasn’t her wound or her hunger or even her painful sunburn that finally drove her from her refuge. It was thirst.

She looked fearfully out of the small opening. Sparse stands of wind-stunted willow and pine near the river cast long shadows of early evening. The child stared at the grass-covered stretch of land and the sparkling water beyond for a long time before gathering up enough courage to move beyond the entrance. She licked cracked lips with a parched tongue as she scanned the terrain. Only the windswept grass moved. The lion pride was gone. The lioness, anxious for her young and uneasy about the unfamiliar scent of the strange creature so near their cave, decided to find a new nursery.

The child crept out of the hole and stood up. Her head throbbed and spots danced dizzily before her eyes. Waves of pain engulfed her with every step and her wounds began to ooze a sickly yellow green down her swollen leg.

She wasn’t sure if she could reach the water, but her thirst was overpowering. She fell to her knees and crawled the last few feet, then stretched out flat on her stomach and gulped greedy mouthfuls of cold water. When her thirst was finally slaked, she tried to stand again, but she had reached the limit of her endurance. Spots swam before her eyes, her head whirled, and everything went dark as she slumped to the ground.

A carrion bird circling lazily overhead spied the unmoving form and swooped lower for a closer look.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 744 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2011

    eBook errors are plentiful - on entire series!!!

    So sad - I have all of this series in hard copy, but really wanted them on my new Nook, especially with the new Land of the Painted Caves coming out next month! I started reading at the beginning, and was immediately struck by how AWFUL the translation to eBook had been - NEVER occurred to me that B&N didn't get access to the electronic files which the printers use when printing up new books, right? - NEVER occurred to me these books were OCRed, which means that many times the words are incorrect or missing. There are formatting issues like italics where it does not belong, a sentence that runs right off the page of the Nook never wrapping around. Punctuation that was incorrect or completely missing. And, unlike the old classics, we have to PAY for this. I actually needed to use my hard copy to be sure of what I was reading - in each edition!
    I wrote a letter of disgust to B&N, and was told - in short, that my issues were being sent on to the publisher and when they made corrections, it would automatically be uploaded to my Nook - BUT, that I was not entitled to any kind of refund per B&N blah, blah, blah.... Very sad. I have many other books on my Nook that are 10 & 20 years old yet there are no "typos" in those books. Be warned!

    34 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    Love at second sight

    My father read the books, and everytime he read a few chapters, he went into my room to tell me all about it. After he finished, he gave the books to me. I was fifteen, and layed them away for a year. After that year I found them again, and read the first page. I almost read the entire chapter there, down of the floor in front of my bookcase. I have never before and probably will never again fall in love with a book as much as I did with these. And especially The Clan of the Cavebear. I've just read it for the eleventh time (for real!) and still found things I missed the first times. These books opened my eyes to the full experience of reading a book. Not only reading, but seeing, feeling, living and breathing a book. I can absolutely recommend it to everyone, although you do have to consider all the extra text concerning the environment and animals present. I loved them, I love to learn, but others will find it difficult to read long descriptions. In any way, it is a book worth reading, more than most are!

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Time Machine

    I first read this book years ago, and it impacted by adult reading choices more than any other book I've read. This story draws you in, to another time, to another person, to another way of thinking. This book is less tedious than Auel's later books, more meat to the story, less descriptive fluff.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Book

    I first read Clan of the Cave Bear about 20 yrs ago. It was a book that I put aside and said I would read only if I got desperate enough to pick it up. Well I did, and imagine my surprise when I found it to be then and now one of my most favorite series ever. I have followed Ayla through the Clan to the Zelandonii and am anxiously awaiting the new book coming out in March, Land of the Painted Caves. I truly hope that this is NOT the end of the earth children series. It is long overdue.

    My only critisism of this eBook, and the series that continue is that they have been poorly proof read. I found mistakes everywhere, and was highly disappointed. Things like "Life" being typed as Ufe. "rime" instead of "time" and so on.

    Either way, if you can get past the typos, it is a very good read and I highly recommend it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    A masterpiece!

    This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It gives wonderful descriptions of the hardships early people had to go through to stay alive. Ayla is a headstrong woman and I love that she can take care of herself.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Enraptured by a heroine-Read the book! Movie was an insult to the writing...

