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A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne, Fiction, Fantasy & Magic

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The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Snfellsjkull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Sn�fellsj�kull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the Stromboli volcano.


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The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Snfellsjkull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Sn�fellsj�kull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the Stromboli volcano.

30 review for A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne, Fiction, Fantasy & Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Gawd dim it, bollocks, ShazBot and shit snacks...I am so, SO bummed that I didn’t experience Jules Verne’s novels for the first time as a young man, rather than as an aging manolescent. Reading them now, as a 41 year old, I still find myself carried away in the rollickingness of his well crafted adventures, but part of me knows deep down in my nethers that there’s a warm, gooey nostalgia that will always be missing. This giant load of empty in my core, if filled, would likely have elevated this Gawd dim it, bollocks, ShazBot and shit snacks...I am so, SO bummed that I didn’t experience Jules Verne’s novels for the first time as a young man, rather than as an aging manolescent. Reading them now, as a 41 year old, I still find myself carried away in the rollickingness of his well crafted adventures, but part of me knows deep down in my nethers that there’s a warm, gooey nostalgia that will always be missing. This giant load of empty in my core, if filled, would likely have elevated this from a really good read to a cozy memory-rewind of simpler, happier times. *coughs bitterness from aching heart.* Alas, my loving parents were unintentionally guilty of literary child neglect. Thus, while I really enjoyed all those afternoons watching Gilligan’s Island, I think my time would have been better utilized immersing myself in the classics of Wells, Verne, Doyle and Poe. So, yes, it hurts... ...and I’m a little disappointed... ...maybe even a skosh angry... But...*wipes tear*...no sense crying weeping uncontrollably over spilled milk** misspent reading years. I must just remember to ensure that I don’t make the same error with my own children. So far, so good. **Why anyone would shed tears over spilled bovine teat juice is beyond me. PLOT SUMMARY: One of the most popular and beloved works within Verne’s 54 volume Les Voyages Extraordinaires, Journey to the Center of the Earth tells of the travels of Professor Lidenbrock, an accomplished and incredibly impatient, mineralogist, and his quiet, reserved nephew Axel. While perusing an ancient manuscript, Lidenbrock discovers a mysterious message encrypted in runic script. After cracking the code, with unexpected help from young Axel, the professor discovers that the message describes how to locate a secret passage leading to, uh, take a wild guess. The pair immediately scamper off to Iceland where, with the help of hunter/guide named Hans Bjelke, they discover the hidden entrance and embark on a highly perilous, but even more highly enjoyable, adventure. THOUGHTS: Verne was a consummate story-teller who never wrote down to his audience or cut corners with his material. One of the most enjoyable aspects for me about reading his stories is the scientific thoughtfulness that Verne poured into his novels. True, much of his science is badly dated and many of his theories, including the central premise of this story, have long since been disproved and relegated to nonsenseville. However, when written, Verne was conscientious in his attempt to be as accurate as possible and employed a rigor to his plot elements and story details that few can match. This diligence was the result of Verne’s desire to use his novels to use his novels as teaching tools as well as entertainment. This is a major bonus for the reader because Verne’s devotion to authenticity actually enhances the sense of wonder by creating an air of plausibility that allows the suspension of disbelief to occur unconsciously and, thus, unnoticed. What I’m bushing around the beat about is that I really, really enjoyed this. I’m couldn't give it the full 5 stars because I thought the initial portion of the novel (i.e., the part before the entrance to the hidden passage) took a bit too long to develop and the time spent in the most interesting segment of the journey (i.e., the [censored to avoid spoilerage] was too fleeting. Still, there is genuine wonder here and excellently drawn characters who display remarkable depth for this kind of story. Add to that an ending that is perfectly suited for the tale and you have a classic, well done adventure yarn that should be read. Oh, a final gripe in the interest of full disclosure. The ending’s awesomeness was dampened a tad for me by the compass “mystery” which I thought was overindulged by the Jules. Two days after finishing this, I am still mildly annoyed by that snippet of the tale so I thought I would be remiss if I failed to mention it. However, minor nits and compass annoyance aside, this was a great experience. Definitely one I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. 4.0 stars. P.S. I need to add a note to the doofus-brained asshats who put together the 1871 English translation published by Griffith and Farran. Dear Sirs, You SUCK!!! Worse, this version happens to be the one that the geniuses at Easton Press decided, in their unimaginable stupidity, to use in their collection of science fiction classic. The mind boggles. This literary assassination abridged and largely rewrote the story, even changing the main character’s name from Professor Lidenbrock to Hardwigg. Thank Odin and Cthulhu, the unabridged audiobook I listened to was the original, quality translation. This actually gave me the ability to compare the to volumes. There is no comparison. If you are reading a version where the professor’s name is Hardwigg...toss it in the trash and find an original translation. As for the creators of the 1871 abomination, I only wish you could find yourself on the receiving end of justice...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    866. Voyage au centre de la Terre = Journey To The Centre of The Earth = A Journey to the Centre of the Earth = A Journey to the Interior of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages #3), Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth is an 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the center of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano, encountering many 866. Voyage au centre de la Terre = Journey To The Centre of The Earth = A Journey to the Centre of the Earth = A Journey to the Interior of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages #3), Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth is an 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the center of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the Stromboli volcano. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نخست ماه اکتبر سال 2010 میلادی عنوانها: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ سفر به اعماق زمین؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ انتشاراتیها: (دنیای کتاب و انتشارات امیرکبیر، و ...) ادبیات نوجوانان سده 19 م عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: قدیر گلکاریان، تهران، عارف، 1370؛ در 127 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1371؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 19 م عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: احمد پناهی خراسانی، مشهد، باربد، 1372؛ در 226 ص؛ عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: جلیل دهمشکی، تهران، جانزاده، 1375؛ در 126 ص؛ عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: فاطمه نقاش، تهران، کوشش، 1375؛ در 106 ص؛ عنوان: سفر به اعماق زمین؛ مترجم: حسین چترنور، تهران، شرکت توسعه کتابخانه های ایران، 1376؛ در 125 ص؛ شابک: 9646209173؛چاپ سوم 1380، چهارم 1381؛ ششم 1384؛ عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: نفیسه دربهشتی، تهران، پیمان، 1376؛ در 120 ص؛ شابک: 9645981255؛ عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: علی فاطمیان، تهران، نشر چشم انداز، 1379؛ در 237 ص؛ شابک: 9644221761؛ عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: مرجان رضایی، تهران، نشر مرکز، 1391؛ در هفت و 310 ص؛ شابک: 9789642131402؛ عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: معصومه موسوی، قم، آوای بیصدا، 1397؛ در 32 ص؛ شابک: 9786009926114؛ .... بارها چاپ شده است، در فرصتی دیگر همه ی نسخه ها را اگر زنده باشم خواهم نوشت رمانی علمی–تخیلی اثر «ژول ورن» است. داستان این رمان در مورد یک پروفسور آلمانی، به نام «اوتو لیدانبراک» است که باور دارد برخی دالان‌های گدازه، به مرکز زمین می‌روند. او به همراه برادرزاده‌ ی خویش «اکسل» و «هانس» که راهنمای آنهاست، از آتشفشانی در «ایسلند» پایین می‌روند، و با ماجراهای بسیاری همانند حیوانات ماقبل تاریخ، و خطرهای طبیعی رودررو می‌شوند، تا اینکه در پایان در جنوب «ایتالیا» در «استرومبولی»، دوباره به سطح زمین باز می‌گردند. ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    Why does Jules Verne often remind me of Monty Python? I mean, it's not funny or anything. Perhaps I was struck by the fact that Robur-le-conquérant doesn't just feature a flying machine called the Albatross, but also gives you a precise figure for the speed of a swallow. Anyway, with further apologies: Me: I wish to register a complaint about this novel, which I purchased not 45 years ago in this very boutique. John Cleese: Oh yeah? What's wrong wiv it? Me: The title is A Journey to the Center of Why does Jules Verne often remind me of Monty Python? I mean, it's not funny or anything. Perhaps I was struck by the fact that Robur-le-conquérant doesn't just feature a flying machine called the Albatross, but also gives you a precise figure for the speed of a swallow. Anyway, with further apologies: Me: I wish to register a complaint about this novel, which I purchased not 45 years ago in this very boutique. John Cleese: Oh yeah? What's wrong wiv it? Me: The title is A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Cleese: And? Me: Well, they never get to the center of the Earth. Cleese: They almost do. Me: They don't. Cleese: They get more than halfway there. Me: Excuse me, what is the radius of the Earth? Cleese: Well guv, couldn't say offhand... Me: I'll tell you what it is. It's 6,378 kilometers. Cleese: Could be. Me: And do you know how far down they get? Cleese: I'd have to look that up... Me: Their maximum depth is about 320 kilometers. Cleese: I don't see your point. Me: They get about 4.7% of the way there. Cleese: Look guv, there's dinosaurs... Me: My good man, I don't care how many dinosaurs there are! The story simply doesn't correspond to the title, that's all. Here, let me give you an example. Take this DVD, Anal Gangbang Slut 8. If the only thing that happened was that the woman removed her gloves, would you say I'd got my money's worth? Cleese: She takes her shoes off as well. Me: She does? Cleese: Yeah. Me: Can I swap? Cleese: If you like guv. No skin off my nose. Me: Done. [Huge animated foot comes down and squashes both actors. Silly music, followed by announcer's voice] Announcer: And now for something completely different. The All-England Summarising Proust Competition. Contestant: Proust in his first book, talked about, talked about...

