A Journey to the Center of the Earth

Posted by barb on Jun 21, 2003 in Books |

by Jules Verne

While it took me a little while to get into this book, once the “Journey” was well underway, I found myself hooked.

Professor Hardwigg found a scrap of paper in a recently-acquired early edition with some cryptic writing. He vows that the household will not eat until the message is decrypted. His hungry nephew, Harry, finally figures out the secret (motivated mainly by his desire for a good meal). The note contains instructions for finding a cave in an extinct volcano in Iceland that will lead into the center of the Earth. So it’s off to Iceland for the Professor and his nephew (dragged along by his uncle’s enthusiasm, rather than any inclination of his own to see the center of the Earth).

Do they make it to the center? Well, no. But they do have a grand adventure, finding a vast underground sea populated by ancient giant sea monsters, and stumbling upon a giant ancestor of man (fleeing before interacting with him).

I found that Verne would have some wonderfully descriptive passages followed by terribly simplistic whining from the nephew (our narrator). So, I’m not sure if my difficulties of getting into the book were from Verne’s writing style, or an artifact of the translation. Overall, though, a fun story, if slow-moving.

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