JULES VERNE by Peggy Teeters


The Man Who Invented Tomorrow
Age Range: 11 & up
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 At 22, Verne was so poor that his dinner often consisted of prunes; by the time he was 50, he was rich and widely lauded. In between, he struggled with a father bent on making him into a provincial lawyer and with publishers' rejections--twenty thousand leagues under a sea of indifference--until his romantic storytelling and passion for facts gained him a worldwide audience. Today, after Shakespeare and the Bible, Verne's writings are the most widely translated of all time, credited with inspiring generations of astronauts, scientists, and explorers. Why? Read the books--because you won't learn here. Despite a life with its share of drama--an early attempt to run away to sea, a crippling gunshot wound by a presumably demented nephew--Verne never comes to life, while his popularity remains a mystery. Part of the problem lies with Teeters's uninspired narrative, peppered with invented--or at least undocumented- -emotions attributed to its subject. And part may be the difficulty of conveying to readers jaded by moonwalks and satellites the vision of a man who not only foresaw them but made them into human dramas. Since there's little in print about Verne, this volume fills a need; but a compelling story of his life remains to be told. B&w photos, engravings, etc.--very dark; bibliography (a dozen books, undifferentiated between sources and books for young readers); notes; index. (Nonfiction. 11+)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8027-8189-6
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993