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It is exceedingly unlikely that the critics will ever consider Jules Verne to be one of the world's great authors.  And yet who ever came to a love of books and reading because of the works of Joyce and Faulkner ands their ilk?   Not a damn soul.  In fact, The Sound and the Fury (see review) and Ulysses (see review) can make you rue the day you learned to read.  Meanwhile, there are literally millions of us who became avid readers and fell in love with books thanks to the magnificent adventure novels of Jules Verne.

The halls of academia may not overflow with earnest Literature majors studying his work and his prose stylings may not have transformed generations of authors, but, as one of the creators of Science Fiction, he is certainly one of the most influential authors of all time.  And in terms of the pure innovation of his plot lines and the imagination and excitement of the stories he told, he is without peer.

But returning to this classic travel tale as an adult, the most pleasant surprise was just how funny a book this is.  The phlegmatic Phileas Fogg and Passepartout, his own intrepid Sancho Panza, play off of each other to great effect.  And the excitable and dedicated, though badly misguided, Detective Fix makes for an amusing foil for the heroes as he pursues them around the globe and very nearly loses Fogg his wager.

This is simply a grand adventure for readers of all ages.


Grade: (A+)


See also:

Children's Books
Book-related and General Links:
    -Encyclopaedia Britannica:  Your search: "jules verne"
    -Zvi Har'El's Jules Verne Collection
    -North American Jules Verne Society (Andrew Nash)
    -Jules Verne on Film (American Film Institute)
    -ETEXTS: Jules Verne Virtual Library
    -ETEXT: AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS by JULES VERNE English translation by George Makepeace Towle (1873)  57 Original illustrations by Alphonse-Marie de Neuville and Léon Benett (1873)
    -ESSAY: Jules Verne, Misunderstood Visionary: Discovery of a long-lost novel reveals that, from the start, the father of science fiction was gravely concerned with the dangers of technology (Arthur B. Evans and Ron Miller, Scientific American)
    -ESSAY: All Hail Jules Verne, Patron Saint of Cyberspace (EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, NY Times)
    -ARTICLE: A Star Sailor Conceives, Quite Simply, 'the Race' (CHRISTOPHER CLAREY, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of Paris in the Twentieth Century by Jules Verne ( JULIAN BARNES, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of PARIS IN THE 20TH CENTURY By Jules Verne Translated by Richard Howard (RICHARD BERNSTEIN, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: John Weightman: Cosmic Adventurer, NY Review of Books
        Jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography by Herbert R. Lottman
        Paris in the Twentieth Century the lost novel by Jules Verne and translated by Richard Howard