Five Weeks in a Balloon: A Journey of Discovery by Three Englishmen
in Africa (Early Classics of Science Fiction).
Translator, Introduction & Notes: Frederick Paul Walter.
Illustrator: Édouard Riou and Henri de Montaut. Editor: Arthur Evans. Middletown,
CT, Wesleyan University Press, 2015. 336 pages, ?? ill.
Hardcover — ISBN-10: 081957547X, ISBN-13: 978-0819575470
Come summer, one tires of the high-minded works of spring, the long-haul novels by the latest Wunderkinder, the 900-page biographies, the “game-changing” — how I hate that phrase — works of political or sociological analyses. This is the season for the fizzy and breezy, a time to catch up on that oddball classic you’ve always meant to try, perhaps even a chance to discover a new writer, even a new genre.
Here, in no particular order, are some titles that I’ve put aside for my own pleasure-reading, or rereading, this summer. Many are from small or specialty presses, so you may need to buy them directly from the publisher or ask your favorite bookstore to order them for you. In most instances, these presses issue a variety of books as interesting as those mentioned below.
In recent years, Wesleyan University Press has spearheaded the movement to retranslate the full texts of many of Jules Verne’s scientific romances, what he called his “Voyages Extraordinaires.” This new edition of his first great adventure story contains everything a reader could desire: an excellent English translation with an enticing introduction, reproductions of the original illustrations, scholarly notes, an extensive Verne bibliography — all brought together in an exceptionally well-designed volume.
-- Review by Michael Dirda, extracted from “Summer’s Hidden Gems”, originally published in Washington Post, Thursday, July 2, 2015.
review obtained 11 Oct 2015
-- Review by John Rieder, “An Image of Africa From the Sky: Jules Verne’s Five Weeks in a Balloon”, published online Saturday, April 1, 2017.
review found 15 May 2017
NOTE: The reviewer is not a member, but he did speak at our 2009 meeting in conjunction with the Eaton Conference.