• The Clan of the Cave Bear

  • Earth's Children, Book 1
  • By: Jean M. Auel
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 22 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (9,675 ratings)

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The Clan of the Cave Bear

By: Jean M. Auel
Narrated by: Sandra Burr
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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. 

Listen to more in the Earth's Children series.
©1980 by Jean M. Auel. (P)1986 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"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
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,783
  • 4 Stars
    1,882
  • 3 Stars
    685
  • 2 Stars
    200
  • 1 Stars
    125
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,370
  • 4 Stars
    1,714
  • 3 Stars
    733
  • 2 Stars
    211
  • 1 Stars
    146
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,020
  • 4 Stars
    1,437
  • 3 Stars
    493
  • 2 Stars
    133
  • 1 Stars
    89

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.



64 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator distracting

I read these books year ago and thought they were great. Listening to them, I found the narrator to add little to the story, even frequently distracting me, with little variation in her voice characterizations. The story is unique and worth listening to, but I didn't find it as gripping as the book and can't recommend the narrator. I'm glad to have refreshed my memory about the story line but won't listen to it again.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Sad to say...

This could be a very good book, but it reads too much like a text book. The characters are good, believable and even enjoyable, but only towards the end of the book does the story line actually become interesting. It was laborious to even decide to keep listening. I wasn't crazy about the narrator, but I don't mind a mediocre narrator if the story is good. Since I did finish the book, I must admit the writing was good enough to make me care about what happens to the characters, but it might not be good enough to entice me to pick up the next book in the series.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Clan of the Cave Bear

This is, by far, one of my favorite series. It begins with "Clan of the Cave Bear." Jean Auel brings us a detailed and wonderful saga, a poignant story that goes right to the heart. Like Beth, for me, it ranks up there with the "Outlander" Series by Diana Gabaldon. I do wish Audible would get the third book, "The Mammoth Hunters." It's weird to have a missing book, especially smack dab in the middle of the series.

Although the story is fantastic, I wish the narrator put a bit mroe emotion into the reading. At times, it was a bit stagnant. All in all, I enjoyed it very much and I'd certainly listen to it again.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A GOOD MEDICINE WOMAN IS A GOOD MEDICINE WOMAN

LEARN TO UNDERSTAND WITH YOUR HEART AND MIND
I believe this is my third time to read or listen to this. I know I read it in the eighties and I believe this is my second time to listen. Ayla is a strong female character in a world dominated by men. A world where a woman can not speak to a man without permission. Auel researches her books more then the average writer. Her books are normally published years apart, because of the amount of research she does. To some, the detail of the medicines, herbs and rituals may be overly taxing. The first time I read it, I thought what a great book, but so much survival detail. At an older age, I find myself appreciating the work that went into making this series as accurate as possible. The story of Ayla is the main reason for listening. She will tug at your heart strings, sometimes breaking them. I am sure this is not the last time I will listen.

Almost every book in this series is a five star listen for me. This book and the follow up Valley of Horses are my favorites. This is a classic. This could fit in lots of genre's and it is a classic in all of them. The ending is controversial for this book. I recommended the book to my mom and she loved it until the ending and then she refused to read any more in the series. It made her that mad. This book causes that much emotion. It is not a text book.

I thought the narrator was okay. Not great, but also not distracting.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacki
  • 12-23-12

Love, love, love

And love this story. Bet series ever. You have got to read it, it will make you mad and sad, happy, excited, shocked.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Longley
  • 02-28-09

Needs Pruning!

I enjoyed some parts of this book very much. There is lots of interest, action and plot movement, the beginning is good, and the end is excellent. However I was very irritated by the amount of repetition and reiteration. I don?t normally buy abridged books as I love detail and description, but I did feel that this is one book that would benefit from sharper editing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • toni vyse
  • 02-02-09

fascinating and imaginative story

This story was an insightful and imaginative look into a shared history.