Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future Critical Context - Essay

Franz Born

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

According to the book’s jacket, Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future, first published in Germany as The Man Who Invented the Future in 1960, has been adopted for official reading in the public schools of Bavaria. Born’s book is of interest to young readers because of the worthiness of its subject matter and because of its educational value. The author maintains a literary tone throughout the book, but his excitement about Verne is apparent and infuses the reader with similar delight. Born successfully penetrates the larger-than-life image of his subject and reveals his failures and successes. He also presents several important, universal themes.

Verne’s discovery of the public library—a warm, book-filled haven where he began a lifelong pattern of extensive scientific reading and research—is a turning point in the book, a moment of personal liberation, and a powerful lesson to the young reader. Verne’s story is inspirational because he never gives up in his search for the greatness that exists within him. Born also illustrates the fact that, although Verne propelled his own destiny through vision, perseverance, and hard work, the impact that he had on large numbers of people was also a major factor in his success. These factors, combined with Born’s explanations of contemporary world events, make Jules Verne a classic young adult biography.