Read The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton Online

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Accompanying an engineer down a mine shaft, a wealthy American discovers a series of caverns in which dwell the subterranean Vril-ya race. Not only have the Vril-ya "people" devised the means with which to survive underground, they have also developed a highly sophisticated language, culture, and civilization. Subservient to the mysterious and all-powerful force of Vril, tAccompanying an engineer down a mine shaft, a wealthy American discovers a series of caverns in which dwell the subterranean Vril-ya race. Not only have the Vril-ya "people" devised the means with which to survive underground, they have also developed a highly sophisticated language, culture, and civilization. Subservient to the mysterious and all-powerful force of Vril, they are primarily a peaceful race; but with a destiny to eradicate human civilization, it can only be a matter of time before they emerge from their underground caves to take on the world as we know it. One of the most influential books of its time, The Coming Race is an entertaining, inspired, and ultimately prescient work of early science fiction....

Title : The Coming Race
Author :
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ISBN : 9781843911500
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 124 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Coming Race Reviews

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-04-18 05:50

    *Read for school*I don't know what it is but I just found this to be so dull and boring. Maybe analyzing it in class will encourage me to up the star rating but for now it remains at a 1 because it was torturous to get through

  • Dfordoom
    2019-03-24 11:47

    Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, was one of the big guns of Victorian literature. His books were bestsellers and he garnered considerable critical acclaim as well. And yet today he is not merely mostly unread, he has become a byword by bad writing, with a literary competition for bad writing named after him. This is partly because he was unwise enough to start one of his stories with the immortal words, “It was a dark and stormy night.” It is also because he was a master of what the painter James McNeill Whistler described as the gentle art of making enemies. He also dabbled in politics, with considerable success, but the fact that he gained election to Parliament on more than one occasion as the representative of more than one party doubtless added to his already impressive list of enemies. All of this is quite unfair. Bulwer-Lytton was one of the most interesting of all Victorian popular novelists. He attempted a multiplicity of genres, all with considerable success. His horror story The Haunters and the Haunted is rightly regarded by connoisseurs of 19th century horror as a classic. He wrote adventure stories, romances, historical fiction and novels of the occult. And in 1871 he penned one of the classics of 19th century science fiction, The Coming Race.An American mining engineer exploring a particularly deep shaft discovers an entire world the existence of which had never been suspected. This is the world of the ana. The ana are human. More or less. They are at the same time both very much like us, and very different. Bulwer-Lytton has little interest in telling a tale of adventure. His agenda is satire. What makes it interesting is that he satirises both his own world and that of the Ana. It is neither a simple utopia nor a simple dystopia, but a bit of both. The hero grows to both like and fear the Ana.The Ana have discovered the secret of Vril. Or at least the more highly developed societies of the Ana the Vril-ya, have. Think of Vril as the Holy Grail of both medieval alchemists and 21st century physicists and you’ve got the general drift. The powers of Vril are almost unlimited. Both its useful life-giving properties and its immense destructive potential.The Vril-ya have progressed far beyond any human society inhabiting the surface of the globe. They have long since abandoned such barbaric practices as democracy. War and social strife are unknown. Class hatred is equally unknown. On the other hand one of the reasons that war is unknown is that the Vril-ya mercilessly destroy anything they perceive as a potential threat to peace and happiness. Including other races that don’t share their enthusiasm for peace and happiness.The society of the Vril-ya has another special feature. The sex roles are more or less reversed. Women are the dominant gender, and women take the active role in courtship.Bulwer-Lytton avoids simplistic conclusions. He approves of the much higher status that women enjoy in this subterranean world, but he is aware that a simple reversal of roles will not solve all problems. He paints the Vril-ya as being admirable in many ways, but dangerous in the way that those who are convinced they are right are always dangerous.This is a fine example of 19th century science fiction used as a vehicle for speculation about the future of social organisation rather than technology. Bulwer-Lytton is too interesting an author to be allowed to be forgotten.

  • Charlotte
    2019-04-03 06:41

    This book was on my must read list, in part, because of its association with Bovril - the suffix of which (-vril) comes from this book where it means a powerful energy source. The plot of the book is that a wealthy young man visits a friend who is a mining engineer and they venture deeper and deeper into the subterranean network of tunnels. At one point they find the entrance into another world and they venture in. This world is inhabited by non-human humanoids who have discovered vril an energy-giving substance which allows them to amongst other things: destroy, heal and fly. Sexual politics is interesting in that in many ways the females of this species have male roles and characteristics (e.g. they are taller than the males), but that the overall leader is male. Much of the novel focusses on society and social norms and how they differ between the upper and inner worlds. There are also specific chapters on language and religion. One of the overarching concepts is how, once all life's trials are overcome (through the agency of vril), culture becomes sterile and uninteresting. Books are read, but they are books from the past before the agency of vril had been fully tamed. Although cultural creativity has lapsed, engineering and invention have not. This is an interesting idea, that only certain types of creativity are dulled by having an easy life. However, this is not a coherent picture: certain problems (such as falling in love, particularly with the wrong person) have very clearly not been overcome and these are ones which we traditionally think of as stimulating creativity. I think this is one of the major failings of the narrative. Nevertheless the book does raise some interesting ideas, particularly about strong and weak states. In the subterranean world there are many people living in states without access to vril and these people live in turmoil, but in very similar societies to the ones on the surface of the earth. The chapters which focus on these topics bring up some important issues about political systems, e.g. dictatorships, strong underpopulated states versus weak overpopulated states, which are issues to this day. In many ways, this is a book before its time: vril could be seen as an analogy for the nuclear threat, despite being written before the end of the nineteenth century. The fact that these concepts have not become outdated, means that this is a classic science-fiction read.

  • Cwn_annwn_13
    2019-03-28 09:26

    Written in the 1870s its easy to see how this was such a big influence on science fiction, fantasy, hollow earth theorists, utopiaists, occultists and Eugenicists. Two men go exploring underground in a mining area, one dies in a fall and the other happens upon an underground civilization and it goes from there. This civilization is nearly a utopia, they are in control of a seemingly "magic" substance known to them as Vril which be used for destructive or healing purposes. Also when reading the depictions of the women in this world I couldn't help but be reminded of Danish women. Tall, beautiful, strong, intelligent but incredibly stubborn! The story loses me for a short time in a few spots when he goes into some of the intricies of the society he has discovered in the subterranean world but overall this was a good yarn.

