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From the Earth to the Moon (Digireads.com Classic)

4.0 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1420926811
ISBN-10: 1420926810
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Novel by Jules Verne, published as De la Terre a la Lune (1865) and also published as The Baltimore Gun Club and The American Gun Club. Although the novel was subtitled Trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes ("Direct Passage in Ninety-Seven Hours and Twenty Minutes"), the actual journey to the Moon was depicted in the book's sequel, Autour de la Lune (1870; Round the Moon). From the Earth to the Moon concerns a group of obsessive American Civil War veterans, members of the Baltimore Gun Club, who conceive the idea of creating an enormous cannon in order to shoot a "space-bullet" to the Moon from a site in Florida. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Digireads.com Classic
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Digireads.com (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420926810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420926811
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,413,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Norman M. Wolcott on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This translation, one of the Barnes and Noble "Classics Editions", is the 1874 English translation by Edward Roth, a Philadelphia school-teacher. In no sense a translation, it is more a parody or retelling of the French original with many embelishments and additions by the author. The editor is Aaron Parett, an English professor from Montana. In an appendix the editor mentions that for furthur reading one might try the complete translation by Walter James Miller, "The Annotated Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon" published by Crowell: 1978 and reprinted by Gramercy: 1995. (In reading reviews, make sure the review applies to this ISBN: 07060765197)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a prophetic, both scientifically and socially, novel by Jules Verne that was first published in 1865. Verne was a satiric critic whose novel strongly hints at the future military industrial complex. This story depicts a club of artillery experts, the Baltimore Gun Club, bemoaning the end of the U. S. Civil War. The President of the Club, Impey Barbicane, comes up with a new project: a cannon shot to the moon. The idea for having passengers comes from a Frenchman. Most of the novel is concerned with the preparations for the launch which occurs at the end of the book. The story continues in Verne's sequel, "Round the Moon" (1870). It's amazing how many things Verne correctly predicted. Verne was perhaps the first author who attempts to make his novels agree with the science known at his time, although there are still mistakes. Verne is also making a number of political points as well in comparing the freedom observed in the U. S. and the real lack of such freedom in France of the 1860s. Readers should also note that Walter James Miller has provided an annotated edition of this novel in 1978 that is excellent.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I naturally have long admired Jules Verne for his outstanding scientific vision and prodigious talent as a writer, I really had no idea that he could also write in such an entertaining and humorous fashion as revealed in this short novel. My memories of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea consist to a large degree of stretches of pages devoted to pure scientific language that could be hard to get through, but this book is an easy read full of action and laugh-out-loud commentary. Don't get me wrong, though--the science is here, and Verne goes into a lot of details concerning the project from conception to reality, walking us through all of the steps involved in constructing the cannon and its projectile. Surely, though, Verne knew that the very idea of launching men to the moon via a superhuge cannon was not really an idea that could work; as such, he lets the story and especially his characterizations of the main players in the drama, take center stage over the science. What we end up with is a study of sorts of the American character, a tribute to the power of imagination and dreaming, the glorification of science, and a very funny story about some really amazing characters.
I can not begin to relate the number of truly humorous anecdotes and observations filling the pages of this story. Barbicane, J. T. Maston, and Michel Ardan are quite memorable characters, and their acts and exploits will entertain you to no end. Verne introduces subtle but hilarious remarks and observations throughout the entire book that will make you laugh out loud. If the idea of hard scientific theorizing has scared you away from Verne, pick this book up and be wholly entertained. I would recommend, though, that you pick up a copy that also contains the sequel, Round the Moon.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a review of the 1970 Heritage Press edition of Jules Verne's _From the Earth to the Moon_ and _Around the Moon_. The first novel was originally published in 1865, the second in 1870. The book does not credit a translator, but various bibliographies credit Harold Salemson and rate his translation as "excellent". There is a good introduction by Verne's grandson, Jean Jules-Verne and lovely (if somewhat modernistic) color illustrations by Robert Shore. The Heritage Press edition, then, would make a great gift package for even the most persnickety of Verne purists.

I would like to addresss a characteristic of these novels that is frequently overlooked: They are funny. It has been said that much of the humor is in the form of an anti-war satire, and I believe that this is partly true. Early in _From the Earth to the Moon_, the members of the Baltimore Gun Club (most of whom have missing limbs) mourn the end of the Civil War and wish ardently for a new war that will allow them to design new cannons that will kill hundreds of people at a time.

Later, when the ever-impetuous J.T. Maston wants to join the other travelers on the trip to the Moon, Michel Aden gently explains to him that he is "incomplete" (167), since he is missing an arm:

"Imagine our meeting some of the inhabitants up there! Would you like to give them such a melancholy notion of what goes on down here? To teach them what war is, to inform them that we employ our time chiefly in devouring each other, in smashing arms and legs, and that too on a globe which is capable of supporting a hundred billion inhabitants, and which actually does contain barely two hundred million? Why, my worthy friend, they would feel they had to turn us away!
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