  4. 4 out of 5

    James Tivendale

    "As long as the heart beats, as long as your body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life" I thought this book was brilliant and superbly well written by Venre as I will summarise below. It follows 3 main characters:- 1) Professor Lidenbrock: a scientific genius who does not know when to quit even when the odds are less than 1% of success. 2) His Nephew, Axel: our narrator - written in a similar way to Conon-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or "As long as the heart beats, as long as your body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life" I thought this book was brilliant and superbly well written by Venre as I will summarise below. It follows 3 main characters:- 1) Professor Lidenbrock: a scientific genius who does not know when to quit even when the odds are less than 1% of success. 2) His Nephew, Axel: our narrator - written in a similar way to Conon-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or Leroux's - Joseph Routabille stories. The insider following and reporting on the bizarre genius of the main character. He is also highly intelligent but worries a bit too much. He is the more human/ emotional character is this death defying adventure. 3) Hans: Our trusty hunter, servant, side-kick who is quiet, composed and saves every-ones life about 3 times. I analysed this book as having 3 divisions in the way the story was created and therefore progressed. To begin with - decoding a bizarre cipher, establishing the plot and the build up to the mission ending up in Iceland. Secondly, a quite sombre, despondent and slow segment about our gang penetrating the Earth via volcano and happenings in the seedy under-passages in the worlds crust. One scene truly stood out for me here which raised the tempo. Axel finds himself lost from his crew with no rations, no light - really no hope. This scene was harrowing and claustrophobic as a reader we obviously put ourselves in that nightmare scenario. That was gripping. Finally, about the last 40% is all full of over enthusiastic energy and vigour and it is great. Superbly paced narrative at this point including scenes of seeing fighting prehistoric monsters, being lost at sea in unbelievable and intense electric storms and if that all wasn't fun enough - to conclude they get rip-roaringly catapulted out of a volcano!! The book has some great set pieces. For some people I can see it is not an easy read. It is very science-based and used so much specialist language that it could put people off. I have said previously that this wasn't an issue to me as I believe the effort you put in to a book rewards the overall outcome. I am not a scientist but if I want to be in this world I have to adapt, enjoy and sometimes even learn the relevant terminology to get in to the characters minds. The first 2 sections I mentioned were 4 star. The final section is 6 star - hence the review. It is reminiscent of Conon-Doyle's adventure tale The Lost World but instead of Professor Challenger and friends going up a formation/ mountain to find an amazing world, Professor Lidenbrock and chums do the opposite and go down. I think this was free or about £0.99 on kindle so definitely worth picking up. I will hopefully read another of the Extraordinary Voyages books soon and hope they follow in the same vein. James x

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leo .

    When I was young I read this book and most of his others too. I used to wonder about the Hollow Earth and often compared it to Middle Earth and Midgaurd. Alice down the rabbit hole. Shamballa and Hades. Like At The Earths Core this book opens the imagination to an inner realm. I have researched this concept and it is very fascinating indeed. The diary of Admiral Byrd is worth looking into. Agartha. Ancient discoveries have been made illustrating this concept. Were these greats of literature on When I was young I read this book and most of his others too. I used to wonder about the Hollow Earth and often compared it to Middle Earth and Midgaurd. Alice down the rabbit hole. Shamballa and Hades. Like At The Earths Core this book opens the imagination to an inner realm. I have researched this concept and it is very fascinating indeed. The diary of Admiral Byrd is worth looking into. Agartha. Ancient discoveries have been made illustrating this concept. Were these greats of literature on to something? Himmler believed in the concept and it is now proven fact that the Nazi's had interest in Antarctica. They even had some sort of infrastructure there. Imagine the possibility of a world within a world. Like an atom is like a universe. Protons and neutrons inside like miniature planets. Inner space. Like in the film Men In Black. The universe is on Orion's Belt. Orion is the cat and on his collar/belt is a small glass marble containing the universe. Inner space and different dimensions? The mind boggles. Reading these old books can be hard to digest. Sometimes the old way of writing can distract one from the story. However, if the book becomes mundane, irksome or just a chore to read, try to stick with it. Subconsciously the mind is expanding. The vocabulary will broaden. The senses amplify. One individually enters their own world of academia. The more one reads, the more aware one becomes. Food for thought.🐯👍

