Dave's Reviews > Invasion of the Sea

Invasion of the Sea by Jules Verne
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Jan 05, 2009

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bookshelves: speculative-fiction, fiction, translated, literature
Read in August, 2005

This is far from Jules Verne's best work, but it is still very worthwhile for many reasons. It is the first English translation of this title, and it is the last of his works to be published in his lifetime. This is the first book in the "Early Classics of Science Fiction" series from Wesleyan University Press, and the quality of the presentation is outstanding. There is an introduction by Arthur B. Evans where he covers the history of "Invasion Of The Sea", and its place in Verne's writing and life. He also discusses Verne's opinion of the differences between his writing and that of H. G. Wells. Evans also has a very interesting discussion of the problems with many of the English translations of Verne's books. The text itself includes the illustrations by Leon Benett, as well as notes which discuss the real world history which created the base of the story.

The story doesn't rise to the level of the presentation. However, it does make an interesting study for several reasons. Despite being written near the end of Verne's life, there are certainly several similarities to his earlier work. The story takes place in Africa, the same continent as his first novel "Five Weeks In A Balloon". The story also has a pro-science feel to it, which had disappeared in his later works. There are significant differences as well. In Verne's earlier works the characters are active in the pursuit of the goal, but in this story the Sahara Sea is created not by the actions of the characters, but instead by a natural event.

Overall, this book is recommended for those who want to study Verne, or those who are compiling a complete collection of his works. If you are looking for a good example of his works, it would be better to stick with one of his classics.
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