  • Fiona Robson
    2019-04-06 10:26

    Amazing read. Glad to see that this is back in print. Very much of it's time, but now becoming a novel of our time. Worth thinking about.

  • Maria
    2019-04-01 04:28

    Cool scientific concepts, but ultimately a boring book. I think I only got through it this fast because I was listening to the audio book. I definitely didn't hate it, and I became more interested toward the end, but it didn't have enough of a plot to warrant a higher rating.

  • Yngvild
    2019-03-28 07:42

    The Coming Race is one of those fabulous Victorian stories in which our intrepid explorer discovers an alien race similar enough to humans to bear comparison, but different in at least one major way. We then get a series of dialogues between the explorer and an alien representative arguing over which is better. Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s fictional world is semi-Utopian; the alien way is more “civilised”, more “advanced”. I can see Nietzsche’s race of Übermenschen peering round the corner. Some of Bulwer-Lytton’s ideas of what is “civilised” tell us more about Victorian presumptions than they do about the aliens. His description of the alien language assumes that languages like Chinese are the most primitive, then languages like Japanese or Turkish, followed (surprise, surprise) by English and other western European languages. Even more amusing are his assumptions about phrenology, the pseudo-science that claimed to able to detect personality traits and “criminal proclivities” in the bumps on your head.It has the same comparative massiveness of forehead, not receding like the Celtic . . . Those which are called the moral organs, such as conscientiousness and benevolence, are amazingly full; amativeness and combativeness are both small.The trick in a good science fiction story of this type is to change as few properties as possible to explain why the aliens are so different from us. Bulwer-Lytton comes up with two: females are slightly taller and stronger than males, and there is a concentrated, portable, freely available source of power called “vril”.These subterranean philosophers assert that by one operation of vril, which Faraday would perhaps call 'atmospheric magnetism,' they can influence the variations of temperature--in plain words, the weather; that by operations, akin to those ascribed to mesmerism, electro-biology, odic force, &c., but applied scientifically, through vril conductors, they can exercise influence over minds, and bodies animal and vegetable, to an extent not surpassed in the romances of our mystics. To all such agencies they give the common name of vril. – The Coming Race, Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1871)Vril literally puts power in the hands of everybody from small children on. He uses this device to deduce a completely different relationship between governments and the people. With physically stronger females, he deduces a completely different relationship between members of the family. It could happen: cold fusion or something similar is not unimaginable, and physical height and brute strength have more psychological than actual impact. Bulwer-Lytton’s problem is that the inner Victorian gentleman never quite disappears. The only true god, the leader of the community and the head of the family all resemble the Bulwer-Lytton’s of the day more than their wives and daughters, who gracefully “choose” to delegate their powers to their husbands on marriage.

  • Taro
    2019-03-30 09:50

    In commencement of this recapitulation, it must be documented by he who is myself that the creator of this compendium takes no thrift in the utilization of glosses, and is in fact quite bombastic in literary usage.Seriously, the guy must've been paid by the number of times the editor had to search the thesaurus. Also he got bonuses for every chapter; there's 29 chapters in these 250 pages! Some chapters are actually only a page long.But the story, is interesting. Man falls underground, meets the Nazi ideal of the übermensch, with magic wands and wings.Ok, so the Vril isn't actually magic. Essentially, it's "The Force," but in liquid form. Was the force every material? I never really paid attention to the one Star Wars movie I saw. Well anyway these Nazi angels have the force. And they use it to create a society of universal mutually-assured destruction.Yes, fascists. Miscegenation being as rare as it was in 1871, our subterranean wonders developed a "pure race," unadulterated by those who don't use the Vril (the "savage races"), and it seems to make sense, Darwinistically. Let's look past the genocide, this is set some thousands of years after. But you look closer at this society. There is no law - only, very stern requests, failure to follow through meaning a social embarrassment so devious as to make it impossible. And those races that still live in the dark? Permitted to live until they pose a threat; to live or lebenstraum. It gets, uncomfortable. Equality is harkened by the narrator - but at the cost of a strange humanity. Arts are nonexistent and cold scientific utility rules all. If anything this novel shows a thought-experiment into what a fascist society would look like in completion (we only have the few failed experiments to look upon), and it's a somewhat unsettling idea.Ok, and back to the writing. As an early sci-fi novel, I guess it isn't bad. Some interesting landscapes and people. Names like "Zee" and "Täe," and the language of the Vril-ya are, however, as inventive as those found by the amateurs on, say, Deviantart.Hard to imagine how anyone would find this a true story (it seems like the publishers of my particular edition in fact did). But then again, there are powerfully devout trekkies and the like.Yes. Interesting read. Still I wouldn't mind a Vril-stick. As long as nobody else had one.

  • Tim Pendry
    2019-03-24 10:44

    This is a bit of Victorian nonsense of which one can only be grateful that it is relatively short by the period's standards. It is ostensibly the tale of an apparent utopia deep underground.Like all such efforts, utopia turns out to be a little more dystopian with every passing intelligent thought and the cause of much didactic heavy duty satire on current conditions (those of the 1870s).Bulwer-Lytton is not a great writer but he has a dry and detached aristocratic sense of humour that makes this a surprisingly easy read even if nothing much happens.It stays in the library because of its insights into the mentality of the mid-Victorian upper class male and its subsequent influence in cultural history is well outlined in Matthew Sweet's introduction.There could be an essay here into that mentality but we would fall into that same didactic trap of the author's - but what we do pick up is suspicion of democracy and a genuine fear of female power.The attitude to women - indistinguishable as Vril-ya from the sort of angel who surmounted Victorian gravestones - is creepy. The hero's penchant for a sixteen year old 'angel' is duly noted. Hmmmmmmm!There is even a rather counter-intuitive (to us) view of child labour that may be amusing now but is less so when one considers the undertone of reaction to relatively recent liberal-minded legislation.Still, Bulwer-Lytton was nearly 70 when he wrote this and his reactionary stance derives from his late transition from Whiggery to Conservatism and a rather obvious suspicion of excitable reformism.The Vril-ya are so like the ideal of Republican Rome that the book might be regarded as an unconscious manifesto for an aristocratic republicanism threatened with submersion into democracy.It is certainly one of those books which must be read by anyone interested in the early history of 'speculative fiction' (aka 'science fiction'). Most famously, Bulwer-Lytton raises the political problems and possibilities raised by what would later be our nuclear destructive capacity a full seventy five years before it actually appeared. Bulwer-Lytton is also the unwitting father of the underground tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, of tales of apocalyptic threat from superior races and of Nazi UFOS in the hollow earth - so he cannot be all bad.

