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Five Weeks In A Balloon, Or, Journeys And Discoveries In Africa By Three Englishmen
by Three Englishmen, By Jules Verne, Trans. By William Lackland
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1869. With illustrations. French writer and pioneer of science fiction, who is best known today for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days. Five Weeks in a Balloon is Verne's first novel. It is, in a measure, a satire on modern books of African travel. So far as the geography, the inhabitants, the animals, and the features of the countries the travelers pass over are described, it is entirely accurate. It gives, in some particulars, a survey of nearly the whole field of African discovery, and in this way will often serve to refresh the memory of the reader. The mode of locomotion is, of course, purely imaginary, and the incidents and adventures fictitious. The latter are abundantly amusing, and, in view of the wonderful travelers' tales with which we have been entertained by African explorers, they can scarcely be extravagant; while the ingenuity and invention of the author will be sure to excite the surprise and the admiration of the reader, who will find Verne as much at home in voyaging through the air as in journeying Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas.
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