A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! Paperback – 28 Sep 2000
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"A genuine flavour of Verne... Very enjoyable."--M. John Harrison
"The novel's plot is complicated and immensely satisfying.... Mr Harrison skilfully inserts all the certainties and basic decencies of the Victorian novel into a revised contemporary setting.... It is a book which I can recommend with all my heart."--Auberon Waugh
"The More Technically Minded Gentlemen of the Reading Public will, I venture to say, find much that is Enjoyable and Most Humorous in "A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! "Hurrah! for the most redoubtable Mr Harrison--may his imagination Long Continue in such a Queer Vein as this." --"infinityplus"
A genuine flavour of Verne... Very enjoyable. "M. John Harrison"
The novel's plot is complicated and immensely satisfying.... Mr Harrison skilfully inserts all the certainties and basic decencies of the Victorian novel into a revised contemporary setting.... It is a book which I can recommend with all my heart. "Auberon Waugh"
The More Technically Minded Gentlemen of the Reading Public will, I venture to say, find much that is Enjoyable and Most Humorous in "A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! "Hurrah! for the most redoubtable Mr Harrison--may his imagination Long Continue in such a Queer Vein as this. "infinityplus"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Harry Harrison (1925 -) Harry Harrison was born Henry Maxwell Dempsey in Connecticut, in 1925. He is the author of a number of much-loved series including the Stainless Steel Rat and Bill the Galactic Hero sequences and the Deathworld Trilogy. He is known as a passionate advocate of Esperanto, the most popular of the constructed international languages, which appears in many of his novels. He has been publishing novels for over half a century and is perhaps best known for his seminal novel of overpopulation, Make Room! Make Room!, which was adapted into the cult film Soylent Green. Harry Harrison lives in the Republic of Ireland.
Top Customer Reviews
Then again, you can easily zip through the book in a day, and nobody can complain about being bogged down by inessentials. Harrison's artistry allows him to translate us to his alternate universe with a few deft strokes. It is unfair to make comparisons with later novels such as Gibson and Sterling's "The Difference Engine", which give a more three-dimensional impression of Victorian society. (Anyway, "A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!" is set in 1973, although speech patterns and customs are Victorian).
Due to the book's consistent focus on the transatlantic tunnel project, the action is rather intermittent. This will not be a problem for anyone who enjoys descriptions of clever technology, though, as possibilities are opened up that have not been explored even in our world. Some of the ideas may seem questionable - for instance, the artificial islands in the Atlantic, with their hotels, shopping precincts and beaches, might not stand up well to the occasional "perfect storm".
All in all, though, a most enjoyable romp and a big contrast to run-of-the-mill "space opera" science fiction. The introduction by Auberon Waugh and cameo appearances of Messrs Aldiss, Amis and Dick Tracy are a bonus.
I had assumed, from its title, that this was to be another light and fluffy comic romp a-la 'Starsmashers of the Galaxy Rangers' and the innumerable 'Stainless Steel Rat' books. No harm in that, but did I really want to read another flippant comedy?
Thankfully, I did get around to reading it eventually and discovered my error. Yes, there are flashes of humour, but they are incidental to the story and not the whole point of it. Instead, Harrison gives us a wonderful alternate history adventure, set in a world evocative of a Victorian age caught up in the early industrial revolution. Yes, as the cover suggests, it is reminiscent of the writing of Jules Verne and even of Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger stories. The main protagonist, Captain Augustine Washington, has the determination, charisma and sense of honour you would expect in such a central character.
'Gus' Washington is a descendant of the traitorous George Washington, executed for leading the failed rebellion, and America remains a British colony. Driven by the need to redeem his family name, Gus has excelled throughout his education and early career, becoming a celebrated engineer. His employers' British board now charge him with taking control of the financially troubled American end of the greatest engineering project the world has yet seen - the building of an under-sea tunnel linking Britain to America.
This puts him in direct opposition to his former mentor, the man who first conceived the tunnel:Isambard Brassy-Brunel. Brunel also happens to be the father of the woman Gus loves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read "A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!" in response to the death of Harry Harrison last week. HH wrote mainly two types of novels, funny ones like "The Stainless Steel Rat/Jim di... Read morePublished on 24 Aug. 2012 by MaskedMarauder