Empire of the Ants


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Running time: 91 minutes. This film has been rated PG. Marilyn Fryser. Joan CollinsDan Stokely. Robert LansingCharlie Pearson. Edward PowerJoe Morrison. John David CarsonMargaret Ellis. Jacqueline ScottSheriff Art Kincade. Albert SalmiCoreen Bradford. Pamela SnoopLarry Graham. Robert PineChristine Graham. Brooke PalanceHarry Thompson. Harry HolcombeVelma. Irene Tedrow. See the article in its original context from June 30, , Page 0 Buy Reprints.

View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. More filters. Sort order. Apr 30, John Lee rated it it was amazing. I found this book on my father's bookshelves when I was 7 years old which was the time that I loved reading some short stories, and read the first page of it. I couldn't control my body; I couldn't stop my hands from flipping the pages; I couldn't stop my brain to stop reading this book. The only thing I can say about this book is It cannot close my wide-opened mouth. It is very astonishing. And about the author, too. Bernard Werber always loved ants, and he always tried to find out I found this book on my father's bookshelves when I was 7 years old which was the time that I loved reading some short stories, and read the first page of it.

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Excerpt from Empire of the Ants | Penguin Random House Canada

Bernard Werber always loved ants, and he always tried to find out how they live, how they get food, how they interact with each other This book is the result of his experiments and notes from observing his ants. I really love this book This is the book that made me love fictions and some non-fictions. This is the book that made me love Sherlock Holmes and other mystery novels.

This is the book that made me love science, math, english or your native language This is the book that made me love reading books. I don't want to spoil any story for the next readers of this book I beg you to read this book, either in English, or your native language, since this book is translated into many languages.

This is my 1 book, and I assume, this book will be my 1 book always in my life. Mar 25, Dan rated it liked it Shelves: biology , modern-fiction. Here is a case of two distinct stories foolishly—and needlessly—bound together. The one that deals with ants is truly eye-opening. At first I suspected Mr. Werber a Frenchie of severely embellishing some of the attributes given to the ant species discussed: their incessant warfare with each other, their proclivity for farming, and their ability to engage in sophisticated communication, dare I say language.

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It turns out the author was only slightly exaggerating. The other story, the one with hu Here is a case of two distinct stories foolishly—and needlessly—bound together. The other story, the one with humans, is lacking in both believability and depth. Now it may be the case Mr. Werber did this purposefully to showcase the relative sophistication of ant civilization, but I doubt it. The Huguenot-constructed escape tunnel underneath the house that later becomes the world's premiere center for human-ant civilizational exchange yes—they do end up talking to each other!

So too is the fumbling, unrealistic police investigation into the disappearance of a dozen or so people into this tunnel. Once you add in the ailing grandma, who transforms into a lissome, rat-killing wonderwoman, you really want the story to just stick to the ironically more human characters, the ants. Despite the shortcomings, I would recommend Empire of the Ants , if only because it makes you realize that ants are anything but primitive creatures and that they will be here long after we've nuked ourselves.

Oh, and it's an easy read. Three Favorite Passages 1. Such was the first precept of spider philosophy: There is no better combat technique than to wait for your enemy to destroy himself. When the skeleton is on the outside, it forms a protective shell. The flesh is safe from external dangers but it becomes flabby, almost liquid, and when something sharp manages to pierce the shell, irreparable damage is done. When the skeleton forms only a fine, rigid rod inside the body, the quivering flesh is exposed to attack from all sides. The injuries are many and permanent, but it is precisely this apparent weakness that forces the muscle to grow hard and the fiber to resist.

The flesh evolves. I have seen human beings who had forged "intellectual" armor to shield themselves from adversity. They seemed stronger than most. They said, "I couldn't care less," and laughed at everything, but when adversity managed to pierce their armor, it caused terrible damage. I have seen human beings suffer from the slightest adversity, the slightest annoyance, but still remain open-minded and sensitive to every to everything, learning something from each attack.

The old man represented a wealth of experience that might have benefited the tribe, whereas the newborn baby had not lived and could not even be aware of dying. In Europe, people are sad about the newborn baby because they think he might well have done wonderful things if he had lived. On the other hand, they pay little attention to the death of the old man, who had already lived his life anyway.

Empire of the Ants (1977) 1/2

View 1 comment. Mar 12, Katie Lynn rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone. LOVED this book! Would read it again.

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Not for the story as much for the introspection. Too many good quotes, but here is one Darwin, does not evolve in the direction of the supremacy of the best according to which criteria, anyway! Nature draws its strength from diversity. It needs all kinds of people--good, bad, mad, desperate, sporty, bed-ridden, hunch-backed, hare-lipped, happy, sad, intelligent, stupid, selfish, generous, small, tall, black, yellow, r LOVED this book! It needs all kinds of people--good, bad, mad, desperate, sporty, bed-ridden, hunch-backed, hare-lipped, happy, sad, intelligent, stupid, selfish, generous, small, tall, black, yellow, red and white.

