Angela's Reviews > Works of Jules Verne : Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; A Journey to the Center of the Earth; From the Earth to the Moon; Round the Moon; Around the World in Eighty Days

Works of Jules Verne  by Jules Verne
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Nov 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: leatherbound, classics
Read from October 13 to November 16, 2010

It definitely doesn't feel like it took me a month to get through this monstrosity. Though I did break between books with other novels, so it was much more manageable.

So. Jules Verne, one of our great forefathers of science fiction. He provides massive amounts of science and math, which go above my head most of the time. Regardless, I like him. I even like the movies that were based upon his novels. Even after this collection, I still want to read more of his stuff. A reliable source (aka, Wikipedia) claims there's a novella to be had...

Onto the book reviews!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Enter the world of the Nautilus, a secert submarine in control of one Captain Nemo. Professor Aronnax and his companions discover it accidentally, believing to be hunting a massive narwal, and are taken on an underwater trip around the world.

While the professor's lists of underwater life are exhausting, it's a world that's easily imagined. But it's not all joy—they're prisoners of Captain Nemo, for whoever boards the Nautilus is there the rest of his days. Aronnax is torn between exploring the seas—which he has already been studying—and escaping with his companions to the lives they once knew.

Much of the story is exploration and admiration of sea life which, after a while, is tedious. Especially when you don't know anything about fish. But the action scenes, when stuff actually happens, is quite good. We explore shipwrecks and lost treasure, and come across some nasty sea beasts. I wouldn't mind having a Naitulus of my own. Assuming I'd be able to leave it one day, of course.

A Journey to the Center of the Earth
This is basically the same concept, except we're now traveling through the earth rather than the sea. But thanks to my Earth Science class way back in the 9th grade, I'm kind of fascinated by geology. And as they travel, they discuss the earth's layers and discover long-forgotten plants and animals thought to be extinct. Coolest thing ever? I think so.

Journey to the Moon and Round the Moon
Lumping these together, as one's the sequel to the other. Cool concept—building a giant gun that will shoot a projectile at the moon. But there's so much math and science that it makes my head spin. I don't care about figures; I care about the story. Tough to get through the first book.
And the second goes through the "bullet's" actual journey, which I thought would be more interesting, but it was still chocked full of scientific babble. Which is unfortunate, because I was rather liking the characters. But they're so intelligent that I don't understand a word they're saying most of the time.

Around the World in Eighty Days
Mr. Fogg, a reclusive English gentleman, places a bet that he can go around the world in 80 days. He brings his rambunctious servant with him. Meanwhile, a detective is following them because he believe Mr. Fogg is a bank robber.
I actually found myself laughing throughout this book. The servant is an idiot and always getting into trouble, and the detective isn't at all sly about his sneaking about. Yes, it's yet another story about travel, but it includes someone following them around—which makes it infinitely more fun.

Short Stories
I wish Verne had written more short stories. They're so bizarre that I love them. In Dr. Ox's Experiment, a slow, peaceful town goes beserk due to (you guessed it) Dr. Ox's experiement, who is an outsider. The people of this town are easy-going to the point of being lethargic—business meetings take six hours, and nothing is resolved (no one has made a decision in the town for hundreds of years). Engagements last ten years. It's ridiculous to the point of being hysterical.
Master Zacharius focuses around a clock maker whose existence depends upon the workings of his clocks. Literally. Easily my favorite short story of the bunch. He makes himself crazy trying to figure out why his watches are dying, much to the dismay of his daughter and apprentice. And then there's that creepy little man with a clock for a face that always follows them...
A Drama in the Air was a little dry for me to get through, as it dealt mostly with facts about ballooning. Again we're dealing with a crazed man (do we see a trend?) who jumps into a balloon as it's ascending, frightening the balloonist, and takes over the trip. His purpose is to die in a ballooning accident.

Honestly, how did he come up with this stuff?
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