Lighthouse at the End of the World: The First English Translation of Verne's Original Manuscript

Overview

By too many people Jules Verne is considered only as a master of that form of fiction which is based upon intelligent anticipation of the progress of mechanical invention. As time goes on and one after another his forecasts in this direction are justified by the event, it is likely that he will be remembered as a prophet rather than as a romancer, which is his real claim to distinction. For in imaginative fiction what is required of the writer is not verity but verisimilitude, and the supreme merit of such books ...
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Lincoln 2007 Softcover Bison Frontiers of Imagination Series. 210 pages. Softcover. Brand new book. FICTION. At the extreme tip of South America, Staten Island has piercing ... Antarctic winds, lonely coasts assaulted by breakers, and sailors lost as their vessels smash on the dark rocks. Now that civilization dares to rule here, a lighthouse penetrates the last and wildest place of all. But Vasquez, the guardian of the sacred light, has not reckoned with the vicious, desperate Kongre gang, who murder his two friends and force him out into the wilderness. Alone, without resources, can he foil their cruel plans? A gripping tale of passion and perseverance, Verne's testament novel paints a compelling picture of intrigue and heroism, schemes and calamities. The master storyteller returns here to the theme of civilization against its two oldest enemies: pitiless nature and men's savagery. Jules Verne (1828-1905), the most translated author in the world, wrote The Meteor Hunt (Nebraska 2006). In this first-ever pu Read more Show Less

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Overview

By too many people Jules Verne is considered only as a master of that form of fiction which is based upon intelligent anticipation of the progress of mechanical invention. As time goes on and one after another his forecasts in this direction are justified by the event, it is likely that he will be remembered as a prophet rather than as a romancer, which is his real claim to distinction. For in imaginative fiction what is required of the writer is not verity but verisimilitude, and the supreme merit of such books as "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and "The Clipper of the Clouds" is not that submarine and aircraft have now been proved to be possible but that they were made to seem probable then. Above all things else Jules Verne was a master of the art of writing the adventure story and his greatness is most apparent in his simplest work. In "The Lighthouse at the End of the World," Jules Verne is seen at his simplest and best. No antecedent improbability here has to be made good. The remoteness of the scene where the drama is laid supplies an element of dread of which advantage is skillfully taken, and the shortness of the period over which the story is extended adds excitement to the race against time which the villains of the piece are compelled to make in their attempt to escape justice. The rest is pure action, courage and resourcefulness pitted against ferocity and power of numbers, with no merely invented complications to retard the issue. As a simple adventure story "The Lighthouse at the End of the World" must be declared a little masterpiece.
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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal

"[W]e''re in the midst of a Verne renaissance brought on by new manuscripts, improved translations, and scholarly reassessments. . . . Thanks to efforts such as Mr. Butcher''s . . . it''s now possible for the rest of us to see Verne more clearly than ever before.”—John J. Miller, Wall Street Journal

— John J. Miller

Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Lighthouse at the End of the World might be best read under the covers, after bedtime, by flashlight. It is a wondrous, old-fashioned adventure story, likely to bring out the little boy, the castaway, the pirate and the lighthouse-keeper in every reader."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

— Susan Salter Reynolds

Michael Crichton
"William Butcher's text has an easy, graceful rhythm; it preserves the allusive complexity of the original prose."
Frederick Paul Walter
"A lively modern translation of one of Verne's tensest, tautest thrillers, a lean, ferocious, breakneck yarn readers will devour in a single evening. William Butcher renders action scenes with great color and dash, dialogues with sparkling fluency. . . . His research, commentaries, and analyses are riveting new contributions to our understanding of this Protean novelist. Outstanding entertainment, admirable scholarship."

Frederick Paul Walter, Verne translator and specialist

BookReview.com

“This book is a psychological thriller. . . . Butcher’s translation is thankfully the inverse of his last name, preserving Verne’s voice: concise and clear scenes that follow a compelling narrative, a prose that may be old-fashioned but with many hints of elegance. For long-time fans of Verne’s work, Butcher has also strengthened the text with supplemental research, literary analysis on word choice and an introduction showing how the book fits into the Verne canon. . . . Lighthouse is yet another reminder that here is an author who has stood the test of time.”—BookReview.com.
Publishers Weekly

Fans of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seaand Around the World in Eighty Daysmay find this work from Verne (1828-1905) austere. In 1859, three sailors arrive on an isolated island to man a new lighthouse at the wreck-prone tippy tip of South America. They soon discover a band of "egregious criminals," led by "dangerous evildoer" Kongre, who have been tricking ships into running aground, killing the survivors and taking the loot. When two lighthouse men go to assist a ship and are killed, serious trouble ensues. Characters are cardboard; the action slight, though violent; the plot simple; and the encounter between decency and evil on an island one-dimensional. Posthumously published in 1905, the book was translated into English in 1923, but this is the first English translation from Verne's original manuscript. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Michael Crichton

“William Butcher’s text has an easy, graceful rhythm; it preserves the allusive complexity of the original prose.” —Michael Crichton
Frederick Paul Walter

“A lively modern translation of one of Verne’s tensest, tautest thrillers, a lean, ferocious, breakneck yarn readers will devour in a single evening. William Butcher renders action scenes with great color and dash, dialogues with sparkling fluency. . . . His research, commentaries, and analyses are riveting new contributions to our understanding of this Protean novelist. Outstanding entertainment, admirable scholarship.”—Frederick Paul Walter, Verne translator and specialist
Wall Street Journal - John J. Miller

"[W]e're in the midst of a Verne renaissance brought on by new manuscripts, improved translations, and scholarly reassessments. . . . Thanks to efforts such as Mr. Butcher's . . . it's now possible for the rest of us to see Verne more clearly than ever before.”—John J. Miller, Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles Times Book Review - Susan Salter Reynolds

"Lighthouse at the End of the World might be best read under the covers, after bedtime, by flashlight. It is a wondrous, old-fashioned adventure story, likely to bring out the little boy, the castaway, the pirate and the lighthouse-keeper in every reader."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review
SFRA Review

“It’s a cracking good novel, and William Butcher’s commentary is superb.”—SFRA Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803260078
  • Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Series: Bison Frontiers of Imagination Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jules Verne

Jules Verne (1828–1905), the most translated author in the world, wrote The Meteor Hunt (Nebraska 2006). In this first-ever publication in English of Verne’s original manuscript, leading Verne scholar William Butcher not only translates magisterially but provides a full critical edition with penetrating literary analysis and revealing annotation. Amongst Butcher’s many publications are Jules Verne: The Definitive Biography and editions of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas and Around the World in Eighty Days.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 8, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nantes, France
    1. Date of Death:
      March 24, 1905
    2. Place of Death:
      Amiens, France
    1. Education:
      Nantes lycée and law studies in Paris

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