The Clan of the Cave Bear doc ↠ 516 pages ´ Jean M Auel

book The Clan of the Cave Bear

The Clan of the Cave Bear doc ↠ 516 pages ´ Jean M. Auel ´ 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 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 roles based on demonstrated ability and interests not gender But the book also addresses issues of interracial and cross cultural relations and the conflict between inflexible tradition and cultural inertia represented by the change resistant Clan It's never been done before is leader Brun's characteristic refrain which became a byword in our household vs needed adaptation to changing conditions Also Ayla's fight to save the life of her infant son conceived in a rape provides a powerful pro life message though that may well have been unintended on Auel's part But as D H Lawrence said Trust the tale and not the teller All in all I consider this one of the better contemporary American novels in any genre and regard Ayla as one of the greatest fictional characters and best female role models in modern literature The series was one that I read out loud to my wife; it also became one of her all time favorites and she re reads it periodically on her own

Jean M. Auel Ì The Clan of the Cave Bear kindle

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 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 The thing that strikes me most about her work is that every time there's a new discovery about how paleolithic people lived it goes along with her stories Things they said were silly back when she wrote it Neanderthals with instruments Neanderthals living with homo sapiens sapiens and the like keep proving true She presents interesting ideas of cognition culture and how societies develop The first two books are her best I think The rest remain interesting if you can deal with the constant repetition soft core porn and the fact that Ayla discovers everything but cold fusion Clan of the Cave Bear is an incredible courageous story The author spent a lot of time hanging out with some of the world's most noted paleontologists doing her research and she knows her stuff

book Ë The Clan of the Cave Bear Ì Jean M. Auel

The Clan of the Cave BearRefer 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 I once read an article from National Geographic in which the author had spent some time living with a Stone Age tribe in Africa The people were a studied anachronism living in modern times but within a carefully maintained atavistic society of hunting and gathering Most endearing of this study was the author’s observations about the interactive dialogue amongst the members of the tribe One wife would say to her husband “another woman has three beads I only have two I wish I had a husband who could work hard and provide” Another would say to his young son “is that how you skin a kill? Here let me show you how it is done” Human nature does not changeAnd so we come to Jean Auel’s magnificent anthropological narrative of a young Cro Magnon girl orphaned by her family and raised by a group of Neanderthals This read like a study of the group similar to Jared Diamond or Thor Heyerdahl where she is an omnipresent and omniscient narrator of the life and times of Ayla as she grows up with the clan of Neanderthals close relatives of humans but distinct and different Auel masterfully creates a glimpse onto their complex social structures and group dynamics and describes Neanderthals with an instinctive racial memoryApart from the clearly well researched and thoughtful scientific examination of Neanderthal society with a fairly complicated social structure and theological underpinnings Auel also tells a fascinating story My only criticism would be the ending which is somewhat predictable but also truncated with a deus ex machina that wraps things up just too neatly All in all an excellent book that makes me want to read the other books in her Earth Children series