From Stamp Search
Jules Verne, the French novelist, had a very brilliant mind. In an age when submarines where unheard of, he wrote about it in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. His novels were indeed prophetic. And for a gullible tween like myself back then who hasn't been anywhere, his works provided an escape from the routine, from the unremarkable places of childhood.
I first read 20,000 Leagues under the Sea when I was 13. I didn't read the preface nor the introduction at first. I finished the novel in two days -- it was that exhilarating. All the while, I thought that this novel was a contemporary one, so I was very much surprised when I read the introduction and discovered that it was written in 1870. Thus began my Jules Verne phase.
For two months, I went through Around the World in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and The Mysterious Island. Verne's last novel, The Mysterious Island, would appeal to fans of the TV show "Lost." Also, at the end of the novel, you become reacquainted with one of Verne's beloved characters -- Captain Nemo. In a way, The Mysterious Island is a sequel of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.
Verne's works are delegated to the ranks of reading materials for children and teenagers. They can serve as a good introduction to other classics, like they did for me. Children should learn that classics need not be boring and only have characters that gossip with one another the whole day. Verne's novels even employ writing techniques that contemporary writers of techno-thrillers still use today -- the cliffhanger, the dramatic unfolding at the end, the detailed workings of each gadget.
Pretty soon, after my Jules Verne phase, I started reading Jack London's White Fang and The Call of the Wild, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Come to think of it, Verne introduced me to some of our greatest books.
What about you, dear reader? Have you read a novel by Jules Verne?