Book review: La Nuit des Temps, by Ren√© Barjavel

Well, that was interesting. I finished reading La Nuit des Temps (which I gather was translated into English as ‘The Ice People’) yesterday.

It’s… interesting. Strange. Surprisingly good in places, surprisingly difficult to take seriously in others. I’m not sure if the latter is because of the way it has dated (the Cold War atmosphere was pretty all-pervasive), or because there were certain clich√© elements, or because I was reading in a foreign language and was that little bit more removed from the text. But while much of the book was so very predictable in certain respects, the two sudden twists at the ending did manage to catch me by surprise – especially the second – and made me rather happy in a sort of Shakespearean way. Though it must be admitted that much of my enjoyment of this book came from the sheer preposterousness of certain minor elements of the story.

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