In my early 20's I devoured a series of Books called ' The clan of the cave bear series ' by Jean Aurel.
I used to line up at bookstores before opening, standing in cold and rain to get each new book and I'd read it hungrily in a matter of hours - unable to stop. I adored them!
As a writer, there's nothing better than reading something you would have enjoyed writing yourself!
I had toyed with a very similar story line in my late teens and as my then boyfriend would often remind me " didn't you write something like this? " much to my annoyance - the difference being that Jean Aurel was successful and I was not!
Yet another lesson I'm sure many writer's experience when they see an idea or concept they are working on suddenly emerge as a fully fledged hollywood block buster and years of work is wasted!
The storyline was based in the neolithic period ( cavemen ) and having later achieved my degree in Archaeology, it was a subject with which I was familiar.
That was why I loved the books, they were properly researched and plausible and the author even worked known artifacts that were real and actual objects in museums into the storyline.
So if you knew nothing on the subject you could enjoy the books, but if you did have an interest in the neolithic period you enjoyed the books at a whole different level.
The basic story was a homo sapien girl ( modern like us ) whose parents died in an earthquake being raised by Neanderthals ( an ancient race of man that went extinct ) and the survival of people in the brutal world of the ice age.
Its a coming of age story, and the 'ol under dog comes out on top scenario.
When it was announced the first book was becoming a movie I was beside myself!
I can only imagine what the readers of the ' Twilight ' series thought when they heard the same news.
The main character of the Clan of the Cave bear stories was a blonde girl called Ayla.
If they got the casting wrong on this it was going to be a disaster as the whole series rides on this character's experiences. SHE IS THE BOOK.
When I heard who was playing the part I remember the disbelief. The whole plot revolves around Ayla being physically and mentally strong and extremely intelligent and intuitive. ( hence why she survives the length of whole series! )
They chose Daryll Hannah.
Daryll Hannah was a bloody mermaid for christ's sakes with Tom Hanks! She was the epitome of a blonde bimbo and NOT what Ayla was about at all.
I had my reservations but trotted along with everyone else to see the movie.
I wasn't dissappointed - it was an unmitigated disaster.
Given Ayla doesn't learn speech for a great part of the first book ( Neanderthals were believed to have not been capable of speech at that time - since disproven by recent finds ) this was going to entail alot of non verbal acting - which are tradtionally what blonde bimbo actresses do not have the skills to handle and Daryll Hannah almost made it a comedy.
It was pathetic.
All I remember was the incredulous look of my then boyfriend as we left the theatre when he joked " and THAT'S the crap you have been raving on about for months? "
It actually wasn't. The books were nothing like the movie. Even the editing was all wrong with pivotal scenes that explained later events omitted - which left people who hadn't read the book confused.
My boyfriend spent half the movie hissing at me " why in hell is she doing THAT? " and me having to hiss back a quick synopsis of a missing chapter.
Fantastic books...............that Hollywood wrecked totally.
Never see the movie.................ONLY read the books!