Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 29 - A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

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.

As part of my ongoing effort to fill in many of the “holes” in my reading, I decided to try some classic Jules Verne. This is part of his “extraordinary voyages” series which also includes some of his other well-known works such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Anyway, this was a pleasant read. I enjoyed trying to remember some of my long-past geology classes to sort out truth from fantasy, and there is definitely a lot of fantasy. The two main characters are at opposite ends of the annoyance spectrum, in that the professor is pompous and overbearing while the nephew is whiny and helpless. Hans is awesome, however. The story is narrated by the nephew many years after the fact, so there is no doubt that he at least survives the journey – in spite of some of their knuckle-headed decisions – though the group does experience some close calls and harrowing adventures. They also walk a lot, and those parts are a bit slow. Apparently, some translations use the character names as put forth in the above description from goodreads; however, in the edition I read they were Professor Hardwegg and his nephew Henry. Curious!
Tags: adventure, classic, sci-fi

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