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on 2 March 2017
It was free so can't complain.
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on 19 February 2014
Whilst this story is unquestionably great, I think it needs a lot more moon related stuff in. It's got maybe 50% earth and and 50% moon. It really needs to be 33.3% of the earth, the moon, and round the moon. Apart from that, great read.
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on 6 August 2005
I bought this book as I was interested in both of the novels From the Earth to the Moon and Round the Moon.
The story is a good classic Jules Verne science-fiction story of sending 2 americans and a frenchman to the moon with a large canon (Columbiade) and a hollow projectile.
This is early science-fiction, so even though space is very cold and very airless, you will have time to open your window to dispose of your garbage, when you're as quick as Jules Vernes 3 gentlemen ;-)
And - of course - Selenites (moon-inhabitants) exists that you will be able to visit. They are expected to be 1/6 smaller than humans due to the lower gravity of moon.
From a scietific point of view these novels are interesting because Jules Verne in a humorous, though serious, way takes his time to explain about the concept of escape velocity - the required speed to escape earth gravity and reach the moon.
Alas, the typography of this printed version of the story is so primitive that it allow only US-ASCII character, so the formula and some of the discussions on how it is derived has simply been deleted from this version of the story!!!
This last point causes my final rating to drop to 2 stars. I find it amazing that a book like this could not have typeset appropriately.
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on 22 May 2013
I remember trying to read this as a young teenager and failing to get through it (it was the same with Ivanhoe). So I had another go over 40 years later and managed to finish it quite easily. I quite enjoyed it, I won't go into the story as basically the title says it all!

Not a fantastic read because Jules Verne tends to spend far too much time on the technical aspects of the proposed journey and it gets a bit boring after a while. I think that is why I gave up on it all those years ago, there was just too much stuff about phases of the moon, fund raising, etc for a young lad to get his teeth into. But the action (what there is of it) is well told and entertaining.

I read this straight after finishing HG Well's 'Time Machine' which I personally found a much better read.

Now for another go at Ivanhoe.
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on 20 January 2013
Jules Verne is, of course, one of the greatest writers of science fiction, but this book just didn't do it for me. His technical descriptions and analysis of how his characters could achieve the seeminggly impossible were interesting in their own right, but I feel that the story got lost somewhere in the science part of science fiction. The characters were rather one dimensional and I was never quite sure whether this was supposed to be a satire or straight fiction. I'm glad I read it, because it is an excellent example of early science fiction and held some fascinating insights, but as entertainement, it was hard going.
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on 16 October 2011
This is a classic tale set in the mid 19th century. A group of men decide that they can build a giant gun that will hurl a projectile out of the Earth's atmosphere and towards the moon, to establish contact with any people that might live there. The first part of the story details how they proceed to build the device; the second part is the story of the voyage.

Jules Verne was in many ways ahead of his time, portraying ideas and concepts that were seen as revolutionary. Sadly some of the ideas were impractical, caused by a misunderstanding or lack of relevant knowledge of the specific area of expertise. In this specific novel, he puts forward an idea that has been shown to have some merit, but the thought that the work could be done in a year shows a lack of understanding of how the work would be managed. He also understood the problems of space flight, but his solutions were completely fancyful and unworkable.

The story also portrays the level of scientific knowledge of our closest astonomical neighbour; 150 years ago, many people believed that the moon was inhabited. It was also thought that there were active volcanos and that these would produce a breathable atmosphere, which of course we now know to be totally untrue.

However, this is a great story, not least because it portrays the drive and desire that would eventually allow 12 men to land on the moon's surface and return safely to the Earth. It's well written, engaging and a thoroughly good read which moves along at a really good pace, and it could easily be read in a single sitting. I would recommend it to all teenagers; perhaps it will inspire them to take up an interest in science, which cannot be a bad thing.
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on 28 December 2011
So much of the beginning of the book reads like a manual that it is like reading the Old Testament (except that the measurements are not in cubits). I doubt anyone reads the bible for enjoyment either. I would have expected literature to have moved on in the thousands of years since, but Verne obviously hankered for the old days. It is drier than a pack of Spanish biscuits.

What about the characters then? Well, there is some nice descriptions of the members of the "Gun Club" but really, did I feel anything for them? Nope. Nothing in the book made me give a damn about any of them. They were wooden, lifeless cardboard cut-outs. As an example, Barbicane gets the telegraph from Ardan, and almost instantly decides to make huge alterations to his project without even blinking an eyelid (well, he does ask Arden if he is quite determined to go, as if it is his project, not the Gun Club's). The story is about the use of a projectile to get to the moon. The characters are only part of the story when it fits the greater good. This is what makes them so fake and bland. So when you are with the characters in the projectile, you know very little about what is happening on Earth. When you are with the characters on Earth, you know very little about what is going on in the projectile. I would give examples, but really don't want to spoil it for someone who has not read it.

Given the amount of detail in the book, I strongly suspect the author felt a great deal of excitement in researching/writing it, but unfortunately, he forgot to put it in the story.

His description of the effects of gravity in the capsule were poor, and not because of a lack of understanding of basic science, after all, they knew that gravity was only about 1/6th of what it is on the earth. But for the people on the capsule, there seems to be no effect from decreasing gravity as they leave the earth until the last moments when they get to the point where the gravity from the Earth is balanced by the gravity from the Moon. And the whole thing lasts only minutes. There are other poor mistakes too, also unrelated to the comparative inexperience of space in the 19th century to today. Some of these he attempts to explain away in the beginning of the second part of the book (such as the estimated date for arriving at the destination which changes from one volume to the other).

All in all, the book improves as it progresses, but the most exciting part, was getting to the end.
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on 22 February 2016
This classic novel isn't really to my taste but I understand why it was popular in its day. It uses varied vocabulary and has a slow pace so you can concentrate if you want to. It is worth reading, I think, if you are interested in literature of the past.
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on 8 November 2012
Good book and amazing how he wrote the book about launching a projectile to the moon that was launched from Tampa in Florida and then in modern times rockets are being sent into space from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
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on 14 July 2014
Not quite as good as I was anticipating. I mean, I did persevere and finish, but it was a bit of a struggle. I rather got the impression that Jules was trying to break into the American market with this one.
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