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A Hundred Million Years and a Day

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  56 reviews
‘On the mountain, the only monsters are the ones you take with you.’

Summer 1954. Stan has been hunting for fossils since the age of six. Now, having made a career out of studying the remains of tiny lifeforms, he hears a story he cannot forget: the skeleton of a huge creature, a veritable dragon, lies deep in an Alpine glacier. And he is determined to find it.

Leaving his l
...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 16th 2020 by Gallic Books
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Whispering Stories
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

A Hundred Million Years and a Day by Jean-Baptiste Andrea is a very philosophical book and as I am not a philosophical person I struggle a little to understand what the author was trying to teach us and it took longer to read this book than it should have.

The main plot is set in the 1950s with Stan our protagonist and palaeontologist looking for a ‘dragon’. He was told the story about a man who as a teenager got lost up in the alps and took refuge in a c
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Alwynne
A literary bestseller in France this is the first novel by Jean-Baptiste Andrea to be made available in English. It concerns Stan a middle-aged palaeontologist on a last-chance mission to make his name and fortune. He hears about an elderly man who frequently boasted of a youthful encounter with a dragon in the mountains close to his remote village, Stan is convinced the dragon was actually the intact remains of a dinosaur. So he sets off on an expedition with his trusted colleague Umberto to fi ...more
Tom Mooney
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable literary adventure novel. A great book for climbers, dreamers, those with an interest in paleontology. Or, really, anyone whose ever had that burning sense of adventure but never done anything about it.

A middle aged French palaeontologist acts on a random scrap of a rumour he heard about a 'dragon' fossil in a remote cave on the Italian border. Resolving that it could be the eponymous brachiosaurus the paleo world is waiting for, he reconnects with an old colleague and, along wi
...more
Kelly
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For a short book, this is a truly spectacular piece of literature. The lyricism is incredibly special and the story just invokes so much emotion. Not only does it look at ambition and the lengths people will go to achieve a life dream, it also beautifully displays relationships and friendships as well as the harsh power of nature. I highly recommend this book, it will just utterly absorb you.
Eric Anderson
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Is it noble to sacrifice the security of a stable life to chase a dream or is it madness? At first it seems utterly foolish for Stan, a middle-aged palaeontologist and professor in Paris, to go searching for the bones of a dragon in a remote cave hidden within an Alpine glacier. During the Summer of 1954 he embarks on this dangerous quest after a chance meeting with a girl who describes the bones of a strange creature to him so he assembles a small eccentric group of men to journey into the moun ...more
Tripfiction
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A story of mountains and DOLOMITES



It’s the mid 1950s and Stan, a paleontologist, has gathered together a team. He has heard tell of the remains of a dinosaur, a dragon, secreted in a cave high up on a glacier. It is merely a rumour, but he has a feeling that there is truth in the story. He is not really a man cut out for the mountains, he suffers from vertigo, but stoically he tries to overcome his affliction, as Gio, their guide, escorts them up a Via Ferrata (a climbing route that employs stee
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Andy Weston
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translated, france
There's a combination of fortunate circumstances that allow for Andrea's premis here; but if you're prepared to accept those, this is an entertaining read with the spectacular setting of the high French Pyrenees.
A middle-aged Parisian palaeontologist and professor, Stan, drops everything to go searching for the bones of a dragon in a remote cave hidden within an Alpine glacier in the summer of 1954. He has convinced an old Italian colleague, Umberto, of his to come along also, and in turn Umber
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Rebecca
Stanislas Armengol remembers finding his first trilobite at the age of six. His fossils and his dog were his best friends during a lonely childhood dominated by a violent father nicknamed “The Commander.” Now, in the summer of 1954, Stan is a 52-year-old paleontologist embarking on the greatest project of his career. He sold his apartment in Paris to finance this expedition to the French/Italian Alps in search of a “dragon” (perhaps a diplodocus) said to be buried in a glacier between three moun ...more
Kelly Lacey
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review by Kelly Lacey

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book but what it gave me was an unforgettable, emotional and deeply moving adventure. As I closed the last page I felt like I had just watched the best Oscar-winning movie. Because that how it felt to me as I read. I had a visual in my head the whole time I was reading. This was a book that awoke all my senses and left me bruised and emotionally altered forever.

Although short in pages, it is a mighty huge story. Stan is for a sure a rea
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Cathy
‘It’s true that a story often begins with a road, but I wish I knew what made mine so tortuous.’

The book opens with Stan’s poignant childhood memory of returning home after school, seeing the closed shutters of a bedroom window and realising, even as a six year old, that he should not disturb his mother. ‘In such moments she needed darkness, and darkness alone.’ The reasons for this will gradually become apparent.