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    So my first experience of this story was the 1959 film (a good year ha ha), that I saw probably in my early teens, normally around the Christmas time. I have a penchant for 1950s sci-fi "B" movies and this film was certainly part of my drive to read the books that were made into the wonderful films. So some time in the mid 70s I read this book and discovered there were loads more that I knew I would enjoy. So fast forward 40 years and I've probably watched the 50s movie more than I've read the So my first experience of this story was the 1959 film (a good year ha ha), that I saw probably in my early teens, normally around the Christmas time. I have a penchant for 1950s sci-fi "B" movies and this film was certainly part of my drive to read the books that were made into the wonderful films. So some time in the mid 70s I read this book and discovered there were loads more that I knew I would enjoy. So fast forward 40 years and I've probably watched the 50s movie more than I've read the book, so it was time to read the book again. And what a memorable read it was, yes I could see James Mason as Professor Lindenbrook, but the characters are (regardless of the movie) well rounded and unique. Considering it is not really a long book Jules managed to pack an amazing amount of story into such a small number of pages, a story that is fast paced and well constructed. And worth reading if you are into classic sci-fi or even if you just enjoyed the film (1959 version is far superior). Given it is now 5 years since I read this (I had forgotten to write a review), it should certainly be making its way to the top of my TBR again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    This was a DNF for me when I was a teenager. I loved the old movie, but I just couldn't get into the book. Then, I selected this for my Goodreads book-club a couple of years ago thinking that now that I have grown up and read more - and because Jules Verne is one of the founding fathers of sci-fi - I would now love it. Unfortunately, it was still a bit slow and hard to get through. I enjoyed it, but it just didn't keep me enthralled liked I hoped it would. Then, I went back and watched the movie This was a DNF for me when I was a teenager. I loved the old movie, but I just couldn't get into the book. Then, I selected this for my Goodreads book-club a couple of years ago thinking that now that I have grown up and read more - and because Jules Verne is one of the founding fathers of sci-fi - I would now love it. Unfortunately, it was still a bit slow and hard to get through. I enjoyed it, but it just didn't keep me enthralled liked I hoped it would. Then, I went back and watched the movie and I did not think it was as great as I remembered. *Sigh* there goes one of my childhood memories!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    Well that was fun. I staged an unarmed raid on the library and with some guilt I made off with Journey to the Centre of the Earth, my instinct was that this is a children's book and so taking it was the equivalent of grabbing an ice cream or a lollipop from a wailing child, though on reflection unlike the ice cream the book can be consumed a few times before it's glue binding cracks and the bound pages flutter free. This edition even comes with 3-D glasses - finally an immersive text, one can Well that was fun. I staged an unarmed raid on the library and with some guilt I made off with Journey to the Centre of the Earth, my instinct was that this is a children's book and so taking it was the equivalent of grabbing an ice cream or a lollipop from a wailing child, though on reflection unlike the ice cream the book can be consumed a few times before it's glue binding cracks and the bound pages flutter free. This edition even comes with 3-D glasses - finally an immersive text, one can slide down an 's', grab hold of a 'b' and swing underneath, have your fall into the subtext broken by the sharp hook of a 'q', but it turned out that only the front cover is in 3-D which strikes me as a poor tease. In truth, and you may have suspected this if you have seen the film, it is not a very good adventure because the narrator is a participant on the journey, which indicates that his chances of surviving the trip without the loss of his fingers are pretty good. Verne is a bit scatty on the details - they do run out of water for a while but they seem to have magic food supplies, when desperately the adventurers share a last meal of some meat and a few biscuits each gets a pound of food each - half a kilo, which is a fair quantity, suspiciously as though Jesus was the expedition's quarter-master. Of interest I think to the popular adventure genre is the now classic odd couple in this case irascible mad Scientist uncle and cowardly by-the-book nephew off set by taciturn and universally capable guide. Well you will say what about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, surely he was a mad scientist, maybe even the first one? Frankenstein, Frankenstein, Frankenstein is down at the tragic end of the familiar mad scientist spectrum while Professor Lidenbrook is way over on the charmingly eccentric end of the spectrum, and this type, I venture to suggest, has come to dominate the field. He's the kind of geologist who sometimes broke his specimens through testing them too abruptly (p.4) suggesting to me that one would be very cautious if shaking hands with him. He is indifferent to scientific orthodoxy, everything can be disproved by unverifiable adventure while the by-the-book nephew is comically, yet reasonably, terrified by the likelihood of imminent death whether due to extreme heat, pressure, thirst, starvation, being consumed by prehistoric monsters, getting burnt up in pyroclastic flows and so on. Verne maintains a lively flow despite a lack of plot or adventure or character development through short chapters and near constant incident. Something is always happening. Something inconsequential, but something none the less, like a Jackie Chan film. At the end there is a terrible drive to rapidly finish what is in any case a pretty short adventure, as though Verne was sitting having his breakfast while his publisher was shouting through the letterbox ' Jules, I know you're in there, you've got to finish that story or we're done' I was pleasantly surprised by the sense that Verne had done some research - his Icelanders sitting down to feast on Skyr for instance, TV adverts tell me that happens all the time in Iceland, although curiously Verne refuses to mention woolly patterned pullovers. But I was disappointed by the redundancy, the dreamy atmosphere of forests of mushrooms and colourless flowers,with petals like paper, rapidly brought to the page then left behind. I get the impression of a mind over excited with incident and images, amusingly for a book called Journey to the centre of the earth we don't get to the centre of anything, we are firmly anchored to the surface, it is light-hearted and whimsical, entirely populated by comical foreigners (ie anybody not French), fun and I think deeply influential - a Don Quixote for an age of mass popular culture maybe. I'm intrigued to think that he may have had some influence on Haldor Laxness, but then it's easy to imagine Laxness reading Verne as a child, the pastor reminiscent of Pastor Jon in Under the Glacier though the mysterious wife not troll like, just supernatural in another direction, perhaps Under the Glacier is a response to the cultural appropriation of Iceland by Verne, a re-enchantment of the world beneath the lava fields and peat bogs a place not for blase exploration by German science, but of mystery, of Trolls, Elves and the eternal femme or God as she is otherwise known, but I need at least one rereading and some dreaming of colourless flowers with papery petals first before I'm certain of that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shovelmonkey1

