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La nuit des temps

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  8,522 ratings  ·  408 reviews
Dans l'immense paysage gelé, les membres des Expéditions Polaires françaises font un relevé du relief sous-glaciaire.

Un incroyable phénomène se produit : les appareils sondeurs enregistrent un signal. Il y a un émetteur sous la glace. Que vont découvrir les savants et les techniciens venus du monde entier qui creusent la glace à la rencontre du mystère ?

La nuit des temps,
Mass Market Paperback, 394 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Pocket (first published 1968)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  8,522 ratings  ·  408 reviews

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May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply the best SciFi romance I have ever read. This would make a great movie. It has science, history, romance, politics, media skullduggery...
The setting is only a little bit dated and could easily be updated current events because the story is timeless.
Plot summary:
An international expedition finds a lost world underneath the Antarctic ice and discovers two people frozen at absolute zero perched on a pedastal in a perfect golden egg. The woman in the egg is in better physical condition so sh
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Welcome to the 60's sci-fi of Barjavel, where women are only valued for their beauty, are the only ones who ever cry and are mainly just preoccupied with shallow things or romance/sex, and where black people actually come from another planet (imported by whites, naturally). This is a pathetic attempt at a futuristic Romeo & Juliet that has most certainly not aged well. The first 50% were torture to read with all the male chauvinism, then it got better, but the book as a whole never stopped being ...more
2.5 stars. Found this book on a list of "best science fiction stories that you have never heard of" or something similar. It had a decent premise, two people from an advanced civilization that disappeared 900,000 years ago are found frozen in Antarctica and revived. The book was okay and a decent read but not worthy of inclusion on a "best" list (in my opinion at least). ...more
Tzu-Mainn Chen
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a confusing book to rate. There is much in "The Ice People" that is not good. The characters feel like mouthpieces. The plot is more convenient than organic. And yet I can't deny that there is something strangely unsettling about the book, and not necessarily in a bad way.

"The Ice People" (translated from the French "La Nuit des Temps") tells the story of an international coalition of scientists and their incredible discovery far beneath the Antarctic ice: the last remnants of a highly a
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

First, this book can be read super quickly. Honestly, if I had nothing to do laast weekend, and if I didn't want to take my time to read the end, it would have been a really quick read. The writing is easy to understand and transport the reader in the South Pole, where the story is set.

I was not charmed by the beginning of the book: the setting was not attractive to me, and some things bugged me, like sexism and a certain way to speak of people of colour. I tried to go beyond that to appre
Angélique Moreau
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: utopia-dystopia
La Nuit des Temps is a love story, but also a dystopia that reveals a world long buried for thousands of years under the ice.

I read it as a child and was lucky enough to study it in junior high during our cycle on fantasy and horror literature.

Of course, this novel bears the mark of Barjavel's style, of his hippie way of approching the world, in the style of 1968, but full of hopes about humanity's managing to improve.

There's a culture-shock between modern humans and this woman melted out of her
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel seems to be slightly obscure in the English-language sci-fi world (the original French version was a best-seller after it came out in France in 1970), which is surprising, because it's a lot of fun: there's fast-moving action, romance, idealistic scientists trying to save humanity from the machinations of cynical politicians, and all the far-fetched futuristic technology that we hope for when we read sci-fi novels. It would surely be embraced by international sci-fi fans if it came to ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Nina by: Jennifer Frisanco
Early sci fi, which unfortunately hasn't aged well.

There are several original, intriguing ideas, such as: the ability of science and discovery to cross geo-political boundaries (especially at times of heightened tensions when little else can); the devastating loss of irreplaceable artifacts that can arise when science rushes forward with insufficient precautions; the limits of cooperative governance structures; and the devastating effects of geopolitical game theory. It was pretty cool to read
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: french, 2020
I wasn't going to rate this, originally, because it's slightly unfair to review a classic by today's standards. I think it's tricky to read books from the 20th century because the language is very much not dated whilst the discourse is. Plus sci-fi was only getting started at the time, so things that feel tropey were just the beginning of a genre.

And here we are.

In the end it bugged me too much. This is a book many French people read as young teens, and reading it as an adult in 2020 stings. It
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my all time favorite book. I read it for the first time 22 years ago. I was eight, I was bored, the library was closed for the holidays and it was there in my sister's room, waiting for me. I was too young to understand every word but the sheer beauty and emotion of the love story just blew me away. I've read it every year since. I grew up with it, I understood it better. Why is it my favourite? That's simple: I know every word and still I can't help holding my breath as I keep reading, ...more
I've wondered who wrote this book for years & was sure this was the title. Now there are 2 novels with this name, but this is the one I read and is quite well reviewed on Amazon. It's been too long since I read it to review it.

I really liked it when I read it as a kid, though, so this rating is for then.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This novel is about the discovery of an ancient, advanced civilization under the Antarctic ice sheet. It as major political, romantic and erotic themes. The idea was interesting, but I really disliked the novel. It reads like a bad memoir. There is simply no characterization. This may be due to the translation. It was originally in French andt did win the Prix des Libraires for 1969. At least it was short.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
La Nuit des Temps (published in English as The Ice People) is a massively exciting 1960s sci-fi novel about a French scientific expedition who discover the traces of a lost civilisation deep under the Antarctic ice. And not only that but, impossibly, after 900,000 years, someone is alive down there...