Stan’s discovery near his farmland home of a fossil – a trilobite – awakens an inte
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Carla
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Since he was a child, Stan has always felt fascinated by fossils. Lacking friends and with a turbulent family life, he used to find in stone, amber and ancient specimens the companions he never had. Now, he’s an adult and managed to become what he always wanted: a palaeontologist. But reality is not exactly what he dreamt of. To escape from his routines, he decides to follow a legend, a tale of an ancient dragon whose skeleton lies in a cave. High in the mountains, however, there’s cold and dang ...more
Christine


Disclaimer: ARC via LibraryThing giveaway.

This is the type of book you did not know you wanted to read until you read it. Parts of the book are haunting beautiful, and the book itself is one of those understated masterpieces.

The novella is about obsession and drive, the consuming power of wanting something, not necessary someone, but of wanting. But also about what makes a man, at least according to society.

Stan is on the trail of a possible new species of dinosaur or proof the Brontosaurus
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Charline
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-challenge
Thank you to the publisher Gallic Books for the gifted copy of their latest offering for an honest review. This novel by Jean-Baptiste Andrea, translated by Sam Taylor, is an unexpected gem. Released on June 11th, this is Andrea's first book to be published in English and was one of France's biggest novels last year.

Stan is a paleontologist and has always dreamt of making a big discovery. When he overhears a story about a dragon like beast hidden in a cave under an Alpine glacier, it's an image
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Sam Sattler
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Jean-Baptiste Andrea is a successful French novelist, screenwriter, and director whose work I have been unaware of until this month’s U.S. publication of his second novel, A Hundred Million Years and a Day. Andrea’s first novel, Ma Reine (My Queen), won its share of awards, including one for Best French Debut Novel. Andrea is not a particularly prolific writer, and that’s a shame, because A Hundred Million Years and a Day is one of the most memorable novels I’ve read so far in 2020. I was disapp
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Claire (Silver Linings and Pages)
“But my sadness comes from farther back. It comes from the boy who, one day, decided to become a palaeontologist. Not for the chance of adventure. Not for fame or glory- although I’d have settled for those. Not for the recognition of my peers. Not even for wealth. No, I became a palaeontologist because I love stories. To tell them, to myself and to others.
I really thought this would be a good story.”
.
.
✨Well, this one is a cracker story!✨
.
Stan has been obsessed with fossil hunting since the age o
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Joan
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review of Advance Reading Copy

In the summer of 1954, Stan sets out in search of the skeleton of a colossal creature, a “dragon” according to legend. Now a paleontologist and professor, Stan, a collector of fossils since he was six, believes the “dragon” is actually a dinosaur . . . a complete skeleton. Its discovery will define his life’s work and give merit to the path he has chosen to walk.

But the cave holding the creature he yearns to find is deep in a glacier. Stan is not a mountaineer; he h
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my bookworm life
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 🌟

To be honest before starting I wasn't sure what I'd think of it, it sounded intriguing but I didn't know if it would be for me.

But as soon as I did start I knew this would be something special, it was such a quirky and surprisingly funny read! I loved the dry humour here from the main character, his thoughts and his commments made me giggle quite a few times.

It was an interesting read, on a subject that I haven't read about before and I thought it was just an enjoyable read.

I was kindly
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Jill Elizabeth
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful tale that I fell in love with at the opening pages. Stan's quest captured my imagination and Andrea's ability to weave a magical story out of difficulty and strife amazed me throughout. There were so many stunning (and deceptively simple) insights that resonated on multiple levels with me; my life bears no resemblance to Stan's, but I felt like I had found a kindred spirit nevertheless because the internal journey he takes throughout the course of the novel (from childhood t ...more
Karen Cole
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stan comes to the mountain in search of a dragon - or to be more precise, a dinosaur. As a Professor of Palaeontology, he can't resist the story a young girl recounts to him, repeating the tale told to her by Leucio, the old concierge of her building who has recently passed away. As a teenager he became lost and after wandering for three days was forced to take shelter from a storm in a cave at the base of a glacier. He told the building's children that he was protected from the storm by a drago ...more
Michelle Ryles
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
I have only recently widened my reading genres to include translated French fiction and I am so glad that I have as I am constantly discovering some new amazing authors. A Hundred Million Years and a Day is the first book of Jean-Baptiste Andrea's to be translated into English and what an absolute cracker it is. I wasn't even half way through when I exclaimed: 'J'adore la fiction française!' and I haven't spoken French for years!

