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Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder (Bakka Books) Paperback – April 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Bakka Books
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Insomniac Press (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1895837960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1895837964
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,531,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"De Mille writes in succinct and easy sentences, free of adjectives and drawn-out syntactic pretenses. His pen even allows cliches to sound moving . . ."- Aidan Johnson, The Hamilton Spectator

About the Author

A professor of rhetoric and history, James De Mille established Canada's oldest university department of English at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, in 1866. He is the author of Canada's first science fiction novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nina on January 11, 2003
If you like Animal Farm, 1984, Brave New World and other "creepy society" books, you'll love this one. Four intellectuals find a..., well, a strange manuscript, in a... copper cylinder, yeah. It is the account of a man's discovery of a literally "backwards" civilization where the social pyramid is inverted : people strive to be poor, and the wealthiest citizens are considered bums. Life here is torture, because the ultimate goal of every person is to die. Pick up this book to be intrigued and fascinated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Señor Spook on September 2, 2011
"A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder" is proof positive that Canadian science fiction has a proper history... and it's pretty great! It also amply displays the diversity of Canadian fiction in general, this time in the form of a multifaceted, multi-layered adventure tale that owes as much to Jonathan Swift as it does to Edgar Allan Poe.

The story, laid bare, is pretty standard pulp fare: a stranded sailer, Adam More, must thread his way through a bleak, volcanic Antarctic wasteland until emerging at the south pole, and into the wondrous realm of the Kosekins. At first, all seems well; the people are selfless, loving, helpful and friendly to a fault. He meets a lovely lass who becomes the story's requisite Love Interest. Things quickly fall apart from there as deep, dark cultural motivations float to the surface and our hero must mount a pterodactyl in order to save his life (and the life of his lady-love). Meanwhile, colour commentary is provided by four bored, rich chappies who've recovered the titular cylinder bobbing in the waves alongside their yacht, becalmed in the south seas.

That's not the whole story by a long shot, but you get the gist.

The book is arguably author James De Mille's finest moment, a pretty good time throughout and it's an utter shame he didn't live to see it published. If he'd only gotten off his duff and published it sooner -- never mind his dissatisfaction with the ending -- he'd be more widely remembered as a genuine literary innovator instead of an also-ran in the Lost World genre. As it stands, the work continues to entertain and even appears to have influenced 20th century horror master, H.P. Lovecraft, who apparently kept a copy in his own personal library (see S.T.
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