Thursday, 20 November 2014

Literary Discoveries: Jules Verne

Today, I thought I would do something a little bit different and non-beauty related and talk to you about one of my favorite authors: Jules Verne. My interest for this french 19th century novelist sprouted when my boyfriend followed a seminar on him at uni. He had read Journey to the Center of the Earth and came back home singing its praise. I had heard about Jules Verne since I was a kid. I remember watching the cartoon version of Michel Strogoff on TV, but I had never read anything from him. Before my boyfriend mentioned him I thought the stories he wrote were mainly intended for children, but boy I was wrong! Actually, I think that if I had read some of his works when I was a child, I wouldn't have had the maturity to enjoy them properly and would have found them boring.

I started by reading Twenty Leagues under the Sea last summer and, although it took me a while to get into it, I ended up enjoying it a lot! Warning: if you're looking for a very intense and intricate plot this might not be for you. The plot itself could be summarized in just a few lines. This novel is, in my opinion, more about atmospheres and the (mental) contemplation of landscapes, which is made easier by the beautiful drawings added to the story. Twenty Leagues under the Sea is actually more structured like a travel journal than like an adventure novel. If you are sometimes intrigued by unexplainable phenomenons I strongly recommend reading this book, as Jules Verne addresses many mysteries of the seas, skillfully mixing science and fantasy. 

Journey to the Center of the Earth is another novel in which Jules Verne amazed me by his talented association of scientific facts with epic adventures. A must read, in any language!

Lastly, Around the World in Eighty Days delighted me by being a very light and funny, but yet thrilling, novel. This one, I would say, is suitable for any audience of any age. I easily got carried away by the characters' journey that is full or twists and turns. This novel actually made me feel like I was travelling myself without leaving the comfort of my sofa. I virtually explored remote countries and leaned a few cultural fact on the way. A great source of distraction and education, which seemed to be Jules Verne's aim with most of his works: combining science with fiction to make the acquiring of knowledge more pleasant. 
Next on my reading list are: From the Earth to the Moon, Around the Moon and A Winter Amid the Ice.
Happy reading everyone!

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