THE LIGHTHOUSE AT
THE END OF THE WORLD
by Jules Verne

Publisher:  University of Nebraska Press

Pub Date:  2006

Format:   Trade Paperback

Brief Description
  
The original novel that Jules Verne left upon his death, published for the first time in the English language.
        On an Island on the southernmost tip of South America a lighthouse is built and three men are left behind to tend it.  Two are murdered by pirates, and against all odds, the remaining man must survive on the island until help arrives.
(see below for Full Description)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Description
        On an Island on the southernmost tip of South America a lighthouse is built and three men are left behind to tend it. The island is also inhabited by pirates, who capture a damaged schooner, bring it into the port with the lighthouse, and immediately kill two of the lighthouse keepers. The third escapes and must survive on his wits and attempt to stop the pirates from leaving the island until a group of soldiers come to relieve him.
        THE LIGHTHOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD will be of interest to anyone interested in seeing the roots of the modern action novel (who would have thought that the literary path to Alistair MacLean and Robert Ludlum would have passed through Jules Verne?), as well as anyone interested in lighthouses (the descriptions of the island and the function of the lighthouse are great) and, of course, Jules Verne. It is also great to compare this to Robert Louis Stevenson's seafaring novels, especially Treasure Island, Ebb-Tide and The Wrecker.
        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.
        The modern action novel has its English antecedents in the books of Robert Louis Stevenson, and, it turns out, its French antecedents in those of Jules Verne. As a simple adventure story THE LIGHTHOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD must be declared a little masterpiece.

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