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Verne s first full length novel, while setting the formula for many of his later books, is definitely not one of his best the science is sketchy and the plot is basically a series of small misadventures in a row that the three main characters escape with usually not too much difficulty and a just modicum of ingenuity The book would still be enjoyable enough, however, if not for the blatant racism that permeates all the pages where they meet another human being every single black person in Afr Verne s first full length novel, while setting the formula for many of his later books, is definitely not one of his best the science is sketchy and the plot is basically a series of small misadventures in a row that the three main characters escape with usually not too much difficulty and a just modicum of ingenuity The book would still be enjoyable enough, however, if not for the blatant racism that permeates all the pages where they meet another human being every single black person in Africa is either a savage killer or a cannibal, or a bandit, or engaged in perverted rituals , or gullible and prone to worship our heroes as lunar deities in any case, incapable of real civilization The Arabs fare only a little better, in that they are rich and have fine cities, but then are all ruthless and intent on killing the infidels This is waythan I m able to tolerate even for a novel written in the 1850s, and the rest of the novel doesn t really make up for it I enjoyed this story so muchthan I thought I would Having read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea a while back, I was already familiar with the writing of Jules Verne And while that book was very good, there were also some flaws such as the writer s tendency to bog the narrative down with long winded, heavily technical descriptions regarding the scientific processes and theories related to his story These parts I felt slowed the pace too much But they were always compensated for, with so I enjoyed this story so muchthan I thought I would Having read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea a while back, I was already familiar with the writing of Jules Verne And while that book was very good, there were also some flaws such as the writer s tendency to bog the narrative down with long winded, heavily technical descriptions regarding the scientific processes and theories related to his story These parts I felt slowed the pace too much But they were always compensated for, with some very exciting and intense moments of action and suspense to regain my attention Overall, 20,000 Leagues was a perfectly good novel, but a little unbalanced in the way it was told Given the premise that of an elaborate, accommodating submarine, which traverses the oceanic globe in search of its underwater mysteries I couldn t help but feel that it could have been even better I approached this story withof an obligatory sense that I ought to give Jules Verne another go I just happened to purchase this awesome hardback book last winter, which is titled Four Novels, and compiles, respectively, Five Weeks In A Balloon, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, 20,000 Leagues, and Around The World In Eighty Days Admittedly, I bought this mostly because it makes any bookshelf look awesome.The reason I took so long reading it was because I probably spent half the time gazing at the front cover, tracing my finger over the indentations admiringly The pages were also gold tipped, and I restricted myself to only reading this inside the house no chucking it into my work bag or reading it in the bath and every time I handled it, I washed my hands and then thoroughly dried them This book was like a bed ridden child to me, only not so demanding I won t bore or irritate anyone with a rehash of the plot I ll just give the very basic premise, which is that an esteemed British doctor or engineer, or whatever has invented a balloon that runs on hydrogen and stuff, and with this contraption, he and two accomplices intend on flying over central Africa back in those days, a very wild and unexplored part of the world, the centre of which was left only to the imagination of Western civilisation from the eastern coastal island of Zanzibar Which, by the way, I decided was going to be my next holiday destination until I realised the price for even getting there And then to the western coast, the exact point of which is left to providence I ll have to admit that initially, I wasn t at all interested in this story Balloon have never really done much for me And even the concept of flying over Africa wasn t that appealing you know, cause I m an asshole It didn t excite my imagination quite as much as a submarine journey does And the idea also reminded me of two stories written by Poe The Balloon Hoax and The Unparalleled Adventures Of One Hans Pfaall, which were okay stories, but nothing to get too excited over Things start off rather smoothly, but as it s a Jules Verne story, and as it needs to be at least somewhat exciting, this trio find themselves pitched against obstacle after obstacle Every single danger they run into getsandthrilling, and even though one generally expects the heroes to pull through, Verne managed to make me question several times how things were going to end up There are some surprises throughout the novel, and sometimes it gotintense and violent and scary than I thought it was ever going to It s honestly the best kind of adventure story one could ask for It appeals to that inner child mentality like an early Steven Spielberg film, and in fact, I m surprised that this hasn t been remaderecently by Hollywood The only film adaptation I know of was back in 1960 s or something This is one of those books where I would say, Hey, you know if I ever became a successful director I know it ll never happen, but hypothetically, you know well if I was ever a director, this is one of those books I would personally try and turn into a blockbuster film The climax especially, as the balloon continues to wither and sink, was fantastically tense and had me glued to its pages It s awesome that a book from way back in 1863 can still hold someone in 2015 riveted to its story It had me that way, at any rate I expected at least the beginning to be a little slow, but seriously it gets good straight away Before long at all, I had to acknowledge that I was really enjoying it About halfway, I realized that I loved the story and was pretty much decided that, unless something fucked up happened and the tale got