The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children, Book Three

by Jean M. Auel

Paperback, 1986



Call number

PS3551 .U36


Bantam (1986), 768 pages


Ayla and Jondalar meet the Mamutoi-the Mammoth Hunters--people like Ayla. Ayla finds herself torn between the wildly jealous Jondalar and the master carver Ranec.

User reviews

LibraryThing member surreality
Plot: A travel/adventure plot, interrupted by long stretches of soap opera community living and romance. The pacing is horribly slow and the plot tends to get bogged down with repetitions of earlier scenes. Tension build-up is rare and usually resolved in anticlimatic ways. No real ending.

Characters: There is no real character development going on anymore for the main characters; they stay who they are, despite the adventures they experience. Side characters don't get much attention as far as their personality goes; the focus is on their task rather than who they are, which doesn't make them very interesting and highly replacable.

Style: Lots of description of flora and fauna and an increasing amount of rather badly written sex. Personal interaction in general rarely feels very authentic; the dialogue tends to be stilted and just doesn't sound like actual speech.

Plus: Beautiful depictions of the surroundings and stone age life.

Minus: The soap opera elements. Badly written porn. Ayla the wonder-woman solving every problem imaginable.

Summary: This is where the series jumps the shark. There just isn't much to say, and it shows.
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LibraryThing member JCO123
Awful! Lady "McGiver" meets John Holms. Does she split the atom in the next one? How many more earth shattering orgasms are in order? How about deflowerings? Jeez!
LibraryThing member jayne_charles
Like a cross between the two previous books, with a bit of a love triangle thrown in. I still miss the Neanderthals - these Mammoth Hunters seem a little too modern. Is there anything they haven't worked out how to do? I half expected one of them to whip out an i-Pod. Certainly anything they haven't yet discovered, Ayla promptly invents. But not to criticise too much - it's well written, packed with information and fairly eventful. Still left me wanting to read the next one in the series.… (more)
LibraryThing member becbb88
Really, Really good read.
LibraryThing member abergsman
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this series, especially this book.

Reading about the culture of the fictional Mamutoi was interesting. The repetition, the brooding Jondalar, the love triangle that carried on for 400 pages was just awful.

I only planned on reading the first 3, as I have heard the remaining 3 are pure drivel. I don't think I will be picking up book 4 anytime soon.… (more)
LibraryThing member christophersand
The Soap-opera aura of this book leaves the reader wishing it would end and get back to non-dramatic plot.
LibraryThing member jennmurphy
This is were the clan series starts to take a downward turn for me. While the first 2 books held my attention with the writing and unique setting, this book seems to rely on a very soap opera-ish formula as other reviewers have pointed out. The main plot of this book is Ayla choosing between two men: not what I had come to expect from the series. Still to give Auel credit, it did keep my interest, I just was not as excited about it as the others.… (more)
LibraryThing member GT-M
Great story line .. wonderful use of research. I am greatful for the time and effort Jeal Auel took with writing this volume. It stands the test of time ... any age would enjoy this one. Easier to read than the original, Clan of the Cave Bear.
LibraryThing member DavidBurrows
This is a good read but not as good as the first two. It's a little overly long. Very imaginative though and worth the effort. It follows on from the Clan of the Cave Bear, set in prehistoric times as the title suggests
LibraryThing member justjukka
I really did enjoy this book. I just got a little tired of the gratuitous sex scenes. Instead of reading through them, as I did in Valley of the Horses, I just skipped/skimmed over them. They added nothing to the story.
LibraryThing member mnleona
This is the third book of the series of Ayla and her Journey. I was trying to decide which book I have liked so far and I have decided they are all different but connected. This is more of making decisions on personal feelings by the characters. I think Ayla has stronger feelings for her Clan family even though she has found people of the Others, who are like her. This one was a little more emotional.… (more)
LibraryThing member dragonasbreath
When last we saw Ayla, she was staring at a grinning giant.
Now, she learns they are Mammutoi, and is invited to visit them. Terrified to looks to Jondalar, who knows she MUST learn to become comfortable with her own kind.
With his encouragement Ayla goes for a one-day visit with these strange giants - and from there learns her people are not so fearsome as she thought.
She loves Jondalar, body and soul - he is the first of her own people she has ever seen, after all. But what about this dark, exotic stranger they call Ranec?
Will she choose to stay with the people who welcomed her in, or will she follow Jondalar on an unimaginable journey to the place he calls home?
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LibraryThing member Sherri
Another fine installment in the Earth's Children Series
LibraryThing member jezmynne
excellent read! well written with great conjecture placed on archeological evidence. Auel's stories are detailed and rich, fun to read and totally addicting.
LibraryThing member MaryRunyan
Once again, Jane Auel outdid herself! I love the Mammoth hunters and she made it all come so alive! Outstanding books
LibraryThing member mikedraper
The action continues the saga of earth's children and takes place during the Ice Age 25,000 years ago.