  • Marie
    2019-04-21 04:48

    I would recommend this book to those Steampunk aficionados of my acquaintance who wish to emulate the overblown prose of the age of steam. Because DAYUM. This boy never saw a flower but he put some gilding on it.Enjoyable in its way, it was refreshing for its time, with some nuance - the utopia under the earth is not without price, though I question his reasoning that a peaceful mankind would stop making literature for its own sake, I accept it as I accept that the angelic women of the Vril-ya have slight mustaches.Oh! The gender role reversal! It's not complete, which makes it more interesting. He has recourse to "try to look pretty" as women compliment him in a society where women are the wooers and men the wooed, though his only descriptions of married women about the Vril-ya are housekeepers who, he continually emphasizes, are the most submissive wives ever. This underground utopia, we are told, had complete gender equality - any job can be done by either sex, but we are never shown a female administrator or engineer. There's volumes that could be written about his nascent feminism and gender-role assumptions. It's downright quaint, honestly, much like the author's repeated references to a wholly incorrect understanding of evolution, wherein parents can acquire traits and pass them on. CUTE. Outdated. But... as valid as our modern science fiction, working within the constraints of knowledge as it stood then. Overall I am glad I read it, though there are a few painfully pedantic parts.

  • Sam
    2019-04-06 09:39

    Written in the classic Victorian style with plenty of detail and gentlemanly views and standards, this is a great sci-fi tale that follows the narrator as he discovers an ancient civilisation, the Vril-ya, that live in subterranean caves and tunnels after being driven from the surface by floods. The civilisation is somewhat different to the human world above with women equal to men, so much so it is they who do the romantic chasing and who are the physically stronger sex, something which intrigues, mystifies and attracts the narrator. But the more time he spends with the Vril-ya the more he realises that while they are a peaceful race, they are more than capable of reclaiming the surface world from humans and more importantly are obviously considering doing so. This is a good read, it is quite detailed but this is indicative of the style of the era, and it does still flow well and the ending is of course in the typical open ended style, but then this lets you fill in the blanks and add your own twist.

  • David Schwan
    2019-04-08 08:40

    This is an example of 19th century utopian fiction. I have read several other books in the same genre, this was for the most part not a great example of the genre. The book is quite progressive in its handling of women. This book holds a common belief for its time of the ability to sends thoughts to other people--the root of this belief in this book comes from the advances in electricity.This book was apparently a great influence in Nazi Germany. The Nazi quest for occult items stems in part from this book--I'm not really sure why. This book outlines a society with ready interracial mixing.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-26 05:42

    review pending

  • Kaph
    2019-03-21 03:35

    Verdict: A soporifically dull albeit uniquely demeaning utopian travelogue from the Victorian mind that brought you ‘It was a dark and stormy night’Though I’ve always had a soft spot for Bulwer-Lytton's infamous opener (on account of the joint influences of L’Engle and Snoopy) I can’t say I went into this with the highest of expectations. I’ve read enough public domain by now to know that Victorian authors can be a mixed bag, the general rule being if you’ve never heard of a certain work there might be a reason for it. I was further disheartened when the story began in America, the land where literature goes to die. Still, the author was English and I was promised subterranean neo-humans so optimism remained and I dove into The Coming Race.The subterranean utopia proved excessively easy to find (hint: it’s just below you. Verne this aint.) and the chapters came short and swift which was a good move on the part of Bulwer-Lytton's as it gave a sense of progress to a narrative which was stultifyingly boring. The Coming Race (The Aun) were boring. They were calm and perfect and zen. Everything was wonderful because they all had magic wands which ran on some (ostensibly) natural energy call vril, but nevertheless they acted all superior about it. Yeah, you know what, Aun? If we had magic powers we’d all live in an idyllic utopia with no poverty, unemployment or unhappiness too. That or we’d wreak Godzilla-esq destruction upon the surface world in bitchin wizard duels. Come to think of it, it would definitely be the latter and it would make for a much better story.Why you would invent a culture so bhuddistically bland they spurn art and literature and then write for pages on end about them is beyond me. They live in total harmony with the world as they control it. All their animals are small and cute and the ones that aren’t are instantly disintegrated. They don’t drink, they don’t eat meat and they can fly but somehow make it dull. Personal distinction is considered in bad taste and their religion is so vague it makes Shinto shrines look like Notre Dame. Additionally, the narrator, in some sort of anti-journalistic impulse, takes it upon himself to really dig deep and document the dullest aspects of life imaginable. Halfway through a chapter about Aun vowel conjugations I literally passed out onto my keyboard and learnt a valuable lesson about reading at work.The only whispers of a plot come in the form of an inscrutable romantic entanglement seeped in a completely unique future-chauvinism. That might not be the right word, but there might not be a right word. Let me explain. You see, the female Aun (the Gy) are the physically superior sex in this, the coming race. Rather than turning the tables on the surface world and making men the second sex, this attribute combines with a sort of Victorian “Be nice to the silly woman, it’s just that dammed wandering uterus of hers getting her all crazy-like,” condescension. The result is that the Gy must woo the Aun, promising them favours and not to interfere in their hobbies in exchange for marriage AND be the silly sensitive sex which needs to be protected from its own stupidity. For example, while the men dare not interfere with a Gy courting whomever she wants, should this partner prove offensive to the men they have no trouble killing him later with their magic death wands.This, you see, was the predicament our narrator found himself in after winning the affections of not one but two virginal Gy. Naturally, as these women were tall and intelligent, he was repulsed. This mattered not to their fathers who told him very serenely he must die if he threatens to pollute their vegan gene pool. One of the ladies thinks she’s found a way around this and proposes that only their souls marry to which our narrator diplomatically replies he could not live with the disgrace of being a husband and never a father. Rawr. Unfortunately that’s as titillating as our story gets. It’s a shame too because, as far as I can tell, the Gy and the Aun are equally ambivalent about sex so I would have appreciated some explanation as to why this coming race hasn’t exterminated itself through procreative lethargy.I’m not sure why this book made my 1000 books list. Maybe its awkward stabbings at women’s lib were scandalous for its time, I duuno. All I can say is I found it dull and befuddling. Like The Trial(hateful) and the The Man Who Was Thursday(glorious), I have decided that this too is part of a set of diametric twins. Namely, The Coming Race is the evil twin of Wells’ The Time Machine, taking the same elements and structure and corrupting them into literary stodge. The Time Machine got a 5 so this gets a 1. Them’s the rules.#33Title The Coming Race by Edward George Bulwer-LyttonWhen March 2012Why It was written by mister ‘dark and stormy night’ himselfRating 1

