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Los hijos del capitán Grant I de Jules…
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Los hijos del capitán Grant I (original: 1878; edição: 2014)

de Jules Verne, Édouard Riou

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A message in a bottle launches a quest for the recovery of shipwrecked crew in this Jules Verne classic--now with an arresting new look! When Lord and Lady Glenarvan catch a shark during a sailing trip, they are surprised to find a message in a bottle within its belly, sent by Captain Grant of the shipwrecked Britannia. Unfortunately, the water-damaged note is mostly unreadable, giving any would-be rescuers only a latitude and no longitude to work with. Eager to help the castaways, the couple urges the British government to launch a rescue expedition but are refused. So they take it upon themselves to search for Grant with the help of Mary and Robert--Captain Grant's children--and the crew of the Duncan. Thus, the group sets off, determined to find the shipwrecked crew, even if it means sailing across the entire thirty-seventh latitude--and facing whatever dangers lie in their path.… (mais)
Membro:Meriwelfix
Título:Los hijos del capitán Grant I
Autores:Jules Verne
Outros autores:Édouard Riou
Informação:[Barcelona] RBA Coleccionables D.L. 2014
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Para ler
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Les enfants du Capitaine Grant de Jules Verne (1878)

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This is the fifth of the Voyages Extraordinaires and the longest one so far, being the first triple-volume novel in the series. (This whole novel, complete, is a bit longer than The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.) I read an unabridged Spanish translation, but the English versions I see in Project Gutenberg are abridged. My review applies to the unabridged version.

Anyway, this is another straightforward adventure story, with fewer speculative elements than any of the previous ones. Even Captain Hatteras, another adventure tale, involved the exploration of polar regions that were unknown at the time. This one is also an exploration story, but through parts of the world that, while faraway, were not completely unknown in the 1860s. So, the point here is not geographical discovery, but finding a missing person.


What is it about? (from wikipedia): The book tells the story of the quest for Captain Grant of the Britannia. After finding a message inside a bottle that Captain Grant had cast into the ocean after his ship was shipwrecked, Lord and Lady Glenarvan of Scotland contact Mary and Robert, the young daughter and son of Captain Grant, through an announcement in a newspaper. The government refuses to launch a rescue expedition, but Lord and Lady Glenarvan, moved by the children's plight, decide to do it by themselves. The main difficulty is that the message is deteriorated and only a few words can be made out. The latitude of the wreckage can be read (37 degrees 11” South), but the longitude is unknown. Only by trying to interpret the few remaining word fragments can the rescuers decide where to search.


I was a bit worried coming into this novel because it's longer than the previous ones and the reviews were mixed. And it does have some problems, but many more things to enjoy. Let's explore the pros and cons...

By now, Verne's style is clear. He tells adventure stories but spiced up with educative explanations. In this case we have an exploration novel, but combined with geographical and anthropological asides. This bothers some readers, because the conventional wisdom is that "info-dumps" should always be avoided, but if you want to enjoy Verne you should change the chip and embrace them, since they are an integral part of his style. There will usually be a character who is a scholar and can tell the other characters about the lands they are traveling through or any relevant scientific knowledge. And it gives the stories a bit more depth than a simple action tale would have.

The novel is divided in three volumes subtitled South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Together they tell a single story, but it's a natural way to divide it, because each volume involves the search in a different part of the world, as the interpretation that the searchers make of the message changes.

To begin with, I enjoyed the device Verne uses to motivate the characters. The message in a bottle found inside a shark, which is so deteriorated that it's not really clear where the shipwrecked captain might be, is a great starting point for such an epic adventure, giving the characters a goal and allowing for the exploration of very different regions. And this book is really epic. All the effort, dangers and adventures these characters go through in their seemingly hopeless attempt to find the elusive captain are really impressive.

I also liked the characters. Reviewers sometimes complain that they are too formal, but it's the Victorian style, which I like, always polite and dignified. In some ways they are a typical Verne cast, but the presence of the orphans give the story more emotional weight. Among the main characters, we have Lord and Lady Glenarvan, the owners of the ship that finds the message. They are noble, generous people, and also wealthy. When they realize the government won't look for Captain Grant, they are moved by the plight of his children, and make it their mission to help them find their father. They are accompanied by Major McNabbs, a relative of Lord Glenarvan. McNabbs is the experienced man of action, the same kind of role as Dick Kennedy in Five Weeks in a Balloon. We also have the French character, Jacques Paganel, a scholar and geographer. He plays the role of the "human wikipedia", always filled with knowledge he is willing to share with the other characters and the reader. He is also the source of humor, with his notorious absent-minded moments (in fact he originally got on Lord Glenarvan's ship by mistake) and his friendly bickering with Major McNabbs. Of course we have Captain Grant's children, Robert, who is only 12 but brave and unwilling to be left out of any danger, and his eldest sister Mary, who is 16 and has looked after his brother since their father was lost. Then there is John Mangles, the young captain of Lord Glenarvan's ship, who falls in love with Mary.

