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By Darwin8u on 02-02-13
It is HARD to grade Verne
It is hard to grade Verne. The debacle that is the early English translations is well-documented and well-reported: names were changed, plots altered, sections cut. I mean come on, you are translating from French, not Mongolian. Learn the freaking metric system. Even some of the more precise translations don't seem to work well. Anyway, not being fluent in French I have no way to totally discriminate, all I know is several different translations disappointed me on multiple levels.
This version is based on the 1871 translation published by Griffith and Farran. It is an abridged and altered translation. The professor's name has been changed from Lidenbrock to Hardwigg; Axel's name changed to Harry; Grauben's name was changed to Gretchen. There have been chapters left out, parts of other chapters have been changed, parts have been added to other chapters.
That being said, you've got to hand it to Verne. He was climbing without a rope. So, again, back to how hard it is to grade Verne. How do you discount for the fact that he was a pioneer of scientific romances? I'm glad I read it, but will avoid the crappy translations in the future.
Norman Dietz does a good job at narration. His voice doesn't grate and he subtly works his way through Verne's scientific adventure novel.
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