    I've tried to make The Journey to the Centre of the earth myself people, and let me tell you, it is fraught with danger! It should be a warning to you that I'm writing this from the bed of a Burns unit by typing with two chargrilled finger stumps, because the centre of the earth is not some wonderfully hollow, sparkly geode, oh no! In reality its a burning hot ball of lava, so hot that it makes the centre of a Pop Tart feel like a skinny dipping spree at the North Pole. You have been warned. I've tried to make The Journey to the Centre of the earth myself people, and let me tell you, it is fraught with danger! It should be a warning to you that I'm writing this from the bed of a Burns unit by typing with two chargrilled finger stumps, because the centre of the earth is not some wonderfully hollow, sparkly geode, oh no! In reality its a burning hot ball of lava, so hot that it makes the centre of a Pop Tart feel like a skinny dipping spree at the North Pole. You have been warned. Geology may rock but it can also get bloody warm as well! If you don't believe me, and are still prone to believe the Jules Verne school of geological thought, I'm backed up by the Wikipedia page :(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Journe...) where the person who wrote the entry for the book clearly states that Verne's description of the fantastical middle earth has been "soundly refuted". Let's face it, if the centre of the earth really was some kind of lost world of wonders, Disney would have sunk a two and a half mile deep elevator shaft down there sometime in the 1960s and we'd all be queuing at the edge of a lava tube to pay £500 per ticket to get down there. If on the other hand you are still tempted to make a journey to the centre of the earth from the comfort of your own armchair then I'm sure you'll be charmed and thrilled by the subterranean world of wonders which await. Lava tubes (like dried out waterflumes)provide direct access to the labyrinthine maze of geological fun. Middle-world primordial seas (which would have left modern day scientists to ponder the fact that the earth really resembles a partly filled laundry detergent ball), filled with giant fishes the likes of which would have had Hemingway weeping for mercy. Dinosaurs wander through ancient primeval forests of petrified wood and giant mushrooms and barren shores of bleached bones reveal the true nature of humanities origins. Essentially Verne has gathered together all the best and most interesting bits of Early World Prehistory (the bits that you loved as a kid) and created a memorable if scientifically confused master piece. Ok, it's now a bit dated and yes the centre of the earth really is not quite a Verne would have us believe but this is old school story telling at its best.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    It was a pure joy to read this wonderful story of adventure, I felt entertained the whole way through. I loved the characters, the writing style and the plot so incredibly much. I can't even explain why, I just had a good feeling every time I picked up this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I have had a ridiculous amount of fun this year listening to classic novels as audiobooks. When Audible offered a freebie (I think it was a freebie) of Journey to the Center of the Earth read by Tim Curry, I was excited – Tim Curry! Come on. It almost didn't matter what it was; I kind of place Curry in the same class as Tom Baker – love the actor, adore the voice, will listen to literally anything read by him. (Though Tom Baker wins by having been The Doctor, of course.) And I was right. Curry I have had a ridiculous amount of fun this year listening to classic novels as audiobooks. When Audible offered a freebie (I think it was a freebie) of Journey to the Center of the Earth read by Tim Curry, I was excited – Tim Curry! Come on. It almost didn't matter what it was; I kind of place Curry in the same class as Tom Baker – love the actor, adore the voice, will listen to literally anything read by him. (Though Tom Baker wins by having been The Doctor, of course.) And I was right. Curry was fabulous. His performance – and it was in every way performance – was incredibly enjoyable, and accounted for a good part of my rating. The voices he gave to the characters were dead on; the emotion with which he invested some scenes elevated them; it's purely because of his voice that I don't completely loathe the two main characters of this book, Axel and his Uncle/Professor Otto Liedenbrock. Not completely … I do dislike them intensely, though. Even Tim Curry couldn't prevent that. I will absolutely grant that part of my dislike for the book was some inability to separate myself as a 21st-century woman with a (very) basic (high school) education in geology from myself as reader of a book published and I assume set in 1864. From the former point of view it's an absurd figment of science fantasy. I know, I know – I have no problem accepting vampires (as long as they don't sparkle), werewolves, thousand-year-old druids and 932-year-old Time Lords. I never said I was consistent. Still, despite the initial head-meets-desk reaction I had to a forest many leagues below the surface of the earth, not to mention a life-filled ocean and the mastodon-herding giants – still, it was fun. It felt like a Disney version of science, crossed with Lewis Carroll – fall down the universe's biggest rabbit hole, and land in an impossible, improbable wonderland. I was able to enjoy some of the fantasy. The parts I could enjoy were simply outweighed by the stupidity of the characters. The two so-brilliant scientists, Axel and his uncle, were textbook examples of book-smart vs. street-smart. I mean, what moron goes on any expedition into the unknown with only a little water? Good God, people, don't you watch Les Stroud and Bear Grylls? Well, no, obviously not, but – common sense, men! "Oh, don't worry, we'll find fresh-water springs": probably the last words of many a dim adventurer. And the subject of stupid adventurers brings me straight to Axel. Good grief. In my Goodreads updates I referred to him as a damsel in distress, and also TSTL: Too Stupid To Live. Bringing that boy on an expedition (I keep wanting to write a Winnie-the-Pooh-esque "expotition") is like taking a penguin to the Bahamas. I lost count of the number of times he fell or got lost or otherwise needed rescuing – and every single time there was poor old Hans, probably thinking "ach du lieber (or the Icelandic equivalent thereof), we should just put the fool on a leash." I can't imagine why his uncle brought him in the first place, unless he didn't realize what a Moaning Myrtle the boy would become, in addition to being a hazard to himself and all those around him. Every step of the way he complained and protested and fretted and despaired. The fact that he happened to be right in some of his complaints – as, for example, when he protested the minimal amount of water they were toting – doesn't make his constant whingeing easier to tolerate. And the Professor … a more overbearing, pompous, irritating, foresightless windbag I don't remember in my reading. Did I mention it was his decision to bring only a little water with them? And also to chuck most of their gear down an apparently bottomless hole, confident that they would catch up to it in the climb. And also to set off across an apparently limitless ocean in a boat I wouldn't sail in a bathtub rather than try to trek the shoreline. And then to pause at random intervals and pontificate as if in front of an audience. Oh, and to take few or no specimens of their discoveries. "Center of the earth, eh, Liedenbrock? Riiiight." My list, made early on in the read/listen, for tips on a hypothetical Journey to the Center of the Earth: 1. Bring water 2. Lots 3. Lots and lots - humans are not camels. 4. Be sure to pay guide/servant/lifesaver weekly, even if he can't spend the money 5. Give guide/etc raise after he saves your butt after you disregarded 1 & 2 6. Do not bring nephew; he is prone to both hysterics and despair 7. Do not bring uncle/professor, as he confuses humans with camels (also: twit) 8. Do bring Tim Curry, because he just makes everything sound good. I don't think the uncle and nephew actually did give Hans any kind of monetary reward for saving their rear ends, on several more occasions than just the water situation. The uncle paid him promptly every week – not that he was able to spend or bank or otherwise appreciate said payment, miles below the surface of the earth – and probably lost it all in their adventures. The translation used by Audible was an odd one. The only example I noted was this: "His absolute silence increased every day." If it's absolute, it can't increase, though, can it? The edition Goodreads links to has it as: "But his habit of silence gained upon him day by day" - which works. I would be interested in either reading or listening to another version, to see if anything improves … but no. The language wasn't the problem. The problem was that I spent over eight hours alternately smiling happily at Tim Curry's performance and wanting to reach through my iPod and shake Axel and Otto until their ears flapped. It's another of those "could-have-been" books. It could have been so much fun. It just wasn't.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Let's go on an adventure! But first, an apology to Mr. Verne. I avoided this book for many years because I'm a fan of planetology and anyone who attempts to convince me that they can get this deep into the crust has GOT TO BE SHITTING ME. So what did I do? I avoided it. Never mind when this came out and never mind about dinos and giants and lightning storms and great underground oceans and a very distinctive and cooler mantle. As Science Fiction, with just a grain of credulity, the novel is Let's go on an adventure! But first, an apology to Mr. Verne. I avoided this book for many years because I'm a fan of planetology and anyone who attempts to convince me that they can get this deep into the crust has GOT TO BE SHITTING ME. So what did I do? I avoided it. Never mind when this came out and never mind about dinos and giants and lightning storms and great underground oceans and a very distinctive and cooler mantle. As Science Fiction, with just a grain of credulity, the novel is GREAT! :) I mean, Verne even gives us the puzzle at the very beginning and sets up the great scientist against all the other great scientists and goes out to disprove the super, super hot interior theory! That's a big nod to science, yo. Let the handwavium commence. :) I refuse to refer to this book as Journey to the Center of the Earth ever again. It will henceforth be referred to as Journey to the Interior of the Earth. It's true enough. 320 kilometers deep. That's not a lot. It's just a tiny fraction of the crust. But for a few blokes first walking then rushing forth on a grand underground waterway, meeting vast monsters in vast caverns, getting separated and having to determine their locations by each other by the time it takes the speed of sound to get to them, I have to say that this ranks right up there with the very, very best adventure novels I've ever read. I can easily imagine transplanting any number of its features upon an alien world and being just as thrilled. Move over, Doyle. Verne is the reigning champion. :) Just... wow. :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    Now began our real journey. Hitherto our toil had overcome all difficulties, now difficulties would spring up at every step. I had not yet ventured to look down the bottomless pit into which I was about to take a plunge. The supreme hour had come. OK so if you’re a reader of Science Fiction, and especially the classics, you owe it to yourself to read some Jules Verne. Not only was he enormously influential in the genre, but he is responsible for stories that are still popular to this day. What Now began our real journey. Hitherto our toil had overcome all difficulties, now difficulties would spring up at every step. I had not yet ventured to look down the bottomless pit into which I was about to take a plunge. The supreme hour had come. OK so if you’re a reader of Science Fiction, and especially the classics, you owe it to yourself to read some Jules Verne. Not only was he enormously influential in the genre, but he is responsible for stories that are still popular to this day. What human power could restore me to the light of the sun by rending asunder the huge arches of rock which united over my head, buttressing each other with impregnable strength? The story here is not unfamiliar. In fact, it’s been well covered by film and television, as well as the illustrated medium, a great many times. I will therefore not go into great detail around the plot, other than to say that it deals with a journey into the earth’s crust and below (much like the title states). So, then, the dream in which I had had a vision of the prehistoric world, of the tertiary and post-tertiary periods, was now realised. And there we were alone, in the bowels of the earth, at the mercy of its wild inhabitants! It’s an adventure novel, really, and not hard science fiction by modern standards. However, it would have been a very different story at the time of first publication (1864). The scientific discussions presented here must have been positively electrifying. There are only a few characters and none are truly fleshed out. This, I think, is a symptom of the genre and the time it was written. Science Fiction has come a long way since 1864. It is apparent that the author was aiming not only for a base to present his own scientific beliefs (the book does enter “lecture mode” on a few occasions) but also to press some “sense of wonder” buttons in his readers. I didn’t read the book in the original French but in English, alternating between the Penguin Classic translation and the Gutenberg Project translation (there are some interesting comparisons / differences between the two but that is a discussion for another time). Still: it is obvious, even in translated form, that Mister Verne had a flair for the dramatic and knew how to spin a yarn. Respect. From that hour we had no further occasion for the exercise of reason, or judgment, or skill, or contrivance. We were henceforth to be hurled along, the playthings of the fierce elements of the deep. 3.5 – 4 stars Read as part of annual “have to read” agreement with wife.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy Norris

