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Publisher's Summary

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves The Clan of the Cave Bear. A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. 

To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly - she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge. 

©1980 by Jean M. Auel. (P)1986 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What the critics say

"Imaginative, exciting." (The New York Times Book Review

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

What listeners say about The Clan of the Cave Bear

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent… Consider me hooked.

In the late 1980s, I read this book and a portion of Valley of the Horses , but as high school ended and work life began, my focuses shifted and I never finished the series. As a truck driver, I have very little time to read and when I do I find my eyes are too tired from being on the road to read for long.
I immediately found the performance of the narrator to be excellent and was able to switch in an out of individual characters easily, which brought a whole new life to the story. The authors ability to describe every nook and cranny of the environment in which the story exists is by far the most exhilarating factor. The reader (or in this instance,the listener) falls deeply into the story with the first few pages and feels more like a witness to actual events than merely a reader or listener of a novel. I highly recommend this series and I am thoroughly impressed so far with the Audible App.

5 people found this helpful

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Love this series!!

I love these books and the last line in this book is so... well you gotta read to know what I mean. didn't love the voice that read the book but certainly didn't detract from the story. highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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The Clan of the Cave Bear

Great book, loved it, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. #Audible1 for your listening pleasure

2 people found this helpful

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Pretty Good Series

A very good series. Entertaining, but a few impossible concepts, like fully taming wild animals in only one generation. Well written. I started this series partly because I remembered my grandma reading them ( she was an avid reader). #audible1

2 people found this helpful

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Odd but compelling

A strange mix of scientific and mystical. would certainly recommend to anyone interested in stories of the stone age.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Max
  • 2021-07-19

A story that took hold and shook.

This story absolutely floored me. The first time I've ever had such an image painted and played out in my head. I truly felt as if I had lived with the clan.

1 person found this helpful

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Of course I loved it

This is a series I come back to time and time again in all seasons of my life. I love diving into different aspects of it and realizing just how much of the story is historically true. However the piece that shines strongest is the story itself which is gripping.

1 person found this helpful

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superb

loved this story once again. read the series when she first wrote them . really enjoyed hearing it/reading it once more. looking forward to next book

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amazing

One of my favorite reads. The whole series is a must read except the last one

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Strangely addictive

Knowing little about the book or author, I purchased the audible book as recommended by a number of people as a great story. Especially for a long road trip or lots of commuting. At first, I despised it! The narrators voice seemed to drone on monotonously and the relentless detail seemed excessive and distracting. However, I persevered as the book came so highly recommended. After a couple of chapters Ayla’s world became more engrossing. I have to say I’m hooked and on to the next book in the series!

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  • nolagal
  • 2014-07-28

Production and Narration didn't quite ruin it

Would you try another book from Jean M. Auel and/or Sandra Burr?

Yes to Auel. Maybe to Burr. I'm not sure she's the problem. The production was terrible

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Clan of the Cave Bear?

When Brun recognizes Ayla as someone more than just a girl

What didn’t you like about Sandra Burr’s performance?

Her voice was slightly clipped and monotone BUT though she wasn't the best narrator the main problem was the changing production. Every few chapters the pitch would change and he sound would be less clean. Also you could hear the pages of the book being turned and it often sounded as if the narrator had her lips ON the mike. It almost sounded like it was recorded on a scratchy 45rpm

Was The Clan of the Cave Bear worth the listening time?

Absolutely. It's one of my favorite novels

Any additional comments?

I love this book. I've read it dozens of times. I can quickly immerse myself in the Clans world and am thoroughly invested in every character. Even though the audio for this book is shameful I still enjoyed it. I really hope the publisher decides to rerecord it. This book deserves the best.

67 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dorise
  • 2018-02-24

Audiobook performers voice is very nasal and annoying

I enjoyed reading the full series of Jean Auel's Earth Children series when they were first published yrs ago and thought i would enjoy the audiobook versions. This voice artists nasal tone and static pacing is so unpleasant to listen to as to make revisiting this beloved series auditorily painful. I love audiobooks, simply not enjoying this voice artist performance and i understand that may simply be personal preference

38 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ExHelot
  • 2017-10-07

Great Book..Spoiled by Pedantic Narration

I first read this book while afloat in the Indian Ocean around '81 if memory serves. I was captivated and read it in two days between watches, duty, and drills. It was something that I could visualize and at times feel in a raw kind of way. I had forgotten it until I saw it again here and jumped on it. I was excited to relive the experience and since I do my listening at bedtime I went to bed early to ensure a long listen. Then the disappointment set in.
I found myself listening to a narration aimed at third-graders. The singsong and the slow pace made me feel condescended to. It actually spoiled the story. The narration was at odds with the storyline in so many ways. It drove me to distraction and I just could not put myself in the book as a participant (like the first time I read it) or as a witness. Sadly the story, in this form, is lifeless.
I so wish I could rate this Audible offering at a five but I cannot. I have rated it at four stars overall though for the sake of the story.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 2016-02-02

Best series I've read so far.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Clan of the Cave Bear to be better than the print version?