It needs all religions, philosophies, fanaticisms and wisdom. The only danger is that any one species may be eliminated by another. In the past, fields of maize artificially designed by men and made up of clones of the best heads the ones that need least water, are most frost-resistant or produce the best grains have suddenly succumbed to trivial infections while fields of wild maize made up of several different strains, each with its own peculiar strengths and weaknesses, have always managed to survive epidemics. Nature hates uniformity and loves diversity. It is in this perhaps that its essential genius lies.

Your work, your self, your marriage, your friendships, your church congregation, on and on and on. It's that same thought of, you don't have to be perfect, but we're going to tell you the faults you can have. That is the same as asking someone to be perfect! We all have our own little weaknesses and limitations and strengths and skills. It shouldn't be any other way. The trick in life is to learn what YOURS are and use them to improve your self, your work, your marriage, your friendships, your church congregation and on and on and on.

Aug 16, Gabi rated it really liked it Shelves: authors-nonus-nongb , series-to-follow. This book is a rather strange experience. There is the human part, where describing the protagonists as cardboard characters would in fact be flattering. They are more like strokes of chalk on the sideboard: useless, tropey, completely forgettable in a plot that most of the time doesn't even make sense. Then there is the ant part which is grandiose! What Tchaikovsky did for spiders in "Children of Time" Werber does for the ants. He takes their biological feature This book is a rather strange experience.

He takes their biological features and describes a believable insight into the ant society with some possible developments that feel true to their nature. I could kiss him for that! And would just love to forget that there was a human plot I literally raced through the book, cause I was so sucked into the ant story. So good! There is no need to go and invent alien societies, the most fascinating and alien to us are right in front of our eyes. Readers who love "Children of Time" should give the ant plot a try and just skip the human part Someone's comment on the Empire of the Ants today sent me back into my archives, when I was reviewing books for Speak Magazine in the mid-'90s.

I actually found the review: "A literary novel, a thriller, and science fiction in the literal sense--this is the incredible first novel by French scientific journalist Bernard Werber. It weaves together the story of a man and his family who inherit an apartment following the mysterious death of an eccentric uncle, with the tale of a colony of russet ants Someone's comment on the Empire of the Ants today sent me back into my archives, when I was reviewing books for Speak Magazine in the mid-'90s.

It weaves together the story of a man and his family who inherit an apartment following the mysterious death of an eccentric uncle, with the tale of a colony of russet ants, Bel-o-kan, part of a vast and complex empire situated in a suburb of Paris. Before long, the strangeness, the beautiful structure, and high drama of events on the miniature plane take the novel over altogether, rendering the events on the human scale a distant second in interest and suspense.

To call this a portrayal of ant civilization fascinating would understate the marvel of their novel. The workings of Bel-o-kan, its genius, history and great wars, are introduced to us through three ant-protagonists--the th male numbered from the year's hatch-out , the 56th female, and the ,rd soldier. Their adventures--encounters with natural predators, mating flights, interspecies wars and their ingenious adaptive solutions--present a highly energetic and innovative society of beings different from us in every way, yet equally, if not more, successful at occupying the world under our feet.

The pleasures of the Empire of the Ants are literary as well as informational. A mystery at the heart of Bel-o-kan is discovered by Werber's three tiny protagonists--a conspiracy whose secret is know only to the Queen, and ultimately links the ant story with the human portion of the tale. Deft, suspenseful, elegant, Bernard Werber's novel explores the world from the alien perspective of a colony insect, an endeavor highly appropriate to the relativism at the end of the 20th Century, a time of a Copernican revolution of consciousness, when the hunan race is questioning its own species-centric view of the planet.

How can we expect to communicate with aliens from deep space or even recognize them, the book's theme suggests, when we cannot yet understand one another, let alone the other dominate planetary civilization coexisting with us on every patch of earth? View 2 comments. A magnificent and fascinating story about another civilization on Earth - ants. An ingenious story with elements of science fiction, an easy detective and a philosopher's essay. The book is very interesting and fascinating, it is read in one breath. After reading you will learn many interesting facts about ants and their civilization, for their million years of evolution, they have achieved much and in many respects are similar to people and even ahead of them.

Very interesting the author de A magnificent and fascinating story about another civilization on Earth - ants. Very interesting the author describes and compares two civilizations - people and ants. The book is worthy of the highest praise. I recommend. Yes, the human characters are secondary, still, they are really laughable. Especially in the end Not the technology part which was a brilliant idea, but their choice. Edmond the entomologist uncle, after whose death the events are taking place is the only character with credibility.

