Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paris in the Twentieth Century” as Want to Read:
Paris in the Twentieth Century
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paris in the Twentieth Century

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  1,113 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Written originally in 1863 and first published in 1994, this "lost novel" depicts Jules Verne's vision of life in 1960s Paris. In this hyper-efficient but dystopian society, the story's young, idealistic protagonist, Michel Dufrenoy, laments that there is no room for the human soul. Subways, automobiles, skyscrappers, electric lights, calculators, fax machines, and e-mail ...more
Audiobook, unabridged
Published (first published 1863)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paris in the Twentieth Century, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paris in the Twentieth Century

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,567)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jan 07, 2014 Manny rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jules Verne fans
"But we must warn them! Warn our ancestors!" Michel cried. A fierce light burned in his keen young eyes. "They must not choose the path that leads to... to this!" He spread out his arms to indicate the entire world of 1960: Napoleon V, the great Monopolies that controlled France, England and America, the death of human feeling, of literature, of politics, even of war, that most futile but also most noble of mortal occupations.

The old savant looked at him. "There is a way," he said quietly. "A w
Lydia Presley
I have so much I want to talk about when it comes to this book I don't even know where to begin.

Paris in the Twentieth Century is, like all Jules Verne's books, a very detailed, scientific story - technology and advancements take first place, with the story coming second. Don't get me wrong though, I love reading Verne's books - but they are dry reading at times. The overflow of information, not only on technological advancements, but Parisian names and places set my head spinning at times. But,
Parīzē rit divdesmitā gadsimta sešdesmitie gadi. Sabiedriskais transports ir absolūti efektīvs, daļu slodzes paņem plānveidīgi izstrādāti pneimatiskā vilciena maršruti, bagātākie cilvēki brauc ar viena zirgspēka jaudas automobiļiem, ostās pienāk milzu kuģi. Pat Parīze ir kļuvusi par ostas pilsētu. Liekas, ka cilvēcei tehnoloģiskais progress ir nesis tikai labumu, bet tā vis nav, ir kāda cilvēces mantojuma daļa, kuru tehnoloģijas ir praktiski iznīcinājuši. Humanitārās zinātnes kā tādas vairs nepa ...more
Mar 20, 2013 Rui rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rui by: Ana
Ever since I heard there was a "lost" Verne novel only published over one hundred years after it was originally written I wanted to read "Paris in The XX Century". Recently, thanks to miss Ana C. Nunes, who was kind enough to borrow me her audio-book I had the chance of knowing this work.

And it surprised me very much. I thought I knew Verne well, I thought I knew what to expect from one of his "science novels", I was absolutely mistaken.

Unlike all of the other books with scientific developments
If I was in the habit of rating books on their historical significance then this would get much more than two stars, as it is however I was less than thrilled by reading 150 year old dry science fiction. I was more thrilled by the idea that something like this lost novel could exist. Of course many other people were too and so you get many historical novels that basically work as fan fiction for Dickens and Poe etc.

I found it incredible that Verne could be so prescient back in 1863 but beyond th
David Sarkies
This is what has been termed as the 'Lost Book of Jules Verne'. The reason it was lost (and nobody actually knew that it existed until it was discovered in a safe in his old house in Paris) is because when he wrote it his publisher basically thought that it was rubbish and refused to publish it, so, like many writers, he simply filed it away for another time, and it was subsequently forgotten, only to be discovered in the late 20th Century. Is it Jules Verne? Well, it is difficult to tell since ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Interesting because of what he got right, but also what he got wrong - personally, I skimmed some of it but would slow down because what really interested me was Michel and his struggle to reconcile interests that weren't common with a cold and measured world.

What I enjoyed the most was the commentary on the periphery about authors and composers that the reader would be familiar with. I laughed that opera still existed when all other forms of art had become obsolete.
Pirmie kucēni (kucītes - arī :) ) jāslīcina. Un tas arī tika izdarīts. Nav īsti skaidrs, kāpēc šis tika ekshumēts.
Šis varētu būt Žila Verna pirmais sarakstītais romāns, kurš tapis aptuveni tajā pašā laikā, kad publicēja viņa pirmo romānu - "Piecas nedēļas gaisa balonā".
Žila Verna izdevējs Pjērs Žils Etcels atteicās publicēt šo romānu, kritizējot tā literāro stilu, pesimistisko noskaņu un to, ka dialogi sarakstīti "pašmērķīgi, nevis apstākļu diktēti". Vispār šis trāpīgais teiciens attiecināms ne
Felipe Guerrero
Ayer en la noche terminé de leer este libro. Es un libro bastante, bastante pesimista para su época, por no decir una gran, gran novela de anticipación tanto científica como social. Tiene muchos detalles sobre el futuro que pareciera que Julio Verne realmente hubiera estado en él.

Les enumeraré algunos de los detalles.

* Todo el mundo sabe leer, pero casi nadie lo hace (¿les suena conocido?)
* Los autores clásicos son prácticamente desconocidos para la gente.
* En los bancos se utilizan unas maquina
Steve Joyce
Every brush stroke that Verne paints of a future Paris serves to outline the profile of the out-of-place dreamer and poet, Michel Dufrénoy.

