A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder

With its curious mixture of adventure, natural history and satire this early Canadian novel has become a landmark work of fantasy and science fiction.
A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder With its curious mixture of adventure natural history and satire this early Canadian novel has become a landmark work of fantasy and science fiction

  • Title: A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder
  • Author: James De Mille Malcolm Parks
  • ISBN: 9780773521674
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder”

    1. Perusing the Library shelves for Fernando del Paso and landing at DEM with the words A STRANGE MANUSCRIPT FOUND leaping at the eye. Blurb on the back mentioning four readers of a manuscript (shades of metalepsis?), satire, pioneering, Canadian academic (1833 - 1880) mostly known for (t)his posthumous novel. Baited, hooked, book borrowed.Later comment from an occasional online chat aQuaint Ants: "yawn", after describing the blurb. Undeterred, flicking open to the last page to find first publicati [...]

    2. The problem with most Utopianists, as game designer Ken Levine points out, is that they don’t take into account the nature of humanity. Instead, they lay an ideal on top of humanity, and because it is a nice idea, just assume that it will just automatically smooth everything out. But, of course, the world has always been full of nice ideas, and despite that fact, greed, ignorance, brutality, and lust always end up getting in the way.But then, the Utopianists were some of the first fantasists, [...]

    3. This book's history is at least as interesting as its content. This dystopian novel was actually written before Butler's Erehwon, but it was published posthumously by his wife. De Mille wrote to his brother (I believe it was) that he was not satisfied with the book's denouement - that is why he never published it.It has certainly received a varied reception, but enjoyed a renewed popularity when it was compared to more post-modern writers - the framing narrative is the least characteristic of it [...]

    4. This is actually a book within a book. With this uninspiring and enigmatic title doesn't do justice to this story by the Canadian born writer James De Mille (1833-1880). An unsuspecting reader would soon think it an unknown or forgotten work of Jules Verne as it combines many of his intriguing subjects and ideas. A copper cylinder is found floating in the Caribbean Sea by vacationing Englishmen. In this cylinder a manuscript is found (from the title this story up to this point could be deducted [...]

    5. Just as the title says this tale is really strange. We begin with the story of four yatchsmen who, upon deciding to have a paper boat race come upon, as the books title says, a copper cylinder. Well they all take turns reading the manuscript therein which relates the apparent adventures of a sailor called Adam More who after being shipwrecked in Antarctica and upon entering some subterranean tunnel happens upon a world of prehistoric animals and plants coupled with a death worshipping cultThe ta [...]

    6. Because this is believed to be the first work of Canadian speculative fiction, and because it has an oddly awesome title, I really wanted to love this. And there are moments of great imagination, but mostly it talks in circles, lectures, and never quite thinks through the implications of the society it sets up, taking the easy and obvious route every time. Plus, period-accurate but no less appalling for it racism and sexism. What I ended up liking best was the framing story, the boatload of what [...]

    7. The narrative of the castaway in the lands of the south pole was interesting on the whole, but nothing special. The interludes of the people on the boat become worse and worse each time they appear.

    8. Quattro amici, fermi su una barca per via della bonaccia tra Madeira e la Canarie, ritrovano in mare un cilindro di metallo contenente un manoscritto. A turno, Lord Featherston e i suoi tre compari leggeranno la storia di Adam More, un naufrago capitato in una terra ignota abitata da un popolo altrettanto sconosciuto, distantissimo dalla razza umana. Essi hanno il culto del buio e odiano la luce; l'amore deve essere solo non corrisposto e i poveri stanno ai gradini più alti della scala sociale; [...]

    9. Review of A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder, 1888, by James De MilleMissed the mark.The title was the hook. And I stand by it as being a great one. And the premise promised much, too. A story within a story as four friends combat the boredom of their privileged lives by setting sail around the Canary Islands and the Azores. While becalmed, they make paper boats for a race to combat yet more boredom, and so discover the mysterious floating cylinder.So far so frame story.The document [...]

    10. This has one of the worst titles ever, one that doesn't do justice to the rollicking lost-world adventure within. It was published after De Mille's death, and was unjustly criticized on publication as being derivative of H. Rider Haggard, when in fact, it was written prior to Haggard’s breakthrough novels. It was also undoubtedly an influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs, with the exotic locale, strange social customs, and romance between a “normal” man and an "alien" woman that were staples of [...]

    11. It's a bit too savage of a satire on either Christianity or Buddhism to truly like, but it's more compelling than the title would think. Very abrupt ending.Some bored socialites on a yacht discover a strange copper cylinder. In it is the record of a sailor who has discovered what is a nightmare world. In a cave society there exists a race of people that at first seem kindly altruists, but in actuality possess such a screwed up belief system that the sailor quickly finds his existence a horror. M [...]

    12. Four yachtsmen sailing out of Madeira discover the titular manuscript which relates a strange tale of a lost world at the South Pole. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle definitely owes a debt to this work, but A Strange Manuscript is more allegorical and less entertaining than Conan Doyle's pulp classic.Too much of the story is devoted to the cave-dwelling cannibalistic Antarctic inhabitants' nihilistic philosophy of life, which somehow manages to make a story of a secret world inhabited both [...]

    13. A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De MilleConsisting of 203 pages across 31 well presented chapters in this edition. The story flows reasonably well, but perhaps it's reading might feel dated to some being a Victorian work.The perspective of the work moves between a group of 'gentleman' enjoying a pleasure cruise on a yacht, and the characters in a collection of papers sealed in a copper cylinder these gentleman find at sea.Dialogue is interesting and the author obviously [...]

