Often referred to as the Father of Science Fiction, Jules Verne left a huge mark on both the sci-fi genre and the literary world as a whole. Not only has Verne's work delighted readers for nearly 200 years, but he inspired explorers and adventurers like Nelly Bly and Steve Fossett to attempt some rather fantastical feats.
If you've heard of Jules Verne but aren't sure which of his 54 works to read, you've come to the right place. Read on for 5 fantastic books by Jules Verne to get you started!
1. Around the World in 80 Days
Around the World in 80 Days is undoubtably one of Jules Vernes most famous works. It's also one of the funnest to read! In the novel, we meet a character named Phileas Fogg who, during a gambling bout, bets his friends he can circumvent the globe in 80 days.
It's probably of no surprise that his friends take him up on the offer (wouldn't you do the same if someone you know said something that wacky?!) and wagers are placed. We then follow Phileas Fogg on his hair-raising adventure as he travels from country to country by any means possible. Does he make the deadline? You'll have to read Around the World in 80 Days and see for yourself!
2. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Frequently labeled as one of Jules Verne's greatest works, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a definite must-read. Verne's novel thrusts readers right into the crux of action when we are introduced to an expedition searching the oceans for a dangerous and strange sea monster.
When the expedition is capture by Captain Nemo and his crew, they embark on a slew of adventures aboard Nemo's submarine, the Nautilus. But Captain Nemo may not have the best of intentions towards the expedition. What could the enigmatic Captain Nemo be hiding? Dive into 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and find out!
3. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth
This is yet another fantastical adventure that's easy to sink your teeth into. When Professor Lindenbrock purchases a manuscript of the ancient Icelandic Saga, he sets out to break the code hidden amongst its pages.
After days of pondering, Professor Lindenbrock reaches the conclusion that the code details a pathway to the center of the Earth. With his nephew Axel in tow, the Professor begins his journey by descending through a volcano in Iceland. What he encounters beneath the Earth is chilling and unexpected. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth will keep you entertained until its very last page.
4. The Mysterious Island
If you've read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and are wondering what happened to its famous antihero Captain Nemo, you may just find the answer in The Mysterious Island! Set during the American Civil War, this novel follows five Americans who hijack a hot air balloon (yet another common theme in Verne's work) and end up stranded on, well, a mysterious island.
As the five men struggle to survive on the island, the realist that they're not alone. None other than Captain Nemo has chosen this very island as his hideout. If you're a fan of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, you'll love the way Verne links it to The Mysterious Island and Captain Nemo's story too.
5. Lighthouse at the End of the World
Jules Verne completed the manuscript for Lighthouse at the End of the World late in life, and the novel was published posthumously in 1905. As you've probably already guessed, the events of this book are centered around a remote lighthouse.
At its core, Lighthouse at the End of the World is a story of survival in extreme circumstances and is not for the faint of heart. Desperate men commit desperate acts in order to be the last ones standing at the remote lighthouse. Although less light-hearted than his other work, this exciting adventure tale is well worth the read.