The story of what becomes an international team trying to unravel the mystery has a brilliant sense of optimism and faith in scientific discovery. Barjavel is great at giving his tale a worldwide sc
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Just found nice background music for this book: Après un rêve (Fauré)

''..Torna, notte misteriosa!
Reviens, ô nuit mystérieuse!''

Emotions are eye masks we gently put on ourselves. Since then, we're no longer capable of looking ahead but trapped in nostalgia, carefully examining what had been left behind repetitively.

If they could have awakened without hate or love.
The Romeo and Juliette type of tragedy would not have dominated the romance.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved the poetic ways everything is described with. People might say that some scenes are a bit erotic, which I agree with. On an other hand, it is part of the Gondas' culture to show their love for their significant other in public. I enjoyed that the author decided to regroup all the nations together and made them work toward a common problem. All the references it makes to the Cold War, the plot and the characters are interesting as well. ...more
Miles Zarathustra
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dated, but creative. Science fiction from 1968 with all the giddy thrall of possibilities of technology. Buried inside the narrative with its cold-war politics and stodgy notions of gender is a shakespearean tragedy, not fully revealed until the final pages.

The texture is rich if a bit uneven. It's generally an easy if intense read. Though many aspects don't stand up to rigorous scrutiny, every section has something new to offer. The futuristic world of the past is perhaps the most science-fict
Laure Terrasse
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Definitely my favourite book
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It felt a little bit racist on some irrelevant passages. Other than that 5 stars
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I could see this being a good comic, a good illustrator could do wonders, and the story could pass. As a novel, it's flawed, close to pulp fiction at times, and Barjavel can be annoying, arrogant, and stupid. His vision of women is a typical mixture of cheesy idealization and casual misogyny that I find nauseating and cannot understand anymore. The "international" team of scientists falls short of what it should be, with little intelligence and underdeveloped characters, and with the seemingly a ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I read this book when I was a teen...& it was just amazing...wondering how it;s not so famous...the name in farsi is "asrare amaliate AP"
althogh it's a fiction I recomendit to everyonewhether they like fiction or not...cause it's an amazing book & also a tear jerker in the end ...

I will also right a short summery if I find some time.
Two people are found preserved inside technologically advanced containers buried in the ice. All hell breaks lose. Pretty good, although I don't remember much about the details. This was originally written in French and translated in the version I read. ...more
I worked for a library when I ran across this book. I loved it so much I now own it. It took some time but it was worth tracking down. I have read it over and over and with each time I find my thinking has matured or changed about something in the book. Well written for a easy read.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I cried my eyes out. I discovered that many things of this story could be real. ... let's hope. ...more
Venitta Nohra
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is to be read with a box of tissues and definitely NOT while you are PMSing or missing your loved one
Nov 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
I think it's this book that made me realize I really hate sci-fi. ...more
Alex Orion
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: french
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher Miller
This book had its flaws, but I really enjoyed reading it. The message is delivered in a pretty heavy-handed manner. It seems that way, anyway. The society that the frozen female Elea is at first meant to be portrayed as utopian. However, as we spend more time there other aspects that say otherwise are revealed and I don't know if that was intentional or if the author needed to invent them to further the plot. (view spoiler) ...more
Kathleen Boylan
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I remember first reading this book at age 12 and absolutely loving it. I found a used copy recently and I wanted to see if the story held up over time. It mostly does. The plot uses a frame device where scientists exploring the Antarctic stumble upon a signal being beamed from miles down in the ice, and they find buried there a compound where a man and a woman have been frozen and perfectly preserved at absolute zero. The woman is revived first, and we then have the crux of the story - she tells ...more
Rae Knightly
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in its original language (French), so I don't know what the English version is like. That's definitely on my to-do list! It's unusual to find sci-fi written in a language that is not English (other than Jules Verne), yet it is really worth it if you are looking for something new.
This book reminds me of Planet of the Apes or Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, in the sense that you get a big surprise. Once you know the revelation/secret, there's no going back, you can't re-watch
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-completed
After the first 50 pages, I didn't think I would like this book. It's poorly translated with many distracting typos. The pacing is weird sometimes, as there are no page breaks between different scenes sometimes. But after churning along and reaching a flashback scene this story slowly started getting interesting. I blazed through this book in two sittings. If you like cheesy sci-fi that is seriously dated (gasp! there was rampant sexism in the 60s) then you will like this story. ...more
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René Barjavel, né le 24 janvier 1911 à Nyons (Drôme) et décédé le 24 novembre 1985 à Paris, est un écrivain et journaliste français principalement connu pour ses romans d'anticipation.

Certains thèmes y reviennent fréquemment : chute de la civilisation causée par les excès de la science et la folie de la guerre, caractère éternel et indestructible de l'amour (Ravage, Le Grand Secret, La Nuit des te

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