Finished this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the fourth in a series of five that I bought in a slip case and is as entertaining as the other three that I've read - The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of The Worlds.
Edward Prendick is shipwrecked, along with some others who perish, and then rescued by a strange man called Montgomery carrying some very strange cargo. Prendick however, is thrown off the ship that rescues him and, not welcome on the island at which it lands, is cast adrift. Just before he drifts out to sea and certain death Montgomery rescues him again and so the real adventure begins.
This tale had me gripped from the start and really chilled my blood, as did the previous three. Wells is a master craftsman especially at the short story (the copy I had is only 103 pages long) and shows just exactly what to do with the format.
Please note that this book was actually published in 1901 so not pre 1900 as per section head but for the sake of having all of the author's work in the same place, I'm posting here.
This story is amazing!
The narrator is a man known only as Bedford, a failed businessman, who meets, by chance, a scientist called Cavor. Eventually they get to the moon - the descriptions of this are utterly believable, in spite of the fact that as you are reading you know that it's just not possible - and Bedford narrates what they find there. I was a little disappointed in this as it seemed to have similarities with The Time Machine, however as the story progressed any similarity with TTM disappeared. It seems as though the story ends some several chapters before the end of the book, which I found curious, and the final chapters are taken up with descriptions of what actually happened to Cavor, as far as is known. All loose ends, except one (what actually happened to Cavor), are neatly tied up in an (to me) unpredictable ending.
I just love Wells' prose and the 'end of the 19th/start of the 20th' century feel of the book. This is the last in the set of five that I bought but I do have another, larger, volume of Wells on my shelf to look forward to.