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Item - The Cave of Time

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(Third printing)
(Fourth printing, Scholastic edition)
(Sixth printing)
(Intermediate printing)
(US 10th printing)
(US 12th printing)
(US 14th printing)
(US 18th printing)
(US 29th printing)
(US 32nd printing)
(Revised cover edition, with banner)
(Revised cover edition, without banner)
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Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 1
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set (1-6) (Collection)
Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1 (1-5) (Collection)
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: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don) (interior)
Warhola, James (Revised cover edition, with banner - cover; Revised cover edition, without banner - cover)
Dates: July, 1979 (First printing)
November, 1979 (Third printing)
December, 1979 (Fourth printing, Scholastic edition)
May, 1980 (Sixth printing)
April, 1981 (US 10th printing)
November, 1981 (US 12th printing)
May, 1982 (US 14th printing)
June, 1988 (Hardcover edition)
ISBNs: 0000007048 / 9780000007049 (US 32nd printing)
055312790X / 9780553127904 (Third printing, Early printing, Sixth printing)
0553140043 / 9780553140040 (Intermediate printing, US 10th printing)
0553208926 / 9780553208924 (US 12th printing, US 14th printing)
0553232282 / 9780553232288 (Later printing, US 18th printing)
0553269658 / 9780553269659 (Revised cover edition, with banner, Revised cover edition, without banner, US 29th printing, US 32nd printing)
094254501X / 9780942545012 (Hardcover edition)
Publisher: Hardcover edition: Grey Castle Press -- United States
Length: 115 pages
Number of Endings: 40
Special Thanks: US 12th printing, US 10th printing, US 14th printing, US 18th printing, US 29th printing, US 32nd printing:
Thanks to Ryan Lynch for the cover scans.
Fourth printing, Scholastic edition:
Thanks to Kevin Pachkowski for the cover images.
User Summary: You wander into a cave which transports you randomly through time, leading to all manner of adventures.
auximenes's Thoughts:

I was a big fan of the CYOA series as a kid, but was never lucky enough to have read the first book in the series. It is well written yet very uneven and scattered. I recognize its historical importance as it basically created the gamebook genre, but I don't think it's a very good entry in the series. Reading it now, I am amazed at how gruesome some of the endings were for children's books. Paul Granger's artwork is instantly recognizable and iconic.

2 out 5 stars

More reviews by auximenes

barryattles's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by barryattles

DavidSky's Thoughts:

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.)

More reviews by DavidSky

Demian's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by Demian

gergsnickle's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by gergsnickle

Good's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by Good

Guillermo's Thoughts:

This book is an absolute classic. Other people have complained about it including so many different time periods that it lacks sufficient focus, but I like it precisely for this reason. Edward Packard manages to do something interesting and fun with each of the short storylines, meaning that the reader can enjoy reading it multiple times without feeling frustrated for not reaching an "ideal" ending. The endings are among the best written you'll find in any gamebook, though I have complaints about the gameplay -- many times throughout the book the author offers what seems an interesting choice to explore while at the same time warning you that it may be too dangerous to attempt. If you happen to select that option, you will predictably meet with a gruesome failure. This feels too much like punishing the reader for wanting to explore the book. On at least a few occasions -- especially when traveling to the future -- I would have appreciated being given more opportunities to actually find a way out of dangerous situations.

Complaints aside, I enjoyed the fact that the book manages to convey a message or two without being pretentious or overly preachy (unlike too many later entries in the CYOA series). I can't help but wonder whether the series as a whole would have been more enjoyable -- especially for its target demographic -- if it had included more books designed like this one.

Finally, since apparently we're in the business of picking a favourite ending, mine is the one on page 60 (a nice precursor to a cryptic ending in the Return to the Cave of Time sequel). But anyway, if you haven't tried the book, what are you waiting for?

More reviews by Guillermo

Hedin's Thoughts:

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]

More reviews by Hedin

Madeye's Thoughts:

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).

More reviews by Madeye

nev's Thoughts:

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!

More reviews by nev

stevesterling's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by stevesterling

toadhjo's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by toadhjo

Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:

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.

