Journey to the Center of the Earth
by Jules Verne
Series: Extraordinary Voyages #3
Genres: Classic, Science Fiction
Format: eBook (211 pages)
The intrepid Professor Liedenbrock embarks upon the strangest expedition of the nineteenth century: a journey down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the Earth's very core. In his quest to penetrate the planet's primordial secrets, the geologist--together with his quaking nephew Axel and their devoted guide, Hans--discovers an astonishing subterranean menagerie of prehistoric proportions. Verne's imaginative tale is at once the ultimate science fiction adventure and a reflection on the perfectibility of human understanding and the psychology of the questor.
Journey to the Center of the Earth was incredibly slow. It took 100 pages for them to get to the volcano, walk around, and run out of water. That is half of this 200 page novel. I struggled through this book because all I could think for the first half of the novel was “Nothing….is…happening.”
Another thing I struggled with was the science. I understand that this is (a) science fiction and (b) written over 100 years ago, but it got to the point where the only way I was able to enjoy the story was to pretend I knew nothing after 8th grade science. Then! When we get to the really cool part of the story that really is awesome science fiction, it’s barely talked about. View Spoiler »They find prehistoric animals and even a person and then don’t even explore it at all! And I just couldn’t get on board with finding a “sun,” ocean, wind, and plants underground. I still don’t know what to make of that. My notes say “????” and that’s still pretty much how I feel about it. And the worst was the ending! Coming up the volcano on a wooden raft on a lava eruption?? « Hide Spoiler Seriously, what is going on with this story.
The small amount of dry British humor was amusing. One of the most amusing things was that the nephew argued with the uncle and the nephew was defending the scientific views that we accept today while the uncle defended scientific views I have never heard of. It made me laugh but I’m not entirely sure that it was supposed to be funny. The way the story went made it seem like it was defending the uncle’s view of science.
There were a few gems in the writing. Here’s my favorite quote from the book.
Our principle is, that books, instead of growing mouldy behind an iron grating, should be worn out under the eyes of many readers.
-Jules Verne, A Journey to the Center of the Earth Chapter 10
Overall, I regret to say that I found this science fiction classic to be boring and the science part of the science fiction to be a little too outdated to fully enjoy the story.
Content Rating: None. Clean read.
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