In Paris in the Twentieth Century, what's left of Art and Literature is mass-produced. Michel's uncle and aunt are typical Parisians of the time. One of Verne's wittiest passages concerns their relationship:

Did she love Monsieur Boutardin, and was she loved by him in return? Yes, insofar as these businesslike hearts could love; a comparison will complete the
Rob Slaven
Whilst perusing the bookstore a week ago I came across a copy of this for a few bucks and couldn't help but pick it up. In the end, not sure it was worth it.

The summary is pretty much what you'd expect. Casting his mind forward 100 years Verne tells us what life will be like in 1960. In many ways he's not too far off the mark. His world isn't a total apocalyptic mess but it's not a particularly fun or artistic place either.

On the positive side, as always with Verne you have to admire his attent
Israel Laureano
Una mirada sombría sobre la civilización en el futuro (bueno, el futuro de 1863 que fue cuando se escribió la novela). En la década de los 60s del siglo XX la tecnología está muy avanzada y permite una gran calidad de vida, pero a costa de nuestra alma. Ya todo se ha tecnificado tanto, se alaba, entroniza y se adora tanto el dinero y las finanzas que se desprecia al arte y cualquier manifestación artística. Cualquier forma de pensamiento o manifestación sensible ya no útil ni práctica, y por lo ...more
Di seguito, la descrizione dello zio "imprenditore" del protagonista.

"Stanislas Boutardin era il prodotto naturale di quel secolo industriale [...] Un uomo pratico prima di tutto, non faceva nulla che non fosse utile, riconducendo all'utilità ogni sua minima idea, con un desiderio smodato di essere utile che derivava da un egoismo autenticamente ideale, unendo l'utile allo spiacevole, come avrebbe detto Orazio; la sua vanità traspariva dalle sue parole, più ancora dai suoi gesti, e non avrebbe p
Do mine eyes deceive me or is this an actual good Verne story, i was beginning to think they were a myth (except for 20,000) but no this is actually really good.
A view of the far dystopian future of 1960, at least dystopian from the protagonists point of view but he specializes in latin poetry so its a little hard to sympathize ;).
People these days are more interested in science and making money than wars or poetry, and the music just sounds like noise, not like the music we had in my day etc.
Well I checked out this book, because a friend is reading Jules Verne only and it was either this or Journey to the center of the earth. I liked all the modern language, but to tell you the truth it was a bit over my head.Maybe this book will tell me to read more novels, but it seemed to jump all over the place and I didn't care too much about the plot. I just wanted to read how modern and bohemian everything was. It seemed like a book for men and I felt like I had to really study it to understa ...more
What a useless book.

The Publisher was right when he didn't want to publish this book a long time ago. It's boring.

The book is kind of a book and piece catalog diguised in somewhat plot.

It was very hard to read it because I would have to known a lot more about 19th century and lot less about 1960's where the ”story” takes place. Although, the description of the world would have suited well in our future too. Of course it was impossible to Verne to predict all the development of technology that wa
Gregg Wingo
I first read Jules Verne as a twelve year old and it was one of my first introductions to science fiction. What I did not know was that the translations of his work into English had been done specifically to facilitate the marketing of his materials as juvenile literature. Since the 1960s new translations have been issued more truly reflecting the language of one of France's most popular novelists in the 19th century. However, Verne was not limited solely by his English language publishers by al ...more
Feb 01, 2013 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jules Verne fans, French lit fans, historians of sci fi
Recommended to Michael by: serendipity
This odd little novel was a latter-era discovery, which was never published in Verne’s lifetime. It is an attempt by the great inventor of science fiction to envision life 100 years from his own time, and it manages to be uncannily prescient in some areas. Verne accurately envisions the Paris subway system, the commonality of horseless carriages, the electrification of the metropolis, and he even places a tower in the position later to be held by the Eiffel Tower. Nevertheless, this book is unde ...more
Andrew Ives
Quite a peculiar book by any standards; whilst the style is much like Verne's other books, the general plot and tone is rather dissimilar and I can see why his publisher originally rejected it. It reads like a string of predictions for 1960s Paris, many of which are surprisingly accurate but perhaps more for 2020 than 1960. These are all threaded onto a bleak and unrealistic tale of life for an unemployed unemployable artistic type in an industrial age as the story flits from education to bankin ...more
Sean Meriwether
I was ready to drop this "lost" novel after the first 35 pages—which reads like the Vern’s first draft—as he sketches out a technologically advanced and crowded Paris 100 years in his future. When the story turns to Michael Dufrénoy, a romantic young man, I began to pay more attention. The orphan is more interested in classic literature than finance, and is a poet with no job skills to boot. This “lack of industry” leaves him at the mercy of his guardian, a rich uncle who attempts to squash his ...more
Alas, this is a most peculiar book with an even stranger history. Here is one of Jules Verne's earliest novels, which only came to light in 1989, when the manuscript was discovered in an old family safe by Verne's great-grandson. The 1863 work was published in 1994 and translated into English in 1996. (I managed to bury my copy for the past 15 years until the work was recently mentioned by Andrei Codrescu on NPR.) The book's obscurity may be in part explained by the comments of Pierre-Jules Hetz ...more
By now this novel's history is well-known: originally written by Jules Verne as a followup to his first bestseller, Five Weeks in a Balloon, it was rejected by his publisher, who had been hoping for another rollicking adventure story like its predecessor, rather than the rather dour dystopian story Verne turned in. Verne evidently took this rejection to heart and spent most of the rest of his career writing the slick, fast-paced, somewhat formulaic, if often highly entertaining, proto-SF novels ...more
.... In 1989, Jules Verne’s great-grandson discovered the manuscript of an unknown novel by his famous ancestor. Paris in the Twentieth Century was published in French in 1994. Shortly after it was published in 1996, I bought Richard Howard’s English version, read it as a curiosity, and set it aside, largely forgotten save for its title.