Guided by the known latitude and by their changing interpretation of the rest of the massage, they travel through the Southern Hemisphere. Even though they have an excellent ship, they sometimes need to disembark and cross whole continents to try to locate the missing Captain, whom they believe taken prisoner by natives.

The first part takes place in South America: Chile, the Andes Mountains, the Argentinian Pampas... They have plenty of adventure there, although the pacing is not the best I have seen from Verne and some of the adventures are a bit far-fetched (like what happens high in the Andes). It does have nice, iconic moments, like the characters marooned on a gigantic tree during a flood.

The second part takes place in Australia. They have to cross the continent, but luckily for them the 37th parallel only crosses some of the southmost part, avoiding the impenetrable deserts. In fact, a lot of it is civilized to a certain extent, which makes for less adventure, although it was interesting seeing the gold boom towns and the squatter settlements. The pace starts slow because of this lack of adventure, but eventually it becomes very intense and exciting, with a long plot involving a ruthless band of outlaws.

The last part takes place mostly in New Zealand, were the natives are much more aggressive, in contrast with the peaceful Australian tribes. This part is also frenetic. And the ending is excellent, explaining the mystery in an unexpected and satisfying way, and with some of the most moving moments I have encountered in Verne's books.

This is the first Verne novel where the female characters have an important role, particularly in the second and third parts. Do not expect "strong female characters" in the modern style, though. This was written in the Victorian period, where it was considered that women were meant to be cherished and protected from physical danger. But here they do face danger, because they go along for every part of the adventure except the crossing of South America.

Speaking of Victorian attitudes, you can expect the normal supercilious attitude towards uncivilized tribes, although Verne is modern in some ways, like his condemn of the genocide of native Australian people by the British, or the way characters like Thalcave show intelligence, bravery and honor.

I have to say that this being a longer than usual Verne novel helped not just the epic feel, but also my involvement with the characters' fate. If your edition does not have maps, you can find them in the book's wikipedia entry, for example, and follow the journey there.


Enjoyment factor: I enjoyed it. It has some flaws: it occasionally required suspension of disbelief and the pace was not always the best, but it was filled with adventure and well thought-out, the pace gets very good in the second half and it has a satisfying epic feel and a great ending. Worth reading, even if not necessarily the one I'd recommend for a first Verne read.


