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The Chase of the Golden Meteor (Bison Frontiers of Imagination) Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Jules Verne (1828–1905), one of the founders of science fiction, is the author of such classics as Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. Gregory A. Benford is an acclaimed science fiction writer and a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. He has won the Nebula Award for Timescape and If the Stars Are Gods, cowritten with Gordon Eklund.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bison Frontiers of Imagination
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803296193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803296190
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,428,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian Taves on September 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's happened again.
A reputable publisher, Bison Books, distributed through the University of Nebraska Press, has attractively reprinted a Jules Verne book whole from the first British edition, on that basis calling it unabridged. Yet there is no acknowledgment of two fundamental facts: it is (of course) a translation from the French, and, most importantly, it is not derived from the actual text written by Jules Verne.
Presumably Bison Books decided to reprint this little-known Verne novel in the same year that brought DEEP IMPACT and ARMAGEDDON into movie theaters. The Chase of the Golden Meteor contains a refreshing variation on this particular science fiction theme, one far different from the rather trite disaster formula the cinema has brought us. On the positive side, Bison's reprint of the 1909 Grant Richards text published in London wisely retains 23 of the original 35 illustrations by George Roux from the French editions. Although never crediting the artist, the capable reproductions of the Roux illustrations make The Chase of the Golden Meteor one of the most visually pleasing Verne paperbacks to have appeared in years.
Unfortunately, nowhere in Bison's volume is any comment to be found on essential textual topics. There is no mention of the translator or what kind of work s/he did; as the enhancement of the title from La Chasse au météore to The Chase of the Golden Meteor indicates, this is an imprecise translation, rearranging paragraphs, cutting numerous adjectives and sometimes whole sentences according to the translator's whim.
Even more significant is the fact that The Chase of the Golden Meteor was translated from one of the seven posthumously published Verne novels that were guided into print by the author's son, Michel.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Ritchie on June 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bison Books is doing a very nice (and nicely packaged) series of "classic," hard-to-find sf works from the early years of the 20th century. Why they picked this one, aside from the fact that it's been out of print for a while, is beyond me. It is not really science fiction at all, but more a satirical comedy of manners about the human foibles of pride and greed. An amateur astronomer from a small town in Virginia discovers a golden meteor streaking across the sky. At the same moment, a friend of his across town also discovers the meteor. Most of the book details their comic rivalry in attmepting to claim credit for being the first to find this amazing sight. Scientists theorize that it is made of solid gold and could be worth more money that all the earth's riches put together. More ink is spilled in showing the greed of the world's nations as they all try to claim a piece of the meteor and try to predict where the gold will land. A subplot involving a comic figure named Zephyrin Xirdal, who is able to affect the meteor's path and bring it down where he wants, is ludicrous, but I give the book two stars just because I love Xirdal's name! Not very good Verne, and definitely not very good sf.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on August 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Okay, it's not _Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea_ or _From the Earth to the Moon_, but this late novel by one of the Godfathers of Science Fiction is an entertaining romp through Edwardian manners, comic nutcase characters, and some slippery and suspect science. Even the scientifically declined will quickly see the flaws in Verne's theories (a solid gold meteor?), and readers more inclined toward modern science fiction and action stories will quickly grow tired of the two melodramatic love stories and the endless comic buffoonery between competing amateur astronomers who want to lay claim to the golden meteor. But this novel really is -- plain simple -- a fun read. For 280+ pages, Jules Verne sweeps you off to a world of wonder and innocent scientific adventure, where even a threatened world wide economic collapse can be solved with some quick tinkering, and an eccentric scientist can forget about the most important accomplisment of his career on his way to the train station. And it's also funny...people often forget that Verne had a wickedly sly sense of humor. The gentlely "mad" scientist Xirdal, who cooks up a ridiculous scheme to retrieve the meteor (and, because this is a Jules Verne novel, it actually work), is a unique and charming character.
If all this sounds like your idea of a great time, I can't recommend _The Chase of the Golden Meteor_ highly enough. It's a romp, pure and simple. If you've enjoyed Verne's other works, you should sample this bit of little known fluff.
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