By now I doubt you’re unfamiliar with Jules Verne. But if you still have no idea who he is, then let me enlighten you so that you will enjoy reading his books more.
Do you believe in coincidence?
Some call it luck, others coincidence and others synchrodestiny. The truth is that we can agree that seemingly inexplicable things often happen with a relationship that is too close. In fact, Verne achieved popularity (in addition to his talent) because points he had made in his literary works became real years later.
Many people wonder if he was a true prophet, if he really had visions of the future, or if he was just a genius visionary. Well, I guess we’ll never know.
But what we do know is that he was a great writer and that he has left us with a collection of treasures; And I’m not talking about money! I mean the amazing literary works of his, in which I put the eye and the time to review so that I can bring you the top five.
At this point, I invite you to follow me on this reading journey where we will explore each of these books.
Jules Verne’s best books
Journey to the Center of the Earth
First of all we have this book ”Journey to the center of the earth”. A story that begins on May 24 after the return of a bitter professor named Lidenbrook, who enjoyed great prestige and influence in society. Crowds did not stop visiting them while they were in places like:
In general, they used to consult him on very important matters about chemistry, since it was one of the most outstanding sciences in 1853, and Lidenbrook dominated it. However, he preferred to remain as curator of the mineralogical museum of Mr. Struve (A Russian ambassador).
Lidenbrook shared his life with his goddaughter named Grauben, a 17-year-old Irish girl, and also always had his nephew Alex when he needed extra hands to carry out his experiments.
One day Alex was in the museum cleaning some strange rocks and Lidenbrook was investigating some very old books, when he found a truly ancient manuscript; an occult book written several centuries earlier by an Icelandic alchemist named Arne Saknussemm.
As I am sure you know, occult documents are difficult to read. And more if the intention is to keep and not reveal certain knowledge.
In that sense, our protagonist and his nephew spend enough time to discover the signs that, according to the book, could lead them to the center of the earth. However, it involved going into the crater of an apparently dormant volcano.
Now, can you imagine the odyssey of decrypting an alchemical message to find a secret of such magnitude?
Well, the fascination for the subject made Lidenbrook and his nephew quickly decide to risk their lives on an expedition that could lead to great discoveries. As a consequence, they find themselves involved in a series of adventures, dangers and ironies that cause humor.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most important specimens in Verne’s collection. When starting with him you will want to know the whole story in the blink of an eye.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
The following book talks about a sea monster that has set off all the alarms in the ocean since it threatened the population during the second half of the 19th century. Where all maritime accidents without known cause were attributed to a singular creature.
This great story, narrated by the character Pierre Aronnax, a French professor of Natural History, raises the concern of an entire civilization with the disappearance of numerous boats for no apparent reason. And based on it, an expedition is organized to capture the creature believed to be suspected of said activity.
As a consequence of these decisions, we have our protagonist together with his assistant Conseil and the expert Canadian harpooner Ned Land, aboard the American frigate Abraham Lincoln.
Personally I think if it were from a book, I wouldn’t get involved in anything that involved facing monsters. But Verne sent these three on what I consider to be a really complex task. In fact, when our favorite characters in the book met the creature, they suffered a heavy defeat that would leave them without a boat, so if they wanted to survive they had to manage to swim away.
If that wasn’t disaster enough, our trio find themselves saved by a fleet of “pirates” who would then prevent them from returning to the mainland.
Curiously, we all think of this class of people with a low level of intellect. However, these new characters had interesting intellectual gifts, in fact Captain Nemo introduced our protagonists to a type of boat that could be submerged under the ocean.
And as a result, they were able to discover a totally unknown world, new marine species and endless natural discoveries. However, because it was a revolutionary machine, it could not be talked about, so now the danger of our protagonists was in their plan to return.
In this way, between adventures, hypotheses and some disaster, Verne begins to talk about inventions that did not exist at that time and came true how:
- Machines that produce breathable air
- Diving suit
- electric bullets
Around the World in 80 Days
This is the story of a lonely English gentleman named Phileas Fogg, who will abandon his life of careful discipline to fulfill a wager with his colleagues at the Reform Club. Although he sounds insane to most of us, this character will risk half of his fortune by committing to circumnavigate the world in just eighty days using the means available in the second half of the 19th century.
As you read, you will be able to notice that from the first chapters there is an excellent dose of fun, because at the beginning it is Passepartout (Fogg’s butler) who does not want to go out and his master is the one who drives him to travel. The interesting thing is that as they begin to leave kilometers on the way, the butler begins to enjoy everything they could find in those 80 days of travel.
On the other hand, Fogg is fully focused on his goal and has no time to waste getting to know the lands through which they pass.
However, after touring various parts of the world, and going through many obstacles, Fogg meets a widow of a prince, who was in great trouble in a forest in India and after our gentleman decides to help her, he would earn the esteem of her, and her company during the rest of the trip.
As you can guess, throughout the story, a particular romance arises between Fogg and this new member of the travel team. So we ended up finding a literary copy that can captivate you with hours of humor, adventure and love, not forgetting the possibility of losing a fortune if you are one more day late.
There is no time to waste!
Five Weeks in a Balloon
Approaching the end of our selection, we find a novel full of adventures. Where the scientist Samuel Fergusson, Joe, his servant and Dick Kennedy, his best friend, face one of the most exciting trips that could be considered in Verne’s time.
The story begins in London, specifically in Waterloo Square where our adventurous trio launches an exciting speech to announce the new exploratory feat. Which involves flying in a hot air balloon to the African continent (making stops).
