Jules Verne: A Man Ahead of His Time: Background information when reading Eighty Days

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Eighty Days

Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

by Matthew Goodman

Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman X
Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2014, 496 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Jules Verne: A Man Ahead of His Time

This article relates to Eighty Days

Print Review

February 8, 2013 would have been Jules Verne's 185th birthday. The acclaimed author is considered the father of science fiction and wrote many novels, some of the most well-known being Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and, of course, Around the World in Eighty Days which plays an important part in Matthew Goodman's Eighty Days.

Two years ago, on Verne's birthday, National Geographic featured eight modern inventions that are surprisingly – or maybe not so surprisingly – similar to inventions created by Verne himself.

Check them out!

1964 3-person submarine AlvinElectric Submarines – Captain Nemo, from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, travels the underwater world in Nautilus, his electric submarine, which bears a striking resemblance to the real Alvin, a 1964 three-person sub. The idea of a vehicle like this running on electricity was a mere magical thought in Verne's time.

Newscasts – Verne wrote an article in 1889 in which he created an alternative to newspapers; he said that the news would, instead, "be spoken to subscribers." The first real newscast didn't happen until 1920.

Solar Sails – This time the "prediction" came from Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. He imagined a light-propelled spacecraft, and now solar sails actually exist.

Lunar Modules – Also in From the Earth to the Moon, which, by the way, was written in 1865, Verne described missiles that could take people to the moon.

Skywriting – In that same 1889 article, which was titled "In the Year 2889", he wrote about what he called "atmospheric advertisements." Very similar to the skywriting that we see today.

Videoconferencing – According to Technovelgy.com Verne's "phonotelephote" is possibly the first reference in fiction to a videophone. This was, again, in his 1889 article.

Taser – Go back to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Verne describes a gun that produces a large electric jolt. He wrote this book in 1870 and tasers were invented in 1974…over 100 years later.

Project Mercury spacecraftSplashdown Spacecraft – Finally, in From the Earth to the Moon, Verne envisioned a spacecraft that could land in the ocean and float much like the Project Mercury spacecrafts.

Jules Verne didn't have a background in science or any formal training but he was fascinated by science and he listened to people who knew things about it. He was also a keen observer and, above all else, a brilliant storyteller, which is why his works have endured for so long in so many forms.

This "beyond the book article" relates to Eighty Days. It originally ran in March 2013 and has been updated for the March 2014 paperback edition.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: In Extremis
    In Extremis
    by Lindsey Hilsum
    Marie ColvinInternational journalist Marie Colvin pushed the limits in her work and her personal life. Widely ...
  • Book Jacket: Vita Nostra
    Vita Nostra
    by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
    Vita Nostra by Ukrainian authors Sergey and Marina Dyachenko is one of those novels that defies ...
  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.