Yes, because Sandra Burr is a great narrator. She brought Ayla to life and really made the story captivating.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ayla, because she is a survivor.

Have you listened to any of Sandra Burr’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not yet, but would not hesitate to pick up another audio book narrated by her.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I am PC gamer and instead of listening to the game, I listen to the audio book.

Any additional comments?

If you have not read/listen to this series, do yourself a favor and pick it up. I was hesitant about listening to tales of cave men and historical stuff so for the longest time I avoided the series. It was not until a coworker who press me into giving it a try that I was so happy I did. The story telling that the author weaved was absolutely entertaining. She made me care for Ayla and cheer for her. The only regret I have so far is that I waited so long to listen to this series.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Terri
  • 2008-06-13

Clan of the Cave Bear

Jean Auel interacts early mankind with one of our own. The Pleistocene Ice Age is a grueling world to live in and all must learn to work together to survive.

A most superb tale of the different daily physical and mental roles between man and woman, their thought process and survival. How medicines were made, foods stored, tools and clothing designed all provided by nature. A hard life with joy and sorrow.

The book continuously picks up momentum and keeps one reading. Not simply a survival story as we know survivalist in our day in time but the story of lives. Humanity working together finding out the consequences of not working well together.

A myriad of logical emotion and strength. Although the narrator moves a bit quick for me it is an excellent listen. I will listen to it again.



62 people found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 2013-09-08

The best of the books so far

Where does The Clan of the Cave Bear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened to the first 4 books in this series, and the first book is definitely the best.

23 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • 2011-02-13

Riveting

This book is one of those that once you start reading you don't want to put down. Chapter after chapter has new and interesting things happening between the people and culture of the clan and the Girl Ayla from the others. Highly recommended reading.

31 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • B. Westman
  • 2008-08-14

Worth an annual read

I love this book. This is my third time through it, once reading and twice listening. Sandra Burr reads a little fast at times and some of the "voices" are not quite right, but this is still a very enjoyable edition of this most wonderful story. Sadly, Audible is missing the MIDDLE book of the five-book series. This one ranks right up there with the Outlander Series for me.

48 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • N. Rogers
  • 2011-03-10

Better after 30-some years!

I read The Clan of Cave Bear when it first came out a very long time ago. I loved it and read it again a few years later. As each new book in the series became available, I bought and devoured them. None were as good as the original, but I relished the detail provided in each on natural history and different cultural practices. Of course, all of it is a fantasy. How realistic is it to attribute the domestication of animals and the inventions of so many technologies to one prehistoric young woman? But the books were all fun to read, and I enjoyed them on that level.

Having discovered that the final book in the Earth's Children series will be coming out at the end of March, I decided to listen to the original story of Ayla and the Neanderthals on my iPod, especially in light of new DNA evidence pointing to our genetic connection with them. I absolutely loved listening to the audiobook version of my old favorite! I went about my business, earphones on, for three days until I had finished it. Then I downloaded The Valley of Horses and continued Ayla's saga. My goal is to complete all books in this series before The Land of the Painted Caves is released. Hopefully audible will have it available.

The Clan of the Cave Bear is definitely the best of the series in terms of plot and character development. I recommend this audiobook highly and I'm looking forward to listening to Painted Caves! Ayla seems like an old friend and I have missed her between books.

37 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • cindy
  • 2009-11-22

huge, epic and educational

the best value on this website. The reading is fabulous, the story long and engaging and most importantly, EDUCATIONAL!!! Yes, there are things here that will make you think "no way."....but then that fleeting moment is gone, caught up in some twist of the plot or some insight that the author has made about culture at the time, and off you go again. Highest recommendation. Now, if I could only locate the rest of this series on this website! [=

27 people found this helpful

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  • Marie Baron
  • 2017-08-03

excellent interpretation if the book

I've always loved this book. Sandra Burr's reading was great ! I coups not stopped listening to it. it is good there are following books!