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Five Weeks In A Balloon (2006)

Five Weeks in a Balloon (2006)
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3.7 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
1421820609 (ISBN13: 9781421820606)
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English
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1st world library
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Five Weeks In A Balloon (2006)
Five Weeks In A Balloon (2006)

About book: Five Weeks in A Balloon by Jules VerneAwe, inspiration, joy, amusement, hope, interest, pride, gratitude, serenity and most of all love... These are the elements, feelings or incentives to feel these emotions that we should look for in the stories we read, in order to obtain Positivity. For the ten mentioned components help one become positive.Jules Verne has imagined all kinds of trips, machines and technology. From submarines, to machines that fly, float, and submerge do anything. We are taken to the Center of the Earth, around it in an extraordinary eighty days. We take two years holidays, search for the Children of Captain Grant, and submerge for 20,000 leagues and more.He was the absolute dreamer and is an inspiration to SF writers and readers.We are in awe when we think that his imagination was not only fabulous, but accurate. Many of Verne’s predictions proved to be correct.There is also joy and amusement felt when one reads his novels, because quite often they involve exploration of new territory, discoveries of unknown facts.In Five Weeks In A Balloon the participants in the journey discover the springs of the Nile. The story seems rather silly at times. I wonder why it had to start from Zanzibar, even if an explanation regarding the winds is given, it does not appear to hold water.True, in reading such stories, the teenager, for that is the age group which should be interested more in Verne than in hunger Games or Divergent, could be grateful for the adventure, without questioning so much the technology, the real premises and the power of the winds.The balloon is still an interesting means of transportation, and several people have looked and are still looking into making the balloon a more attractive way to fly. In an age when we put so much carbon, sulphur and other toxic gas in the atmosphere, using winds to move around would make sense.There are hazards, plain enough in Five Weeks In a Balloon, where the natives shoot down with arrows the expedition. There is a narrow escape, which could be questioned by a fault finding mind, because once you have holes in the balloon, it seems impossible to lift it up again. But let’s be merit finders and not just fault finders.At another point, the balloon is attacked by…vultures and it is rapidly falling to the ground. In order to save the samples, one of the crew jumps down to sacrifice for the good of science and humanity.There is also a parrot, named Ramses and as an owner of two macaws I fell for the bird, although I can’t help but frown on the fact that it was kept (how?) in a pocket at a certain stage in the tale.All is well if it ends well, but I am not going to reveal the end of a story which involves flying over the lake Victoria on the way to Senegal. The members of the expedition are supposed to arrive in five weeks on the Pacific Coast.Like in other Verne stories- Around The World in eighty days – there is a bet which revolves around the exact time of arrival. If you read it, you will find who won. But I recommend it if you are a teenager, for adults I wouldn’t say this is so exciting. But I may be wrong

