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am 2. Januar 1999
This work was not printed during Verne's lifetime. This was because of the depressing nature of the work. It is well written, and does have some accurate points as far as prophecy goes, automobiles, high speed trains, governmental control of education. However, Verne seems to suggest that society came to worship(or, at least, respect) science while ignoring the fuzzy studies of humanities. If you look around America today, the general ignorance of science is appalling, and fuzzy studies are becoming fuzzier all the time... So, as a look into the future, this novel fails miserably. As I note that at least one major newspaper reviewer criticizes Verne for being a "technonerd" that nobody reads, let us remember Verne is the father of science fiction(as in SCIENCE), and even his more famous works, such as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", have a great deal of contemporary science in them. If someone does feel science is boring and nerdy, he certainly will not enjoy this book and will be better off purchasing a comic book. In conclusion, this is not a great Jules Verne novel, but his worst is better than many novelists best!
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An entertaining, funny and immensely readable story of Michel and his life in Paris in 1960, this "lost novel" goes well beyond a mere technical description of all the modern conveniences. It forces the reader to ask the question are we really better off with all the technology that surrounds our lives. From an elaborate train system whisking Parisians around the city to smog and the decline of the arts, Verne has pretty well described modern life from his perch in the mid 19th century.
As we near the year 2000, we should all take a look at the effects that modern society has on family life, marriage, the environment and culture. This book should be on all university reading lists.
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am 25. August 1998
I learned a lot about 19th c. french authors, & 19th century's view of the future. This is a genuine scientific extrapolation about the future & is therefore A. one of the first & B. one of the most accurate. His sociocultural predictions were ,surprisingly, his most prescient. Sadly, as fiction this is very didact & not very engaging. The romance element seemed especially poor since the woman was ,in least as I recall, even worse developed than the others. Still, it's historically interesting. In my opinion Disch is full of it & science fiction started in Europe, & this supports that.
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am 12. Januar 1999
Well, this was Verne's first book, so one has to treat it with an appropriat amount of respect. His visions of the future are uncannily accurate (monorails, fax machines, telecommunications, computers), but the plot is awkward and not particularly gripping. The saving grace here is that it's a relatively short book. In any event, all told it's worth reading.
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am 4. Juni 1999
Okay, i'm not sure if this book changed my life or scared me, but it was definitely very strange.
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am 29. April 2000
When this novel was published a few years back, I was looking forward to it. After all, I loved Verne's classics like Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We all do, right?

Then I read Paris in the 20th Century.... Well, it is indeed surprisingly prescient about future technology. But that's the only good thing to be said about it.

The plot is flimsy at best, the characters have no appeal and the overall tone is one of self-indulgent whining. Incessantly so. Oh, how awful a world would be if certain poets ever failed to be lionized! The same list of poets repeated ad nauseum.

In short, don't waste your time on this. If you want a well-written book that shows a dystopian future with a culture-technology clash, read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or Ray Bradbury's Farrenheit 451.
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