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A Hundred Million Francs (Le Cycle de Louvigny, #1)
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A Hundred Million Francs

(Le Cycle de Louvigny #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Les enfants de la bande à Gaby ne possèdent qu'un trésor : un vieux cheval à roulettes qui leur permet de dévaler la rue dans de grands éclats de rire. Mais un trésor attire forcément des voleurs, ce qui entraînera les enfants dans une aventure plutôt cocasse !
Hardcover, 174 pages
Published 1971 (first published June 1955)
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3.80  · 
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 ·  169 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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4.5 stars. A gang of French children have a favourite game. One of them owns what must be an old rocking horse or carousel horse that has been welded onto a chassis with three wheels. The horse having lost it's head does not lessen the children's enjoyment at all, they spend their days riding their horse down a steep road and avoiding traffic or not as the case may be.

The children get caught up in solving a bank heist. There are some great characters, we loved Marian with her 60 or so faithful
Jun 24, 2008 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Gramma
Shelves: en-francais
In English, The Horse Without a Head is one of my top ten favorite books EVER. Ever. I must have read it about 40 times in English; this is the second time I've read it in French. Having read 3 or 4 novels en francais in the past year, I think it's fair to say that the prose here is the most difficult I've come across--full of slang and technical terms (the setting is brutally urban, a busy rail junction and industrial area in post world-war-two Parisian slums), and the plot is so darn full of t ...more
Inspector Sinet took a good look at her. She was an odd sort of girl, not yet twelve and wretchedly poor, and yet there was something about her that made you think twice. She was worth having on your side.

For STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS, no one EVEN COMES CLOSE to Marion Fabert. You just can’t beat her. 1955, in too-short skirt and cut-down man’s jacket, gold fringe beneath a black beret — the gang’s treasurer, tough as nails, vet to every dog in Louvigny, with a dozen dog patients kept in cast-off
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-russian
Я долго не могла взяться за эту книгу как следует, и виной всему первые страницы. Безнадежно грустные: дети бедняков играют с безголовой деревянной лошадкой на колесиках. И аннотация вдобавок обещала, что единственную радость у ребят скоро украдут – что совсем не способствовало желанию окунуться в чтение. Пофилонив три недели, я наконец снова принялась за книгу и прочитала буквально в один присест – благодаря маленьким героям, их родителям, инспектору Синэ и многострадальной лошадке, к которым я ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lemmikud
Vaeses prantsuse agulis elavate lastekamba jaoks on oluline vaid üks ja ainus mänguasi - vana peata hobune, millega saab täiskiirusel mööda tänavaid alla kihutada. Äkitselt hakkavad igasugu kahtlased tegelased nende hobuse vastu huvi tundma ning soovivad seda suure summa eest ära osta. Lapsed pole nõus oma mänguasjast loobuma ning ühel päeval hobune varastatakse. Politsei ei võta kadunud hobuse juhtumit tõsiselt ja nii ei jää lastel muud üle kui uurimine enda kätte võtta. Lõpuks on loosse segatu ...more
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-children
I didn't even know that this book had been re-released (I've read this when I was a child, and I still have my old, battered copy with me!). It deserves it, because it's truly entertaining, and outstanding because it's not really about children going happily on a vacation and get involved in an unexpected adventure, or of unfortunate children under pressure who suddenly find that there's some Destiny waiting for them... anyway.

The story is about some poor children living in a slum area, who don
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-with-sonya
Small gang of poor, suburb, post WWII children are getting back their toy horse, which was mysteriously stolen by some suspiciois adults.
The book is very wordy, excessive in details, not entirely thought out in the way story progresses. Another obvious flaw is that the children characters are somewhat cheesy: all of them are only brave or funny and thoughtfull and nothing else. Also me and Sonya knew what will happen with the horse from the beggining, it was obvious. But still, the book had some
Clare O'Beara
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, europe
I read this a few times as a child. The kids would be allowed to roam the streets of Paris in a gang, all hours of day and night, they would regularly break into a warehouse where all kinds of stuff was piled up that nobody seemed to come back for, and every dog in the city came when one girl whistled.