    14. More Swift than Conan Doyle, although far less savage than Swift - this is no Modest Proposal - this is well-crafted, although the ending is a bit abrupt. A clever examination of a society where virtue and piety are taken to such extremes that they become vices and perversions. The device of the aristocratic sailing party works reasonably well, although the characters in this aspect of the story are essentially just there to link the story together and speculate on the science. They are the lear [...]

    15. Parts "Princess of Mars", "The Lost World", "Gulliver's Travels", and more, this was an interesting read.That being said, holy crap people were open about their prejudices in the 1880s. The sexism and racism kept rearing up. It's probably best to take that as a product of the age it was written.I'm of mixed opinion about the use of the framing device of the four indolent men becalmed on their yacht. I liked the half of their role that was as a sardonic, four-part Greek chorus. I wasn't as fond o [...]

    16. I read this because it was in one of those top 100 books to read lists, and it's free. There were some bits that kept my attention but this one is good to go to sleep by. I would classify it as a romance. It's got some quaint ideas about what might have been hiding in the unexplored areas of our planet. It's supposedly a 'ndmark work of fantasy and science fiction.' however it's not in my favourites list.

    17. I tried to describe this book to somebody and I told them it was like H. Rider Haggard crossed with Gulliver's Travels. That doesn't quite get it, but that is as close as I can get. It isn't quite as awesome as that sounds either. I enjoyed the satire elements and how it turned the adventure story cliches on their ear but its still got long stretches that are very boring.

    18. This book is a window into another world on two levels: (1) It's the story of a literal other world; a fantastical place the writer of the manuscript found in the copper cylinder stumbles upon accidentally after losing his ship and fleeing from cannibals; and, (2) it's a window into Victorian views on science, polar exploration, society, the role of women, class divisions, theories of linguistics and just about everything else in between.The story commences with four bored Victorian gentlemen st [...]

    19. Demille’s A Strange Manuscript is one of the earliest examples of the lost world subgenre. Many credit H. Rider Haggard and King Solomon’s Mines as the earliest published example of the lost world novel. Haggard’s story was published in 1885 and Demille’s in 1888. However, it is believed that Demille started his work on A Strange Manuscript before Haggard started work on King Solomon.The book suffers from Demille’s need for exposition on the cultural and scientific works of the Kosedin [...]

    20. A nice read in the vein of "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" and a precursor to later "Lost World" style novels. At times the satire is almost too much.

    21. Interesting narration (which was of it's time) and did not quite tie together at the end. Written in 1888 this book is a satire on values of the time with a sci-fi theme. It tells of different lands with different values where dinosaurs are tamed and are ridden and death, punishment and poverty are longed for above wealth.

    22. It's nice to see English-language writers following in Verne's tradition of meticulous scientific research that seems incredibly shaky through modern eyes, but unfortunately, De Mille seems to have skipped Verne's habit of coming up with interesting plots besides. I'm sure the ridiculous premise behind his Antarctic Semites is an attempt at following in Swift's footsteps, but at least Swift had intelligible points to make and didn't turn Gulliver's Travels into The Story of the Thickest Man On E [...]

    23. This is a really odd book. It's essentially got three different parts, but they're all rather interwoven. The first is a fairly generic 19th century high seas adventure story, filled with a hero who evades sea monsters, hostile environments, and even more hostile natives. The second is a broad satire on the nature of society, when the main protagonist stumbles on a civilization that is the inverse of ours--there's a constant clinging to death, and a never-ending grind to be the poorest, for exam [...]

    24. A questo libro, secondo me, si associa benissimo un’esclamazione: bizzarro!Il manoscritto parla delle avventure di Adam More che sono tutto tranne che divertenti. Adam incontrerà, nel corso del suo naufragio, diverse terre e purtroppo non ci saranno mai delle patrie che siano accoglienti e simili a lui.In particolare incontrerà un popolo che ama la morte, il buio, la sofferenza e che mette al primo posto della scala sociale i poveri. Solo una donna, Almah, ama la luce come Adam.I due si inna [...]

    25. This IS a VERY strange story! A group of bored yachtsmen find a copper cylinder bobbing in the ocean with a papyrus manuscript inside. They read the manuscript out loud to each other, discussing it from numerous interesting angles. The story found in the cylinder is about a storm-tossed sailor who finds himself trapped in a macabre nation at the South Pole. This people’s highest dream of joy is to die, but until then, they aspire to be paupers, living in dark prisons, and separated from their [...]

    26. A fun adventure book that halfway through becomes a satirical look at human happiness and values. Tells the tale of a sailor, Adam More, who is lost in the antarctic circle and who travels through strange lands before ending up in a "lost world" of dinosaurs and a race of people whose values lie completely opposite of European values. A meta-story finds several educated friends reading More's account and debating its merit, with often humorous jabs thrown in at the "poor writing" or heavy-handed [...]

    27. Published posthumously in 1888, this is a story within a story. Four wealthy men becalmed aboard a yacht between the Canaries and the Madeira Islands discover a copper cylinder floating in the ocean. Once retrieved, it proves to contain a letter with a manuscript which the letter says is to be brought to the author’s father so he may know the fate of his son.The rest of the book consists of the four men taking turns reading the manuscript aloud to each other, though one or another breaks in ev [...]

    28. Opening:It occurred as far back as February 15, 1850. It happened on that day that the yacht Falcon lay becalmed upon the ocean between the Canaries and the Madeira Islands. This yacht Falcon was the property of Lord Featherstone, who, being weary of life in England, had taken a few congenial friends for a winter's cruise in these southern latitudes. They had visited the Azores, the Canaries, and the Madeira Islands, and were now on their way to the Mediterranean.The wind had failed, a deep calm [...]

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