cover image Lighthouse at the End of the World

Lighthouse at the End of the World

Jules Verne, , edited and trans. from the French by William Butcher. . Univ. of Nebraska, $29.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-8032-6007-8

Fans of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days may find this work from Verne (1828–1905) austere. In 1859, three sailors arrive on an isolated island to man a new lighthouse at the wreck-prone tippy tip of South America. They soon discover a band of “egregious criminals,” led by “dangerous evildoer” Kongre, who have been tricking ships into running aground, killing the survivors and taking the loot. When two lighthouse men go to assist a ship and are killed, serious trouble ensues. Characters are cardboard; the action slight, though violent; the plot simple; and the encounter between decency and evil on an island one-dimensional. Posthumously published in 1905, the book was translated into English in 1923, but this is the first English translation from Verne’s original manuscript. (Sept.)