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Published in 1904, The Master of the World is the penultimate novel in the Voyages Extraordinaires series, by renowned French novelist and pioneer of science fiction, Jules Verne. The novel acts as a sequel to Verne’s novel Robur the Conqueror, and consequently brings back some of its most notable characters, including the brilliant, yet villainous inventor Robur. Set in the summer of 1903, the adventure kicks off when a string of enigmatic events have been reported in the western part of North Carolina, leaving residents in fear of a possible volcanic eruption, even though the Blue Ridge Mountains are known to be non-volcanic . This fear is instigated after residents had reportedly heard a deep rumbling sound and have seen smoke escaping the mountain. Consequently, government agent John Strock is assigned to the case, and duly travels to the site in order to investigate the strange occurrences and assist in the unraveling of the mystery that has left everyone baffled. The phenomena deepens with further sightings of an unidentified object that seems to defy all notions of speed, as the vehicle is seen travelling with an enormous speed that leaves no traces behind but a cloud of dust. Similarly, there is a sighting of a peculiar-looking speedboat moving at an impossible speed in the waters off New England. While on the search for answers, Strock accidentally stumbles upon Robur, the inventor and mastermind of the ingenious creation that is the cause of the widespread confusion. Captured by the somewhat deranged man, Strock joins him on board the strange craft, as Robur goes about his plan to become master of the world. Although some of the technological elements in the novel may appear quite mundane in comparison to modern technology, they nevertheless allow the audience to travel back in time and experience the groundbreaking technology of the early 20th century, and see for themselves just how far technology has advanced in such a considerably short period of time. Generous with his descriptive language, technological inventions, gadgetry, and precise geographical depiction of the United States, The Master of the World additionally fortifies Verne’s status as a highly imaginative and creative novelist in the adventure and science fiction genre.
I apologise for not clarifying my reasons for dismissing the main protagonist in such a way and will not spoil the limited plot for those who wish to listen to mark Smith's excellent reading but if ever there was an inspector of police so inept I have yet to come across one Even the most mentally challenged would have finished it by chapter 3.
Mark Smith is one of the best readers on this site His ability to assume the voices of different characters is impressive It's a shame that the story is rubbish and Inspector Throck makes Cleuso seem a genius