But it was an adventure and we were short of books. I am sure it recreated the times well.
The title refers to an awful lot of money that was piled up in the warehouse, just like everything else. Th
Mrs D
This was the book that paved the way for my love of European crime writing! In my world of English 1950s childhood-reading I was yawning my way through the cosy picnics of Enid Blyton when, one day in the library, I found this story of French street kids, street life, street games, the theft of their beloved, headless, wooden horse and their determined, pell-mell pursuit of the thieves. It was a mind-opener for me after which I couldn't get my hands on enough stories in translation - which still ...more
If you have a child who isn't completely hooked on typical American stories, he or she just might enjoy 'meeting' this gang of French kids.
Delightful! A terrific adventure/mystery.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was good because it had a lot of action in it
Meg Morden
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard about this author by reading the blog which is a wonderful exploration of all things Paris. In one blog, one of the authors Philippa Campsie, was writing about one of her favourite books from her childhood written by Paul Berna, It inspired me to look up his books and so I started with the first in the series. I heartily enjoyed this glimpse into the world of the past of post war Paris in one of the poorer neighbourhoods. It is a portrait of the resilience of ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai un bon souvenir de ce livre, même si dans le détail je serai incapable de raconter ce qui se passe dedans. Je me souviens qu'on suit un groupe de gosses qui utilise un cheval à roulettes (sans tête, bien sûr) pour dévaler les rues en pente de... Paris ? Ou de la ville dans laquelle ça se passe en tout cas...

Sorti de ça... Il devait pourtant y avoir un peu plus pour que j'en ai gardé un bon souvenir.
Amber Scaife
A group of French kiddos are given a broken-down toy horse that fast becomes they're favorite pastime. But it links them to a group of robber and makes life much more interesting for them than they'd bargained for.
On the vintage children's books scale, this one leans more toward dated than charming, I'm afraid.
Finn Mclellan
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book (in translation) when I was very very small, and continued to re-read it throughout my childhood - having bought a copy recently in a fit of nostalgia, it more than stands the test of time. Also Marion continues to be awesome.
'They won't stop us having fun together in a hurry'
Sheryl Tribble
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book, I've read it I dunno how many times. It's a terrific mystery set in post WW II France, and the plot rockets right along, but it's also about how love beautifies everything. Highly recommended.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this in the English translation called "The Horse without a Head". I loved the tale of the French children outwitting a gang of robbers, and the description of their lives. One of my faves as a middle reader!
Tony Derricott
Mar 30, 2011 marked it as to-read
A particular favourite of mine, as much for Richard Kennedy's delicate illustrations (in the English edition) as for the story.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
I read this because Elizabeth Wein recommended it. A gang of French kids in the 50s taking on a gang of robbers. Mystery and mayhem. Kids Solving Things. I liked it. (I read it in Swedish.)
Sarah Sammis
This book reminded me in passing of Postern of Fate, the very first Christie mystery I ever read.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great upper elementary kids book - and I think there is a Wonderful World of Disney show to go with it.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Solid? This book didn't really leave an impact on me.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I really enjoyed this, though it was quite a challenge for my French! It reminded me of some of the child-centred Spanish comedies of the 1960s and 70s without the sentimental schlock-- but these are poor kids in the railyards of postwar France, not well-to-do Spanish darlings who "just happen" to form a singing group in their spare time. Reading it, I thought it would make an excellent film, and I guess Disney UK got the same idea in about 1963, though I never heard of or saw the movie.

Gaby is
Valters Liberts
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siltas atmiņas.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2017
rated it it was ok
Dec 29, 2011
rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2013
Daniela Vasquez
rated it did not like it
Dec 15, 2014
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Paul Berna, est le pseudonyme le plus connu de Jean-Marie-Edmond Sabran (21 février 1908, Hyères - 19 janvier 1994, Paris), écrivain français du XXe siècle.

Other books in the series

Le Cycle de Louvigny (4 books)
  • The Street Musician (Le Cycle de Louvigny, #2)
  • Le Bout du Monde (Le Cycle de Louvigny, #3)
  • La Piste du Souvenir (Le Cycle de Louvigny, #4)