…SF addict …

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Master of the World! Jules Verne's swan song!

"Let no one attempt to seize or stop me. It is, and will be, utterly impossible. Whatever injury anyone attempts against me, I will return a hundredfold.As to the money which is offered me, I despise it! I have no need of it. Moreover, on the day when it pleases me to have millions, or billions, I have but to reach out my hand and take them. Let both the Old and the New World realize this: They can accomplish nothing against me; I can accomplish anything against them. I sign this letter: The Master of the World."

Another good read from Verne! This one was his final novel written in 1904 and is actually a sequel to an earlier novel called The Clipper of the Clouds (aka Robur the Conqueror). I only discovered this when part way through I found out the name of the antagonist-Robur! The great inventor Robur zooms across the Americas in first a car that can travel at least 150 miles per hour, putting the current speed of about 80 m.p.h to shame in a car race! Then an equally fast boat is seen; later still a submarine, and then an airplane! The protagonist of this story, Strock, a police investigator, soon gets the idea that these 3 vehicles are one and the same.
In the previous story, Robur determined to show to the world that heavier-than-air craft was the way forward, and during an exposition in which a great air balloon was shown to the world, Robur produced his offering, a dirigible type craft propelled not by lighter-than-air gas but by engines with propellers (air screws), and with this he overtook the balloon causing its occupants to crash to the ground. This event is alluded to in this later work as a kind of re-cap. Not having read the earlier book it was a bit of a surprise but having said that I didnt feel that I should need to have read that earlier work-the work stands alone!
Anyway I found the book quite entertaining and fast paced  and is my third Verne novel so far.

My review of 20,000 Leagues under the sea can be found here


j purdie said...

Someone else I haven't read (I'm well read huh? :) ).I've got an unread copy of twenty thousand leagues somewhere but haven't even heard of this. That's the downside of their fame, they tend to get known for one thing and other works can be forgotten.

Larry said...

Hmmm I'd say Master of the World is a superior read to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed that novel but Master of the World is an easier more engaging read! So if you read 20,000 and find it a bit boring don't let it be your last Verne read-he has a lot to offer!