Strange events are occurring around the world, involving lights, sounds and flags that are hung in seemingly impossible to get to locations. At the meeting of the Weldon Club in Philadelphia, Uncle Prudent (President) and Phil Evans (Secretary) and the membership debate about whether their balloon the Go-Ahead, should have its directional screw located in the front or the back. A man called Robur interrupts and takes over their meeting; he insists that to master the skies, a flying vehicle must be heavier than air. His remarks infuriate the balloonists and after their meeting, Uncle Prudent and Phil are kidnapped and taken on an around the world trip in the Albatross, Robur’s heavier than air “Clipper of the Clouds”. A fascinating companion to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Robur the Conqueror explores many of the same themes.
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The Story Falls Short
This is the first work of Jules Verne I've read and I know he was a most prodigious and inventive author of science-fiction, but this story falls entirely short of what I expected from this venerable writer. I don't know if it's because the technological and sociopolitical themes have been outpaced by the progression of time or by the lackluster descriptions of the Earth's continents that I was turned off, but the story altogether lacks drama, substance, and direction.
The description of the story is promising, but its performance is petty.