Of course, if you are afraid of heights, you would not spend a week in the air, especially if there is not much security. But when you’re just a reader, you get hooked on every line of this book that describes in detail the emotions that arise on that journey.
Furthermore, the writer went to the trouble of involving Fergusson’s team in situations that to anyone would be hopelessly chaotic. For example, getting stuck in a rural region being attacked by natives; suffer damage to the balloon from animal attacks; failures of the same flying machine. In itself, almost an ordeal to complete the trip.
But like all scientists, Fergusson loves to experiment and reflects on us a daring personality. That kind of attitude that sometimes we need to adopt.
Personally, it seems to me how powerful the book is in the personality of our protagonists and without a doubt the beautiful landscapes that it mentions throughout its pages; You will also notice how each scientific discovery makes you feel astonished, even when you know that it is a book that we could now consider ancient.
I practically flew without moving, which is why I consider it a recommended literary work for those who love to travel and have adventures with the imagination.
A floating city
Finally we come to what I consider the best book by Jules Verne; A Floating City. Where Elena’s voyage aboard the Great Eastern liner will come to an unexpected end when she meets people from her past.
The ocean liner is a luxurious, gigantic steamship, English-built but chartered by the French, which travels from Liverpool to New York.
However, despite the ostentatious, it turns out that a series of events arises that terrify the passengers. To the point where they believed that there were spirits on board that would torment them throughout the trip.
However, this is not a horror story. As you delve into its pages you can clearly see that there is a story behind the story. Our protagonist and the strange events are nothing more than a wrapper so that Jules Verne can once again reflect in detail, what the most advanced means of maritime transport would be like in detail.
So I consider a dual excellence of this book. On the one hand, the mystery of the ghosts on the Atlantic crossing, and on the other, the visionary message that Verne poses about the technological advances that humanity would experience.
But in any case, it is one of those copies that should be at the top of your library. Well, it won’t leave room for boredom if you like these kinds of stories. However, as you know I don’t like to generalize, so I recommend that you read it and then leave me your comment with your experience on this literary classic.
In fact, if I could add another point in favor of this work, it is that if it has remained valid in the literary recommendations for so many years, then it is worth discovering it.
About the author
Jules Gabriel Verne or better known as Jules Verne, was a French icon born on February 8, 1820.
He developed as a writer, poet and playwright. In fact, he is recognized as one of the most important writers in France and throughout Europe, considering his evident influence on avant-garde literature and surrealism. Born from a bourgeois family, he studied to continue in his father’s footsteps as a successful lawyer, but at a very young age he decided to abandon that path to dedicate himself to what he was truly passionate about, literature.
However, from 1852 to 1854 he worked as E. Seveste’s secretary at the ”Theater Lyrique”, developing the story called Martin Paz .
Three years later he married a wealthy widow named Honorine Deviane Morel. So he achieved a comfortable position and when his overwhelming success allowed him, he dedicated himself exclusively to literature.
As a man of extraordinary forward thinking, he became a stockbroker and became interested in seeing the world, so he undertook trips to England, Scotland and Scandinavia. And so he managed to expand his vision much more.
There is no doubt that Jules Verne would find a way to surround himself with the right advisors, but that did not detract from the French writer.
But not everything was rosy. In fact, he did not manage to get a novel published that talked about what we know today as the fax and the internet. Well, to the society of that time it seemed “impossible”.
Although for sure, I think it was more a matter of convenience than veracity .
Verne died in Amiens (France) on March 24, 1905 at the age of 77. And after his death, his son, Michael Verne, continued to publish some works under his father’s name.
Social Impact of in the 20th and 21st century
Today he is considered the father of science fiction and scientific literature. Because of what he lived and what he could imagine (visualize) he was able to predict things that at that time were not even thought of; for example the use of means of transport such as helicopters, hot air balloons, submarines; in fact, he even talked about man’s trip to the moon, and the arrival of the internet.
I would like to make it clear that Verne represents for me what innovation is in its purest state. With impressive ideas and progressive heroes who dream of discovering new worlds and going where no one has gone before, he presents the idea of a world with infinite possibilities for improvement.
Sometimes when I analyze the subject I wonder if perhaps the modern scientific society dedicates efforts to reproduce in matter what Verne embodied in his imagination; Or if, on the contrary, this writer knew some information about what the future would bring us.
Well, for the moment I prefer to stay in the enigma and admire the creative power that this author presents to us.
It should be noted that a man with such a level of influence in a relatively infant society quickly became a benchmark in the guild. So his power (speaking of leadership in the literary field), led him to win awards such as:
- The Soviet Union paid tribute to the writer by naming one of the mountains on the far side of the Moon after Verne.
- The public university of the Picardy region, where he lived for more than twenty-five years, received his name as a tribute in 1991.
- The Jules Verne crater on the moon and the asteroid Verne are named after the French writer in his honor.
However, we can find dozens of people who, both in the 19th century and today, feel that Verne’s works represent something more, something transcendental. And of course, every time I find something additional, I only confirm that his works are a disguised way in which the writer warned us of the evolution that we would experience.
Even recently, the Spanish writer Javier Sierra published a work that could be said to “talk about the near future.” But when asked if it was a statement about what would come to humanity, he responded with honor to Jules Verne himself, saying that he did not pretend to say that he knew the future, that he did not have the type of visualizations that the French writer had. .
So being timeless, we then have a character in the history of French literature, whose influence has transcended both borders and eras after his death.