Next up: Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas


See all my Verne reviews here: https://www.sffworld.com/forum/threads/reading-vernes-voyages-extraordinaires.58... ( )
  jcm790 | May 26, 2024 |
Do děje vstupujeme dne 26. července 1864 , kdy posádka zábavní jachty Duncan vyloví v průlivu mezi Irskem a Skotskem žraloka kladivouna. V jeho útrobách objeví láhev se třemi dopisy, které mají totožný obsah, ale každý je napsán jiným jazykem – francouzsky , anglicky a německy . Navíc jsou značně poškozeny vodou, takže je jejich rozluštění ještě o něco složitější..
Dopisy obsahují zprávu o ztroskotání lodi Britannia na 37° 11´ jižní šířky . Majitel jachty lord Glenarvan neváhá ani vteřinu a vydává se s manželkou, kapitánem Johnem Manglesem, majorem Mac Nabbsem, roztržitým zeměpiscem Jacquesem Paganelem a s Mary a Robertem Grantovými na dobrodružnou záchrannou výpravu. To vlastně znamená obeplout zeměkouli po 37. rovnoběžce jižní šířky...
Autor do tohoto propracovaného a dobrodružného příběhu zasadil i spoustu zeměpisných, přírodovědných i národopisných poznatků.
  guano | Jul 26, 2023 |
A partir del hallazgo de un mensaje fragmentario, se organiza una expedición casi policíaca y una tremenda sucesión de aventuras en los más diversos parajes. El exotismo, la acción, el enigma, y una excelente galería de personajes, entre los que destacan los hijos de Harry Grant (Mary y Robert), el intrépido capitán lord Glenarvan y el singular y divertido geógrafo y aventurero Jacques Paganell, son algunos de los atractivos que pueden explicar que "Los hijos del capitán Grant" se haya convertido en una de las obras más famosas y leídas de Julio Verne.
  Natt90 | Oct 23, 2022 |
Verdenshavene, 1864 og frem
Et skib er gået ned og en flaskepost bliver fundet inden i en hammerhaj. Det er svært at læse hele brevet, der ser ud til at være samme budskab på tre sprog, men desværre slemt vandskadet. Man finder dog ud af det er Kaptajn Harry Grant, der var skipperen og at det forliste skib hed Britannia.
Der er også en angivelse af en breddegrad på 37 grader, 11 minuter. Lord Edward Glenarvan og hustruen Lady Helena lader eftersøgningsekspeditionen være deres bryllupsrejse på yachten Duncan og tager Kaptajn Grants børn, Robert og Mary Grant, med om bord.
En berømt fransk teoretisk geograf Jacques-Eliacin-François-Marie Paganel skulle egentlig have været til Indien og Tibet, men tager fejl af skibene i havnen og lader sig med tiden lokke/overtale til med glæde at tage med på ekspeditionen.
Kaptajn John Mangles, stewart Olbinett, major MacNabbs, styrmand Tom Austin og to matroser Wilson og Mulrady udgør resten af besætningen.
Brevet tolkes som om forliset er sket ved Patagonien og velankomne dertil følger nogle af dem den 37. breddegrad til Atlanterhavet i håb om at finde de skibbrudne. De rammes af jordskælv og jordskred på dramatisk vis og Robert bliver først såret og siden bortført af en kondor. Han slipper levende fra det, takket være en indfødt patagonier, Thalcare, der er en sikker skytte.
Thalcare slutter sig til selskabet. De finder ingen spor af kaptajn Grant, derimod af Vazello og Gunard. De rammes af oversvømmelser og flodbølger. Paganel finder en alternativ tolkning af brevet, så det er 37 grader sydlig bredde i stedet for nordlig bredde, så de forlægger eftersøgningen til Australien. De tager afsked med Thalcare efter at en skypumpe har reddet dem fra en oversvømmelse.
De ankommer til Australien ved Kap de Bernoulli og møder en mand ved navn Ayrton. der er skibbruden fra Britannia. Endeligt et spor. De begiver sig til fods til Melbourne, hvor Duncan er på værft under ledelse af Tom Austin. Ayrton følger med på rejsen, men der sker underlige ting undervejs og MacNabbs får vished for Ayrton i virkeligheden er den undvegne straffefange Ben Joyce. Ayrton flygter og opsnapper et brev, der giver ham kontrol med Duncan. Rejseselskabet minus Ayrton er nu strandet i Two Fold bugten, men de får skibslejlighed langt om længe. Skibet forliser, de redder sig i land, men tages til fange af en maorihøvding Kai-Koumou.
De undslipper ved at starte et vulkanudbrud og stikker til søs i en kano skarpt forfulgt af maorierne. Alt håb er ude, da Duncan pludselig dukker op. Ayrton er blevet taget til fange, men får lov at gå i land på øen Maria-Theresia. Her finder de selvfølgelig Kaptajn Grant og hans to mænd. De bliver taget med om bord og kursen sættes hjemad. Det går op for Paganel at han har fejltolket brevet, fordi han brugte et engelsk kort, da han tolkede det franske brev. Pinligt.
Vel hjemme bliver John Mangles og Mary Grant gift. Paganel bliver gift med frøken Arabella, der er kusine til MacNabbs. Robert Grant bliver sømand som sin far. Og vil oprette en skotsk koloni et sted i Stillehavet.

En road-movie før det begreb kom på mode. Med næsten ubegrænsede midler eftersøger man nogle skibbrudne og finder dem til slut. Ikke et øje er tørt. Bogen er forkortet en del, så fx en bemærkning om at man ikke kan udrydde for mange hajer, er ikke kommet med i denne udgave. ( )
  bnielsen | Apr 20, 2021 |
editorial ramon sopena
  Acaramal | Oct 5, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Verne, Julesautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Austin, HenryIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Christensen, BenteTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gunnarsson, J.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Moe, Per JohanPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Riou, ÉdouardIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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A message in a bottle launches a quest for the recovery of shipwrecked crew in this Jules Verne classic--now with an arresting new look! When Lord and Lady Glenarvan catch a shark during a sailing trip, they are surprised to find a message in a bottle within its belly, sent by Captain Grant of the shipwrecked Britannia. Unfortunately, the water-damaged note is mostly unreadable, giving any would-be rescuers only a latitude and no longitude to work with. Eager to help the castaways, the couple urges the British government to launch a rescue expedition but are refused. So they take it upon themselves to search for Grant with the help of Mary and Robert--Captain Grant's children--and the crew of the Duncan. Thus, the group sets off, determined to find the shipwrecked crew, even if it means sailing across the entire thirty-seventh latitude--and facing whatever dangers lie in their path.

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