Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future Critical Essays

Franz Born


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Born provides a straightforward, third-person account of the life of Verne that is based on fact and that contains a minimum of dialogue. In a few key scenes, however, the author’s brief use of constructed dialogue heightens the dramatic action. At various points, Born also takes the young reader into Verne’s mind by imagining his thoughts, but these statements seem completely plausible within the historical context of the setting.

The author’s sense of wonder at the accomplishments of Verne pervades the book, and Born’s enthusiasm for his subject draws the reader into the story. Although not lengthy, the book is complete and unencumbered by unnecessary detail. Thus, Jules Verne is appropriate for younger readers and is of interest to older students as well.

Although primarily literary and educational in nature, Born’s book is also an entertaining story spiced with subtle humor. Three dominant themes emerge from the text that are of value to the young reader: the wonders of science and discovery, the power of the imagination, and the true joy that accompanies a realization of individual talents.

Born portrays the marvels of science through a close examination of Verne’s creations, accomplished with a combination of thorough research and soaring imagination. The young reader will be amazed to learn that Verne never actually visited the places about which he wrote. Instead, he read about such lands, imagined what could happen there, and wrote down his musings. Born makes this point effectively by including characters in the book who think that Verne is an...

(The entire section is 660 words.)