Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Master of the World

Day 162 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and a young man is reading Master of the World, by Jules Verne, because he found a tiny cool vintage paperback copy for $1 at Babbitt's! It wasn't one either of us had heard of before, but the young man has loved other Verne--the well-known, popular stuff like A Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, so he was glad to have discovered this one.

I had forgotten that Jules Verne (1828-1905) worked in the theatre early on, doing librettos for operettas. When his dad found out, he disowned him, so Verne had to become a stockbroker to pay the bills. Heh. Maybe the dad is eating his shoe in some version of the afterlife now!

According to Wikipedia, Verne's dad was punishing him early on for his non-business minded adventures. At 12, Verne snuck onto a ship called the Coralie, hoping to sail to India, but his dad caught him and whipped him. "I shall from now on travel only in my imagination," said Verne, and that's exactly what he did. (Actually I did remember the Coralie, probably from one of those blue hardcover biographies I read as a kid, from the library!!)

Verne traveled anywhere he wanted in his imagination--under the sea, around the world in 80 days, and to Paris in the 20th century! Master of the World was a late work, published in 1904. The 20th-century Paris book was not published till 1993, tucked away as ahead of its time.

And the sci fi discoveries just continued today at Babbitt's. A regular customer found several things he wanted, "some in the scifi aisle, and some in the bathroom." Regular customers know we keep our excess sci fi paperbacks on the shelves in the bathroom, right under the extra paper towels.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Interesting filing system you all have there for sci fi!