  • Axslingin
    2019-04-11 06:48

    I almost feel bad tearing this book apart, seeing as those before me did such a fantastic job, but I'll just add my two cents anyway. That's about all I would spare for this book.In lieu of a plot, here's the general premise of the story: a man gallavants around a mine and finds an underground world. Apparently, this mine had zero safety features in place and the boys working it found some sucker to explore a deep cavern that the professional miners were either too stupid or too afraid to check out. Visibly shaken by the discovery, he enlists the companionship of a friend to go back down and do some more exploring. Unfortunately, his friend kills himself on the way down, and (whatever his name was), we'll call him tish is on his own. The shock and awe of actually finding an underground world apparently made tish forget about his friend, and left him smashed among the rocks while he was ushered into to this strange new world.It was quite the advanced civilization, although they had no idea that an upper world was just a hop, skip and a jump above them. We'll just assume that this was the first mine ever dug and that's why the civilization had yet to be discovered. Despite their proclivity for annihilating anything that doesn't resemble them in every way, they not only welcome the savage tish, but proceeded to educate him in all the secrets of their advanced civilization, including their history, which was not unlike us savages above. Lytton must have been a vegetarian. Their progenitors ate animals and shortened their lives? Who came to that conclusion? After all, they were presumably refugees at that time and wouldn't likely have expertise available to draw such a conclusion. But, they were advanced. Probably figured that out later. Yeah, that's it.What put these folks over the top though, was not their intelligence, not their strength, not their powers of reason, but the awesome power of the vril. The vril was an all-purpose power equally useful for destruction as it was for creating. It was a discovery that heralded peace amongst this civilization. Since everyone had the uber-destructive Vrril power, there was no fear of anyone using it. We know that is flawed logic. We know there are those willing to die if they can take you with them. Not in this place. What a relief that must have been! Nobody was jealous of another's success, that exceeded theirs. Everyone just "did their own thing." Yet more flawed logic. Not sure where Lytton got this; or maybe he just wished the world was full of wealthy Marxists. Then again, the idea of being turned into cigarette ash was sure to keep people in line. Apparently, it kept everyone in line in this place. One of the reasons may have been that men didn't have the stones they should have had in that place. They seemed to have very low testosterone, both in their appearance and behavior. In fact, it is the women that are in charge. Being seven feet tall with the strength of an ox didn't hurt. Lytton suggests that in historical lore, men fled in terror when one of them as killed by a woman. Evern when the girls promised it would never happen again, most men stayed away and...apparently became gay. That, or remained celibate for life. Lytton gave no indication that happened. They remained in other communities and "were caught up" by other males. We get the picture Ed. Although women are in charge in this place, for whatever reason, the girls are married off at 16 and the guys can hammer away until 20. And once the dominant woman is married, she pretty much gives up her life for his. And he...can take a second spouse if he feels the urge. She just has to sit and take it. How women in that society would even pursue marriage is anyone's guess. Why would they?Children are something else altogether. No child labor laws in this place. They do all the work, and that includes killing (barbarians, unwieldy wild animals, etc.). Maybe even a tish. Not this one though. But these Children of the Corn are apparently able to set all that killing aside when they get older. Well, they can only hope. With the equality this civilization thinks they have acheived, there is still a hierarchy, still somebody in charge. After all, who gives the hit orders to the kids? They have a treasury and collect taxes, but since anybody can do whatever the hell they want, how any commerce occurs is anybody's guess. Children aren't going to get anything done unless someone is cracking the whip, but according to Lytton, that NEVER happens. As if the premise for this mess wasn't defective enough, Lytton goes off on what seem to be obvious cocaine fueled rants, not unlike Herman Melville in Moby Dick. In fact, the style is distressingly similar, and I emphasize "distressing." Some parts were written less like a novel and more like a college thesis, complete with references from obscure texts. Then Lytton went off on a mindbendingly boring treatise on a language that doesn't exist. Is there a plot to this story? Is this a story? I nearly put this piece of shit down. But I didn't. I wanted to know why Hitler got such a kick out of this book, and unfortunately, I kind of got an idea. This benevolent race was SEVERELY prejudiced against any tribe not like them. The "youth" was working for the cause. The barbarians were eliminated (by kids don't you know). Taxes were high, but nobody bitched. Remember, vril=ashes. [t]he richer each individual is, and the larger the sum contributed to the general treasury,- above all, the happier and the more tranquil is the whole political body, and the more perfect the products of its industry-So, the more taxed we are, the happier we'll all be. Well, somebody had to have come up with this scheme, although Lytton insists nobody is above another. By his own words that can't be true."Alas," said Zee, "this predominance of the few over the many is the surest and most fatal sign of a race incorrigibly savage. See you not that the primary condition of mortal happiness consists in the extinction of that strife and competition between individuals, which, no matter what forms of government they adopt, render the many subordinate to the few, destroy real liberty to the individual, whatever may be the nominal liberty of the state, and annul that calm of existence, without which, felicity, mental or bodily, cannot be attained?"So the only real liberty, is nobody having liberty. ???? If you are trying (and succeeding) to be the best you can be, then you will no doubt show up a lesser person and that is unacceptable to the vrils. Again, SOMEBODY was in charge. Just not you. Each of us obeys without question the command of the Turs...even though nobody is above another... Uh...score one for the Turs. Just a non stop stream of staggering boredom. Just had to throw that in there. Lytton initially attempts to make a case that bland "equality" is the preferred society (we have to assume he believes this, because this is the book; there is no story per se), although in his own descriptions, the vril absolutely do not walk the walk. somebody is the boss, and they'll crush any civilization that fucks with them-but all for the common good you see. The folly of any society that forsakes individuality-and in the end, it's all about individuality, isn't it? However, he crushes the concept of equality in the end. The Vril-ya apparently forgot that us beings are goal striving organisms, and socialistic, bland equality just won't work. Well, it wouldn't work there either, without the threat of vril annihilation. I will say that this review is much more exciting than the book, and I don't see words jumping off the page here. Is this book a warning as to the perils of "equality," or an advocation of it? Is this book really genius and an obliteration of the doctrine that would be know as communism? Equal, bland, and chew your arm off bored. I ran away screaming from this book, but...maybe that was the point. I gave it two stars, but maybe in my ignorance I failed to give it the five stars it deserved. Well...I'm sticking with two stars.

