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The Cave of Time

The Cave of TimeThe Cave of Time (book club edition)
(book club edition)
The Cave of TimeThe Cave of TimeThe Cave of TimeThe Cave of Time
Series:Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) #1
Contained In:Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1
Translated Into:Aikaluola (Finnish)
La caverna del tempo (Italian)
La caverna del tiempo (Spanish)
La cova del temps (Catalan)
La cueva del tiempo (Spanish)
La Grotte du temps (French)
A gruta do tempo (Portuguese)
A gruta do tempo (Portuguese)
Gua masa (Malay)
Lorong waktu (Indonesian)
Peschera vremeny [Пещера времени] (Russian)
Shíguāng Suìdaò [時光隧道] (Chinese)
Taimu tanneru no bouken [タイムトンネルの冒険] (Japanese)
Tímahellirinn (Icelandic)
Waqt kā ghar (Urdu)
Zaman tüneli (Turkish)
Adapted Into:The Cave of Time (Video Game)
Author:Edward Packard
Illustrators:Paul Granger (pseudonym for Don Hedin) (original artwork)
James Warhola (reissue cover)
Release Date:1979
Click to shop...
055312790X / 9780553127904
0553140043 / 9780553140040
0553208926 / 9780553208924
0553232282 / 9780553232288
0553269658 / 9780553269659
094254501X / 9780942545012 (hardback)
Length:115 pages
Number of Endings:40
Summary:You wander into a cave which transports you randomly through time, leading to all manner of adventures.
barryattles's Thoughts:
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Rating: 3.5

Edward Packard kicks off this long-lasting series with an interesting theme. You go to anywhere from the Ice Age to AD3700 with a philosophical time old-man somewhere in between being particularly impressive. The shortcoming of #1, as with many other earlier entries, is that the book contains too many choices and endings, which weakens the story as a whole. Nevertheless, the book's a solid work and reminds you that it's just the beginning, with more instant-classics to come in the next 20 years.

DavidSky's Thoughts:
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The writing and mechanics here are both clunky and amateurish, but occasionally fun nonetheless. The choices are somewhat arbitrary and nonsensical, the endings are very abrupt and none are truly satisfying, and there are a few different choices that lead to the same result, which is annoying. Also, there's an irritating tendency that I don't think crops up in any other CYOA book - different choices lead to adjacent pages, thereby spoiling the surprise of where choosing differently would have gotten you. You can see my map for the book here. (Circled page numbers indicate an ending, and the endings are graded from A to F in terms of how favorable they are.)
Demian's Thoughts:
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This is a good start to a good series. There's nothing out of the ordinary in terms of gameplay, but the adventure is nonetheless memorable and entertaining.
gergsnickle's Thoughts:
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This is my all-time favorite Choose Your Own Adventure book (possibly because it was the first one I ever encountered, but also because the concept of time travel has always fascinated me). As mentioned by Toadjo in another review, the feeling of this book is very different from most other books in the series, with mysterious and sometimes sinister overtones. The wonderful illustrations by Paul Granger serve to heighten this effect. My only question is who is the bearded character with the sword on the cover? This illustration doesn't seem to correspond to any of the storylines in the book. I am interested in reading #50 to see if the Return to the Cave of Time is as exciting and interesting.
Good's Thoughts:
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Personally, a great starting book to the series. I think it's a shame Packard made it easy to get to the old man. (Especially after the hundreds of reads.) I've read it countless times, and love many endings! I enjoy the fact it's like a time machine.

Another great thing, is it's a little maze like on page 10 and 16. I wish I could find out who holds the sword on the cover. 10/10.

Hedin's Thoughts:
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I love this book - if not for the fact that it's the first book in the whole series.... I love how you go into the cave, and come out somewhere else, space/time/location keep changing, enough to fuel any kid's imagination....

I just picked up the first edition special book club edition, does anyone know what the book club editions were? [Editor's note -- I believe that the book club editions were sold to school students through flyers, while book fair editions were sold at special school events]

Madeye's Thoughts:
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On the surface this seems like it should be the prototype for the whole series. You make decisions that can radically alter the course of the book. The Cave of Time premise allows for endless situations and settings, each with a unique storyline. However, most of the books that followed were more focused, involving one primary storyline where the choices affect paths and outcomes within that plot. That winds up more satisfying, I think. As a result of the diversity within The Cave of Time, I don't really remember a single thing about it (it's been about three years since I read it last).
nev's Thoughts:
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As gamebooks go, this really only deserves 3 stars. BUT it *was* the first (well, not quite, but anyway...) and that has to count for something.

This was hugely ambitious - there are so many possibilities that Packard was only able to give a cursory amount of choices to each location, most ending very abruptly. In essence, much of it is completely random. It would take a lot more practice before gamebooks came up with real choices and consequences that weren't just a throw of the dice.

