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Five Weeks in a Balloon - Jules Verne

Five Weeks in a Balloon is a typical Jules Verne Sci-Fi like thriller. Sci-Fi may not be the best word to describe his novels, more like futuristic (at least for his time they were futuristic) In this book Dr. Ferguson and his faithful servant Joe, and his friend Mr. Kennedy embark on a travel from the East of Africa to the West, starting from the island of Zanzibar. Their quest was to discover the source of the Nile.

The book tells the tale of their adventure, and the things that befell them on their way. Dr. Ferguson has developed a new way to increase and decrease the height of a balloon, requiring no gas to leave the chamber. This allows for an extended flight.

The travelers encounter huge deserts, dangerous natives, fast flowing rivers, dark forests, and even a French missionary! By the time they reach the end of their adventure their balloon, the Victoria, is swept completely down the Congo River, leaving no trace of their adventure. They are found by some French soldiers, who send them to Europe. The book is well-written, although very stereotypical of the natives of Africa.

Problems People Might Have With this Book:
- Natives of Africa are portrayed in a somewhat demeaning, head-hunter way (which is partially true, I suppose, at that time)
- There is some violence in parts

Andrew J. is the founder of Into the Book and keeps the site up and running. He is an avid reader and loves to write as well as read new books. He is a part of the Rebelution movement, a teenage rebellion against low expectations.


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