As for the others I guess this part was written by a newborn ant with yet insufficient knowledge about human nature :D If you ignore the human interference, the empire of the ants and their adventures will really blow your mind. However, I cannot relate to just a part of the story. I guess at the end I have found out the answer to the question in the book about the stupidity of mankind Apr 03, Adam Calhoun rated it it was ok.

What a strange book. It is essentially pages of ant fanfic, which is why it gets as many stars as it does. First off, it's poorly written or translated, but probably it's the original writing that's the problem.


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Half the book is essentially a dumb and completely uninteresting "sideplot" containing a bunch of humans exploring a mysterious basement. It contains no character development and no reason for us to care about the characters. Also, the book makes tons of uncomfortable references to What a strange book. And the ants aren't really ants so much as complicated individuals in ant bodies, kind of like A Bug's Life but slightly more scientifically accurate - but only slightly. If I could, I'd give it 1.

Oct 16, Carmen rated it did not like it. The author of this book deserves a crown of ridiculousness for the bizarre ending that he created.

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Watership Down it is most definitely not, though the comparisons pop up frequently. But Watership Down was a great book with real emotion, and Werber's book is uneven with a preposterous resolution. I have no doubt that the author knew his ant and insect societies. He seems to have not known humans well at all because the human world he created is so fraught with absurdity that it is impossible to The author of this book deserves a crown of ridiculousness for the bizarre ending that he created.

He seems to have not known humans well at all because the human world he created is so fraught with absurdity that it is impossible to get attached to any humans in the story. And I didn't love the ant characters either, though I am largely more informed about their societies and warfare than I was before. There are millions of ants. And we do not know what they are about to do next. A dangerous experiment from a wired sientist leads to a lot of dead people.

It is an end time thriller with a special view of the world. From down under our feet. Mar 29, P. Amazing life-sized account of ants doing their business, heavily immersive and rewarding on all matters! That crosses the gap between social insects and social readers! This may sound weird, but it's one of those books that just makes you want to go out and be an entomologist. This may not sound like a good thing, but it is. Because, in the beginning of the book, it's possible you could care less about ants. By the end, ants will be all that matter. And years later, when you see an ant, you will look at it and wonder what it's thinking.

What "they" are thinking. It's just that good. But if you were, oh. I think this book will go down in history as being one of the greatest sci-fi books of all time. Several thousand years from now, Bernard Werber will still be remembered, and the future inhabitants of our planet will wonder about, of all things - ANTS. It's so hard to explain just how marvelous this book was, as it was about ants. It will make you want to learn French so that you can read Werber's other books. Werber's creativity knows no bounds. Don't kill any more ants!!

This book is worth learning French to read. It had me worrying for the fate of an ant by page 40! Fascinating swap of perspectives, and hair-raising cliff-hanger ending. I have the 3rd book in this trilogy, but am anxiously waiting to get the 2nd from the library! Ne tuez plus de fourmis! Il m'a fait soucier pour le destin d'une fourmi avant la 40e page! Changement impressionnant de points Don't kill any more ants!! Changement impressionnant de points de vues et fin incroyable.

Shira Dest 22 Decembre, HE View all 4 comments. Apr 15, Charles rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy. As someone else wrote, there are sort of two parts to the book, one part about ants and the other about humans.

They do come together at the end, but the ant portion is far superior to the human portion. The book is flat out pretty weird but I consider that a good thing. I have to say I enjoyed it and will remember it for a long time to come. Some of the descriptions about ant sex are also just hilarious. Dec 29, Shannon rated it it was amazing. Love the perspectives. Aug 04, Carol rated it really liked it. Empire of the ants is the first one of a set of series, a science fiction novel written by Bernard Werber.

In the novel, as a small, weak insect, ants are described into another great civilization like human, they got their own cities, technologies, culture and warfare. Just like changing scenes in a movie, two different story happened at sametime, connect the ants and humans two species together. The book is amazing! Author used personification clearly show me the image of the world ants live in, how do they communicate, wars between different regions and excellent detail are showed by the ants ecology knowledge.

The novel have a great background setting, even the story is a little weird, still a good choice for reading. What make a differences between human and other animals? The intelligence of creating things!


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  • Bernard Werber indirectly showed that ants can do the same thing, they can build things and highly organised. That outlined, why are ants have great civilization. If there is a summarize of the story, it will be find a basement, going into basement, people get disappear and more people get disappeared. More and more people disappear into this cellar, but the policemen decided to just leave it alone, instead putting more attention on it. Personally, I like science fiction that have clear purpose and high logic, but still, Empire of the ants is a novel with awesome imagination and cool ecology knowledge.

    Far out, another excellent story written by a scientist who can not write "people"!

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