Matthew Phipps Shiel an English author received popularity after the publication of a wide range of books. The Purple Cloud displays one of his works that maintains a reputation among diverse science fiction material. This novel received praises from authors including H. G. Wells and H. P. Lovecraft. It even opted for a film production named “The World, The Flesh and The Devil” in 1959.
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Author: M. P. Shiel
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 134
Good reads rating: 3.51 of 5
My Ratings: 7.0 of 10
Published: 2017 (reprint)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***
An apocalyptic disaster and the way its aftermaths affects the life of the novel’s main character. Adam Jefferson, the protagonist, went on an expedition towards the North to discover his billions. It announced this reward by a dying millionaire who testified in his will to pass the wealth to the first person who stands on the North Pole. This starts a cut-throat competition among the people of the world. Adam gets on board and replaces his fiancé’s cousin named Countess Clodagh. In the novel, Adam meets a priest named Mackay, who curses this whole idea of a voyage.
Adam paid little attention to this and went on the journey towards the North. After a series of events and adventures, Adam reaches the North Pole, becoming the first man to stand on it. There he sees an island in between a wide lake and saw a purple cloud in the sky. He smells a pungent peachy odour and fainted but wakes up to return to his ship. Adam became shocked to see all the dead animals and people. He travelled through cities, islands, countries and notice dead people. After realising he is the only man left on the earth, this evokes a sense of superiority and supremacy in him. The main character burns all the cities he visits.
He constructs a palace of gold for himself. He came across a young girl in one city he burned down. She was not aware of anything, having no sense at all as she lived her entire life inside a cellar and escaped after the fire. Adam became attracted to her after spending all the time teaching her how to cook, dress and read. The story ends with both of them accepting faith in God. They become the progenitors of humanity being Adam and Eve.
I find the book interesting but somewhat controversial because of the religious figures presented in the story. The plot remains interesting and well-developed. I rate this novel 7 out of 10. Would I re-read the novel? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.
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