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Carpathian Castle

(Extraordinary Voyages #37)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  3,167 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Verne's 1892 "Gothic novel" about a 'haunted' castle in Transylvania & the efforts of the locals to discover its secret(s).
Paperback, 192 pages
Published 1963 by Ace Books (first published 1892)
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Andy Weston I was very close to it a couple of weeks ago. The Retezat National Park in Transylvania, close to the town of Campu Lui Neag.…moreI was very close to it a couple of weeks ago. The Retezat National Park in Transylvania, close to the town of Campu Lui Neag. (less)
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Pramod Nair
In ‘The Castle of the Carpathians’, originally titled Le Château des Carpathes written in 1893, Jules Verne deviates sharply from the usual parameters of science fiction fantasy associated with his other tales of Extraordinary Voyages to create a romantic fairy tale shrouded in the mists of supernatural. Set in the mountainous regions of rural Transylvania, ‘The Castle of the Carpathians’ is a tale of mystery, with romantic counts, noble braves, love and longing bordering the realms of madness ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: I wouldn't recommend this edition to anyone
I've read a few of Verne's works before, and liked three of them (the rest were okay). He's not a writer I count among my favorites; but when I saw this novel on sale for a dime at a flea market a few years ago, I thought it might be worth the investment. :-) However, I didn't realize at the time that this particular edition is a stellar example of the outrages Verne has suffered at the hands of his English-language translators. Note: this review applies ONLY to this "Fitzroy" edition!

When reviewing a classic it is important to judge it in the context of the time that it was written. If we’re going to judge a classic, we need to be able to step away from our preconceptions of what good literature is and evaluate each work on its own merits. It isn’t fair to judge a work of art by contemporary expectations. We should consider the society and the times in which a particular work was written. What did the author set out to accomplish? What is the effect of the novel on the
Mysterious entities take possession of a long deserted castle creating fear among the residents of the adjacent village of Werst, in Transylvania. The village sends two men to the castle to investigate, but they are repulsed by seemingly supernatural means. The heroes of the story, Count Franz de Telek and his man Rotzko learn of the mystery while passing through the village and become determined to solve it.

Adaptare cinematografică realizată în 1981 se poate găsi aici: Castelul din Carpați.
Jackson Burnett
Thursday they knew to be a day of evil deeds.

In his introduction, scholar Ace Pilkington points out Jules Verne wrote more about his travels and his discoveries along the way than he did about science. Verne chose the setting for this Gothic novel intentionally and for particular reasons.

The villagers of Werst, Transylvania, notice odd things happening one day at the dilapidated castle that sits atop the mountain adjoining the town. This novel tells the story of the attempts to learn (or fear)
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Victorian sf fans, Victorian horror fans
This book is an interesting mix of themes related to both Dracula and Phantom of the Opera, with a bit of early sf thrown in. On the border of Transylvania (where else?) a shepherd sees smoke rising from the long-deserted castle of Baron Rodolphe (sic). He and the local doctor (a cowardly skeptic) investigate and are driven off by apparently supernatural forces. A curious traveler, Baron Franz von Telek, also investigates and sees what appears to be a beautiful opera singer he had almost married ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want a non-supernatural supernatural tale...
Among bibliophiles, I think there are fans of the orderly, rational, logical world & there are more loosey-goosey types who are fans of the unexplained or hard to believe. I got a real taste of that last year with Verne's An Antarctic Mystery (orderly, rational, logical) vs. Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (loosey-goosey at best, lol).

So, in The Castle in Transylvania, we are heading into 'supernatural' territory with Jules Verne. Except, being the orderly, rational,
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction, gothic
If you like Victorian era gothic and Jules Verne, you'll like this. I loved it - couldn't put it down and ended it with a smile on my face.