    Fun, adventurous, and original. Jules Verne is considered the father of science fiction for a reason. His books, in my opinion, hold up better than most classics out there. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been reading his stories back the 1800s. Journey to the Centre of the Earth is not Verne’s strongest work but is still a fast-paced and fun read. The story follows a professor, his nephew, and their trusty Icelandic guide as they journey down through the Earths crusts. Verne’s Fun, adventurous, and original. Jules Verne is considered the father of science fiction for a reason. His books, in my opinion, hold up better than most classics out there. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been reading his stories back the 1800s. Journey to the Centre of the Earth is not Verne’s strongest work but is still a fast-paced and fun read. The story follows a professor, his nephew, and their trusty Icelandic guide as they journey down through the Earths crusts. Verne’s stories are always well-researched and I appreciate how he manages to seamlessly incorporate science and geography into the narrative. I always finish his books feeling just a little bit smarter than before.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    I strongly recommend this book if you like reading the classics. Jules Verne is one of my favourite authors. I strongly recommend this book if you like reading the classics. Jules Verne is one of my favourite authors.🐯👍

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    If I said to you “Let’s go spelunking at the weekend”, would you have the faintest idea what I was talking about? Well if you had read the final pages in this “Illustrated Classic” version from 1957 of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, then you would know that I was suggesting a trip to go exploring or climbing inside caves, otherwise known as “potholing”. “Spelunking” derives from “speleologists”, or cave scientists, who venture far underground to discover new things about the If I said to you “Let’s go spelunking at the weekend”, would you have the faintest idea what I was talking about? Well if you had read the final pages in this “Illustrated Classic” version from 1957 of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, then you would know that I was suggesting a trip to go exploring or climbing inside caves, otherwise known as “potholing”. “Spelunking” derives from “speleologists”, or cave scientists, who venture far underground to discover new things about the Earth, such as rocks, plants and creatures from long ago. There is a separate article about it at the end (as well as a two page feature, part of a serial on British history). A Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a story and idea which has captured the popular imagination for decades. The original novel was by the French author of adventure stories, Jules Verne, sometimes along with H.G. Wells called the “Father of Science Fiction” . Inspired by Charles Lyell’s “Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man” of 1863 and probably also his earlier ground-breaking “Principles of Geology” A Journey to the Centre of the Earth was written just a year later in 1864 and entitled “Voyage au centre de la Terre”. In a sense, unless one reads French fluently, one is always going to read an adaptation of Jules Verne’s original work, although some closer ones are termed “translations”. Jules Verne is the second most-translated author in the world, coming between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare. This means that his works are very well-known, but there are so many that they are sometimes badly translated or bowdlerised. There are also many abridged versions. For this reason, in the English-speaking world he is often considered a children’s author. Indeed many children will first encounter A Journey to the Centre of the Earth through many of the various adaptations, as I did. I first saw an adventure film from 1959, very exciting, but as with most films, probably very shortened and unlikely to have adhered very closely to Jules Verne’s work. I also avidly devoured these “Illustrated Classics” strip stories. On the front of this one, there is an illustration of a plesiosaurus and an ichthyosaurus having a confrontation. (Oh - and a raft with some people on behind - a minor detail). For a dinosaur-mad child, this was irresistible. I raced through this story of adventure, as a child already fascinated by collecting shells and pebbles, rocks and fossils. I was awestruck at volcanic eruptions, and spellbound by the strange rock formations, such as the stalactites and stalagmites in the local undergound caverns and limestone caves we sometimes visited. This story wove a weird fantasy around the world I half knew. Some events I knew to be impossible, some things presented as facts simply could not be; science had proved them not to be so, but still ... Imagination is a powerful thing, and this was a great story. It starts with a German professor, Otto Lidenbrock, having found a message in an old Icelandic book from the 16th century. The manuscript says, “Go down the crater of Sneffel, that the shadow of Scartaris softly touches before the beginning of July, brave traveller, and you will come to the centre of the Earth. I did it. - Arne Saknussemm.” What an opening! Professor Lidenbrock explains excitedly to his nephew, Axel, that Arne Saknussemm was a scientist from history, and that he intends to follow in his footsteps. Axel says that it would be sheer madness to attempt such a thing, arguing that the deeper you go into the centre of the Earth the hotter it will get. It must be at least 20,000 degrees, he protests. But his uncle insists that they go to prove the theory, and so they set off on an expedition. The travellers, accompanied by a Danish-speaking guide, Hans, reach Mount Sneffel in Iceland. They see three openings, but they know to descend the shaft which is touched by the shadow of Scartaris, at noon, as Saknussemm’s message has said. When the sun comes out, the nearby mountain peak shows the correct crater to take. All three travellers climb down the shaft for ten hours on the first day, before finding a level place to stop for the night. The next day they continue down another dark chimney, and along corridors of rock, all the time looking for any signs that Saknussemm had preceded them. Sometimes they would find his name or initials carved into the rock, so that they would know they were on the right track. We see the different attitudes each of the three takes. Professor Lidenbrock is impatient, but brave and adventurous. He is keen to collect his minerals and specimens, whereas Axel seem to be more the Man of Science who knows the facts and statistics. On the other hand, Axel invariably wants to give up and go back, or shows that he is cowardly and panics. Hans is a silent presence, but one who invariably solves the dangerous problems they encounter. For these are thrilling adventures which they have. For much of the time they are in dire peril of their lives, short of both food and water. They suffer from exhaustion, lose their way, meet with accidents, natural hazards and rock falls. At the precise point when their water runs out, they find an underground stream to follow. But they inadvertently get split up, and one of them falls becomes injured and breaks his lamp. Fortunately, there is a strange echoing accoustic effect in the caves, which allows him to communicate with the others, so they are able to meet up again. Eventually, after descending many more miles, following the course of the little stream, they term the “Hansbach”, they reach a vast cavern. The illustrations here remind me so much of the Derbyshire limestone caves which were so familiar to me. Professor Lidenbrock explains that this underground world is lit by electrically charged gas high up at its ceiling. (view spoiler)[They explore the cavern, remarking on the immense shrubs, plants and fungi, some of which are familiar such as the mushroom, but grown to enormous proportions. There is a very deep subterranean sea, which the travellers decided to cross by raft, constructed by Hans from all the petrified trees. During the voyage they consume fish which had been thought extinct over a hundred million years ago, and watch several prehistoric creatures in the water, a “colossal porpoise, a monstrous crocodile and a whale”. Then they spy a “gigantic turtle and a sea serpent” - the ichthyosaurus and plesiosaurus on the cover. There is a terrible fight between the two creatures, who “attack each other with indescribable fury”, and after two hours, they disappear beneath the surface of the sea. Eventually “an enormous head shot up. ‘The plesiosaurus is mortally wounded’”, one of them observes. There follows a terrible storm with claps of thunder and bolts of lightning. One of the lightning bolts, a “disc of fire” hits the mast and the sail, and bounces off both the keg of gunpowder, and Axel’s shoe. Eventually the travellers are thrown back onto land. But what a land! By now Professor Lidenbrock estimates they are under the Mediterranean Sea, and what they discover is a prehistoric landscape. They find skeletons of many extinct creatures and see a herd of giant mammoths. Then they find a human skeleton, and in between the trees in the giant forest they spy a prehistoric man - “at least twelve feet tall”! In panic, they rush back to the shore, to search for a further passage that would lead downwards. Eventually they spy the initials “A.S.” carved in the rock, but there is no opening. Undeterred they retrieve their raft and provisions and blast themselves through with the gunpowder. “The shape of the cliff changed and a huge hole opened along the shore” but they feel themselves being pulled by a great swirling current, and are carried along at a tremendous speed. The water swoops them along into a sort of well, and they feel the raft beginning to rise, and also beginning to get hotter and hotter. The water seem to be boiling under them, and the walls are shaking. Then the water transforms into lava! Professor Lidenbrock explains that they are in the centre of a volcanic eruption! Having lost consciousness, the trio come to having been thrown out of the volcano, and lying on the ground in an unfamiliar country, which a small boy tells them is Stromboli. (hide spoiler)] The story ends happily. The travellers are looked after by the people of Stromboli, and return home to Hamburg safely by train. Professor Lidenbrock becomes famous lecturing about their expeditions. Hans then travels back to Iceland, and Axel marries his sweetheart Grauben, who now views him as her hero. This is a story of derring-do - very much an action adventure, with unbelievable amounts of luck and daring. Is it close to the original? It was published like the earliest film, just less than a hundred years after the original novel. I have also just listened to a 90-minute radio dramatisation from 2012, a further 60 years on, with Nicholas Le Prevost as Professor Otto Lidenbrock, and Nathaniel Parker as Axel. It has a very different feel again. This most modern one went for a humorous take, rather than thrills and spills. The first ten minutes describes Professor Lidenbrock’s exploits in duels. It is after one of these, that he is told about Arne Saknussemm’s discovery, via the dying breath of one of his opponents. Axel is introduced as an overweight and cake-guzzling lad, obsessed with Grauben’s knees. During one very saucy passage, Grauben encourages her sweetheart to conquer his fears and go on the expeditions, by promising him he can “do what he likes with her” on their return. Perhaps this in more in keeping with the original? There is also a female character, a fearsome hearty upper-class British explorer, fitter and braver than any of them. She funds and accompanies the expedition, and has affairs with both Hans and then the Professor too. Is she in the original French book, perhaps? Or was she added for female interest, much as in each of the films? As I am unlikely to ever read this in French, I can never know the original tone and feel of the work. But I am encouraged by all these very different version to seek out a good translation. I think it might be quite a good yarn. This “Illustrated Classic” is an average to good read. It bounces along at a good speed, the illustrations are well drawn, and the text is clear fast-moving and direct. However it does lack humour and also much of the atmosphere of some other adaptations.

