From The Earth To The Moon I believe Verne intended this book chiefly to be a satire of some people living at his time who were unable to accept the peaceful condition of the world. The Gun Club is nothing more than a group of disfigured and excitable old war mongers, who, since there was no war, needed to create some grand project as an outlet for their destructive energy. He also could have been satirizing the attitude of greatness that he perceived Americans to have about themselves and their country. This is illustrated in many lines of the members of the Gun Club, how they fear no obstacle, confident that American ingenuity will conquer all. Another possible reason for his writing this book could have been merely to express how he foresaw man reaching the moon.
This book is a delightful satire, and is very enjoyable to read. It’s written in a smooth, easy to follow language, and has really no dull parts. I liked the way the story was presented, through the eyes of the members of the Gun Club, who were very amusing characters. It was also written in common language, so it was easy to read. Another thing I liked about this book were all the great characters.
I especially liked the members of the Gun Club, with their artificial appendages and talking about nothing but past wars, future wars, and accomplishments in the field of artillery. I really liked Matson who had multiple arm attachments, like a hook, a pencil, and a knife. Setting was also described very well in this book. From the weapon filled meeting hall of the Gun Club, to the construction site on Stone Hill, Verne always used such descriptive language, that you could easily see the place in your mind. I especially liked how he portrayed the enormous dimensions of the cannon and of the projectile itself. Another characteristic of this book was, unlike most others I have read, there is no messy love story to get in the way of the plot development. I think Verne replaces a female love interest with the desire to go to the moon, and then gives that desire form in the cannon and projectile, which I think you can securely say the men were all in love with.
Another quality of this book was that there was always something going on, there were no wasted words. There was also a lot of suspense in many places throughout the book, especially at the end when the cannon is fired. The pages leading up to that event were extremely exciting. I even got a little nervous myself. The ending also was very suspenseful, and I was a little upset. It really bugged me that you never really find out what happened to the travelers. This book is definitely not for everybody.
If you don’t like science fiction very much, I wouldn’t really recommend this book. Even though there is much more to this story than just the technical “mumbo-jumbo,” a person could get bored in the detailed descriptions of the different facets of the project. I, though, found those descriptions to be some of the best parts. I was amazed that Verne could portray all that stuff that never existed in such great detail. This book also shows how learned of a man Verne was.
There are many sections that would require much research about astronomy, astronomical tools, and artillery. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a great science fiction book, with a lot of satire and comedy, but also one with suspense and tension, then I highly recommend this book. It’s a book that you can easily read in a short time since the language is relatively plain, and the story keeps you interested the entire time.