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The Moon Pool (Early Classics of Science Fiction) Hardcover – August 25, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Moon Pool is a lost-world novel in the tradition of Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard, and James Hilton that manages to be spooky, spiritual, and silly all at once."—Belles Lettres

Review

“This edition of The Moon Pool is a rare accomplishment: a scholarly edition of a piece of pulp fiction. Levy’s edition does a service to the whole genre.” (John Huntington, author of Rationalizing Genius)
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Product Details

  • Series: Early Classics of Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan (August 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081956706X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819567062
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,675,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MOTU Review on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Moon Pool is a 1919 "lost world" fantasy novel by Abraham Merritt based on two of his short stories. Here, a scientist leads a small band beneath the surface of the Earth in pursuit of others abducted by an evil entity called "the Shining One," whereupon they discover a lost civilization on the brink of war.

Merritt's writing is wonderfully imaginative and extraordinarily detailed. His ideas, his places, his devices, and his underground world are enthralling. The Moon Pool does have a certain charm. And yet the writing has a lot of problems.

Pacing is the most egregious issue. The book crawls in many places, and for long stretches. This shouldn't be; there's plenty happening in the story, but Merritt's writing ranges between verbose and extremely verbose. The storytelling is further hampered by a cast of flattish characters spouting corny dialogue, a great deal of which neither develops the characters in meaningful ways nor moves the story along.

Merritt devotes paragraph upon paragraph to his vivid descriptions of subterranean wonders, and yet the reader's sense of place is often poor, as Merritt can scarcely ever be bothered to tell the reader where, specifically, his characters are, or where that might be in relation to the other places he's depicted.

There are other issues. It's painfully convenient how quickly all the characters learn the subterranean language. Much of the mystery of the underground world isn't resolved until much too late in the book, and then by way of a massive expository dump. The book's climax, an epic clash between warring factions, should be exciting, but the resolutions are clichéd and predictable.

The Moon Pool has been cited as an influence on Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu.
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Format: Paperback
It is the turn of the twentieth century and science promises to explain many of the wonders of the world. Walter T. Goodwin is an eminent scientist who has just finished a field study of the flora of the volcanic islands of the South Pacific. At Port Moresby, in Papua New Guinea, he boards a ship headed for Melbourne, in Australia. From there he intends to travel further to his home in New York. Having boarded the ship he finds to his surprise that his old friend Dr. David Throckmartin is also a passenger. But Throckmartin seems strangely distant and changed. His face wears an expression of both extreme ecstasy and horror weirdly co-existing. Throckmartin tells Goodwin that he has discovered the ruins of an extremely ancient city on an island of the coast of Papua. In these ruins he discovered a strange door, which led to an underground pool. From this pool, during the rising of the full moon, an apparently supernatural creature emerges. This creature steals away people, turning them into zombie like creatures who then disappear underground never to be seen again. Throckmartin's wife Edith has been taken as well as two other members of the scientific party. Throckmatin, however, has a plan to travel to Melbourne, collect some necessary scientific equipment and return to the 'moon pool' to rescue his wife. All this of course seems too much to believe, but then the 'creature', the "Dweller", arrives and steals away Throckmartin before Goodwin's very eyes. Goodwin decides the only thing he can do is to try to compete Throckmartin's rescue plan.

Just about everything in this story is given a 'scientific' explanation by Goodwin, the die-hard-rationalist narrator of the tale.
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The Moon Pool (Early Classics of Science Fiction)
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