More reviews by Waluigi Freak 99

Errata:Some early printings say "choose from 39 possible endings" on the front cover.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Kevin Pachkowski for the Scholastic 4th printing images.
Users Who Own This Item: AgathaRaisin79, AlHazred, aline, AndreAntunes, Andys80s, Ardennes (original & reissue), Auric (19th printing), auximenes, barryattles, BatHombre, bigcobra, bobthefunny, bookwormjeff (US & Spanish), breity (14004-3 Bantam), BuraddoRun, Chanticrow, charlesdaniels, ChrisD (Scholastic Version), Crazyscotsman, CSquared, Cyan, damieng, Darth Rabbitt (both original and revised covers), datastorm, dave2002a, dblizzard72, Demian (third and twelfth printings), drereichdude (original), duckhugger, Eamonn McCusker, Ed, EegahInc, Egghead Nurse, Erikwinslow (17th), exaquint (1st RH logo, 6th 39 endings, 11th book club, 16th 40 endings, 17th 40 endings, 21st, 23rd w/banner, 23rd w/o banner, 24th), Filipino Paul, firefoxpdm, fraze, fushek, Game Master, Garrick Muttley, Gartax, gergsnickle, girtablilu, Grifter, Gurvo, hadlee73, Himynameistony, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, Icedlake, jdreller, Jennifer, jeremydouglass, jharvey79, Jordashebasics, JoshW, Jubal, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, killagarilla, 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 & PDF), 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, Lullyph, MacbthPSW, Madeye, Malthus Dire, marcfonline, marnaudo, mattender, mcd (7th printing, white spine), Mikeysbookz, mlvoss, Mr ?, Naniyue, nelsondesign, NEMO (reissue), nev, newt3425 (1st printing, book club edition, 4th printing ,Revised cover editions), nicolau (Spanish ed. Timun Mas), Nomad (Three copies, two original release cover one reprint cover.), nordik (Cave of Time), novelist1982, ntar (first & reissues & last cover), Oberonbombadil (Original US 1st; Original US 14th), odo_ital, outspaced, Pessimeister (12th printing), plowboy (reissue), Pseudo_Intellectual, qazplm (40 endings edition), Radical347, resurgens, rolipo26 (V1 (9th - 1,50, 12th - 1,75), Book Club (1st), Reissue (21st - 2,50, 23rd - 2,50 - Trivia, 28th - 2,50 - Boxset (1-5), 37th - 3,50)), RonaldFrobnitz, Ronie1976, rtaylor352, Ryuran333 (regular, 39 possible endings), Saltshaker2112, Seizure, 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, waktool (US 6th; US 10th; US 12th; US 14th; US 16th; US 18th; US 19th; US 29th; US 32nd), Yalius, YourSoundtrack, yunakitty, zat
Users Who Want This Item: benji2, exaquint (1.25 no ending text, 3rd 39 endings, 4th scholastic logo, 1.50 40 endings, 12th 1.75, 15th 1.95, 2.99 reissue no banner, 32nd 3.25 reissue no banner), Ffghtermedic, gbherrick, grottoboy, Hedin (very first cave of time with random house logo on cover), iguanaditty, janh, MasterChief, Mikeysbookz (First Edition), mrwalker, NEMO (first edit.&reissue w/ yellow line), newt3425 (Scholastic logo cover.), Nym90, slyfra, Waluigi Freak 99, wonderfly, ZacharyParker
Users with Extra Copies: bigcobra
bookwormjeff - US & Spanish
exaquint - text spine 39 endings, 10th book club
jcdugger - Ebay item #: 270116079482
kinderstef - x 2 (one classic, one james warhola cover)
ntar - 3

Known Editions

First printing
Early book club edition
Early printing
Third printing
Fourth printing, Scholastic edition
Sixth printing
Intermediate printing
US 10th printing
US 12th printing
US 14th printing
Later printing
US 18th printing
US 29th printing
US 32nd printing
Revised cover edition, with banner
Revised cover edition, without banner
Hardcover edition

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