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The Meteor Hunt: The First English Translation of Verne's Original Manuscript (Bison Frontiers of Imagination) [Paperback]

Jules Verne , Frederick Paul Walter , Walter James Miller
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 2006 Bison Frontiers of Imagination
The Meteor Hunt marks the first English translation from Jules Verne’s own text of his delightfully satirical and visionary novel. While other, questionable versions of the novel have appeared—mainly, a significantly altered text by Verne’s son Michel and translations of it—this edition showcases the original work as Verne wrote it.
 
The Meteor Hunt is the story of a meteor of pure gold careening toward the earth and generating competitive greed among amateur astronomers and chaos among nations obsessed with the trajectory of the great golden object. Set primarily in the United States and offering a humorous critique of the American way of life, The Meteor Hunt is finally given due critical treatment in the translators’ foreword, detailed annotations, and afterword, which clearly establish the historical, political, scientific, and literary context and importance of this long-obscured, genre-blending masterpiece in its true form.

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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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