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Seven Novels

by Jules Verne

Series: The Extraordinary Voyages (01, 03, 04, 06, 07, 11, 12)

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651426,563 (4.29)8
Writing in France in the nineteenth century, Jules Verne was fascinated by adventure and exploration. Collecting Five Weeks in a Balloon, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Round the Moon, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island, this omnibus offers a unique compilation of seven of Verne s Voyages, stories in which he extrapolated developing technology and invention into marvellous fiction. This volume offers readers a generous introduction to Jules Verne, whose books are as alive today as they were for readers new to the ideas expressed in them during his time. This edition of the text is exquisitely bound in bonded-leather, with distinctive gilt edging and an attractive silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectable, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensable cornerstone for any home library.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This compilation contains 7 novels. Overall, I enjoyed reading this. There was only one book that I gave less than 3 stars to, and it wasn't because it was bad, it was just oh so boring. The other six novels ranged from interesting to exciting. The physical book itself is beautiful and it was fun to look at the illustration on the cover and figure out which of the seven novels the pictures represented. ( )
  LynnK. | Aug 4, 2020 |
I only read two stories in this mammoth book for the 1001 list. Below is my review of both stories, which were superb:

Journey to the Center of the Earth - What I thought would be a quick read has turned out to be a long story but a great one full of adventure and surprises. Except for one boring chapter, every page had me questioning what was next?

Around the World in 80 Days - What a great story! Way too much detail however it was very exciting and lots of adventure! Plus throw some romance in there at the end (awww Mr. Fogg!) All in all a good read. ( )
  booklover3258 | Mar 27, 2019 |
Five weeks in a balloon: 3.5 stars
Journey to the center of the earth: 2.5 stars
From the earth to the moon, and, Round the moon: 2 stars
20,000 leagues under the sea: 3 stars
Around the world in eighty days: 4 stars
The mysterious island: 4 stars

I would strongly advise anyone away from the two moon ones, unless you enjoy sitting there reading endless calculations, and you can work your suspension of disbelief a whole lot harder than I can. Because I was just constantly huffing & puffing about all the obnoxious "science" and was unable to just sit back and try to enjoy the actual plot at all.
Similarly, 20,000 leagues is a decent enough story but is waaay too bogged down with lists of things seen, with all their Latin names and such, it's not even interesting descriptions (I had initially been looking things up when I read it, to have some idea of what in the world he was going on & on about, but gave up rather quickly). And Journey, while there was some interesting and amusing bits, I found awful to read because it was way too ridiculous for the realm of sanity, and too scientific to be safely set in fantasy, so there was not remotely the amount of suspension of disbelief needed to counter all the absurdity. It just drove me crazy how outlandish it was, while trying to be realistic. Again, unable to enjoy the plot at all, which if it were pure fantasy would have been not too bad (still hard to fully suspend disbelief given that it is the center of the earth rather than some other world or whatnot, but, as pure fantasy it still would have been more acceptable, at least).

Five weeks, Eighty days, and Mysterious island, are better able to be enjoyed - adventuring stories that are less mind-numbingly filled by scientific lists, although still have too much jargon/descriptions thrown around randomly, but, they're much less obnoxious about it and have more solid story to them. You are dragged out of the stories far less (though it happens here & there), and able to enjoy the ride more.
Five weeks, however, does suffer the fault of being full of "savages," which is somewhat excusable given the time-period it was written, but, that doesn't make it less bothersome to keep reading about. That certainly put a bit of a damper on what otherwise would have been a fairly enjoyable adventure.
Mysterious island is by far the best of the lot. It is also so much longer than the rest that it's a whole separate ballpark. I was able to enjoy it a lot more than any of the others (though 80 days is the next best), maybe at least partially because of spending so long with the characters — not just that it's literally that much longer than the others but the time within the pages is actually around 4 years, so you really get quite cozy with them! But it's a long, intriguing story, and the "mystery" part of it helps keep the interest high; once I got around halfway through I had trouble putting it down.

I think I can safely say I will not pick up any more Verne, but I am happy to have read these and know what he's all about. ( )
  .Monkey. | Jan 13, 2018 |
Five Weeks In A Balloon (***)
Jules Verne is rightly regarded as one of the pillars of modern science fiction writing. During the second half of the 19th century science and technology were rapidly advancing and Verne was seen as a great populariser of the new ideas as they seeped into modern society. He worked hard to include accurate scientific content into his fiction and sometimes had his stories published as popular explanations of science rather than as straight fiction.

Verne was born on Feb 8th 1828 in Nantes, France and moved to Paris in 1847, at age nineteen, where he failed to establish himself first as a lawyer then as a stockbroker. His passion was the theatre and he became a middling successful playwright and also sold several short stories.

‘Five Weeks In A Balloon’ was his first published full length novel, released in January 1863 by Jules Hetzel in Paris who became his life long friend and publisher. The first English translation was published in New York in February 1869 by Appleton, by which time Verne had already published half-a-dozen books in French.

‘Five Weeks…’ describes the adventures of a scientist, Dr. Sam Ferguson, and his small team - Dick Kennedy, a hunter and adventurer, and Joe, Ferguson’s servant - as they attempt to cross Africa, east-to-west, from Zanzibar to Senegal in a hydrogen-filled balloon. The balloon science is extremely well done - calculating the size of balloon required, its construction, how to manage the hydrogen gas and considerations for weight management. Descriptions of how the balloon travelled, by rising or falling to catch winds in a particular direction, are limited only by the lack of knowledge of atmospherics at the time of writing.

Verne also bolsters the verisimilitude of his story by including extensive descriptions of many other African explorers of the day. This adds to the almost documentary structure of the novel and reflects the enormous popularity, and militarily and economic strategic importance, of the exploration of Africa.

This is a book of its time, so the treatment of African natives is always close to the line of, and sometimes crosses into, racism.

Exciting, not so much for the exoticism of the events, as for the scale and complexity of the endeavour itself. Even today a balloon trip across Africa is not something to be taken lightly. ( )
  pierthinker | May 28, 2015 |
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There was a large audience assembled on the 14th of January, 1862, at the session of the Royal Geographical Society, No. 3 Waterloo Place, London.
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Writing in France in the nineteenth century, Jules Verne was fascinated by adventure and exploration. Collecting Five Weeks in a Balloon, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Round the Moon, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island, this omnibus offers a unique compilation of seven of Verne s Voyages, stories in which he extrapolated developing technology and invention into marvellous fiction. This volume offers readers a generous introduction to Jules Verne, whose books are as alive today as they were for readers new to the ideas expressed in them during his time. This edition of the text is exquisitely bound in bonded-leather, with distinctive gilt edging and an attractive silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectable, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensable cornerstone for any home library.

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