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A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper…
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A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder (1888)

by James De Mille

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
First part is very good as the hero gets swept away through an underground river. Only then he comes across the usual lost civilization and the boredom dial gets turned up to 11. ( )
  jameshold | Jul 22, 2017 |
The title really tells us a lot about the book. Four English gentlemen found a copper cylinder floating in the sea. When they opened it up they found a document purporting to be from an English sailor by the name of Adam More. More tells of becoming separated from his ship and his little boat being carried along a current in the sea near the Antarctic Circle. Eventually he ends up in a strange land which is the antithesis in all things to the society he is used to.

The four gentlemen read the document aloud and discuss it when they take breaks. This gives the reader a chance to think about the story and about the philosophy of the society in which More found himself. At times the writing is heavy-handed but probably did not seem so in 1888 when this book was first published (8 years after De Mille's death).

I found myself thinking of the novels of Jules Verne while reading the book and thinking that De Mille was probably influenced by those stories. Then, when I read the introduction after finishing the book (I try never to read introductions before reading a book because they invariably spoil the story) I found that Verne's novels were not translated into English until the 1880's after De Mille's death. The other book I was reminded of was Gulliver's Travels. Here I was probably closer to the mark according to the author of the introduction:
The antecedents to which De Mille was possibly indebted...were such satirical masterworks as Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Samuel Butler's Erewhon...

This book is meant to make you think and it does that. It is also entertaining. ( )
1 vote gypsysmom | Nov 12, 2011 |
This is different. We picked it out at half priced books by accident. I liked how the story is told by the people on the boat and they interrupt at various times to put in what they think of it and what the story could possibly mean. It felt like as the reader, you're a part of the people that are on the boat and you get to participate in their discussion on it. ( )
  KMJMurf | Jun 18, 2011 |
I read this and "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" by E.A. Poe, in the same year, and I confuse them in my mind; both involve sea travelers who reach a new and mysterious world. But where Poe's is a classical suspense/thriller/horror tale, "A Strange Manuscript" is more a social study, of idle gentlemen looking for adventure at first, and of a utopian/dystopian (depending on your political leanings...) society for most of the book.
I always enjoy "alternate universe" or "other worlds" stories, and this one was not an exception. However, it is liable to feel dated, because the personalities and concerns of the characters are rather victorian. A "retro" read if you like dystopia/utopia. ( )
  JRuel | Feb 2, 2011 |
This is a novel I had to read this year for my Canadian Literature course. I seem to be very different from my classmates though. I find the reading utterly boring and weird, whereas they apparently all loved it. And when I enjoy a reading, they seem to dislike it. I'm thinking the problem lies in me, since I am the minority. Nevertheless, about this Canadian novel, I can't say that I was too fascinated by it. Some parts were actually interesting, but I found parts of it really repetitive and boring. Though I did enjoy the ending. And no, I didn't enjoy the ending cause it meant the book was over (okay, it was partly that) but because I liked the way the story turned around. Of course if he only thought of something like it before or had better escapes, maybe this book wouldn't have dragged out the way it did. I did however find that the Kosekins were fascinating in that they were the opposite of human nature as we know it to be.. and still there presented problems. It raises the question of utopia. Anyways, had to finish it for class. Glad it's done. Now I just gotta really analyze it and apply it to class-- great. ( )
  calexis | Dec 10, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
De Mille, Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaul, GilbertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Greenwood, EdForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parks, MalcolmEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771091680, Mass Market Paperback)

Very much the product of its time, Canada's first science fiction novel recounts the strange adventures of a sailer cast ashore among a race of cannibals who regard death as the greatest blessing they can bestow. Part swashbuckling adventure, part love story and part examination of accepted values turned inside out, this novel is important both as a landmark in the development of Canadian science fiction and as a captivating piece of literature. A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder was originally published in London, England, by Chatto & Windus in 1888. In America, the story was serialized in Harper's and subsequently published by Harper Brothers late the same year. It was republished in Canada by McClelland & Stewart in 1969.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Four sailors discover a copper cylinder containing a manuscript written by the adventurer Adam More, who was shipwrecked in the southern hemisphere. They read its contents to one another, and the incredible story unfolds of his journey through a subterranean tunnel to a lost world which survives at the foot of a volcano.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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McGill-Queen's University Press

2 editions of this book were published by McGill-Queen's University Press.

Editions: 0886290392, 0773521674

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