I gave up reading Sherlock Holmes pastiches years ago, when it grew clear that most were written by hacks who didn’t give a shit for Sherlock and used the Doyle template out of pure laziness. And since then, I’ve cast a skeptical eye on almost all
literary spin-offs. But I couldn’t resist this bit of Faux Verne when I spotted it last week at Nan
’s used book shop. First of all, I’m a Jules Verne fan and hadn’t until now read any Verne imitations. Second, I’m a lifelong admirer of Captain Nemo, literature’s greatest seafaring anarchist. And third, I heard author Kevin J. Anderson speak at Comic-Con last month and thought, well, what the hell?
Well, Captain Nemo, by K.J. Anderson, isn’t a great work. But it is a light, fun, sweet tribute to Verne’s novels. It purports to be the “true” story behind all of Verne’s books. Every one of them, Anderson tells us — from Five Weeks in a Balloon, to A Journey to the Centre of the Earth and, naturally, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea — is based on the real-life exploits of Verne’s childhood chum André Nemo. So this novel is comprised of a half-dozen or so “real accounts” of Nemo’s adventures, mixed with a biographical telling of Verne’s ascent to literary stardom. Silly? Sure it is. But it got me re-reading Leagues again for the first time in years.
And Captain Nemo is also kind of a blast in its own right.
Labels: books, jules verne, scifi