  17. 4 out of 5

    MK

    I read this because a modern kindle (The Maw, by Taylor Zajonc), which I finished reading just before this, quotes from it extensively, and obviously took it as its inspiration. The Maw was an adventure tale exploring a supercave in Africa, on the trail of a famous - but of tainted repute - explorer who was lost with no trace a century earlier. Verne's tale is an adventure tale exploring a supercave system, whose expedition was launched based on the lost hints of a learned man who had fallen I read this because a modern kindle (The Maw, by Taylor Zajonc), which I finished reading just before this, quotes from it extensively, and obviously took it as its inspiration. The Maw was an adventure tale exploring a supercave in Africa, on the trail of a famous - but of tainted repute - explorer who was lost with no trace a century earlier. Verne's tale is an adventure tale exploring a supercave system, whose expedition was launched based on the lost hints of a learned man who had fallen into disrepute centuries earlier... Yes, so, obviously many points in common. The stories themselves are very different, tho. Anyway, I love adventure stories, and I haven't read a Verne tale that I haven't enjoyed yet (although I've only read a few so far ... ), so I got good enjoyment out of this one. I admit to being in suspense for much of the novel, waiting to see if their guide would leave them, if the uncle failed to make a Saturday payment to him :-p. Verne made much of the fact that the guide would accept no payment in advance, and would work for the uncle only so long as he was paid every Saturday.. Good, fast read. ------------------------------------ Note at the beginning of the novel: “[ Redactor's Note: Journey to the Centre of the Earth is number V002 in the Taves and Michaluk numbering of the works of Jules Verne. First published in England by Griffith and Farran, 1871, this edition is not a translation at all but a complete re-write of the novel, with portions added and omitted, and names changed. The most reprinted version, it is entered into Project Gutenberg for reference purposes only. A better translation is A Journey into the Interior of the Earth translated by Rev. F. A. Malleson, also available on Project Gutenberg.]” Hm. This edition, "the most re-printed edition" is "a complete re-write of the novel, with portions added and omitted, and names changed". I guess I'll have to try to track down V001 someday ...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    This book is so good it's almost on the level of the Scrooge McDuck comic based on it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    David

    Before reading this book, I had taken a glance at some of the reviews posted by others. To my surprise, there had been a lot more negative reception than I had expected, even though at some time or another, any novel will find its detractors. One of the criticisms I came across was that of this novel "being too descriptive, and long-winded", and comments of that nature. Now, after having just finished the book, I feel at liberty to respond to these statements as being misguided or unwarranted. By Before reading this book, I had taken a glance at some of the reviews posted by others. To my surprise, there had been a lot more negative reception than I had expected, even though at some time or another, any novel will find its detractors. One of the criticisms I came across was that of this novel "being too descriptive, and long-winded", and comments of that nature. Now, after having just finished the book, I feel at liberty to respond to these statements as being misguided or unwarranted. By reading only a fraction of Jules Verne, it shouldn't take too long to recognize that his style of writing is of the 'hard-science fiction' approach. That is to say he has a greater focus on approach of scientific explanation, theorem and objective analysis of the conditions to which the characters are exposed. Rather than having a storyline more driven by plot and a character's reactions and observations. In other words, this "long-windedness" that people are criticizing is more of a self-deflecting mechanism of their inability to accept and/or comprehend this style of writing. I will sound biased by saying this, but I truly believe there is nothing you can criticize of this book or Verne's style and approach. He was ahead of his time and is just as impressive and remarkable 145 years later. To criticize him is really to ignore criticism of yourself for having found incompatible material to your liking, or for having little patience. ALL OF THIS, is to stress to others who may be interested in this to definitely give 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' a chance, at least once in your lifetime. It is 'science-fiction' that deals with extraordinary situations that occur to characters during their time periods which they lived in. Not during some futuristic-imagined reality (not to say those books aren't good either). It's all the more reason to be fascinated, in addition to the fact that the adventures within deal more with the past than with the future. I would venture to say this is 'historic-science-fiction'. It involves the history of the world, and having said that, it is relevant to everyone existing. I for one am humbled to have had the experience, not to mention it has opened new doors for learning and discovery.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    Thank god I read this through Serial Reader or I never would have been able to get through this. I thought it was so long and dragged out. There were so many boring and unnecessary descriptions and it lacked a lot of the action and excitement that I thought it would have. It was extremely drab and quite honestly, it nearly bored me to tears!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Werner

