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Hector Servadac (Extraordinary Voyages #15)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  430 ratings  ·  28 reviews

"Off on a Comet (French: Hector Servadac) is an 1877 science fiction novel by Jules Verne.

The story starts with a comet that touches the Earth in its flight and collects a few small chunks of it. Some forty people of various nations and ages are condemned to a two-year-long journey on the comet. They form a mini-society and coping with the hostile environment of the comet
Paperback, 404 pages
Published October 20th 2000 by University Press of the Pacific (first published 1877)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,086)
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Henry Avila
Captain Hector Servadac, of the French Army.Has an appointment.The next day. A duel. But he's not going to meet.The Russian Count Wassili Timascheff. His opponent.Don't disparage Servadac; he's a brave man. The dispute? A charming woman. The Captain is French !In 1877, in colonial Algeria.Men get bored.They need their exorcising(correct spelling).But Comet "Gallia", hits the Earth. Taking chunks of land with it(maybe water too).Just before these honorable men. Can shoot each other.Thirty-six peo ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by this book, I actually enjoyed it more that I thought I would. I started reading it a little skeptical but I admit I should have had faith in Jules Verne and his ability to bring even the most far reaching of stories to life. The basic premise of this book is that a comet side swipes Earth and in doing so steals away a small part of the planet, complete with people, animals and plants. We then follow these survivors as they endeavour to go about their daily lives and ...more
Nov 28, 2008 John rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Verne completists
The science of this fiction appears to be frankly unbelievable even by mid-19th century standards. We are asked to believe that a comet with a large metallic core hit the earth hard enough to carry of a significant part of the Mediterranean--from British Gibraltar to French Algeria, and a bit of Sicily -- yet did it so gently that all the inhabitants of the area comfortably survived, and what is more (since it was a dark and foggy night) the rest of the earth hardly noticed, and doubted the rep ...more
I LOVED this! I read it so long ago I can barely remember many of the details, but I remember the feeling of delight I had in reading it, that still brings a smile to my face just reading the title. Now I have to go find it again so I can enjoy it in real life, not just as a vague memory.


I can only conclude (adding to my previous review) that the edition of this book I read as I child must have been either abridged, or I completely missed the sad stereotypes, carried sadly to a point of caric
Marts  (Thinker)
Feb 15, 2011 Marts (Thinker) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jules Verne fans
As a Jules Verne fan, I'll admit that this isn't one of his best novels, however I'd still give it 4 stars for that element of adventure therein that Mr. Verne was definitely a master of...

Vague summary: ...imagine a chunk of Earth being stolen away by a comet complete with a store of breathable air and water, strangely no humans, animals, or other terrestrial objects, are injured by this collision, and proceed to exist on this 'flaming' rock for about 2 years! The other strange thing is that j
While this is a fairly enjoyable read, it has not survived the passage of time well. It is basically the same story as The Mysterious Island, but on a comet instead of on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. While the Mysterious Island is an interesting account of how people without resources could recreate the technology of the nineteenth century, Off on a Comet is a speculation of what it would be like to be marooned on a comet, and Verne's speculations on the subject don't hold up. ...more
An interesting but far fetched premise and lacking the reader involvement I found in the far superior "The Mysterious Island".
Odd, almost surreal book that combines elements from other Verne books and places them in a sci-fi setting that borders on being a fairy tale.

A chunk of the Earth is scooped up by a comet collision, along with three dozen various soldiers, sailors, and assorted kids and servants, who are taken along on a trip through the solar system.
The whole thing is an odd mix of 'Mysterious Island' and 'Round the moon'.

Where it stumbles is that Vernes' usual bits of satire of the various nationalities of Eur
Larry Kollar
I suspect that with steampunk's popularity, classic SF novelists like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are getting a fresh look — if nothing else, to get insights into the society of the time. Compared to others of Verne's works, this one is obscure but still worth reading. Mostly.

A comet grazes the earth and carries off a few dozen Europeans, along with the dirt and buildings surrounding them. The mechanism of how this is accomplished is glossed over, somewhat of a departure from Verne's other SF wor
Die Idee zu dem Buch - Erde wird von einem Kometen getroffen - und der Autor ließen ja auf eine spannende Geschichte hoffen. Leider bringt uns Jules Verne in diesem Machwerk, mit seinen leblosen Charaktere, höchstens die Vorurteile seiner Zeit näher, aber eine gute Geschichte erzählt er dabei nicht.
Man ist zwiegespalten, ob die klischeebehafteten Charaktere ohne irgendeine Entwicklung, oder die absurden Lösungen zu Problemen, die so ein Komet mit sich bringt, den Leser mehr auf die Probe stellen
John (Taloni) Taloni
A decent read for Verne fans. Try his major and even minor works before reading this. The science is passable at best and there is a deus ex machina plot point at both the start and end. Fairly decent character development. The French viewpoint can be hilarious, especially in its description of the English. The light fun of the book is somewhat spoiled by heavy anti-semitism.