Just putting the story to one side for a moment, Jean-Baptiste Andr
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Linda Hill
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stan is hunting for a rumoured dinosaur fossil.

I’m going to struggle a bit with this review because I have too limited a supply of superlatives to articulate what an absolute stunner A Hundred Million Years and a Day is. It is utterly flawlessly translated by Sam Taylor so that it wasn’t until I had finished reading that I actually realised it was in translation. The rhythms and flow of the book are sublime, natural and wonderfully written. I loved it unreservedly.

In essence, the plot is quite s
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LiteraryLucie
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Have you ever heard a piece of information that engulfs you to the point where it overwhelms your life and becomes a part of you? After a chance encounter with a young girl, Stan learns about a ‘dragon’ fossil hidden deep in the Alpine Glacier, and it becomes his life mission to find it. He knows he can’t do it alone, especially with time restrictions due to weather conditions, and limited resources, so asks old friend Umberto to help, along with his assistant, Peter, and guide Gio. Their perilo ...more
Karen Mace
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating novel about the lengths some will go to in the pursuit of a dream - the obsession, the insanity, the sacrifices and the seeds sown from a young age that will shape a person in their future endeavours.

Stan has been hunting fossils since he was 6 years old - he was much happier on his own hunting fossils but that marked him out as being different so he was bullied. Not only by other children, but by his own father which was the heartbreaking aspect of the story. He never had
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Tonstant Weader
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Hundred Million Years and a Day is everything I like in a novel. Spare prose about people testing themselves against the extremes of nature. Stan is a paleontologist who is seeking the skeleton of a brontosaurus hidden in an Alpine cave. His search is based on a story told by an old man from his home town who said he found a dragon. People laughed at his stories, but Stan, a budding paleontologist even in childhood believed he was telling the truth and that he had seen a brontosaurus.

He goes w
...more
Jaffareadstoo
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Having searched for fossils all his life, palaeontologist, Sam is excited to learn that a veritable dragon lies hidden in the deep of an Alpine glacier. In the summer of 1954, and after meticulous planning, Stan sets off with two colleagues and a taciturn guide to attempt to discover the whereabouts of this creature, the discovery of which will be the pinnacle of Stan's life work. The way to the glacier is treacherous beyond reason, and there are many pitfalls and challenges which will test this ...more
Berlitz
What starts as an Archeological adventure into the past turns into a personal introspection of its protagonist and its not so distant past. Fossil enthusiast Stan is willing to bet his life on an seemingly absurd rumor of a “dragon” fossil somewhere hidden in the mountains between France and Italy. Finding that fossil and attaching his name to it, would mean validation for Stan that he was seeking throughout his entire life.
What reminded me of Abe Kobo’s “Woman in the Dunes” in the beginning, w
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Colleen
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a true literary adventure. Stan has been hunting for fossils since he was a young child and now, a palaeontology professor in fifties, he leaps at the chance to possibly make one of greatest fossil discoveries ever. His search takes him on a dangerous trek into the Alpine mountains (along with a very small, eclectic group of fellow enthusiasts), where his physical and emotional strength will be tested to the absolute limits.

This small book packs a big punch. I have also been fascinated b
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Carol
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
"I will, inevitably, forget many things, perhaps even my own name. But I will never forget my first fossil...It was three hundred million years old, and I was six"

I felt like a child again as I began to read this. The excitement of discovery! At 67 years of age I still search for fossils wherever I go, always searching for a "find". Stan took it much further; college and a professorship. Many years later through a second hand story from a child he becomes obsessed with locating the site of what
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Anne-Marie
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
Paleontologist Stan hears of a dragon hidden in an alpine glacier and plans an expedition to find it. Guided by Gio, Stan, his colleague Umberto and Umberto's assistant Peter set off in the summer months to find the mythical creature. Once they are in the mountains, Stan is haunted by past memories and increasingly more determined to find the dragon. When you get that fixated on something you know it isn't going to end well.
This was a cinematic tale which evoked images of incredible beauty and i
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brettlikesbooks
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brettlikesbooks
thanks so much @gallicbooks for the early finished copy of:
A HUNDRED MILLION YEARS AND A DAY by jean-baptiste andrea (fiction) paleontologist stan’s dream to uncover a life lived eons ago takes him down a grueling path of his own past + a high-hopes adventure quest, a poignant tale of friendship, and a tragedy complete with a futile, fatal flaw + starkly, beautifully written
❄️
“...the temperature had fallen about fifteen degrees when we woke. Autumn slit summer’s throat during the night.”
❄️
“Up t
...more
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