This is a short story that was originally attributed to Jules Verne but was in all likelihood written by his son Michel.
As a story, this is all over the place and serves as a mere collection of headlines of what inventions have been made by the year 2889 to make life easier. There is no plot, no twist, no development.
There is a moral, tho: You can event all you like, but death cannot be defeated and the year will still only have 365 days - 366 in a leap year.
"...the most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between..."
There were several lines from The Phantom Tollbooth that I could have chosen to start this blog post but this one really stuck with me. It might come as a surprise for you to learn that this was the first time I had read Norton Juster's classic work for children. It has been on my TRL for years and I finally knuckled down and checked out a copy. I'm glad that I did because it was just what I needed. For those who haven't been initiated, The Phantom Tollbooth is the story of a little boy named Milo who seems to make his way through the world with a listless, bored attitude...until a mysterious package appears in his bedroom. What happens next is a pun lovers' dream. (If you're a fan of grammar and word play then this is the book for you.) Milo goes on an adventure which will totally change the way he looks at the world. This is the perfect book to create lifelong learners because it's all about critical thinking. (I realize that I'm making this sound like homework but I swear it's fun educational learning.)
A/N: Today marks 6 years that I've been posting my book reviews online. I can't believe that something that started as a fun little side project has turned into my second job (albeit unpaid). I feel very proud of how far I've come and I am very much looking forward to the future (and all of those books!). Thanks to those who have been around from the beginning and those just now discovering me (hello!). I hope that in some small way I've helped you to find your next great read and somewhat brightened your day. Here's to the next 6 years! :-D
As for the Yankees, they had no other ambition than to take possession of this new continent of the sky, and to plant upon the summit of its highest elevation the star- spangled banner of the United States of America.
Yup, this is still my favourite quote. Simply because I cannot get over Verne daring to imagine that iconic tv image from 1969 in 1865.
There were a lot fun points that Verne picked up in this novel and made fun of, but sadly a lot of the satire in this novel is at the expense of the US, who is pretty much represented only by the characters of the Baltimore Gun Club, who out of boredom following the end of the Civil War, attempt to build a cannon that can reach the moon.
I enjoyed the poking fun at gun enthusiasts, I did not enjoy the poking fun at whole nation. There were some other stereotypes, too, French and German, but the majority of Verne's mockery was pointed firmly at the US.
Still, apart from the blatant stereotyping, this was a romp and fun, fun, fun diversion into imagining the impossible and then backing it up with science. Of course, we know now that the science was iffy, but it is conceivable that the readers in 1865 did not meet the book with our modern scepticism but with wonder and marvel. And I just love Verne's work for that. I would really love to know if anyone involved in space exploration was inspired by this book because I can totally see this being the case.
So, why not 5 stars? The sheer amount of maths and hypothesising about maths and physics, was just too much for me.
Oh, and, the cat ate the squirrel. I'm just not ok with that.