That title, however, has stuck in my mind for almost two decades as the kernel of an art project I have finally started concrete work on. As I began preliminary
When I read somewhere that in the late 1800's Jules Verne wrote a book, unpublished until the 1990's, in which cities are congested, corporate run, and people communicate with each other via an international, wireless "network" and in short, everything is awesome and no one is happy, I had to see for myself what it was that he seemed to grasp about the "Future" that no one else seemed to be able to predict with such uncanny accuracy.

Let's just say that reading it I remembered why I avoid Science
So he can predict the Eiffel Tower, the subway system, the combustible engine but he can't foresee a world where women are do more than birth children and sit around being feminine?
This is Jules Verne's lost novel, only found and published in the 1990s, a futuristic novel set 100 years forward in the 1960s.
In Verne's bleak new world, science and industry are all that matter, and an artist struggles to find a path in a world where art and music and literature are no longer valued. The plot is al
Aug 04, 2007 Thorir2007 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pretty much everyone
Shelves: greatbooks
Got it in a second-hand bookstore. It's a very interesting book, considering. As usual, the emphasis is on "what you've never seen and would be awed to imagine, let me point you in the right direction," the way it always is with Jules Verne books. The depressing, ridig picture he paints of Paris in the 1960's comes very close (if you ignore minor inaccuracies) to how any metropolis (including Paris) is today (or was in the 1960's) when you're actually living in it, and not just dropping by for a ...more
This is an interesting book to read both from an historical point of view, and as historical fiction. It's fun to see what Verne envisioned and has come true, funny to laugh at what he predicted that seems far from ever happening, and maybe a bit scary to see how close he's maybe come to foreseeing the mechinization of the arts.

The book reads a bit dry and I can't help but think that Verne might have considered this to be an unfinished novel. There were moments of brightness within, but they we
I saw this book referenced in Wired for War, where he was talking about the predictive capacity of science fiction. This book by Jules Verne predicted glass skyscrapers, cities brightly lit at night, and vehicles powered by internal combustion. He got some things right with technology, some things wrong (didn't foresee the typewriter) and some things right about human nature (the technology wouldn't make implicitly make people happy, and that the economy could begin to control people's lives, an ...more
In this novel, Verne portrays a Paris where a terrible fate has befallen Frenchmen; they have become like Americans! (The narrator literally uses this description.) In a world where business is everything, art becomes unimportant. Poetry, music, painting, etc. only serve industry. As the introduction pointed out, some art of the Art Deco period did indeed do just that. I wonder Verne would make of today's modern art and music. An interesting if not a compelling read.
This story (novelette, I daresay) of Jules Verne's is very interesting. And it could've been true. Maybe, in some parallel reality, it is. Maybe there the 20th century was exactly as Jules Verne imagined it.

Paris au XXème siècle (original title) was written in 1863 but wasn't published until 1994. Apparently, it was rejected by young Verne's editor, and lay forgotten in some drawer (later safe) for all this time.

It tells the story of a young man who lives in a dystopian future where (when) techn
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 85 86 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century
  • Lineages of the Absolutist State
  • VALIS and Later Novels
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventh Annual Collection
  • Il turno
  • Don Camillo Meets the Flower Children
  • Con gli occhi chiusi
  • A Murky Business (Penguin Classics)
  • Manzaradan Parçalar : Hayat Sokaklar Edebiyat
  • Vintage Baldwin
  • The Words to Say It
  • The Pirate
  • Gli occhiali d'oro: Il romanzo di Ferrara
  • Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East
  • Sunfall
  • The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon
  • Year's Best SF 8
  • Destination: Universe!
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the genre of science-fiction. He is best known for his novels "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864), "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870), and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873).

Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of spa
More about Jules Verne...
Around the World in Eighty Days Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6) Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3) The Mysterious Island  From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4)

Share This Book

“Literature is dead, my boy' the uncle replied. 'Look at these empty rooms, and these books buried in their dust; no one reads anymore; I am the guardian of a cemetery here, and exhumation is forbidden.' . . . 'My boy, never speak of literature, never speak of art! Accept the situation as it is! You are Monsieur Boutardins ward before being your Uncle Huguenin's nephew!” 2 likes
“Music is no longer tasted it is swallowed.” 1 likes
More quotes…