Book Review: The Underground City, Jules Verne

I always enjoy Jules Verne. This particular story includes two of my own personal favorite subjects – underground adventure and Scotland. Verne, as always, weaves a human story with characters you come to know as the story progresses.

I must admit, though, as certain details unfolded in the beginning of the story, in my mind I painted quite a different picture of how things would turn out than the way they did. But, leaving it to the air of credibility that “is” Verne, the story concluded just where it should have.

A quick and fun read.  I found several mistakes made during the conversion of this book (paragraphs divided into two) and went about correcting them. As I did so, I inserted into the book many original illustrations by James Ferat. They add a wonderful visual dimension to the read. Read it here!

Author Stephen Crane

Crane in Greece 1897

Author of the famous book Red Badge of Courage, published by Irving Bacheller, and a friend of H.G. Wells, Stephen Crane influenced the likes of Ernest Hemmingway and others. Crane’s life and experience is nothing short of an adventurous lifetime.

The following was garnished from Wikipedia:

Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation.

The eighth surviving child of Methodist Protestant parents, Crane began writing at the age of four and had published several articles by the age of 16. Having little interest in university studies, he left school in 1891 and began work as a reporter and writer. Crane’s first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which critics generally consider the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim for his 1895 Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without any battle experience.

In 1896, Crane endured a highly publicized scandal after acting as witness for a suspected prostitute. Late that year he accepted an offer to cover the Spanish-American War as a war correspondent. As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida for passage to Cuba, he met Cora Taylor, the madam of a brothel, with whom he would have a lasting relationship. While en route to Cuba, Crane’s ship sank off the coast of Florida, leaving him adrift for several days in a dinghy. His ordeal was later described in “The Open Boat”. During the final years of his life, he covered conflicts in Greece and lived in England with Cora, where he befriended writers such as Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells. Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium at the age of 28.

At the time of his death, Crane had become an important figure in American literature. He was nearly forgotten, however, until two decades later when critics revived interest in his life and work. Stylistically, Crane’s writing is characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation. Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, which has become an American classic, Crane is also known for short stories such as “The Open Boat”, “The Blue Hotel”, “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”, and The Monster. His writing made a deep impression on 20th century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists.

Stephen Crane’s life story is, in my opinion, a fascinating and worthwhile read in and of itself. Read the entire Wikipedia article.

Chapter Notes

Erin thought it a good idea to add a note feature; Take notes while you read a book, then compile them to write a school report! A fantastic idea!

This feature is definitely in our development queue. No time has been scheduled to begin this effort just yet, so stay tuned. I will keep planning and progress updated on this post.

Thanks for reading!

Bringing Back the Dictionary

An older version of joggoon included an inline dictionary, allowing the reader to highlight a word and receive an instant definition without leaving the page. After our major overhaul and complete re-coding of the site, this feature was set aside for a later time.

That “time” is long overdue, so we will get back on track to bring this feature back into our Book Reader Interface.


Offline Application

I have been working late nights for a few days and have a preliminary version of an offline application working. What does this mean to you? If my testing proves successful, eventually you will be able to download and store selected whole books on your tablet or computer for offline reading. Take a book or two to read on the plane or where WiFi access is shoddy.

Once the application is available for use on a select number of books, I will announce it on this blog along with the list of books available for FREE download.