    21 years ago this series began and I was so moved by the strength and insight of Ayla, it gave me courage as a girl becoming a woman in high school. I read this book more times than I can count and was personally incensed at the movie attempt; first for the dilution of Jean Auel's incredible written word and second for the revolting maudlin screen interpretation. If you were unfortunate enough to see only the movie, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT let it deter you from stepping into Ayla's time and travels to explore her world. I remember distinctly the joy of hearing paleontological discoveries that prove the detailed research she devoted to spin a tale of heart, history, and perseverance.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Clan of the Cave Bear

    Ayla is born to "the Others" but after a natural disaster she is orphaned, and found, almost dying, by the Clan of the Cave Bear. She is eventually adopted by the clan and has to adjust to her new family and environment. The challenge is overwhelming for such a little girl. She is often cast out and faces many trials, but she shows courage, strength and determination that make her unique as a character. Although she will never truly fit with the clan, she develops many special relationships with its members. The affection between Ayla and her new family-- Creb, the shaman, and Iza, the medicine woman-- is heart warming to read. Although perhaps she is not realistic as a character of the time period (prehistoric Europe), Ayla is a well-developed character with such a unique story. The reader really feels as if they understand her struggles, and well as those of the clan, who have their own primal culture unlike anything we've ever seen. I really enjoyed reading this novel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2000

    I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have only read this book of the series but I am dying to get my hands on the others!!! I have never read a book that caused me to think so much about the way of the world and to cry as much as i did with this book. while I was reading this book I would stay up late into the night sobbing my eyes out for poor little Ayla. THIS IS TRULY THE MOST TOUCHING BOOK EVER WRITTEN!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This is easily one of the best books ever written. Captivating,

    This is easily one of the best books ever written. Captivating, exhilirating, informative, the list of accolades is too long to list. I read this book in two sittings. And I read it again. One of my top five favorite books of all time. And then you get to read Valley of the Horses, which is even better!!!!!!! But you can stop after Book 2 (Valley of the Horses), because starting with the third book (The Mammoth Hunters), Ms. Auel is simply completing a contract. The Mammoth Hunter is all humping and horticulture, soap opera drama, cold weather and that is it. Books 4-6 are even worse, and a total waste of time and money.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put it down!

    I read this book long ago but was so excited to hear about the newer release by Jean for this series that I revisited. The second time around wasn't any less enjoyable. If you like historical fiction, this is the book for you. Romance, history, vivid characters, unique story line - I appreciate all of it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Highly recommended

    From the first book in the series "The Clan of the Cave Bear" by Jean M. Auel I have been an avid fan of the Earth's Children books. Always looked forward to the next book in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Amazing!!!

    I love this book..and im not even finished with it yet. :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Loved it

    I'd read many similar stories over the years, but somehow missed this series. When I noticed others' stories clearly referencing this series I decided it was time to read "the original" and I'm glad I did. Not a quick read, obviously, as it's huge. Guess it's a good thing I've always favored long stories for their (usually) greater capacity for character development. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    Great Read

    I had never heard of this book before I read it but I absolutely loved it! Can't wait to read more...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Loved it!

    I loved this book from beginning to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Phenominal

    I love this book! I'm reading the series for the first time and am amazed by how good the story is. The characters are great, the descriptions are amazing, and the plot has a hook that I hardly ever see in a book. 5 stars!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Happy to have this one in my library. Highly Recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    I've read every book multiple times, read it (trust me!).

    The books have an amazing amount of detail and heartwarming story lines. It makes you want to just jump in and go through the story with the characters themselves! Every book is just as amazing as the first. (6 books in total, I have read every one multiple times)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    A new addiction

    I started reading this as an homage to my dad- this was his favorite series... I only wish I'd started sooner because it is such an engaging story that captures your heart from the start. I am happily addicted to continuing Ayla's story and rooting for her until the very end- I'm halfway thru the series and am glad my dad loved her story and piqued my interest in the Clan of the Cave Bear books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    One of the books I keep coming back to... again and again and again!

    My Mother first bought me The Clan of The Cave Bear in 1989, about 6 years after it was first published. I was 10 years old. I read it, and fell in love. I've fallen back in love with the story each and every time I've read it, which I have faithfully done at least once a year for the past 22 years. I feel as if I've grown up with Ayla, and Auel's beautiful descriptions and storytelling continue throughout the series. I've treasured each and every book, and have waited in anticipation for YEARS for each new installment to come out. I've spent most of my childhood and all of my adulthood (so far, I'm only 31) awaiting the next chapter in the saga. I'm excited to read the final story, but sad that I won't have another one to look forward to as it is said this will be the final book. This is truly a literary masterpiece, for young and old alike. Thank you Jean Auel for bringing this story to us, and for giving me decades of enjoyment!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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