As a Verne fan, I was fascinated that he wanted to complete the oddly unfinished Poe classic. In typical leisurely Vernian fashion, the narrative proceeds in painstaking methodical detail yet builds up the reader's expectations of a spectacular "revelation". Also typical was the narrator's scientific credentials and his attention to detail. Over 80% of this short novel is devoted to the narrator's part in an expedition to the South Pole which reveals that Poe's Arhtur Pym was based on a real person and an authentic journey. After over 180 pages of development, I was wondering how the author might wrap up this mystery in only 25 pages. His denouement is somewhat disappointing. Without spoiling the ending for prospective readers, I will only say that the "mystery" is still unsolved as far as I am concerned. I had expected something along the order of a "lost civilization" or a definitive answer to the great white shrouded figure that Pym said he witnessed at the end. Also, if Pym had died in the Antarctic, as Verne's narrative asserts, then how do we account for the transmission of his journal to Poe? Dirk Peters, Pym's surviving companion, was semi-literate.
Anyhow, it is worthwhile reading for Verne fans only if to see how the sci-fi pioneer went about producing a sequel to the works of one of his most influential role models.
Written at a time when virtually nothing was known about the Antarctic regions, this is a very enjoyable romp. Scientists at this time actually did believe is the possibility of an open polar sea beyond an ice barrier. While the ending may disappoint, it is still an interesting story when viewed in ths historical context.