The Kip Brothers (Early Classics Of Science Fiction) Hardcover – May 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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"With the publication of The Kip Brothers and The Mysterious Island, it is no longer possible to dismiss Verne as a 'children's author'.... Revealing the sociological, scientific, historical, and geographic breadth of his vision, these titles provide room for critical speculation for years to come."--Janice M. Bogstad, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts"
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Verne's style was boring; he was repetitious and took too long to get to the point. Besides, there were long discourses on the geography and history of the southeast Pacific, international politics and even the Fenians, while the Kip Brothers didn't enter the story until chapter 7.
The story started out as a maritime adventure, then turned into a murder "mystery", although the identities of the murderers were revealed as they were committing it. The Kip Brothers got wrongly accused of the crime and spent a long time (the final third of the book) to clear their name.
Verne's weakness was that he told too much to his readers and left very little to the imagination. He explained everything in detail even when what he was explaining was obvious. In this case, he would have crafted a much better story if he had hidden the identities of the murderers from his readers.
The climax was a real letdown. Verne resorts to the ridiculous late 19th century claim that a dead person's eyes retained an image of the last thing he saw. In comparison, for example, the science behind H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man, is also quite untenable, but it never turns into an issue of exasperation mainly because of Wells' much better narrative.