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The Meteor Hunt: The First English Translation of Verne's Original Manuscript (Bison Frontiers of Imagination) Paperback – October 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Bison Frontiers of Imagination
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; annotated edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803296347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803296343
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In his introductory essay, Jules Verne in America, Miller discusses the literary crimes of Michel Verne, son of Jules. It seems that after his father's death, the author's son transformed substantively all the works published posthumously under his father's byline. The idea that generations have not read Jules Verne's novels as he wrote them can be both appalling and exhilarating. Appalling because such a hoax affected such a large body of work by a well-known and loved author. But think of the new reading possibilities! Meteor Hunt is a small gem; just two thirds of the volume here is the novel. In a small town in Virginia, two amateur astronomers independently sight the same meteor. Their rivalry complicates the marriage plans of one's daughter to the other's nephew. Further and farther-reaching complications ensue when it is discovered that the meteor is coming to Earth and, more importantly, that it is composed of approximately 1,389,393 tons, or over $781 billion, worth of gold. Verne's mastery of writing and science fiction proves itself as this 1886 story feels fresh and contemporary 120 years later. The satirical comments on greed, both personal and national; marriage; and society can be recognized and appreciated by teen readers. This is a great introduction for anyone who hasn't yet read Verne and an incentive for everyone to find the new translations of his other works.–Dana Cobern-Kullman, Luther Burbank Middle School, Burbank, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The "father of science fiction" thought he was writing snappy contemporary novels of travel by means that, while extraordinary, were extrapolated from the practical science of his time (on this, see William Butcher's myth-breaking Jules Verne, 2006). This 1901 confection, appearing in the first-ever translation from the author's manuscript, is typical. It's about two amateur astronomers in Virginia, whose rivalry over which of them first saw a new meteor derails the wedding of the nephew of one to the daughter of the other. The obligatory voyage occurs when the meteor, determined to be solid gold, prepares to fall to Earth on Greenland, travel to which was much harder then. Whole cruiseships full of sightseers determine to observe the arrival. With its stock comic and melodramatic characters, slangy dialogue, satiric jabs (knocking U.S. imperialism, Verne posits a 51-star flag), and supercilious authorial attitude, the yarn is easy to imagine as a Preston Sturges or Frank Capra movie, especially if the mildly archaic diction of this translation were retained. Darn good entertainment; excellently annotated, too. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brian Taves on March 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Meteor Hunt, a translation of La Chasse au météore, is a work of the foremost literary importance, both within and outside its genre. This is one of the best Verne translations I have read (in over nearly forty years of reading Verne), filled with idioms vividly conveyed in a modern manner that reveals the experience of the team of noted Verne translators Frederick Paul Walter and Walter James Miller, the dean of American Verne translators. As the first critical English-language edition of an original version of Jules Verne's posthumously published novels, and as science fiction, The Meteor Hunt is one of the most significant publications of its type.

There are two major misconceptions about Verne's later works. First, that they demonstrated a slackening imagination and literary ability, and second that they reveal a distrust of science which is distinct from the optimistic tone of his earlier, more famous books. Verne's later books, without the editorial guidance (and censorship) of his mentor, publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, are more slender and tightly plotted, devoid of extraneous matter. Verne's focus is stronger, and The Meteor Hunt demonstrates this with its continual tracing of the meteor's human effects, with only minor subplots that enhance the primary narrative.

The Meteor Hunt is revelatory of Verne's view of the United States, the capstone of a series of stories using an American setting or persons. The tone is light, the characterizations memorable, full of sharp wit and delicate irony, with the whole perfectly plotted. The Meteor Hunt also displays a warm cynicism, gently chiding the amateur scientists, the American competitiveness they represent, and the greed first for glory, then for gold that is a basic element of human nature.
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