  • Susan
    2019-03-21 08:43

    Read the free ebook edition from Manybooks.net. Part of a study of "underground city" novels of the 19th C . This one actually may have inspired some of the Myst/Uru detailsReviews of this classic stated that it was meant to give imperialist nations a taste of what it might be like to encounter a civilization very much advanced militarily - and sure that it was as superior to the western cultures as they felt they were superior to 'primitive peoples.' So much so that - if they took an interest in colonizing - they would feel the need to convert surface dwellers to their way of life in order to improve them. You know, completely put the shoe on the other foot re: what imperialist first world nations where doing everywhere at the time. It was a nice idea, but this was Bulwer-Lytton, the author who inspired the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Contest." This guy can't say anything briefly, and to the point. He spends whole chapters bogged down in the details of his imagined Utopia that he loves best: describing their architecture, creating an 'advanced' language, detailing their different social structure, speculating on their magical v'ril power source, and burbling about how superior people get along and put aside their ambitions/passions/dark side because it is sensible. The story itself hardly moves along from the time the 'barbarous stranger' arrives in this ideal Cavern society. Happily for him, he gets taken in as a kind of pet by one of the chief households, and shown everything, taught their language, etc. Eventually, the family that sponsored him so he wouldn't be dissected arranges his escape back to the surface when he is again threatened with execution. Aside from a couple of mild flirtations, this is pretty much the whole plot. The scary side was supposed be the fact that the Vril-ya were steadily colonizing every cavern they could reach, expanding in number, and eradicating competing peoples they felt were too barbarous. One day the only direction left would be up to the surface.

  • Tommy Carlson
    2019-04-12 05:34

    For some reason I no longer remember, I decided to read Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Coming Race. It's a bit of utopian fiction that came out in 1871. It describes an adventurer stumbling onto an unknown civilization. The protagonist describes the people and society, falls in love with a woman, and attempts to escape when the society endangers him.Later, I learned of Samuel Butler's Erewhon, published the very next year. It describes an adventurer stumbling onto an unknown civilization. The protagonist describes the people and society, falls in love with a woman, and attempts to escape when the society endangers him.So, let's say there's some similarity here. Butler, in a later version's forward, assures the reader that his book was written without any knowledge of the other.If you've ever heard the phrase It was a dark and stormy night then you've heard of Bulwer-Lytton. So, he's known as a bad writer. Despite that reputation, he was a successful writer. This is the only book of his I've read, so my opinion of his writing is based solely on this one example. My opinion? Well, he wasn't very good.I'll be honest; I didn't finish the book. It just became too tiresome. Bulwer-Lytton drones on and on, describing aspects of the found society. It's a weird twist on society, matriarchal in odd ways, and I suppose it could be a gripping subject. Alas, the descriptions are florid, yet bone-dry. The society is technologically evolved, but in a magical fantastical sort of way that just isn't that interesting. There's no real plot of which to speak, just a long series of essays on aspects of a fictional society. I just couldn't get through it. Others may like it as an early example of this type of fiction, but I wanted something better.

  • George K.
    2019-04-12 07:44

    Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο το είχα πάντα στα υπόψιν για αγορά, αλλά δεν ψηνόμουν και τόσο να το πάρω σε κανονική τιμή. Όμως πριν μια μέρα το πέτυχα πάμφθηνα και το τσίμπησα. Λοιπόν, θεωρητικά πρόκειται για μυθιστόρημα, στην πραγματικότητα όμως λειτουργεί περισσότερο σαν μια περιγραφή μιας άγνωστης φυλής που κατοικεί στα έγκατα της Γης και αποτελεί μέρος της μυθολογίας της Κούφιας Γης, με τον πρωταγωνιστή της ιστορίας να μας παρουσιάζει όλα όσα συνθέτουν την (ίσως ουτοπική ίσως δυστοπική) κοινωνία της υπόγειας αυτής φυλής, από την πολιτική, την οικονομία και την τεχνολογία, μέχρι την θρησκεία και τις διαπροσωπικές σχέσεις. Η δράση αυτή καθαυτή είναι λίγη (και σαν δράση δεν εννοώ κυνηγητά, ξύλο και τέτοια), οι περιγραφές της κοινωνίας μπόλικες και στην πλειοψηφία τους ενδιαφέρουσες. Το βιβλίο γράφτηκε πριν από 145 χρόνια (!), οπότε είναι λογικό να δείχνει τα χρόνια του τόσο στην γραφή όσο και στις διάφορες αναφορές του συγγραφέα σε κοινωνικά, πολιτικά και οικονομικά συστήματα (χώρια κάποια αναπάντητα ερωτήματα). Από την άλλη, μου τράβηξαν την προσοχή κάποιες περιγραφές γύρω από την τεχνολογία και την ενέργεια, που νομίζω ότι με βάση και την χρονιά που εκδόθηκε το βιβλίο, ήταν αρκετά μπροστά. Σαν μυθιστόρημα λέει λίγα πράγματα και σε σημεία κουράζει, όμως σαν βιβλίο γενικά παρουσιάζει ενδιαφέρον με την όλη κοσμοπλασία, τις περιγραφές της υπόγειας φυλής, της κοινωνίας και της τεχνολογίας της. Η γραφή είναι συμπαθητική, αλλά, όπως είπα, δείχνει αρκετά τα χρόνια της και πολλούς μπορεί να τους κάνει να βαρεθούν ολίγον τι. Προσωπικά δεν ξετρελάθηκα, από την άλλη όμως όλο και κάτι κέρδισα.