boring, that I was gonna give it four stars But when I neared the end, I just couldn t deny the feeling that I really ought to give it a perfect rating And since the book just got progressively better and better I enjoyed it muchthan 20,000 Leagues and since the ending was perhaps the most exciting part, there s just no way I can give it anything lower At least not for a while Sometimes I ll look back on a book retrospectively, and decide it wasn t as good as I initially thought it was like with American Psycho and Jaws But thisoften works the other way, as with Huckleberry Finn and shit, what else was there Oh, War Of The Words But yeah, for now I m perfectly content to give this five stars It was a very good novel, in my opinion, and though I understand that it s not considered up there with Verne s greatest work by most of his fans, it s easily my favourite of the two books I ve read of his so far And now I m going to very carefully replace this beautiful book back into the shelf and leave it untouched for a while, before continuing with Centre Of The Earth, which, incidentally, I am now muchinterested in reading, having enjoyed this book so much 3.5 5 stars As for difficulties, replied Ferguson, in a serious tone, they were made to be overcome Pros of reading a Victorian Era classic Complicated vocabulary, detailed descriptions and lots of facts about the time period Now, if you didn t know, I happen to be an avid fan of everything Victorian, because it is an era that really intrigues me, something that means reading this was a big plus for me Really progressive science facts All of the books Jules Verne has written are cleve 3.5 5 stars As for difficulties, replied Ferguson, in a serious tone, they were made to be overcome Pros of reading a Victorian Era classic Complicated vocabulary, detailed descriptions and lots of facts about the time period Now, if you didn t know, I happen to be an avid fan of everything Victorian, because it is an era that really intrigues me, something that means reading this was a big plus for me Really progressive science facts All of the books Jules Verne has written are cleverly created, made in such a way that was considered science fiction back there It is no wonder that most of the journeys he talked about have actually been fulfilled, and in this case, it was also not surprising to see how well he handled scientific knowledge and technological progress, especially since in the Victorian era people had found themselves in a very quick, life changing technological advance Mannerism, strong platonic bonds that I really enjoyed and lack of overwhelming plot points, that would have tired me or made me lose my interest The friendship between the three men in this book was very powerful and well spun, and I found myself smiling at a lot of scenes because of the way they cared about each other Exploration of religion, faith, loss, hope, dreams and morals, in a way that was very innovative, refreshing and thought provoking The main characters were not power hungry and they rarely dwelled in obsessions with goods, as they had to survive some really severe conditions Cons on reading a Victorian Era classic Blatant racism Sometimes too overwhelming descriptions At some point, there was basically almost an entire chapter that was names and dates of other explorers I know that this proves the author did a large, methodical research, and it was good to learn some new things, but it still made me want to skip to the next chapter quickly at some point.Overall, as I happen to really admire Jules Verne, I tried not to dwell on the negative points, because I know that things were different back then and that a lot of classics actually include problematic opinions I enjoyed reading the book, despite its flaws, and I would recommend Verne for someone who wanted to start reading classics, because he is easier to read than most and has very clever plots and character building.Until my next review which will not be in points, I ll be back in full on reviews xD , I will see you soon, wonderful people Stay strong and keep reading Mary If you like trigger happy wild game hunters and hardcore Victorian racism, this could be the one for you. Listening to audiobook downloaded from Hoopla Since it becomes overdue today, returning it to the library incomplete on 3 18 18 Completed thru chapter 6 about 10%, I think This is a Libravox recording with an amateur narrator So I am struggling to enjoy the text one of Verne s earliest but I find the narrator s voice somewhat monotonous This is going to be a long haul to the end on some other day Ok, ok, so the book is racist but it s also just bad So bad that after weeks of putting it aside and trying to muster up the strength to slog through to the end, I gave up, read about it online, and have no regrets Having never explored Jules Verne, I was inspired to read his work after adoring All the Light We Cannot See , in which the sea loving female protagonist reads 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days I bought a gorgeous collection of 4 of his novels and st Ok, ok, so the book is racist but it s also just bad So bad that after weeks of putting it aside and trying to muster up the strength to slog through to the end, I gave up, read about it online, and have no regrets Having never explored Jules Verne, I was inspired to read his work after adoring All the Light We Cannot See , in which the sea loving female protagonist reads 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days I bought a gorgeous collection of 4 of his novels and started with the first book he wrote which was apparently the one that sold the most copies at the time of its release Good for them Maybe they were disappointed and never bought his next books I will not be dissuaded but I am going to wait a little while before attempting another Verne So boring Wow A lot of senseless dialogue around 80% of the books is dialogue between the 3 main characters who talk in such superfluous prose My dear Dick is used hundreds of times and always during the most pinnacle moments of crisis They always have time to keep up their polite Victorian manners, even when a group of dangerous, murderous black natives are attacking their balloon but then turn out to be baboons instead At a distance there s no great difference Oops What used to be charming, funny, and even exciting in the 1860s is considered cliche, childish, and boring today Surprise The best friend who is only pretending to accompany the Doctor on the journey so that he can stop such a life threatening