Ayla and Jandlar meet the Mamutoi, who are people like Ayla, they are Mammoth Hunters. When people in the village see that Ayla can control a horse by riding on it and having it come when she whistles, some think she has great power, others become distrustuful.

Ayla develops a fondness for Ranec who is a carver of Ivory and artistic. Since she and Jondlar have been lovers, he becomes jealous.

One of the points that the author makes is that we should accept others who are different. Ayla helps a six-year-old boy who cannot speak. He is half Clan and half Other. He is a Flathead but Ayla has the ability to communicate through sign language. She teaches this child, Rydag sign language. The boys first sign is 'mother' and his mother is delighted. She tells Ayla that she never expected to be able to communicate with her son.

This ficticious examination of history shows how things might have been and shows readers how people of different races (Clans) can get along together. This makes the novel timely with the political climate today.

Ayla is a heroic figure who is a born leader at a time when women weren't highly regarded. She stands out in her ability to communicate and her wisdom.
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LibraryThing member bcrowl399
loved all of the books in this series. So well written and so well researched. There was a lot for me to discover her, even in "middle age". I know it's overused, but this series is truly classic.
LibraryThing member mssbluejay
The third of Earth's Children series, the story line became somewhat overdone, repetitive, and predictable. As did the following sequels.
LibraryThing member Justjenniferreading
I've been working on this series off and on for about 12 years. I bought them right after I graduated high school and didn't realize at the time the mental fortitude this series takes to read. At 18 I just didn't have the patience to read 700 pages. But now that I'm a bit older I can really appreciate this series.

Since I did start the series 12 years ago I feel like Ayla's been a part of my life for quite a while. She pops in to say hello every few years. So I've really become attached to her. It's hard for me to criticize this book at all because I do love Ayla and Jondalar so much. But it took me forever to read The Mammoth Hunters. I started this book in the summer of 09 and had to put it down about half-way through. Partly because I had just finished reading The Valley of the Horses and partly because the romance scenes were becoming a bit too much for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from a prude (believe me) but it just felt like all Ayla and Jondalar did was make love.

I'm glad I picked it back up. As it really is a great story. Again, I do seem to have a bit of an attachment to Ayla and Jondalar so I may be a bit biased here, but I really do like this series. There are times when I think the descriptions go a bit more into detail than necessary, but they also create such a vivid picture as to where the characters are and what is going on. The Mammoth Hunters introduces us to so many new characters I didn't think I'd ever get them all straightened out, but as the story goes on I really didn't have any problems keeping track of everyone.

I obviously like the main characters but I really liked the Mammoth Hearth. Tulie, Talut, and Frebec are probably my favorite new characters. Frebec comes off as being a bit of a jerk at first but he's really loyal and protective. He also seems to have a bit of a soft side that, like most men, he was trying to hide. Tulie and Talut are great characters. They are strong, wise, serious, playful, and humorous all at the same time. They just seemed so real to me.

While I don't think I'll be reading Plains of Passage anytime in the near future, knowing it's sitting on my bookshelf is a bit of a comfort too me. When I decide I need to see what Ayla and Jondalar are up to I can just pick it up and start reading it. It's like a having one of those great friends that even if you don't talk for awhile you can sit down and have a conversation and it feels like no time has passed at all.
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LibraryThing member janiereader
This is another lllllooonnnnggg book. It is interesting and I finished it but the length of it is so daunting. I think it would have been much better if it had been edited better. I am not going to finish the series, I don't think I could take it. Though I am interested in knowing how it all ends up.
LibraryThing member edella
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.
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LibraryThing member JenneB
My parents had a copy of this in their van when I was a kid so I used to always read it on car trips.

I think these books and Judith Krantz's were my generation's main source of sex ed.
LibraryThing member nieva21
If I could I would give this book 10 stars! I loved this book better than Valley of the Horses. Maybe I just like sappy happy tear-jerker endings that are the classic making for love that was at first unrequited, but them was denied out of fear and jealousy. It was realistic because of the love triangle many of Auel's female audience will be able to identify with, having two very different men pulling for you and not being able to be honest or strong emotionally, but learning as a result of pain, budding passion, close calls in life and the mystical flaws of the predetermined eventuality that fulfills Ayla and Jondalar's destiny.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kathy_Dyer
Totally consuming - great and strong characters - vivid description of the action and the environment
LibraryThing member bwkramer
Too long. Series slipping a bit. May be done for awhile on these.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

6.82 inches


0553280945 / 9780553280944
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