  • Greg Paulson
    2019-04-12 04:27

    I read this book because of its connections with Esoteric Hitlerism, Ariosophy and Theosophy (vril, hollow earth and such). I know that some Theosophists believe this book is actually true. I cannot agree. It seems obvious to me, for a multitude of reasons, that it is pure fiction. Bulwer-Lytton was probably intrigued by the idea of hollow earth and some other ideas which would end up being connected to Ariosophy and are related to truths but that hardly justifies believing the story is a true account. For an example, the chapter concerning the language of the Vril-ya alone would provide enough suffice for evidence to the contrary.Now that, that has been established...The book was alright. Large portions were rather boring, describing the society of the Vril-ya, which I wasn't impressed with on any applicable level. A lot of the assumptions Bulwer-Lytton takes for granted concerning what is "good" and desirable, I do not. He obviously has a fondness for democracy and the book reeks of (English) bourgeois liberalism. That being said, parts of the book were entertaining and it wasn't all bad. Leaving politics, values, ideology, spirituality, etc. aside it really wasn't bad. Especially, when you take the when the book was written into consideration, I can see why it was so popular. Literature of this sort was rare. I also must give some credit for him popularizing ideas and terms which would be used later by noteworthy, influential and even great people.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-04-13 04:37

    Having enjoyed Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii as a kid and having heard a bit of the Vril Society from Morning of the Magicians, I found a paperback copy entitled Vril: The Power of the Coming Race in a Morningside Heights bookstore in Manhattan with some excitement: A classic of utopian science fiction--oh boy!What a disappointment it was! Anyone, anywhere who could be taken in by this nonsensical, metaphysical drivel would be stupid enough to start a two-front war in Europe! Vril makes no sense, being everything and therefore nothing. The subterranean civilization makes no sense, having an economny rather like that of Ryder Haggard's She--not the novel version, the film version. There is no characterization to speak of. The writing is mediocre--no, worse than mediocre. I barely got through the whole thing, driven only by a nascent obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  • The American Conservative
    2019-04-09 09:48

    "Science fiction has flooded television and Hollywood in recent decades. Our pop culture has been completely saturated by it—and it has often played a key role in our cultural and political commentary. Films and novels such as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight or Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games touch upon issues ranging from the War on Terror to the Occupy Wall Street movement."See the full review, "The First Dystopia," on our website: http://www.theamericanconservative.co...

  • Deanne
    2019-04-04 08:55

    Strange book because there's no real story but more like a description of the world underground. The people are described, their customs and cultures and their attitude towards the man who enters their world. He's made to feel like a child in many respects, patted on the head by the more intelligent culture.

  • Fil
    2019-04-19 11:53

    Boring, dry, all-too-descriptive and, for lack of a better word, eek. Similar to Butler's 'Erewhon' and Gilman's 'Herland' but infinitely less tolerable. Stick a fork in me, I am done (with Bulwer-Lytton).

  • Dr. Andrew Higgins
    2019-04-16 08:32

    This is an interesting story and an exciting find. Bulwer-Lytton tells a portal fantasy tale of the discovery by a miner of an underground race the Vril-ya who have their own culture and, most importantly, language. Recommend for a good read.

  • Ls Mrt
    2019-04-20 09:27

    One of the most amazing books i've ever read!

  • Jake
    2019-04-16 05:26

    tedious and not very well written. interesting, but without much of a plot.

  • Paul Cockayne
    2019-04-01 06:48

    Very tedious. But interesting that Hitler like this book - I wonder how much it influenced his vision of a master race?