    This book suffered, at the hands of the older English translators, many of the same indignities and mutilations that I mentioned in my review of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (for instance, in the version I read, the Professor's name was Hardwegg, not Lidenbrock!), and this no doubt produces a reading experience much inferior to the one Verne actually intended; but even reading it in one of these impaired translations, it came across to me as one of Verne's better books, and one of those This book suffered, at the hands of the older English translators, many of the same indignities and mutilations that I mentioned in my review of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (for instance, in the version I read, the Professor's name was Hardwegg, not Lidenbrock!), and this no doubt produces a reading experience much inferior to the one Verne actually intended; but even reading it in one of these impaired translations, it came across to me as one of Verne's better books, and one of those that best stand the test of time. The characters are actually interesting, the quest is a genuinely intriguing one into a fascinating and well-realized setting (the descriptions, for once, really are descriptive, not lists of plant and animal species :-)) and there is a sense of adventure, with a climax that truly is climactic -- though I felt that it was followed by a rather lame ending. That, however, doesn't really detract from the story itself. Verne's speculations about the interior of the earth, of course, don't match the theories of modern science. (His various references to fossils and to the great age of the earth, BTW, reflect old-earth creationism --he was a practicing Catholic-- which in his day was more dominant than the modern young-earth variety, rather than classical Darwinism.) This, however, didn't pose any problem for my suspension of disbelief. My main criticism of the book is his Victorian sexism: the professor's niece (who's probably as brave and capable as Axel), as the party is setting out, bemoans the fact that she can't go because she's a woman --and nobody has sense enough to tell her, "Hurry up, you've got ten minutes to pack a knapsack!" :-)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ujjawal Sureka

    Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Travel, Fantasy. Publication Date: 1864 - The book has a comic element and the writing is very animate. There is an energy that can be felt from the excitement and anticipation that the characters portray. - The journey and the scenes are elaborate and are well described. Some of them inspiring awe and wonder. - The first one third of the book does not incite much fun or excitement for me. But as soon as the Journey to the Center of the Earth commences, begins the Genre: Fiction, Adventure, Travel, Fantasy. Publication Date: 1864 - The book has a comic element and the writing is very animate. There is an energy that can be felt from the excitement and anticipation that the characters portray. - The journey and the scenes are elaborate and are well described. Some of them inspiring awe and wonder. - The first one third of the book does not incite much fun or excitement for me. But as soon as the Journey to the Center of the Earth commences, begins the excitement, the thrill and the urge to know more. It took a lot of postponement and time to reach 33 percent completion, but I glided through the rest of the book. - The professor and his nephew along with an Icelandic guide are set out to a journey, a journey that can only be compared to the adventures of a fantasy land that is often untrodden by earthly creatures. Well ofcourse pilgrimages such as these are not void of the risks and dangers of the unknown. But it is the joy of exploration and the persistent search for novelty that matters the most.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Descent into the Underworld 9 November 2015 This is actually a really cool story and both times I've read it I really enjoyed it. Mind you it probably goes without saying that it is classic science-fiction however I am actually really hesitant to put it into that category because it is much more like and adventure novel. Okay, it does work on this theory that the centre of the Earth is actually not as hot as we think it is – in fact it is pretty cold – which means that it is possible to travel to Descent into the Underworld 9 November 2015 This is actually a really cool story and both times I've read it I really enjoyed it. Mind you it probably goes without saying that it is classic science-fiction however I am actually really hesitant to put it into that category because it is much more like and adventure novel. Okay, it does work on this theory that the centre of the Earth is actually not as hot as we think it is – in fact it is pretty cold – which means that it is possible to travel to its depths to find a huge network of caverns hidden away from the eyes of humanity. Mind you, I suspect that this idea has been proven false, (or nobody is actually all that game to descend into a volcano to see if Jules Verne is actually right) but it doesn't stop Verne was writing an awesome adventure story. I'm sure you all know the plot of this book, and if you haven't read it you have probably seen the Brendan Fraser movie of the same name (which I have to admit I really like as well), but if you have been living under a rock for, say, most the 20th Century (though I am sure there are people out there that haven't heard of this book because I'm showing my Euro-centric side of me here) it is about this scientist, and his nephew, who discover a tunnel that descends into the centre of the Earth, and they decide to pack up and head off to Iceland for a bit of an exploration. They end up descending into the tunnel, go on an awesome adventure, and then get spat out of a volcano at the end. As I have suggested, it's hardly one of Verne's most realistic novels (20000 Leagues Under the Sea and From the Earth to the Moon are much more realistic) and there are a number of events in this book that make me shake my head. Okay, ignoring the fact that the centre of the Earth is like full of lava that will burn you to a crisp if you even think of going down there, there are some other oddities as well. For instance they stumble across a number of dinosaurs, as well as a race of giants, that happen to live down there as well. The reason I find this a little unrealistic is that most living creatures actually need exposure to the sun to be able to live a healthy life. Okay, generations of creatures could end up adapting to this subterranean world, but I doubt they would be dinosaurs and their ilk (and if anything they would be blind and move about through the use of sonar). Another thing that I noticed as I read this book is that Verne takes a particular interest in geology. Verne was a voracious reader and in many of his books describes many of the scientific ideas behind the world that he explores. 20000 Leagues explores oceanography in minute detail, while in this book he explores the science of geology. The thing about Verne is that he wasn't a scientist, he was a lawyer, so much of his writings is of a person who has a keen fascination in the scientific world, but not being a scientist himself. The other thing that I noticed is that he writes from a Christian viewpoint. The ideas that come out of his books regularly talk about creation and the Biblical model of the foundations of the world. Okay, he wasn't a literal seven day creationist, however you can tell that there is an acceptance of the concept of intelligent design – one thing Verne wasn't was an athiest. I have to say that this little book has had a huge impact upon the course of literature (actually a lot of Verne's writings have had such an impact) and as I was reading it I couldn't help but think of how the creators of Dungeons and Dragons have used their concepts in the worlds that they created. In fact as his heroes were wandering through the darkness I was almost half expecting them to run into Drizzt and the city of Menzoberranzan. Okay, I do find it a little odd that the drow actually have ebony skin when creatures who live in a subterranean world would actually become albino, but I guess that is what happens in a fantasy setting. The other thing I noticed about this book is that there is no adversary. A lot of people suggest that all great works of literature (and quite a lot of pretty ordinary works as well) all have an adversary, however this seems to be lacking in a number of Verne's works. Okay, you might suggest that the adversary is the Earth itself, and the inhospitable terrain that they are exploring, but it still goes to show that you can write a rip roaring great story, and a piece of classic literature, without having some bad guy to overcome. Oh, and I've written a piece of fan-fiction on my blog where I speculate how the world would have turned out if Verne's idea actually turned out to be true.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    When I go on a Great Adventure, I like to bring a book with me which also chronicles a great adventure. This is for two reasons; first, to urge me on in my own adventure and push the boundaries of what is expected on said adventure, and second, to give me something entertaining to read about a great adventure should mine turn out less than spectacular. After reading From The Earth To The Moon by Verne and finding it totally awesome, I figured another Verne story couldn’t go astray to satisfy When I go on a Great Adventure, I like to bring a book with me which also chronicles a great adventure. This is for two reasons; first, to urge me on in my own adventure and push the boundaries of what is expected on said adventure, and second, to give me something entertaining to read about a great adventure should mine turn out less than spectacular. After reading From The Earth To The Moon by Verne and finding it totally awesome, I figured another Verne story couldn’t go astray to satisfy these criteria. I was wrong on all accounts this time; the trip I took with Jess’s family to Podunk, Wisconsin to go canoeing and partying was a dismal failure, mainly because her hick family couldn’t get their act together and spent the majority of the time shuttling to and fro between our campsite and her relatives about 45 minutes away. An hour and a half round trip, and in 3 days we made that trip about 5 times, once simply to bring her dad some fricking lunch since her recently-divorced parents weren’t speaking. That was ridiculous. So, during these drives, and while sitting alone in a canoe on a placid lake smoking roughly a carton of cigarettes, I killed off Journey to the Centre of the Earth. And it was about as fulfilling as the Wisconsin trip was turning out. Wonderful, stuck in Wisconsin, bored as hell, reading a clearly inferior book. Just what I needed. In comparison to From The Earth To The Moon, this book falls very short of the high quality I expect from my main man Jules. There’s almost nothing even remotely humorous in Journey, a complete deviation from Earth To Moon. The trek that narrator Axel and his wise uncle Professor Lindenbrock embark upon is unbearably tedious, both to the daring, dauntless pair and to the reader. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that it actually begins rather promisingly, as some ancient Icelandic runes confirm to the pair that there is a route to the Earth’s core, previously explored by some Scandinavian lunatic, and they prepare at once to follow in his footsteps by entering the mouth of the volcano Snafell. Believe me, the investigative wit they display and their academic tedium is actually pretty awesome, and all is going well when they enlist the help of a local maniac named Hans (who, throughout the story never wavers as the most solid and majestic character) but it isn’t long after descending down the path described previously by Arne Saknussemm that this story completely hits a brick wall. This is partially understandable, there really isn’t many ways you can make a trio of dudes crawling through the earth’s mantle very exciting, as sci-fi laureate Kim Stanley Robinson (author of a pretty good Mars trilogy) points out in the introduction; the repetition of them going deeper and deeper can put the brain to sleep. There are more references to going down than in most erotic literature, and they never quit; until the big pay-off; the discovery of a giant ocean they find over a hundred miles below the earth’s surface, and after sailing across it, discovering what can only be described as the Land of The Lost. While you would think that the conclusion at least offers some satisfaction, this isn’t the case. After dropping monikers involving their own names on everything they come across and skirting around the subterranean forests and fossils, the mighty ‘Snafell’ erupts, ejecting them into the Mediterranean, where they discover they were headed the wrong direction the whole time. Nothing but clowns and spelunkers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This oldie but goody was a major thrill ride. While I was listening I kept getting lost in the story. But then again I love Science, so the whole story fascinated me. Possible spoiler... And because of my love for Science I was able to predict where the voyagers in the story ended up before Verne revealed the location in the narrative. In my opinion, Verne’s stories never get old. They are as fresh and exciting as they were when they were first published in the 19th Century.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dusty Folds

