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Jules Verne: The Definitive Biography

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From the established expert on the subject comes this new biography of one of the world's most successful writers. Breath-taking in scope, and full of the kind of revelations sure to cause press and controversy, Butcher combines existing and new research on Verne's life with the evidence from Verne's works to explore what sort of man Jules Verne was, how he achieved what h From the established expert on the subject comes this new biography of one of the world's most successful writers. Breath-taking in scope, and full of the kind of revelations sure to cause press and controversy, Butcher combines existing and new research on Verne's life with the evidence from Verne's works to explore what sort of man Jules Verne was, how he achieved what he did, what went on inside his head, what really made him tick. Butcher examines the forgotten nitty-gritty of Verne's life: his appearance, his schoolmates, the size of his bedroom, who he talked to and slept with, who he fell out with and was sued by, the fibs he told, how he got to work, how much he made, what he did on his days off, where he went, what he studied, what he read, whether he was a good husband and father — in sum, all the behavior that points to personality, as only a family member can know it.


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From the established expert on the subject comes this new biography of one of the world's most successful writers. Breath-taking in scope, and full of the kind of revelations sure to cause press and controversy, Butcher combines existing and new research on Verne's life with the evidence from Verne's works to explore what sort of man Jules Verne was, how he achieved what h From the established expert on the subject comes this new biography of one of the world's most successful writers. Breath-taking in scope, and full of the kind of revelations sure to cause press and controversy, Butcher combines existing and new research on Verne's life with the evidence from Verne's works to explore what sort of man Jules Verne was, how he achieved what he did, what went on inside his head, what really made him tick. Butcher examines the forgotten nitty-gritty of Verne's life: his appearance, his schoolmates, the size of his bedroom, who he talked to and slept with, who he fell out with and was sued by, the fibs he told, how he got to work, how much he made, what he did on his days off, where he went, what he studied, what he read, whether he was a good husband and father — in sum, all the behavior that points to personality, as only a family member can know it.

41 review for Jules Verne: The Definitive Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Orrman-Rossiter

    Definitive maybe, but poorly written. The subject, Jules Verne, is one of great fascination to me, however this biography could have benefited from some precision editing. The author may be a wizard at providing some authoritative translations of Verne classics - but you will need to look elsewhere for an interesting biography.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    *yawn* This book took me months to read. It was not the most interesting biography, even though it attempted to be very informative. Butcher did not always seem fair to me in his portrayal of Verne. He would make allowances for his contradictory statements and then assume later that such statements had to be taken for face value. While I agree that Verne is too complex to categorize and dismiss as only science fiction or only adventure writer, I believe reading him as a member of all these group *yawn* This book took me months to read. It was not the most interesting biography, even though it attempted to be very informative. Butcher did not always seem fair to me in his portrayal of Verne. He would make allowances for his contradictory statements and then assume later that such statements had to be taken for face value. While I agree that Verne is too complex to categorize and dismiss as only science fiction or only adventure writer, I believe reading him as a member of all these groups is more useful than removing him entirely from fields that have been influenced by his work. He did belong to scientific communities, and his Paris in the Twentieth Century gives some remarkable commentary on the dangers of technological progress. Not a fan of this one, which is rare for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gene

    Extremely well researched & surprisingly complete, full of information I had no idea about, this biography will open your eyes and make you rethink Verne. It would have been better if the author had not used so many untranslated French terms, but still, a real in depth life. Extremely well researched & surprisingly complete, full of information I had no idea about, this biography will open your eyes and make you rethink Verne. It would have been better if the author had not used so many untranslated French terms, but still, a real in depth life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rafael Ontivero

    Esto es lo que yo llamo una biografía sin pelos en la lengua, que presenta al Verne que realmente debió ser, y no el que nos presentan los biógrafos más políticamente correctos. Tiene toda la pinta de que Verne, en su juventud, fue bastante tarambana y vivales, despilfarrando el dinero como buen hijo de burgués sin mucha preocupación sobre su futuro. Habitual de burdeles, habitual de fiestas y saraos varios, lo que habitualmente se ha entendido como una pensión que apenas le daba para vivir, envi Esto es lo que yo llamo una biografía sin pelos en la lengua, que presenta al Verne que realmente debió ser, y no el que nos presentan los biógrafos más políticamente correctos. Tiene toda la pinta de que Verne, en su juventud, fue bastante tarambana y vivales, despilfarrando el dinero como buen hijo de burgués sin mucha preocupación sobre su futuro. Habitual de burdeles, habitual de fiestas y saraos varios, lo que habitualmente se ha entendido como una pensión que apenas le daba para vivir, enviada por su padre, más bien consistía en sus buenos dineros capaces de mantener a otro menos derrochador. Hipocondríaco, de esquiva sexualidad a lo largo de toda su vida (lo que no es ningún problema ni ninguna pega, por supuesto), aunque el atentado de su sobrino algo tendría que ver, pues apuntaba a los "bajos" de Verne... Parece ser que tampoco fue el padre de familia más o menos ejemplar que se nos ha mostrado, sino más bien todo lo contrario. Putero, completamente desprendido de su mujer y de sus hijas, atento a la dote y a los réditos del dinero de su mujer, que posiblemente abortara dos veces poniendo en serio peligro su vida (y dos veces fue desahuciada por los médicos, salvándose de milagro -la explicación más probable de los dos derrames uterinos de Honorine). También comenta algunas cosas sobre las primeras novelas de Verne, cómo Hetzel las cambió, aunque eso está mucho mejor documentado en "Los manuscritos descifrados" del mismo autor, publicado solo de momento en francés. De todos modos, otro punto negativo de la biografía es que acelera, y no poco, más o menos a partir de 1870 para finalizar de dos plumazos. ¿Por qué cuatro y no cinco estrellas? Porque el autor es un poco pedante de más.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    There's much to like about this biography -- which certainly has piqued my interest in Verne -- but it's marred by a few things: 1) The author's insistence on insulting other biographers every chance he gets 2) The author's assumption that readers are well-informed about 19th Century French history 3) Odd stylistic choices such as frequently elliptical writing and odd jumping about in time

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Crowe

    My review. My review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nima

  9. 5 out of 5

    Duane

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kazeem Olalekan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Merry Khamkhadze

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eddy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allen Foster

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Jared

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve Gross

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  21. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Salameh

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kamil303

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brian Kaufman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  27. 5 out of 5

    Acquisitions

  28. 5 out of 5

    Strategically Miscellaneous

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  31. 5 out of 5

    Melis

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kumari

  33. 5 out of 5

    Seanchilivero

  34. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  35. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Boller

  36. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Finley

  37. 5 out of 5

    Man Solo

  38. 5 out of 5

    Suela Bani deraj

  39. 4 out of 5

    Mat

  40. 4 out of 5

    Rajesh Kandaswamy

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

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