  • Jay
    2019-03-31 05:55

    One of my favorite TV shows is BBC's "Top Gear;" and the favorite beverage of one of the presenters of that show, James May, is Bovril. As an American I had never heard of Bovril, so naturally I looked it up in Wikipedia. The entry describes how the name of the drink was derived:"The first part of the product's name comes from Latin bovem, meaning "ox". [Inventor John Lawson] Johnston took the -vril suffix from Bulwer-Lytton's then-popular novel, The Coming Race (1870), whose plot revolves around a superior race of people, the Vril-ya, who derive their powers from an electromagnetic substance named 'Vril.' Therefore, Bovril indicates great strength obtained from an ox."I was intrigued by the mention of this novel so I looked it up online, and voila, found a free copy at gutenberg.org (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1951/1..., for your reading pleasure).The first thing the reader notes when diving into this book is the turgid prose so commonly used at the time, which makes it extraordinarily difficult for us to enjoy nowadays. It's the dense, run-on form encountered in the books of Burroughs and Doyle and, even later, Lovecraft. It makes some of the chapters almost impenetrable, especially the ones that expound upon the minutiae of Vril-ya society. And it only gets worse as, toward the end of the story when emotions are running high, all the characters devolve into the Biblical speech of the King James Version.In short, the story revolves around an unnamed young explorer-playboy who discovers an opening in the Earth that leads to a subterranean world inhabited by a very civilized race of humans--more civilized than the ones living on the surface, more advanced in both technology and morals. Once this discovery is made, and the protagonist is taken in as a guest by one of the leading families of this society, there is very little plot; the rest of the book is a detailed (oh, so detailed) description of Bulwer-Lytton's conception of this perfect civilization. Which is also where it gets a little odd, because I started wondering, about half-way through, if he was serious or being tongue-in-cheek.The Vril-ya are a very old race, and have had lots of time in which to perfect their philosophies about what constitutes the perfect government, the perfect social compact, the perfect literature, and so forth. They have done away with all inequality--there is no difference in rank even though people choose for themselves differing careers, and there is no poverty because all needs are met by the community (though this aspect is not very well fleshed out in the narrative). If different people or families live at different levels of luxury, it's because they choose more or less luxury, not because their financial circumstance dictates or allows it. The author never addresses the major shortcoming of a true welfare state--what happens when some people decide not to contribute to society at all, but just leech off it completely? And what happens when the rest of society gets fed up with supporting the leeches?--possibly because such a welfare state didn't yet exist in 1870 so completely as it does now in many of our more "advanced" countries.As a result of their "perfection," the Vril-ya have all but stopped writing new literature or music, preferring to enjoy repeated performances of ancient works instead. Granted, these were all composed thousands of years ago when they were still subject to passions and inequalities and the storms of human nature; now that they have risen above such annoyances, they have stagnated to the point where that level of creativity is not even thought possible, so they don't even bother to try.Much of the manual labor needed to keep Vril-ya society going, such as large-scale agriculture or domestic chores, is done by an array of "automata" (robots) which are powered by the mystical substance "vril" on which this civilization is based. I had not expected to see that concept illustrated in a book written just five years after the end of the Civil War. Fantastic!The narrator's host describes some underground societies that are on the fringes of Vril-ya civilization, which he calls barbaric because they still deal with their human passions and have not yet overcome (or perhaps "suppressed" is a better word) what we would call "human nature." At one point, he says:They are savages, living chiefly in that low stage of being...tending necessarily to its own hideous dissolution...Their wretched existence is passed in perpetual contest and perpetual change. When they do not fight with their neighbours, they fight among themselves...Any trifle is sufficient to set them together by the ears. They pretend to be all equals, and the more they have struggled to be so, by removing old distinctions, and starting afresh, the more glaring and intolerable the disparity becomes, because nothing in hereditary affections and associations is left to soften the one naked distinction between the many who have nothing and the few who have much. Of course the many hate the few, but without the few they could not live. The many are always assailing the few; sometimes they exterminate the few; but as soon as they have done so, a new few starts out of the many, and is harder to deal with than the old few. For where societies are large, and competition to have something is the predominant fever, there must be always many losers and few gainers.This struck me as highly resonant with the cries of "Inequality!" by our modern "social justice warriors," who seem not to realize that for all people to be made equal in outcome, rather than just equal in opportunity, means bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator, not raising up the bottom-most. It also means an end to ambition and hard work and aspiration, because who would work and strive and sweat for what someone would give you freely? So, no more entrepreneurs, no more inventors, no more innovators--stagnation, which is where the vaunted society of the Vril-ya seems to be. The narrator admits as much later, when he says "The virtuous and peaceful life of the people which, while new to me, had seemed so holy a contrast to the contentions, the passions, the vices of the upper world, now began to oppress me with a sense of dulness and monotony."That's when I started to realize, about halfway through the book, that Bulwer-Lytton was using this novel as a subtle precautionary tale against socialism and its corrosive effects, not only on society but on men's souls:At these words I felt a thrill of horror, recognising much more affinity with "the savages" than I did with the Vril-ya, and remembering all I had said in praise of the glorious American institutions, which Aph-Lin stigmatised as Koom-Posh ["government of the many, or the ascendancy of the most ignorant or hollow"]. (Not that I don't think our own Republic is often governed by the most ignorant or hollow that our society can produce; but that doesn't mean that socialism is a better, or even viable, alternative.)Tellingly, the Vril-ya speak openly and even righteously about exterminating these neighbors who have not reached their lofty level of civilized socialism:[I]t is our rule never to destroy except when necessary to our well-being. Of course, we cannot settle in lands already occupied by the Vril-ya; and if we take the cultivated lands of the other races of Ana, we must utterly destroy the previous inhabitants. Sometimes, as it is, we take waste spots, and find that a troublesome, quarrelsome race of Ana, especially if under the administration of Koom-Posh or Glek-Nas [non-socialist governments], resents our vicinity, and picks a quarrel with us; then, of course, as menacing our welfare, we destroy it: there is no coming to terms of peace with a race so idiotic that it is always changing the form of government which represents it.Ahh glorious socialism, always so ready to sacrifice millions and build its workers paradises on the corpses of the untermenschen.So I gave up hope of enjoying a good proto-science fiction story in exchange for settling in with an interesting political treatise, but there were still moments of good old Verne-style action to come, such as hunting giant lizards lurking on the outskirts of the city and threatening travellers, or learning to fly with artificial wings that were commonplace among the Vril-ya. And even some unexpected romance! But the rest of the story was interspersed with more exposition about how Vril-ya society worked, including of course the necessary taxation to pay for everything:[...T]he taxation among the tribe I became acquainted with was very considerable, compared with the amount of population. But I never heard that any one grumbled at it, for it was devoted to purposes of universal utility, and indeed necessary to the civilisation of the tribe.And of course that's the rub, the underlying and unstated assumption in this story: in order for socialism to work, you have to factor out human nature, to prevent people from feeling exploited and "grumbling." You either have to change human nature (which no one has yet managed) or suppress it (the usual method, and most usually brutal). These vril-ya did not possess human nature as we understand it, else they would not have universally supported a public spending regime like the one Bulwer-Lytton describes. And that's why they can't understand the human societies on the surface of the Earth, and look down on them; but were they human like us, their society would quickly devolve into tyrannies and chaos and mass murder, as socialist experiments always do.There are numerous more agreeable aspects to this story, so don't place too much stock in my fixation on the political. There are detailed and very fanciful descriptions of the Vril-ya's clothing, architecture, sources of food and techniques for cooking, even their funeral rites. And a very interesting discussion about the "rich" and their responsibilities to the "poor," even though those terms don't mean quite the same in the Vril-ya context as they do in ours. Bulwer-Lytton also somewhat cunningly reverses the roles of the sexes in this story, so that while Vril-ya society is not quite a matriarchy, the females are stronger and more assertive than the males, and initiate all thecourting; until they marry, at which time the females take over control of the household while the males work in conventional occupations. This leads to several interesting episodes in the story.

  • Lawrence
    2019-04-14 06:34

    http://gnomeship.blogspot.com/2014/12...

