by Jules Verne
first published in 1875
at first no one was told.
But in the end they were bereft;
of the ship was nothing left (of the ship was nothing left).
OK, that's about as good as I can get it. Suffice it to say that if you are planning on an ocean voyage any time in the near future, do not read this book! It is believed that Verne based his tale on two recent disasters: that of the French frigate "Medusa" which sunk off the coast of Africa in 1816 and that of the British ship "Sarah Sands" which caught fire in 1857. So unlike many of Verne's other stories, this one could actually happen. *shiver*
*** My Thoughts ***
As with many other books written during this time period, racial prejudices are apparent in the characters thoughts and speech. In addition our narrator makes judgement about people based on their physical features (head shape, stature, etc); I think there was a "science" based on this idea but I can't recall the name of it. If you can read this with the prevailing thoughts of the era in mind then you'll enjoy it.
This is my second Jules Verne novel and I'm definitely pleased (here's my first, and here's where I gush about him). My only complaint is that, as with many books of the day, the chapter titles give away too much info for my tastes. I mean, if the chapter heading says "Bob Is Abducted By Aliens" then you pretty much know what will happen in that chapter. But as I say, it was common for books of the time so I'll have to forgive Verne for that.
FYI, I read this through Project Gutenberg at this link (although I did print it since I can't read online for too long).
*** The Lost Challenge ***
I read this book as part of the Lost (TV series) Reading Challenge. It was on the list because a minor character is shown reading this book in season 4 (upside down) before committing suicide. Interesting, considering that one of the characters in the book also debates killing himself (I won't tell you what he decided in the end though).
There are not a lot of direct parallels between the book and the show, but it is most definitely about surviving a horrible disaster and that is parallel enough for me.
*** Your Thoughts? ***
Has anyone else read this? Reviewed it? I'd love to hear from you.