    Seriously, what is this book? Is it a sci fi novel, is it a travel manual, is it a textbook? The only redeeming quality it had was that the narrative was written in such a way to make the reading rather quick. With that being said, though, I was more than a little disappointed. I thought I would be reading a fantastical story about a mystical journey and what I got was a lesson on geology, geography, history, science, and more. Verne's narrator is not sympathetic at all. His persistent whining Seriously, what is this book? Is it a sci fi novel, is it a travel manual, is it a textbook? The only redeeming quality it had was that the narrative was written in such a way to make the reading rather quick. With that being said, though, I was more than a little disappointed. I thought I would be reading a fantastical story about a mystical journey and what I got was a lesson on geology, geography, history, science, and more. Verne's narrator is not sympathetic at all. His persistent whining made me wish he would die in the center of the earth. I pitied the poor girl who was destined to marry him when he returned from his trip. About 100 pages into the story, one of the characters says that the journey is now about to begin. I felt that way by that point. My edition was about 200 pages or so, and the journey BEGINS on page 100. The pages leading up to this did not have any material that warrented this delay in the story. The journey itself, though, was not even that interesting. I found myself repeated saying, "I don't care what happens to these characters. Just end the book already." My advice--watch the Brenden Fraser movie. It will be a much better experience.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    A flat, disappointing story populated with one-dimensional characters that I grew to dislike. The narrator is a whiny young man prone to fainting and with very little backbone who does not, in fact, want to be on this adventure. I hated his uncle, the scientist, who is a pedantic, paternalistic know-it-all, so utterly absorbed in his own work and importance that he's oblivious to the feelings and desires of people around him. Their guide, an Icelandic eider-down hunter, has zero personality and A flat, disappointing story populated with one-dimensional characters that I grew to dislike. The narrator is a whiny young man prone to fainting and with very little backbone who does not, in fact, want to be on this adventure. I hated his uncle, the scientist, who is a pedantic, paternalistic know-it-all, so utterly absorbed in his own work and importance that he's oblivious to the feelings and desires of people around him. Their guide, an Icelandic eider-down hunter, has zero personality and zero character development. For a journey to the center of the Earth, it was a real let down. (They do not actually get to the center of the Earth.) Yes, the science is noticeably wrong, it's an old book, etc. But it's also, frankly, boring. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was much more fun.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    This is genuine science fiction from 1864. It is a straight-forward read about a man who's uncle, an eminent Professor of mineralogy, discovers a secret manuscript detailing the entrance to a passage leading to the centre of the Earth, written three hundred years before by a man who claims to have been there and returned. The nephew, reluctant and fearful, is dragged along on an expedition to re-discover the route - if it really exists. Perhaps a little too much time is spent getting to the This is genuine science fiction from 1864. It is a straight-forward read about a man who's uncle, an eminent Professor of mineralogy, discovers a secret manuscript detailing the entrance to a passage leading to the centre of the Earth, written three hundred years before by a man who claims to have been there and returned. The nephew, reluctant and fearful, is dragged along on an expedition to re-discover the route - if it really exists. Perhaps a little too much time is spent getting to the subterranean adventures, perhaps not enough time detailing them, but the book is too short for me to ever get truely bored - brevity is a virtue to be aspired to when novel writing, in my view. It may be that the description of a journey from Germany to Iceland would seem exotic and interesting to his audience, few of whom would know much about that northern island. What is certain is that Verne was fully aware of the state of Geology in his time, though it is not clear to me how plausible or otherwise his speculations about the structure of the world below the surface we live on would have been to a contemporary readership. It took another hundred years to complete a self-consistent and convincing theory of the complete structure of the Earth, ruling out Verne's speculations categorically. Such is the way of science-fiction; writers speculate based on the knowledge of the day. Sometimes they are prophetic, more often they are wrong, but the best of them are entertaining and worthwhile regardless - even more than 140 years later!

  29. 4 out of 5

    AhmEd ElsayEd

    Professor Liedenbrock his nephew Axel their devoted guide Hans in an Extraordinary Journey to the Center of the Earth The First foreign Novel in my life

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heena Rathore P.

    DNF There's so much SCIENCE that I can't even.... finish it!!!

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