If you go in looking for a Dracula story, you will be disappointed. This story must be appreciated on its own merits.
Andy Weston
This is an interesting and important book from Verne published in 1893, though with its language and style, I struggled to hold attention at times.
I came across it in my search for books about the Carpathians, to read during my cycle trip across them.
In the village of Werst in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania (then part Austro-Hungarian Empire), mysterious events are occurring and the villagers believe that the devil (the Chort) occupies the castle. A visitor to the region, Count Franz
MB Taylor
Just finished reading The Castle in Transylvania (1892) by Jules Verne. Apparently designed to capitalize on the current vampire and zombie craze, this brand new translation of Verne’s Le Château des Carpathes, is touted on the front as “The original zombie story” and the back cover proclaims: “Before there was Dracula, there was The Castle in Transylvania. … this is the first book to set a gothic horror story, featuring people who may or may not be dead, in Transylvania.


The blurb on
Halley Sutton
A ghost story that was really about science. And now I've officially read something by Jules Verne that wasn't the Wishbone edition.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Jules Verne's fans
Recommended to Laura by: msleighm
The original French text is available at eBooks@Adelaide.

The English version which was kindly found by Wanda can be found at OpenLibrary

The Carpathian Castle (French: Le Château des Carpathes) is a novel by Jules Verne first published in 1893. It is possible that Bram Stoker took inspiration from this for his 1897 novel Dracula.

Opening lines:
Cette histoire n’est pas fantastique, elle n’est que romanesque. Faut-il en conclure qu’elle ne soit pas vraie, étant donné son invraisemblance? Ce serait
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf12
In a small Romanian town in the late 19th century, the castle of a long-absent, last-of-his-line Baron is seen with smoke coming out of its chimney. The largely uneducated and superstitious townsfolk have no reason to think it's not abandoned, and every reason to think it's haunted (because they're backwards countryfolk). When they send two of their braver members to scope out the castle, they return spooked and partially paralyzed. Two travelers then come to town and laugh at the townsfolk ...more
Now I'm a bit of a fan of Jules Verne so be warned this review may be slightly biased as a result (although I promise to try and temper it as best I can). This is part of his Extraordinary Voyages series (which by the way I didn't even realise was a thing until picking this book up) which includes his best known works as well as lesser known writing such as this one. And I much prefered this. It has all the hallmarks of a classic Victorian Gothic tale mixing mystery and horror with deep human ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The castle of the Carpathians, or le château des Carpates, as my copy of the book says, is a story of superstition, science, bravery, cowardice, love, and madness.
We're in a remote village in the mountains of Transylvania. A shepherd buys a pair of binoculars from a traveling salesman and through them he can see further and clearer than he thought was humanly possible. Through the lens he spies off to the distance at the old castle that has been standing empty and abandoned for many years now.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When 35-year-old Jules Verne managed to sell what would become his first published novel, "Five Weeks in a Balloon," to the already long-established literary publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, in 1863, little could the two Frenchmen know that this was just the beginning of a decades-long association. Hetzel was already a well-known Parisian figure, having previously released works by such luminaries as Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and Honore de Balzac. Verne, the future "Father of Science Fiction," was
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, literature
review of
Jules Verne's Carpathian Castle
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - March 18, 2013

This is the 3rd Verne bk I've read in a row now. It actually increased my admiration for him b/c it's so different from anything else that I've read. This is his "Gothic" novel & it does fit the bill. 40 yrs or so ago I went thru a phase of exploring Gothic novels - esp when I learned that the Surrealists liked them. I'd already read Bram Stoker's Dracula when I was around 12. Of course I read Mary
C.C. Thomas
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Jules Verne was such a visionary. At times, it's a little creepy. While most certainly known as the Father of Science Fiction, so much of what he wrote about would later become just another fact of our crazy world--submarines, travel by balloon, travel to the moon, etc. And here is just one more example: Verne started the vampire craze?!?

