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May 05 , 2010

Abandoned - The Original Classic Edition


Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before air travel and practical submarines were invented, and before practical means of space travel had been devised. He is the second most translated author in the world (after Agatha Christie). Some of his books have also been made into live-action and animated films and television shows. Verne is often referred to as the Father of Science Fiction, a title sometimes shared with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells.

I really recommend reading this book. It starts off slowly, and there were times in the middle of the book that I began to get overwhelmed by the complex descriptions that Verne offers about how this band of Civil War escapees manage their life on a strange island. Verne goes into such depth that the reader can actually tell that Verne probably spent many hours in his own contemplation about what he would do if he were stranded on an island. And let me be the first to say that if I were stranded on an island I would want Jules Verne right beside me. His knowledge of the subject went further than you would expect it to and considering that the book was written in the 1870s. The type of information that was possessed by the characters given by Verne surpasses what most people would know today. It wasnt too far after being stranded that the band of men were making pottery, iron and planning to make guns. At one point they even knew to take small whale bones and hunt with them. These are things that are lost in todays world of luxury.

I think the beauty of the story lies in its ability to transport you to this other place and time. As I read the book I felt as if I was back in the 1800s trying to survive and thinking as I read, what would I do? It is an excellent book that could be read by young and old alike.

This book, the second in the Mysterious Island triad, was originally issued in Paris with the title of LAbandonné. Jules Vernes list of stories already ran then to some twenty volumes-a number which has since grown to almost Dumasien proportions. LAbandonné, like its two companion tales, ran its course as a serial through the Magasin Illustré of education and recreation, before its issue as a boys story-book. Its success in both forms seems to have established a record in the race for popularity and a circulation in both the French and English fields of current literature. The present book was translated into English by the late W. H. G. Kingston.

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