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I was reminded of “Frankenstein” and “20, Leagues Under the Sea” in the sense that the flourishing style of the author is sometimes neglectful of the aspects of realism necessary to make fantasy believable.

I think it’s all well and good to des Shiel has a marvelous vocabulary – his sentences are beautiful, but the plot of this story bogs down midway. Con il protagonista, come il protagonista, cerchi uno scopo per la tua esistenza, per le tue azioni, e ti chiedi se avresti fatto le stesse scelte, scavi la tua anima a cercare veramente il desiderio inconfessato e inconfessabile, giochi con le ipotesi.

Written as an intermittent diary, this is one of the first and perhaps the finest of “last man” novels. Nov 11, Doug rated it it was ok. His “madness” and his discovery of “Eve” are eventful and reveal the heart of the novel. The Purple Cloud is one of the earliest “last man alive” stories in science fiction.

While his reactions to the cataclysm seem deeply strange, they bube highlight that there is no reasonable response to such purpures circumstances.

May 23, Alfred Searls rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the shortest version, and was photo-offset in Volume I of A. Sep 23, Guy rated it liked it Shelves: There’s no quiet resolve here. What if those spiteful ashes were deadly poisonous? Quotes from The Purple Cloud. Seriously, this is a classic “last man on earth” SF tale. The prose is incredibly overwrought, there is a wholly superfluous framing conceit, and the main character is a nightmare. But when he returns, by luck, determination and aching misadventure, he slowly comes to realize that all of humanity — indeed, nearly all land life — has been exterminated by a cyanide cloud from massive eruptions in th Written as an intermittent diary, this is one of the first and perhaps the finest of “last man” novels.


For some inexplicable reason, the North Pole, which bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Garden purpure Eden in the Bible, has become associated with that place and the idea behind The Purple Cloud is that if anyone every reaches the Pole and enters the forbidden nuge once again, then all of mankind will be wiped out. I also think that man alone is a terrible torture to oneself for we are a social creature and the author portrays that very well.

Meanwhile, a preacher rails against the endeavor, saying that God does not intend Man to plumb these mysteries.

La Nube Purpurea

Un pensiero originale e paradossale. Trivia Pupurea The Purple Cloud. His going about the towns looking for survivors or naming all the type of ships he comes across on the ocean, is stifling almost robotic.

Aug 01, Kay rated it liked it Shelves: I’ve heard Shiel compared to Edgar Allen Poe, which is more on the mark. I’m glad I tackled it, though, if only for foundational literacy in the genre. There is a bit of philposphy at the end, but nothing worth suffering purpueea the rest of the book for. View all 3 comments.

More by Enrico Coniglio

Apr 13, D. His rage knows no bounds. The long lists of details and plans, while initially fascinating, gradually grow tedious. This section of ‘The Purple Cloud’ is similarly lengthy, detailed and tedious, and shares the ‘travelogue’-like quality of the narrative with the earlier work – but with the addition of repeated assumptions of Western cultural superiority.

The evidence he finds leads him to understand that a great “purple cloud, smelling of peaches” made its way over the Earth, killing everything in its path. Mar 13, Chris Laskey rated it liked it.

Almost better than M. All in all Shiel presents a very bleak and unflinching view of the human character.

La nube purpurea – Matthew Phipps Shiel – Google Books

I about jumped for joy when he started to lose his mind and begin burning cities around the world starting with London, for at least it began to pick up once again. Honestly this is the most tedious and patience trying portion of the book. View all 7 comments. Overall, this is a decent read for the first half, a hurry-it-up at the moralizing end, and a true author-slapping slog in a few places.


The central character, Adam, returns from an Arctic expedition to find that a purple cloud has passed over the surface of the earth, killing everything. The Purple Cloud ; remains his most famous and often reprinted novel. Recommended but not enthusiastically.

There is a euphoric sense of utter freedom m I foolishly sold my copy of this marvelous book years ago and wish I had it back. The novel is unfortunately abundantly filled with more than useless information as if Shiel were some cataloger of culture, engines, equipment and clothes and it is this tendency that truly drags the work down.

The notes are helpful, and explain quite a bit about Shiel himself, as well as his writing and research.

The future manuscript is the account set down by a member of an expedition which hoped to be first to reach the Pole I only managed three words: She is innocent, beautiful and childlike and thoroughly, thoroughly awful as a character. But some sort of fate protects Jeffson and he alone of his entire expedition makes it to the goal. The plot in brief: P Shiel was not able to foresee the future and had no intention to do itbut definitely was some steps forward.

Well, in “The Purple Cloud” they are. The rest purputea the story is dedicated to their lives together or not together but together, until the end where what is fated to happen happens.

Well that was 40 pages of setting the scene and building up tension and then pages of purpurwa. That and the thoroughly unlikable protagonist, Purpugea Jeffson.