There are some funny things in this book. For example, in the year 3742AD there's a "computer terminal that enables you to select any movie or other program you desire from over 10,000 possibilities"! To a child in 1979 when this was written that would have been a wild imagining!

stevesterling's Thoughts:
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This is definitely one of the more well-written books of the CYOA series and one of my favorites. Some of the endings left me irritated due to their lack of depth or explanation, others kept me intrigued, such as the integration of the Loch Ness Monster into the book. All in all, a pretty good book.
toadhjo's Thoughts:
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Maybe it's just because this is the first book in the series (although not the first one I read), but this one of my favorites. The entire adventure seems to have a sort of fog cast around it, giving it an aura of uncertainty and mystery. More importantly, it feels like a real adventure, not just a series of random events; most choices lead to logical, yet not obvious, conclusions. The book usually doesn't spell out to you before hand which choices are "bad," which I appreciate, and for the high number of endings, there are few boring, "dead end" choices. Choosing your own adventure is better when you aren't forced along a path. All in all, definitely one of the better books in the series. Oh, and on a side note, IMO, the reissue cover doesn't fit the atmosphere of the book; I prefer the original cover, which paints a much darker picture.
Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:
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The Cave of Time has an interesting idea behind it, and this book could've gone over the edge of grabbing the reader, however, it is ultimately brought down by the fact that it contained several very short, abrupt stories and very few longer and more enjoyable ones. However, the book did have its moments; I particularly enjoyed the ending when the girl from the future has no idea what a Cadillac is. It's worth taking a look at, if only for its importance in gamebook history.
Users Who Own This Item:AlHazred, aline, AndreAntunes, Ardennes (original & reissue), barryattles, bigcobra, bookwormjeff (US & Spanish), breity (14004-3 Bantam), Chanticrow, charlesdaniels, ChrisD (Scholastic Version), Crazyscotsman, Cyan, damieng, Darth Rabbitt (both original and reissue), dave2002a, dblizzard72, drereichdude (original), duckhugger, Ed, EegahInc, Egghead Nurse, exaquint (rh logo on front, text spine 39 endings, text spine book club, 40 endings, reissue, reissue w/sweepstakes), Filipino Paul, firefoxpdm, fushek, Game Master, Garrick Muttley, Gartax, gergsnickle, girtablilu, Grifter, Gurvo, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, Icedlake, Jennifer, jeremydouglass, Jubal, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, killagarilla, killagirilla, kinderstef (both, first and reissue cover (but without the yellow line on the corner)), Kiyanayah (Definitely one of my favorites.), kleme (first edition, first printing), knginatl (random house, "book club", orig. "40 endings", orig. "39 endings", HB '87 Grey Castle, '89 reissue w/ sweepstakes, '89 reissue w/o sweepstakes, UK HB), Lambchop, lavmorc, le maudit, luchoamat, MacbthPSW, Madeye, marcfonline, marnaudo, mattender, Mikeysbookz, mlvoss, Mr ?, nelsondesign, NEMO (reissue), nev, nicolau (Spanish ed. Timun Mas), Nomad (Three copies, two original release cover one reprint cover.), novelist1982, ntar (first & reissues & last cover), odo_ital, outspaced, Pessimeister (12th printing), plowboy (reissue), Pseudo_Intellectual, qazplm (40 endings edition), Radical347, resurgens, RonaldFrobnitz, Ryuran333 (regular, 39 possible endings), SeventhSon, SherlockHolmes, SilentGunman, skeleton, spragmatic, stevesterling, stock, Stockton, stonemason, strawberry_brite, SuperAM2, ThaRid (2 OG + reissue), ThisIslandEarth, toadhjo, turquoise, twar, Uraniborg, Virtua Sinner, Von Scotty, Yalius, YourSoundtrack, yunakitty, zat
Users Who Want This Item:benji2, exaquint (no ending text on front), Ffghtermedic, grottoboy, Hedin (very first cave of time with random house logo on cover), iguanaditty, Malthus Dire, MasterChief, Mikeysbookz (First Edition), mrwalker, NEMO (first edit.&reissue w/ yellow line), Nym90, slyfra, Waluigi Freak 99, wonderfly, ZacharyParker
Users with Extra Copies:bigcobra
bookwormjeff: US & Spanish
Darth Rabbitt
jcdugger: Ebay item #: 270116079482
kinderstef: x 2 (one classic, one james warhola cover)
ntar: 3

Related Links

The Cave of Time: Narrative Map
This graphic shows an annotated map of the structure of The Cave of Time. (last verified: 2014-08-01)

The Cave of Time: Structural Analysis
This page provides a detailed analysis of the structure of The Cave of Time. (last verified: 2014-08-01)

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