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Recommendations for Paleo Novels

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 24, 2010 at 2:38 AM

Can anyone recommend any novels set in paleolithic times, or otherwise in hunter/gatherer type societies?

75e8ceee00e2459860ea38220a3a8118

(276)

on November 20, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Yes! Enjoyed the film too, though of course the book was much better. Hoeg's descriptions of snow reminded me of Auel's in _The Plains of Passage_.

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 28, 2010
at 09:32 PM

I read the first 3 books of the Earth's Children series when I was 16. Pretty fascinating stuff, especially the sex scenes. Ha! And though the books got seriously cheesier at about The Mammoth Hunters I always loved reading about their hunting parties, feasts and medicines. It was a nice contrast to the "nasty, brutish and short" Hobbseian view of prehistoric life. Jean Auel left me with the impression that life back then was actually very pleasant. I've since wondered if one of the major reasons I jumped into paleo living so quickly was early exposure to the ideas in her books.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 27, 2010
at 06:07 PM

I can attest that those books were better than pornography for me growing up. As the series progressed, the writing became worse and worse, but the sex...

14aa918d730371ed14f8e7e7d6eb6587

(373)

on December 24, 2010
at 08:50 PM

Supposedly this is one of the books that inspired Chris McCandless (from Into the Wild) to throw everything away and wander around everywhere.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:31 PM

And his throbbing member. Sheesh!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:21 PM

I never could stand Ayla (WAY too Mary Sue), but the Clan of the Cave Bear series is great for all the anthro and archaeological info. I just try to tune out the waving golden tresses and the wonders of Gary Stu Jondalar.

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11 Answers

best answer

3
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on December 24, 2010
at 03:05 AM

I always liked "The Eternal Savage: Nu of the Neocene" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Kind of cheesy, but memorable and pretty darn good. And "Clan of the Cave Bear" of course.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:31 PM

And his throbbing member. Sheesh!

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 27, 2010
at 06:07 PM

I can attest that those books were better than pornography for me growing up. As the series progressed, the writing became worse and worse, but the sex...

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 28, 2010
at 09:32 PM

I read the first 3 books of the Earth's Children series when I was 16. Pretty fascinating stuff, especially the sex scenes. Ha! And though the books got seriously cheesier at about The Mammoth Hunters I always loved reading about their hunting parties, feasts and medicines. It was a nice contrast to the "nasty, brutish and short" Hobbseian view of prehistoric life. Jean Auel left me with the impression that life back then was actually very pleasant. I've since wondered if one of the major reasons I jumped into paleo living so quickly was early exposure to the ideas in her books.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:21 PM

I never could stand Ayla (WAY too Mary Sue), but the Clan of the Cave Bear series is great for all the anthro and archaeological info. I just try to tune out the waving golden tresses and the wonders of Gary Stu Jondalar.

best answer

1
590987831dd6f6542829e69bb9ea6a48

(508)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:21 PM

"A Story Like the Wind" and "A Far Off Place" by Laurens Van Der Post, in which a !Kung Bushman is a central character. Two of my all time favorite books which really should be bound together as one book because there is a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of the first one. Don't bother with the movie adaptation though - ugh.

5
003a69a7b48305e9c56b1bd7016e1f86

on December 26, 2010
at 01:50 PM

Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg. It's set in Denmark in modern times, but the protagonist is a half Inuit woman whose mother was a great hunter. The protagonist is a brilliant, angry nonconformist who loves fatty meat. It's a great story.

75e8ceee00e2459860ea38220a3a8118

(276)

on November 20, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Yes! Enjoyed the film too, though of course the book was much better. Hoeg's descriptions of snow reminded me of Auel's in _The Plains of Passage_.

3
78779b24e58cd5ffe5da46077c567213

on December 24, 2010
at 07:10 PM

It's not quite what you were asking for, but Jack London's "Call of The Wild" is a classic & a great reminder of our own domestication. I read it again a couple of weeks ago & kept thinking "this is so paleo"

14aa918d730371ed14f8e7e7d6eb6587

(373)

on December 24, 2010
at 08:50 PM

Supposedly this is one of the books that inspired Chris McCandless (from Into the Wild) to throw everything away and wander around everywhere.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 28, 2011
at 08:19 PM

A new novel about the Inuit sounds promising

"The traditional Inuit culture of relentless motion and a traditional diet consisting mainly of caribou, Arctic char, whale and seal has been abandoned over this period of time for Kentucky Fried Chicken and processed food and living a life very similar to ours," he says. "[They're] spending a lot of time in front of a glowing screen." Patterson fictionalized his experiences working with the Inuit in Canada in his novel, Consumption, about an Inuit woman who spends her teen years in a sanitarium. His other books include Outside the Wire: The War in Afghanistan in the Words of its Participants and the short story collection Country of Cold, which won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2003.Prize in 2003.

1
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on December 27, 2010
at 06:08 PM

Brave New World.

1
5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on December 26, 2010
at 03:15 AM

"Wolf Totem" by Jiang Rong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Totem

1
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on December 25, 2010
at 01:04 AM

I like Piers Anthony's Geodyssey series (Isle of Woman, Shame of Man, Hope of Earth, Muse of Art). Granted, it moves through time a bit (starts at the dawn of time, millions of years ago, and ends slightly in the near future), but it's very fascinating. It's been a few years since I've read 'em; I might have to pore through them again soon.

1
145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

on December 24, 2010
at 07:53 PM

William Sarabande novels here (Likely available also in your local library.)

William Sarabande is the pen name for Joan Leslie Hamilton Cline.

There is a whole series and they are way more interesting (and realistic as far as I can tell not having actually been there) than Jean Auel's contributions.

1
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on December 24, 2010
at 07:26 PM

Great Sky Woman http://books.google.com/books?id=m5JTzOfByI4C

and

Shadow Valley http://books.google.com/books?id=LMJaBrMNnB4C

By Steven Barnes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Barnes

I was deeply drawn in to the story in both novels, I suspect most people here would be.

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