  • ☠ Daniel
    2019-04-12 11:44

    Publicado en 1871 podría considerarse dentro de las primeras obras del género de la ciencia ficción, que hoy en día ya cuenta con subgéneros y una gran taxonomía. Presenta la dualidad de ser una Utopía que podría convertirse en una Distopía, más adelante esto será aclarado.Primero aclaremos tres cosas sustanciales, las dos más sencillas: Primo ¿cuál es la raza venidera? Son los Vril-ya, habitantes del subsuelo, seres humanoides con alas que habitan en las capas más internas de la Tierra, su origen se remonta a los primeros humanos, pertenecen a la raza humana, pero se separaron y su segregación fue establecida por completo por la propia configuración geomorfológica de la Tierra a través de eones. Quien haya leído Viaje al centro de la Tierra de Verne sabe de lo que hablo.Los Vril-ya son seres más altos que un hombre normal, poseen alas, al parecer están organizados en un matriarcado, aunque no queda del todo claro, su piel es roja y con rasgos duros mas no feos. Los individuos femeninos, o Gy, son los que eligen y cortejan a su contraparte masculina, o An, y éste puede elegir entre aceptar el compromiso o en caso contrario huir pues su vida corre peligro en algunas ocasiones, cabe aclarar que no temen a la muerte y se nos presentan en un plano de conocimientos elevado. Es motivo de vergüenza para una Gy, el abandono por parte de un An. Las Gy-ei (que es el plural de Gy) se dedican a las ciencias, los An se dedican a los ámbitos administrativos, filosóficos y espirituales y a sus intereses personales. Olvidé mencionar que un An puede imponer sus caprichos a una Gy para aceptar la unión y en dado caso de no cumplirse sus deseos, puede abandonar el hogar y migrar hacia otra ciudad Vril-ya, con el riesgo de dejar una Gy enfurecida como ya mencioné. Es importante destacar que los indiviudos jóvenes, debido a su fuerza, vitalidad y gran energía tienen a su cargo la protección y vigilancia de la comunidad ante amenazas por parte de los animales y bestias; y también se encargan del comercio, de gestionar las tiendas de sus padres, que en su mayoría se dedican, ya en edad adulta, a actividades puramente recreativas.Secundo ¿qué es el Vril? Es un elemento líquido que abunda en los territorios subterráneos de los Vril-ya, será lógico pensar que dicho elemento es de suma importancia, ya que al parecer dio origen al nombre de estos seres, por la estructura del nombre de su raza. Ahora bien, aclaremos cómo nos enteramos de que existe una raza subterránea tan lejana ya de parecerse a sus hermanos de origen, de los cuales se separaron hace eones. Un explorador inglés se encontraba realizando su trabajo en una cueva. Se adentra en ella y cae hacia las profundidades de un abismo, en este momento ya no recuerdo cómo sobrevive a la caída, espero me disculpen. Es rescatado por los jóvenes Vril-ya y llevado a la ciudad. El libro es un texto escrito por él mismo, comienza explicándonos con exagerado y gran detalle (creánme que no exagero cuando digo que es exagerado) este nuevo entorno que ha descubierto, sus habitantes, su organización y forma de vida, incluso su lenguaje. Estos habitantes que reprensentan una evolución utópica de la raza humana que ha descubierto un elemento con poderes sorprendentes, que incluso los Vril-ya no conocen por completo pero que son capaces de manejar en un objeto en forma de cetro, del cual obtienen vitalidad, entendimiento, fuerza, poder y destrucción. Nos relata lo que le aconteció con dichos habitantes, cómo fue aceptado entre sus anfitriones, sus cavilaciones y reflexiones del impacto de su descubrimiento y sus implicaciones.Como agregado existe una historia de amor entre el protagonista y una Gy, hija del líder An de la ciudad a donde llegó, pero es de importancia secundaria.Ahora la tercer cosa que hay que aclarar, por qué una utopía podría convertirse en un escenario distópico. El protagonista en su monólogo hacia el lector se da cuenta de lo que representan estos habitantes, las diferencias tan enormes con los humanos, su excelente nivel de organización, su cuasiperfección dada por el Vril, el cual parece un maná dador de vida, sabiduría, virtud y poder, elemento originador y evolucionador. Son las razones que le hacen sufrir por la posibilidad, quizás lejana, de que en algún momento asciendan y exterminen a la raza humana, no por la fuerza ni por su deseo, sino por la decadencia propia en que se encuentra la civilización que ha plagado la superficie, ya sea por los conflictos interpersonales, como por la guerra, los conflictos políticos y la ineptitud propia de los gobiernos. Su fin a manos de su hermano superior del cual se separó hace largo tiempo, con la ayuda del Vril, que representa el poder de la virtud, de la sabiduría y la fuerza que nos otorgan............................Como historia podría resultar laxa, débil, sin embargo, me parece importante por las interpretaciones que puede generar desde el punto de vista filosófico, teológico, sociológico y biológico. Una raza con evolución divergente, que cuenta con un poder proveniente de las entrañas de la Tierra, ¿esta energía aceleró su evolución, la modificó? ¿están interesados en regresar a la superficie y terminar involuntariamente con la decadente sociedad humana si viven una utopía en el Tártaro? ¿son estos los demonios malvados del inframundo, del subsuelo de los que tememos por nuestro fin, aquellos que nos castigarán por nuestros pecados? ¿nosotros mismos nos destruimos, nuestro hermano superior desea ayudarnos, mostrarnos el camino correcto, pero ya no tenemos salvación? Se habla de una raza superior en 1871 ¿es un reflejo de la idiosincrasia de la época? ¿es un espejismo vago de lo que vendría después: el Superhombre, el nazismo, la Primera Guerra?Es un libro que tardé en leer, en algunos fragmentos resulta tedioso, en específico la descripción del lenguaje de los Vril-ya, pues en realidad el lector no necesita tanta explicación, aplaudo sus descripciones de los personajes, del entorno, del comportamiento, de la sociedad subterránea y los conceptos abstractos materializados. Para la época victoriana representa una desviación de la literatura contemporánea. Con historias citadinas, bucólicas, tradicionales bullendo en la época y pocos expositores divergentes, por ejemplo, Julio Verne mostrándonos viajes mundanos alrededor del mundo, batallas con espadas, hasta algo más sorprendente como un viaje submarino o dinosaurios bajo tierra, considero que el Barón Bulwer-Lytton se arriesgó con una historia gestada con las ideas más imaginativas y descabelladas para su época. El elemento que, en mi opinión, la hace pertenecer al género de ciencia ficción es precisamente el Vril, un elemento propio de la Tierra, un líquido que se deposita en un contenedor en forma de cetro o bastón y que a través de la intervención o manipulación por parte de un Vril-ya es capaz de manifestarse en la forma de un rayo de poder o energía, o darle más fuerza al individuo o proporcionarle una mente clara para un entendimiento más profundo. Desde luego este elemento resulta casi mágico, pero recuerden que en ese momento la electricidad apenas se estaba comprendiendo, así como sus propiedades. Después de todo lo que sucede entre las neuronas no es más que un intercambio químico que produce un potencial eléctrico.Acerca del libro materialmente: Lo adquirí en la librería Gandhi en México D.F., ya sabía de su existencia y de su tópico, cuando lo vi no había otro proceder más que comprarlo, me gustó la encuadernación en pasta dura; la imagen de la portada no es la más acertada con el contenido y la tipografía no es la más afortunada. Esta edición cuenta con algunas notas al pie por parte del editor, no recuerdo errores graves de edición; su tamaño es algo que me agradó, casi del tamaño del cuaderno tipo profesional.Lo bueno: Una historia vanguardista para su época, con una crítica hacia la degradación de la civilización por parte de sus habitantes y en específico de sus gobernantes. El gran detalle de las descripciones.Lo malo: Algunos fragmentos resultan tediosos y largos. Lo feo: La desazón que nos genera la crítica de algo que aún perdura dos siglos después.Espero no haberlos aburrido.