Before there was even a Dracula on the market (published in 1897), Verne had published The Castle of the Carpathians in 1893 (Carpathians don't sound nearly so
Devran ikiz
The Carpathian Castle is another brilliant novel by Jules Verne. Lately I am very much into Jules Verne’s novels because of his amazing understanding about Adventure. However The Carpathian Castle is slightly different than what we are used to read from Jules Verne. It takes place in the mystic Transylvania, Romania. This part has always been famous for its dark atmosphere surrounded by mountains, it played host to many horror and mystic novels. The Carpathian Castle is not really an adventure, ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I read the half dozen or so standard Jules Verne novels as an adolescent and returned to a few of them as an adult; but, I’ve always been curious about the breadth of his work and tempted by the recent, “true to the original” translations that have begun to appear. The Castle in Transylvania was a title new to me when I picked up this secondhand copy of the Melville House edition.

In 1992 – late in his career – Verne, who had dabbled in so many genres, decided to try his hand at a Gothic novel.
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This might not be Verne at his very best, but it's still a fun little book. A few months ago I read John Wyndham's Plan for Chaos, his last 'pulp' book before he found his style writing first person science fiction from the point of view of dry English chaps. In Plan for Chaos he tells the story from the perspective of a Dutch-American and it reads like a slightly dodgy B-movie noir for the first few pages until the later Wyndham style starts to shine through. A similar affliction strikes this ...more
Vedia Lupae
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shortly after reading this book, I attended a writer's workshop where someone tried to tell a mixture of a detective and love story set in the 1700s South America, trying to capture scenic detail of the time while also telling the story.

I recommended them to read this book, and it should become clear soon after one begins. The first half of the book is its own story, crafting a clear picture of this village near the Carpathian Mountains, their dress, their culture, and their scenic surroundings.
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Verne's shorter novels, and one that may appeal mostly to Verne fans rather than casual readers or to those who know Verne only through Around the World in 80 Days or one of his other famous novels. But Castle in Transylvania displays elements from the gothic and the romantic, plus some geographical information that was mandatory for Verne's contract with publisher Hertzel for the Voyages Extraordinaires series. It also incorporates some scientific information, which may seem oddly ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jules Verne first starts for us to picture an unknown cessation of grazing areas of forest and castles. A count of cruelty lives in the Haunted Castle. He goes to the theater and that is probably where his life is all attention. He speaks primarily with his henchmen a craftsman who makes his work calls. The cruel count retaliates against his male competitors, and then with underground exit from the mess he created. He takes with him a photo box with the famous singer, either, she was infatuated ...more
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
How did I never hear of this book until recently?? It deserves a place right up on my Gothic Bookshelf with Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Phantom of the Opera, Picture of Dorian Grey, etc.
I cannot bring myself to accept that Gaston Leroux wasn't directly inspired by this book when he wrote Phantom. The similarities are far too much for coincidence.
It's not the best-structured book in the world (you don't even meet the protagonist until halfway through the thing), and the beginning
Mysterious things are happening, what's the explanation? A trope used in other Verne works like '20,000 Leagues' and 'Master of the World', add to that a dash of 'Phantom of the Opera' and a pinch of 'Scooby-Doo'.
This is a fairly short book but feels a lot longer and not in a good way. Its told in what i can only describe as a Docu-Drama style. Short pieces of story interrupted by large information dumps.
The only thing which might have saved this would have been a really good final
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Nice story with pretty accurate info about habits and places... and here it is an article (in romanian language) about the possible circumstance which might have led to this story:
Alexandra Gold
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, steampunk
I hugged this book after I finished it! :D
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
The Castle of the Carpathians, aka The Carpathian Castle, is set in the mysterious land of Transylvania. Near the village of Wertz lies an old abandoned castle thought by local inhabitants to house the Chort, or devil. One day a shepherd spies smoke coming from the building and the villagers become fearful that the Beast is a-hoof in their neighbourhood. They timidly mount an expedition to the castle, but are chased away by disembodied voices and strange visions.

A visitor to Wertz, Count Franz
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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

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Extraordinary Voyages (1 - 10 of 54 books)
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  • From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4)
  • In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant (Extraordinary Voyages, #5)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6)
  • Round the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #7)
  • A Floating City (Extraordinary Voyages, #8)
  • Measuring a Meridian: The Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa (Extraordinary Voyages, #9)
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