Five Weeks in A Balloon is the first novel written by Jules Verne and unquestionably one of his best. Unfortunately it is indeed as its reputation holds highly racist which creates problems about how it should be approached. Sir Samuel Ferguson the hero of Five Weeks in a Balloon is a member of the Royal Geographic Society who in the the 1850s decides to explore Africa by crossing it from East to West in a balloon accompanied by two endearing sidekicks. Where it works, the descriptions of the camaraderie of the three balloon passengers is as charming as that of Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Unfortunately, the rules of the genre dictate that the three Musketeers / explorers must constantly duel with various enemies. The adversaries are inevitably members of various African tribes which are all extremely brutal and highly uncivilized. The racist tone of the author is certainly unacceptable today. However, as the book was published in 1863 when the U.S. Civil War was still underway, progressives on the both sides of the Atlantic would have been incensed at the revolting picture painted of Blacks through-out the book at the time it appeared.I think it would be a prudent thing for parents to steer their children towards other Verne books such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days or the Mysterious Island. However, Five Weeks in a Balloon still has considerable merit. Parents could perhaps explain to their sons and daughters that the racist attitudes of Jules Verne simply shows that very gifted people can be racist, homophobic or Anti-Semitic. These prejudices can be found just as easily amongst the talent and the likeable as amongst the nasty and the talentless. The safe choice however is still to encourage young people to read other things by Verne. In a similar way I think that the Merchant of Venice is the last thing that one should read by Shakespeare.The great thing about Five Weeks in a Balloon is the way in which Verne makes science and history interesting for young people. He describes the technology of hot air balloons in great detail but he does so in a way that the reader is fascinated. Similarly whenever the balloon floats over the path taken by one of the nineteenth century explorers, Verne describes the history of the expedition and the challenges the members encountered. In this way, he provides a wonderful description of the process of exploration and a great narrative of how Europe became acquainted with Africa. Verne truly had a great gift and it is pity how few authors make similar efforts to educate readers of literature about scientific developments.Many young people who have developed a taste for the writing of Jules Verne will enjoy this novel which has many strong points. It is however racist by the standards of our era and by the standards of its time. Many people will be happier not reading it.
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Reviews
Cherryonion
This is the first Jules Verne novel in my "Seven Novels" collection and the first of his novels I've ever read. It took me a little time to get into it at first, probably because the font in my edition is quite small (I kept losing my place) and it took some time to get used to the style of writing, but I was also a little bored when he started doing the calculations for the balloon. However, I soon started to get into it and by the time they were in the balloon and flying across Africa, I was hooked. The characters are amusing and excessively jovial about everything, which adds a certain charm to the story, and the interesting predicaments they find themselves in, and the creative solutions to them, are enjoyable. I suppose it's not surprising, considering the era in which it was written, that there are quite a few racial slurs when they encounter the various "savage" African tribes. The African and Arab tribes are portrayed as simple, savage people with little intelligence or wit, while the white heros repeatedly outsmart them and almost gleefully mock them at times. The book also has the longest chapter titles I've ever seen! They're more like a summary of what's to come, which was often a spoiler unfortunately. However, when you look past these slights, you find an enjoyable, fun adventure that's full of danger, creative problem-solving and sweet companionship.
Isabel Maia
Conhecido por ser um explorador verdadeiramente aventureiro, Samuel Fergusson propõe-se a continuar os avanços de outros exploradores europeus pelo continente africano. No entanto, não pretendia seguir os exemplos desses mesmos exploradores, cujas viagens não tiveram o melhor dos fins, seja por causa de factores naturais ou por causa da acção de tribos de selvagens. Fergusson desenvolveu, então, um aeróstato alimentado a hidrogénio produzido através da separação química da água. A 20 de Abril, o Victoria, nome com o qual foi baptizado o balão, levantou voo de Zanzibar. A bordo, e a acompanhar Fergusson, seguem Richard Kennedy, seu amigo de longa data e um exímio caçador, e Joe Wilson, seu fiel criado. Pelo meio de algumas peripécias, descobrem as misteriosas Nascentes do Nilo. Uma atribulada mas prodigiosa viagem ao longo de um continente de contrastes como é África.Novo ano, novas experiências. Júlio Verne sempre foi um autor sobre o qual sempre li boas críticas. Terminando esta leitura posso disse que junto a minha boa crítica às outras. O tipo de texto é o que estamos à espera num livro de Verne, um relato de viagem. No entanto, não é aquele estilo de relato chato onde se debitam simplesmente factos de viagem, datas ou locais visitados. Verne incorpora todo um manancial de factos ligados à história dos locais, elucida-nos em relação a questões culturais e apresenta todo um cenário que a maioria dos leitores não conhece. No que toca a estilo de escrita, todo o texto apresenta uma linguagem muito acessível, complicando um pouco mais no que toca aos sistemas métricos. A menos que se faça imediatamente a conversão, acaba por não se ter muita noção de grandezas como a distância ou o peso. Falando de texto também, foi com agradável surpresa que encontrei uma expressão que para mim é deliciosa: “dar às de vila-diogo”. Gostava de um dia ter acesso ao original para perceber qual o equivalente em francês. O início de cada capítulo, com um breve resumo do que se vai abordar, fez-me lembrar a organização de texto de Garrett. De referir também alguns pequenos problemas a nível de revisão de texto. Encontrei erros ortográficos, falha de acentuação gráfica e ausência de letras em algumas palavras. Felizmente, não foram prejudiciais à boa fluência da leitura. Em jeito de conclusão, foi uma agradável leitura que agradará, certamente, aos fãs do género.
Ian
Verne's first full-length novel, while setting the formula for many of his later books, is definitely not one of his best: the science is sketchy and the plot is basically a series of small misadventures in a row that the three main characters escape with usually not too much difficulty and a just modicum of ingenuity. The book would still be enjoyable enough, however, if not for the blatant racism that permeates all the pages where they meet another human being: every single black person in Africa is either a savage killer (or a cannibal, or a bandit, or engaged in perverted rituals), or gullible and prone to worship our heroes as lunar deities; in any case, incapable of real civilization. The Arabs fare only a little better, in that they are rich and have fine cities, but then are all ruthless and intent on killing the infidels. This is way more than I'm able to tolerate even for a novel written in the 1850s, and the rest of the novel doesn't really make up for it.
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