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Paris in the Twentieth Century

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3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,264 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
In 1863 Jules Verne, famed author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days, wrote a novel that his literary agent deemed too farfetched to be published. More than one hundred years later, his great-grandson found the handwritten, never-before published manuscript in a safe. That manuscript was Paris in the Twentieth Century, an astonishingly prop ...more
Hardcover, English Edition, 222 pages
Published December 15th 1998 by Random House (first published 1994)
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Solaris by Stanisław LemRoadside Picnic by Arkady StrugatskyWe by Yevgeny ZamyatinThe Futurological Congress by Stanisław LemTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
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55th out of 192 books — 146 voters
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
251st out of 639 books — 1,170 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,936)
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Manny
Jan 07, 2014 Manny rated it it was ok  ·  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
...more
David Sarkies
Mar 25, 2016 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Jule's Verne's Forgotten Novel
11 September 2011

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 J
...more
Lydia Presley
May 09, 2010 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, fiction, 2010
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,
...more
Tfitoby
Dec 17, 2012 Tfitoby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, translation
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
...more
Ints
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
Rui
Mar 20, 2013 Rui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gregg Wingo
Dec 19, 2014 Gregg Wingo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Edgar Trevizo
Sep 07, 2015 Edgar Trevizo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asombrosamente preciso y por ello mismo cruel y doloroso. Aunque en suma no puedo considerarla una gran novela, sí puedo respetar la ironía que elabora en sus páginas y la visión siempre acertada de Verne sobre el futuro. El final es patético y desesperado. Es también apresurado y de tono distinto al del resto de la novela, lo que afecta al conjunto. Pero aun así es de recomendable lectura.
Michael
Feb 01, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
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
Daniel
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
...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.
Arnis
Mar 24, 2014 Arnis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Felipe Guerrero
Mar 23, 2013 Felipe Guerrero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Steve Joyce
Nov 18, 2013 Steve Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
David
Oct 23, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun: the author is writing in the 1860s about Paris in the 1960s. Industry rules, and the arts are held in contempt, as we see through the eyes of those on the wrong end of "Progress." Not going to join the ranks of great classics, in my opinion, but quite fun to read just the same.
Ana
Podem ler a opinião completa no Floresta de Livros.


My first book by Jules Verne was quite a surprise. I loved his imagination and how he portraited Paris.
The book's flaws were the weak plot and the one-dimensional characters, and for the first time that actually didn't bother me all that much (which is so unusual, considering I love character driven books).

Looking forward to reading other books by the author.
Deborah
Oct 15, 2012 Deborah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read, in that this manuscript was only found a few years ago. Along with a letter from one of Verne's friends begging him not to publish it because it was so bad. It really was written poorly, the storyline was a little threadbare, but still, there were some very astute and rather prophetical ideas. The death of the humanities in institutions of higher learning because they are viewed as an unprofitable waste of time by society being the one I found most relevant (and tragic).
Andrew McBurney
Feb 09, 2008 Andrew McBurney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This work, like From the Earth to the Moon, really should be known for its critique of American "values," which is both sobering and funny, and, as an American, I confess, not in the least likely to make me change some of those same values I share. The image of Paris, and the world, of 1960, as projected from over 50 years prior, is uncanny. It's a world that does business the way America does business, and that business is a juggernaut.
Benn
Feb 14, 2016 Benn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On one hand, it is fascinating to see how many of Jules Verne's prediction for the early 1960s came true, "Paris In the Twentieth Century", possibly Verne's bleakest novel, is a bit of a let down. Part of the problem is that it's much too talky for its own good. Characters continuously engage in lecturing monologues. This leaves little room in the novel for anything to really happen. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact the lectures tend to be paeans to Art in the 19th Century. Whi ...more
Vasco Melro
Sep 11, 2015 Vasco Melro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vasco by: Professeur de Littérature Française à l'université
J'ai bien aimé les descriptions de l'auteur sur un Paris et une France qui étaient dans une dystopie absolument moderne. L'auteur nous parle des avancements technologiques de l'époque et fait des références scientifiques qui n'ont étaient pas découvertes jusqu'au XXIème siècle. J'aimé aussi la comparaison entre le passé et le future dont les gens méprisent les arts, la culture et la littérature en détriment de l’ingénierie, des sciences, des mathématiques et du développement technologique. Une c ...more
The Tattered Thread
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
...more
Israel Laureano
Sep 16, 2014 Israel Laureano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Leothefox
Jan 29, 2016 Leothefox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This is my first Jules Verne book that I read myself (the others being far back in my youth when my dad would read them to me). I probably like it better than I ought to because of both my affinity of 19th century speculative fiction and how thoroughly I identified with the story.

Verne's book tells the story of 16-year-old Michel who aspires to be an artist in a 1960 Paris society that values business and technology and regards art and literature as useless. It's a story of misfits and the tr
...more
Corinna
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
...more
Sarah
Sep 07, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, read-in-2015, epq
After reading some other of Verne's work I was curious about this manuscript. I used the excuse of my EPQ project to read this work.
Ada Walladge
Really enjoyed it! (Apart from the really depressing ending...:P)
Joan
Jan 09, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bev
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 portrait of the pair: she was the locomotive and he the engineer; he kept her in good condition, oiled and polished her, and thus she had rolled forward for a good half a century, with about as much sense and imagination as a Crampton Motor.

Unnecessary to add that she had never derailed.
(p. 32)


Paris in the Twentieth Century is the "lost" novel
...more
Devero
Sep 19, 2015 Devero rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Verne scrisse questo romanzo nel 1863, e gli fu rifiutato dall'editore. Mi chiedo quale stato d'animo lo abbia spinto a questa visione pessimista del futuro nonché a questa visione estraniante dell'umanità. Di certo atteggiamenti simili erano già presenti ai suoi tempi negli ambienti finanziari e industriali, e possono essere stati d'ispirazione per questa favola nera.
A differenza di molte altre situazioni da lui messe in scena nei suoi romanzi, comunque tutti sviluppi di invenzioni e tecnologi
...more
Wreade1872
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.
...more
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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
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“Music is no longer tasted it is swallowed.” 4 likes
“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!” 3 likes
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