It’s my stop on the “The Hundred Million Years and a Day” blog tour! Gallic Books have provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. If you’d like to learn more about this book, check out the other blogs on the tour, see what people have to say on Goodreads.
I’m listed as a bookstagrammer in this tour poster. If you want to join me on Instagram you can do so here: @whatrebeccasread
‘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 life in Paris behind, Stan sets out in pursuit of a legend. But he is no mountaineer, and to attempt his dangerous expedition he must call on loyal friend and colleague Umberto, who arrives with an eccentric young assistant, and expert guide Gio. Time is short: the four men must descend before the weather turns. Bonds are forged and tested as the hazardous quest for the earth’s lost creatures becomes a journey into Stan’s own past.
“A Hundred Million Years and a Day” isn’t my typical read, but the story took my fancy so I decided to give this mountain adventure a try. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it and it made a great change from my usual reads.
Stan has always had an interest in fossils and, as we learn, was bullied for it in his childhood. Now as an adult he’s set himself the challenge of fulfilling his lifelong dream of fame in his field by locating a dinosaur skeleton he believes lies at the foot of a glacier.
“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”
At 52, Stan is beyond his physical peak but determined to succeed, he soon puts together a team of men ready to take on the mountain: his friend and former assistant, Umberto, Umberto’s assistant Peter and a mountain guide called Gio.
This story is one of passion, persistence, obsession and sacrifices, looking at the lengths people go to to achieve their dreams. Given that these events happened in 1954, when climbers didn’t have the same clothing and equipment of today’s mountaineers, this story is even more impressive, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were elements of true events in these pages.
What I liked most about this book was the descriptive passages which have been wonderfully translated from the original French. This is a best-seller in France, shortlisted for the Grand Prix de l’Académie Française last year and I’m impressed at how natural the translation feels. I could clearly picture the team of men on the mountain, as well as the physical scale of the mountain itself.
At just 170 pages, this is a very short book and I’m afraid to say that it didn’t have me gripped or desperate to keep reading, but it was still an enjoyable read and so nice to read something outside of my normal genres. I’d recommend this book for fans of an adventure, challenge or mountaineering.
Overall rating: “A Hundred Million Years and a Day” is a passionate adventure novel following one man on his quest to find the bones of a dinosaur. I didn’t feel completely immersed in the story but I still found this to be a really enjoyable read with a really good translation.
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if you like what you’ve read about it, support the author by picking up a copy on Kindle or Paperback through Amazon UK or your local bookshop.