Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future, Franz Born not only provides a biography of Verne but also reviews Verne’s most noteworthy works. Born successfully weaves together the unfolding life of the writer, the magnificent books that he wrote, and the appropriate historical settings.

Born quickly transports the reader into the world of expanding knowledge and emerging technology by depicting the unique achievements of several famous scientists and explorers, including Simon Lake, Admiral Richard Byrd, and Captain Robert Peary, who credited Verne as being the chief inspiration for their lives as adventurers. The first chapter also introduces the reader to Verne’s prolific career with a brief overview of his major books. Born ends the chapter with a tantalizing question in which he asks the reader to imagine what Verne was really like. He begins to answer this question in the closing scene of this chapter, with Verne as a twelve-year-old boy imagining far and distant worlds as he gazes upon departing sailboats. The following seven chapters detail Verne’s life chronologically until his death in 1905. Born completes this circular structure by ending the book with accounts of Verne’s dreams coming true.

Born emphasizes that Verne’s success came only after painful detours and failures. He paints a picture of the early life of Verne’s struggle for independence in the first third of the book by using elements of the...

(The entire section is 505 words.)