SUMMARY ↠ The Clan of the Cave Bear

REVIEW The Clan of the Cave Bear

SUMMARY ↠ The Clan of the Cave Bear º Librarian's note An alternate cover edition can be found hereThe Clan of the Cave Bear is the start of Jean M Auel's epic Earth's Children series When her parents are killed by an earthuake five year old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone Cold hungry and badly injured by a cave lion the littlRefer to as the Others Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human worthy of care She painstakingly nurses her back to health a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan Although this story takes place roughly 35000 years ago its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale The members of the Neanderthal clan ruled by traditions and taboos find themselves challenged by this outsider who represents the physically modern Cro Magnons And as Ayla begins to grow an. This was a great pick I thoroughly enjoyed this read Set during prehistoric times Ayla’s Home and her family are lost to a devastating earthuake Homeless and alone she wanders the land barely surviving until she is found by Iza a member of The Clan Ayla struggles to fit in and to be accepted by The Clan its customs foreign to her Their treatment of women being the main hurdle all women are below men in status expected to cook for the men never to ignore a direct order from a man and certainly never allowed to hunt As time progresses The Clan become accustomed to the different girl and she integrates But not everyone is so understanding Broud the son of the Clan leader hates Ayla fiercely and will do whatever necessary to bring her down With some scenes slightly shocking I couldn’t stop turning the pagesThis novel was full of vivid descriptions including the way cave people lived their local sources of food clothing and intricate belief system A wonderful selection of characters I was reminded of the Disney film ‘Brother Bear’ where each Clan member has a spirit totem in the form of an animal I was fully engrossed in this world and look forward to continuing it

Jean M. Auel È 0 SUMMARY

D mature her natural tendencies emerge putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggleAlthough Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of all our ancestors her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla Mostly though this first in the series of four is a wonderful story of survival Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale. Note March 25 2014 I edited this review slightly just now to delete one accidental dittography Hmmm I thought I'd proofread this Auel's Earth's Children series this opening volume was followed by so far four seuels garners mixed and mostly negative reviews here on Goodreads Though none of them have reviewed it a dozen of my Goodreads friends have given it ratings ranging from one star to five Obviously my own reaction falls at the favorable end of the spectrumAyla of course is a Cro Magnon ie an anatomically modern human; you and I are Cro Magnons too in that anthropological sense orphaned by a natural disaster and raised by a clan of Neanderthals For a writer of historical fiction a prehistoric setting poses a challenge; technically the genre embraces any fiction set in the past but its authors usually depend heavily on written records for events and background material and for the Ice Age no such records exist To her credit Auel was the first writer in the genre to attempt it on a large scale though Jack London and William Golding each wrote single novels set in prehistory and to popularize it sufficiently to create a market niche and a subgenre tradition that other writers have begun to develop In place of written records she immersed herself in the exhaustive study of every known aspect of the physical evidence from the period and all of the various scholarly interpretations of it Her reconstruction of both Cro Magnon and Neanderthal natural history society and culture is of course speculative; but it is based meticulously on this research Even the controversial features of her Neanderthals their Memories a genetically transmitted racial memory of past experiences and their difficulty with verbal speech and conseuent preference for sign language have grounds in known Neanderthal physiology such as their hyper developed back brains which control memory Although Auel is an evolutionist she recognizes Neanderthals as a branch of humanity and depicts them as fully human not as the ape men who figure in London's Before Adam or Conan Doyle's The Lost World a point in her favorA weakness of Auel's writing is the converse of her strong research she has a tendency to want to divulge every iota of erudition she has on the Ice Age world and doesn't always seamlessly integrate it into the narrative She also has a penchant for explicitly detailed sex which in my estimation is not a plus Here however neither of these flaws are as marked as they are in the later books the latter because the plot here affords little occasion for it Ayla doesn't yet have a love interest though that gets remedied later on IMO her strong points outweigh these First and foremost she has a capacity to create fully alive three dimensional characters whom the reader can relate to positively or negatively just like real people Iza Creb Brun Broud even several of the minor characters; and above all Ayla herself as we watch her grow from a scared traumatized child into a strong highly competent and intelligent woman Indeed she's much too strong competent and intelligent for some of the Clan to accept in a woman and judging from critical and reader reactions some moderns aren't very cool with it either That brings up another strong point of the book Auel's intelligent engaging of serious issues that are still relevant to our lives today Gender roles are the most obvious; against the backdrop of the male dominated Clan Ayla makes a lived out case for a genuine feminism of the eualitarian rather than male bashing sort that argues for social role

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The Clan of the Cave BearLibrarian's note An alternate cover edition can be found hereThe Clan of the Cave Bear is the start of Jean M Auel's epic Earth's Children series When her parents are killed by an earthuake five year old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone Cold hungry and badly injured by a cave lion the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear This clan left homeless by the same disaster has little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they. Ms Auel there are some things I’d like to talk to you about Be warned I’m uite angry because I keep reading your books for some bizarre reason and I cringe and tear my hair out in despair See you had a good story there – a little Cro Magnon orphan girl found and raised by Neanderthals I didn’t even care she turned out to be the smartest most beautiful ingenious little thing and the villain in the story was almost grotesue and cartoonish in his evildoing I knew no real harm would ever come Ayla’s way she would survive it all and meanwhile invent an iPhone It’s all ok it’s comfort reading after all It’s the writing I had many different problems with First of all – point of view 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 weakI’m sorry what It’s 35000 BC I don’t want to hear things like ‘hypothermia’ or ‘diuretic’ or ‘evolution’ I didn’t need that foreshadowing of the 20th century I wanted a story as seen through the eyes of prehistorical people and I’d seriously take anything the author threw my way there would be no limits to my suspension of disbelief But since I had that constant running commentary that sounded like something from a BBC documentary I was forced to get out the story and look at it from a dispassionate modern point of view which inevitably led me to the conclusion that half of it was unbelievable bollocks All those primitive people with almost no frontal lobes and speech limited by undeveloped vocal organs but with huge brains—larger than any race of man then living or future generations yet unborn—were uniue They were the culmination of a branch of mankind whose brain was developed in the back of their heads in the occipital and the parietal regions that control vision and bodily sensation and store memoryNo You can’t put paragraphs like that in a STORY Did you copy it from an encyclopedia You're confusing research with copy pastingThe narrative finally jumped the shark when it implied that Neanderthal women were scared of learning new things because with their hereditary memory yeah me neither their children would keep having larger and larger heads which eventually would lead to difficult births and higher infant and mother mortality rate ergo decline of the race and evolutionary cul de sac No I’m serious And here is why Broud the villain hates Ayla but the real problem was she was not Clan Her brain followed different paths her full high forehead that housed forward thinking frontal lobes gave her an understanding from a different viewYes He hated her because of her forward thinking frontal lobes But when Auel gives the voice to Ayla her stream of conscience is even worse than the droning of the main narrator It’s like listening to someone on amphetamines I’ll dig some roots on the way back Iza says the roots are good for Creb’s rheumatism too I hope the fresh cherry bark will help Iza’s cough She’s getting better I think but she’s so skinny Uba’s getting so big and heavy Iza shouldn’t lift her at all Maybe I’ll bring Uba with me next time if I can I’m so glad we didn’t have to give her to Oga She’s really starting to talk now It’ll be fun when she gets a little bigger and we can go out together Look at those pussy willows Funny how they feel like real fur when they’re small like that but they grow out green The sky is so blue today I can smell the sea in the wi