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Old 05-24-2010, 03:55 AM   #15
pdurrant
The Grand Mouse
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Location: Norfolk, England
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Mysterious? More impossible. Too many mainland (& different mainlands) creatures for it to be natural, which spoiled it a bit for me. Even given when it was written, it didn't make sense in that way. (That islands were limited in the species was known.)

The building technology from the ground up was fun, but rather underestimated how hard it would be.

The ending seemed very rushed and improbable, even compared to the rest.

Spoiler:
It seems that the ending (island destroyed by sea water mixing with magma under the island) influenced the investigation of the 1883 destruction of Krakatoa, with early investigations concluding that it was just such a sea-water/magma mix that destroyed the island. This does not seem to have been the case, although the exact cause of the large explosions in 1883 is not certain.


On the whole, although it's impressive for its time, I didn't enjoy the book. Perhaps a better (or more modern) translation would have helped. There were at least a couple of occasions where a translation problem caught my eye - just from the poor quality of the English. But it may be that the impossibilities just distracted me too much from the story.
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