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Summary

Leaving the valley of horses with Jondalar, the handsome man she has nursed back to health and come to love, Ayla embarks on a journey that will lead her to the Mamutoi; the Mammoth Hunters. But as she settles into this new life among a people at first strange and disturbingly different, Ayla finds herself irresistibly drawn to Ranec, their master-carver. Ultimately, she is compelled to make a fateful choice between the two men.

Jean Auel's imaginative reconstruction of pre-historic life, rich in detail of language, culture, myth, and ritual, has become a set text in schools and colleges around the world.

©1985 Jean M. Auel (P)2004 AudioGO Ltd

Critic reviews

"The authenticity of background detail, the lilting prose rhythms, and the appealing conceptual audacity continue to work their spell." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Mammoth Hunters

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

characters got a bit annoying and repetitive, but

the indecision and back and forth of *certain* characters gets repetitive and frankly annoying by the end. Problems entirety of their own making get frustrating after a while. Characters are a bit too emotionally stunted and moronic at times. Also a little too much painstakingly detailed sex read in a grandmotherly BBC documentary voice for my liking, but if you're into that, then this is the book for you.
Otherwise a good listen, and I'm looking forward to the next instalment as I'm told there's far less of the annoying bits.

3 people found this helpful

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Circular

It's the same story in a different location. Getting boring. Will try one more book and might give up. Research for the story is awesome and it allows me to walk back in time.

3 people found this helpful

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I've given up now

I loved the first book in this series, and quite enjoyed the second, but I've tried 3 times and this one is too much.
So much detail about everything. And the characters started to get on my nerves, it's like the author is trying to create conflict all the time.
The narration is poor, no difference in tone for each character.

Give this one, and any subsequent ones a miss.
If I could have returned it to Audible, I would have.

1 person found this helpful

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The Worst of the Series.

First off I must point out that I've really enjoyed The Earth's Children books, however this one was its weakest installment.
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the new characters and their relationships with our favourite stone age couple but actions and thoughts of both of them were just so unbelievable it actually made me skip though as I couldn't bear the unrealistic writing.
I kept on shaking my head in disbelief as they kept doing one thing but thinking the complete opposite, over and over just so at the end it would make for an heartwarming reunion of the pair.
Uber poor storytelling from the author.
I should also point out that the books filled with banging, im no prude but it gets boring time after time and again had me hitting the forward skip even although the sex description is hilarious, the authors choice of words had me laughing out loud until it became tedious.
I did like the general story, the new group but again the way the author chose to build a plot based on unrealistic behaviour made this installment the weakest of the entire series.
If this is your first time listening, dont let it put you off continuing through the books as it all gets back on track after you make it through this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story of jealousy and love

I have recently started replacing my paper copies of this book series with Audiobooks, and the whole series is interesting enough to listen to over and over. It follows the love story of Ayla and Jondalar, and all their adventures on their long journey. These books are enjoyable principally because the research into stone age times is so meticulous that the tale is totally believable. For me, it's all about the effective suspension of disbelief. This story achieves that very well.

This part of the series depicts the incredibly painful struggle of Ayla and Jondalar to overcome their cultural beliefs and recognise their love for each other when they settle for the winter with the Mammoth Hunters. The problem mostly lies with Jondalar. For a supposedly sensitive man, he is unbelievably dense, incapable of recognising Ayla's continuing love for him and repeatedly pushing her away until she feels forced into another man's bed. I seriously wanted to strangle him by the Spring. If I was Ayla, I'd kill him for hurting me so much. Stupid thick idiot!!

I was afraid this story might be read in an American accent (as the author is American) and was initially pleased to hear an English voice. However, the narrator, Rowena, read this story in a genteel, well bred voice which stayed the same regardless of the character speaking. She pitched her voice higher for a child and slightly lower for a man, and used plenty of expression, but everyone was depicted with complete gentility and sounded equally polite and cultured. People crying out with intense fear, anguish or passion could have sounded more emotional. Different accents, from Ayla, all the diverse characters, the Neanderthal Clan and different tribes of Cro- Magnons, were ignored, and it was impossible to tell the difference between any of the characters from voice tone alone. But the text repeatedly refers to Ayla's guttural accent. No matter, everyone sounded like a posh middle aged woman. She also slightly mispronounced certain words, which I found a little irritating. ("flaccid" was pronounced "flacksid", "tisane" became "tizzarn", "withes" was said "wythes" as it's spelt, rather than "withees". "Travois" was sais "travoyz" and "shaman" became "shamman" rather than the longer "a", in "shahman". "plaque" sounded like "plark". NecessArily was pronounced "necessrily" ). Only minor, but still a bit irritating as I'm so pernickety about accuracy!

I've listened to much better narrators who give each character a distinct voice, which really enhances the story. However, this was nevertheless better than reading the book myself.

1 person found this helpful

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Story not bad.

Story not to bad, but to much waffle in between the good bits. Narrator good

1 person found this helpful

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Timeless classic of a lost time.

Passion, empathy and love set in a time long gone. This love story is brought to life so brilliantly that I feel I can step into the world created, feel the heat of the Sun, the chill of the Glaciers and experience the sights, sounds and smells of the landscape. I have loved this series of books since I began with Clan of the Cave Bear in my late teens. Jean M Auel has created a vision of a time long gone who's messages are still relevant today if you only take the time to look. The need to co operate, work together, show and indeed Be tolerant. Be respectful of the world and it's gifts and never take anything for granted. This book shows life is a Gift and should be embraced. Please make time to lose yourself in this incredible series as you may well find yourself along the way.

2 people found this helpful

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stone age soap opera

I LOVED the preceding book, Valley of the Horses, but this was a slog. Not much of a story apart from a misunderstanding over marriage (really? a bit hard to believe) which went on and on and on. And found the preachy description teaching me about clothes, baskets, spears, food, etc etc a bit tedious. So a bit of a yawn really.

2 people found this helpful

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Earth's Children.

Interesting story but can be very repetitive in places. I'm not a prude but there's an awful lot of explicit sex for some reason, I just felt it unnecessary.

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loved this book

the narrator bought this book to life. a soothing , sensitive narration. a joy to listen to. she bought a wonderful story to life .

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  • John M
  • 08-10-18

I love this book

I first started reading this series in 1991 and loved the first four books and then disappointed by the final two. Jean Auel paints a carefully researched world with compelling characters that draw the reader in. Ayla is epic and you love her throughout. I have re-read this book several times, it's my favorite and I was delighted by the audio version, Rowena Cooper does a fine job. It's hard to say what draws me back to this book. I think it's the relationship tension that is so carefully built up between Ayla and Jondalar interspersed with memorable Lion Camp characters especially Rydag, Mamut and Nezzie. Add to this some entertaining events - Bison hunt, Finding Wolf, Summer meeting, Funeral.....and it's a great read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • marie
  • 30-05-17

Defiantly not the best in the series....

I struggled to finish this book. By far a big disappointing compared to the first two books, which were pretty good, especially the first. But I've grown attached to characters and narritor so I still bought the 4th book. Hope it's better

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  • Kathi-Bookworm
  • 31-03-20

Gripping story!

The plot is fascinating, but I liked Sandra Burr as reader better (in previous books). Chose this one for its slightly shorter length, but the names are pronounced in such a different way, that I regretted doing so.