endeavor actually ends up going along with them So, here s hoping the next Jules Verne is better and that I amprepared to handle it I really enjoyed this book Sure, it had it s problems The plot was a bit formulaic, and the charactersweren t all that deep and fleshed out But it was fun, and entertaining.Don t be put of by comments of racist language, although that is certainly scattered throughout the book But this book was also published in 1862, and so is a product of it s times, and you have to take that into account when readingit. *DOWNLOAD EPUB ⇙ Cinco semanas en globo ☋ There was a large audience assembled on the th of January at the session of the Royal Geographical Society, NoWaterloo Place, London The president, Sir Francis M , made an important communication to his colleagues, in an address that was frequently interrupted by applause This rare specimen of eloquence terminated with the following sonorous phrases bubbling over with patriotism England has always marched at the head of nations for, the reader will observe, the nations always march at the head of each other , by the intrepidity of her explorers in the line of geographical discovery General assent Dr Samuel Ferguson, one of her most glorious sons, will not reflect discredit on his origin No, indeed from all parts of the hall Five Weeks in A Balloon is the first novel written by Jules Verne and unquestionably one of his best Unfortunately it is indeed as its reputation holds highly racist which creates problems about how it should be approached Sir Samuel Ferguson the hero of Five Weeks in a Balloon is a member of the Royal Geographic Society who in the the 1850s decides to explore Africa by crossing it from East to West in a balloon accompanied by two endearing sidekicks Where it works, the descriptions of the ca Five Weeks in A Balloon is the first novel written by Jules Verne and unquestionably one of his best Unfortunately it is indeed as its reputation holds highly racist which creates problems about how it should be approached Sir Samuel Ferguson the hero of Five Weeks in a Balloon is a member of the Royal Geographic Society who in the the 1850s decides to explore Africa by crossing it from East to West in a balloon accompanied by two endearing sidekicks Where it works, the descriptions of the camaraderie of the three balloon passengers is as charming as that of Athos, Porthos and Aramis Unfortunately, the rules of the genre dictate that the three Musketeers explorers must constantly duel with various enemies The adversaries are inevitably members of various African tribes which are all extremely brutal and highly uncivilized The racist tone of the author is certainly unacceptable today However, as the book was published in 1863 when the U.S Civil War was still underway, progressives on the both sides of the Atlantic would have been incensed at the revolting picture painted of Blacks through out the book at the time it appeared.I think it would be a prudent thing for parents to steer their children towards other Verne books such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days or the Mysterious Island However, Five Weeks in a Balloon still has considerable merit Parents could perhaps explain to their sons and daughters that the racist attitudes of Jules Verne simply shows that very gifted people can be racist, homophobic or Anti Semitic These prejudices can be found just as easily amongst the talented and the likeable as amongst the nasty and the talentless The safe choice however is still to encourage young people to read other things by Verne In a similar way I think that the Merchant of Venice is the last thing that one should read by Shakespeare.The great thing about Five Weeks in a Balloon is the way in which Verne makes science and history interesting for young people He describes the technology of hot air balloons in great detail but he does so in a way that the reader is fascinated Similarly whenever the balloon floats over the path taken by one of the nineteenth century explorers, Verne describes the history of the expedition and the challenges the members encountered In this way, he provides a wonderful description of the process of exploration and a great narrative of how Europe became acquainted with Africa Verne truly had a great gift and it is pity how few authors make similar efforts to educate readers of literature about scientific developments.Many young people who have developed a taste for the writing of Jules Verne will enjoy this novel which has many strong points It is however racist by the standards of our era and by the standards of its time Many people will be happier not reading it A late review, because actually I ve started reading this book after I ve finished reading Around the World in 80 Days two in one Similar plot, one guy tries to prove that he s capable of doing something that others can only imagine and cannot That is why theI read Verne s books, theI feel that he s trying to stress human spirit and optimism If you have the capability, funding and strength to achieve your dreams, go for it and who cares about what others may think That s th A late review, because actually I ve started reading this book after I ve finished reading Around the World in 80 Days two in one Similar plot, one guy tries to prove that he s capable of doing something that others can only imagine and cannot That is why theI read Verne s books, theI feel that he s trying to stress human spirit and optimism If you have the capability, funding and strength to achieve your dreams, go for it and who cares about what others may think That s the key message.The theme is an ambitious African exploration using air balloon, from the East Side Zanzibar to the West Side Senegal At that time the 19th century , Africa is still regarding a mysterious region with its dangerous beasts, cannibals, tribal wars and extreme environmental condition This book tells them all, including several description of the journey s made by famous explorers such as Livingstone, Burton and Speke Quite an eventful journey of three English men an academician, his servant and a hunter Yes, there s always an intellectual figure in all Verne s books, no doubt about that However, the scientific explanation only limited to how the balloon works.My fave scene would be when the balloon was attacked by condors, the sacrifice made by one of the aeronauts, and the rescue mission for him It reminds me of Indiana Jones films.Anyway, if you like these kind of adventure books, I recommend to read H Rider Haggard s King Solomon s Mines