If you have a few hours and want a free book, the price is right over at
David R.
This is one of Verne's best kept secrets. The adventure is absurd, but entertaining. In a nutshell, a comet scoops part of the Mediterranean basin off earth and on a cometary orbit nearly to Saturn. A handful of humans pontificate, explore, and struggle to survive. The end is...weak. One major negative is an embarrassing antisemitism directed at a stock "shylock" character.
Muriel Schwenck
I bought this at a rummage sale. The edition was from the 1870's. It is very entertaining, and full of rather funny stereotypes of different european nationalities. The jewish merchant would be extremely offensive today, but was rather an ordinary parody in its day.
It's not very plausible, but a great read. Enjoy/
National stereotyping, anti-antisemitism, some now out dated astronomy, and a really, really crazy plot line all mixed together. More characters than is some of his works but still really crazy.
It is just amazing how Jules Verne creates these characters full of scientific method.
Like all the other books of his, this one is really good, yet it reminds of "Mysterious Island" a bit.. :)
charles hudson

Yes, it could not happen, and many scientific issues abound. But it is a good story as far as stories go. I was entertained!
Ross Buffa
I really hate to give this book, or any Verne book a 1 star, especially since the story premise was exactly the type I love. However, the length, overly-detailed writing, and 19th century relationships, it ruined the story for me. I almost gave up a few times but due to the fact that it is Verne, I kept going to the end.
This is one of Verne's minor novels. A comet brushes the Earth and carries off part of the Mediterranean Sea, along with a chunk of Algeria and a scattering of islands, as well as a French officer and his servant and various other assorted characters. It is readable and often entertaining, though the science is not particularly plausible and the ending doesn't entirely hold up. The real problem though is the anti-semitism demonstrated towards the one Jewish character. It's a common problem in no ...more
Ben-Zuf eres genial!
Juan Carlos Santillán
Sólo Verne es capaz de contarnos algo absolutamente inverosímil y hacernos dejar la lógica de lado para disfrutar su escritura. En esta caso en particular, nos encontramos casi ante un caso de apología a la xenofobia, pero cada personaje es tan simpático en su exagerado estereotipo que no podemos hacer menos que sonreír y rendirnos ante el genio francés. ...more
Yes, there is a very badly stereo typed jewish merchant. beyone this is an interesting tale that is fitting with Verne's other works. A long tale, sometimes full of to much exposition, following a journey of our principal characters mixed with eposodic adventures.

I enjoyed it, and it you like Verne's other works, give it a read.
Okay. I'm done. I cannot read this any longer. I tried. I really did. I'm sorry, I just don't like Verne's writing. Not giving it any stars at all. It was just plain unreadable.
I didn't like the stereotypes, the middle part of the book was downright boring. If it weren't for the bookclub I wouldn't waste my time.
Three stars for the premise, but minus one star for feeling like nothing more than a really long lecture on astronomy much of the time.
A good adventure story, butthe anti-Semitism is a bit hard to ignore.
Pablo Hoffman
A not well known but very good Verne's book
Rob Roy
A very interesting, if racist, book
Priya Chowdhury
Priya Chowdhury marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
Amanda Kruckenberg
Amanda Kruckenberg marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2015
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Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the genre of science-fiction. He is best known for his novels "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864), "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870), and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873).

Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of spa
More about Jules Verne...

Other Books in the Series

Extraordinary Voyages (1 - 10 of 68 books)
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon (Extraordinary Voyages, #1)
  • The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (Extraordinary Voyages, #2)
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3)
  • From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4)
  • In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6)
  • Round the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #7)
  • A Floating City
  • The Blockade Runners
  • Measuring a Meridian: The Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa
Around the World in Eighty Days Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6) Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3) The Mysterious Island  From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4)

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“Haven't I heard of men more dried up than he is, being brought all the way from Egypt in cases covered with pictures?" "You idiot!—those were mummies; they had been dead for ages.” 1 likes
“Ben Zoof, whose ideas of discipline were extremely rigid, at once suggested that the colony should be put under the surveillance of the police, that the cardinal points should be placed under restraint, and that the sun should be shot for breach of discipline.” 1 likes
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