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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verne's most thrilling novel
This book proves Verne's greatness as a writer of fiction. The science in this science fiction flies largely in the face of modern science, yet the read is no less gripping today than it was in its infancy. The story is pretty simple. Professor Lidenbrock, a neurotically impatient scientist, discovers a cryptic manuscript written by a long-dead explorer; with the help...
Published on 30 Nov 2002 by Daniel Jolley

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I preferred "Around The World in 80 Days"
Sorry but I found this story a bit too long and too far fetched for my full enjoyment, but that might just be me. I really enjoyed and was entertained by "Around The World In Eighty Days". Without a doubt Jules Verne was ahead of his time in terms of his writing and foresight.
Published 9 months ago by SMPEC


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verne's most thrilling novel, 30 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Mass Market Paperback)
This book proves Verne's greatness as a writer of fiction. The science in this science fiction flies largely in the face of modern science, yet the read is no less gripping today than it was in its infancy. The story is pretty simple. Professor Lidenbrock, a neurotically impatient scientist, discovers a cryptic manuscript written by a long-dead explorer; with the help of his nephew, he decodes the cryptogram to read an account of a journey to the center of the earth begun beneath a dormant volcano in Iceland. The nephew, Axel, a talented geologist and mineralogist himself, refuses to believe that the core of the earth is not exceedingly hot; additionally, he cares more about Grauben, the eccentric professor's ward, than risking his life on a scientific adventure. He proves unable to dissuade his uncle and thus joins with him on a journey to Iceland. There, they hire a stoic Icelander to lead them down into the earth. Most of the action takes place underground, with the adventurers suffering several trials, daring risks, and finally discovering a whole new world hidden miles below the earth's crust. The ultimate trial and danger they face consists of returning to the surface.
Axel narrates the story, and the strength of the novel lies in his character. The professor and the Icelandic guide are unusual personalities, but Axel is very real and easy to relate to. He really does not want to go in the first place, and he is most liable to greet dangers and risks by bemoaning his fate and declaring his party done for in their foolish efforts. It is he who suffers the most privation when the men's water runs out, and it is he who finds himself lost in the utter blackness of the caverns for three days. When things are going well, though, Axel becomes wildly excited about the mission and temporarily forgets about his fears. This all goes to make him a very sympathetic character. Without him, the story would be a rather dispassionate account of an impossible journey by bland, unbelievable characters. You do have to shift your mind into low gear a few times when the characters begin speaking about the different types of minerals and rocks they are encountering, but overall the plot is rather thrilling, and you cannot help but begin early on trying to ascertain a way in which the intrepid explorers can return to share their discoveries with a skeptical scientific community. Verne knows how to tell a story, and you don't have to know a single thing about science to enjoy this novel immensely.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 July 2011
I am 11 years old and a very reluctant reader and I found
this book very interesting and a lot easier to read than ordinary books. This book is perfect for adventure lovers. Its so good I got hooked immediately and finished it very quickly.
I have already ordered more from this series.
I highly recommend this book for all those who like comics and adventure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sci-fi adventure book is this Verne masterpiece!, 25 April 1999
By A Customer
When I first read this book I was thrilled! It only gets better when you re-read it. Verne uses excellent descriptions so that readers can walk right along side Axel, his uncle and Hans on an expedition to reach the center of the globe! This is a novel siuation that no "traveler" ever recounted before so there are many surprises. The numerous adventures and use of first person narritive highten the supense. Fans of science fiction and of great lituature will enjoy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it was a great book, 25 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This book is one of the best books I read.It's about professor Hardwigg,His nephew Harry,and their Icelandic guide Hans in a daring quest to the center of the earth.Guided by an ancient parchment filled woth a mysterious Runic code,the three exploers encounter tumultous storms,wild pre-historic animals,vast underground seas and fierce caveman.This book has stuff that happens you wouldn't think of.This book is exciting and it's hard to stop reading.At the start of the book it seams a little boring but once they start their journey in the volcanoe it's action packed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspend your disbelief, 26 Dec 2000
This review is from: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Mass Market Paperback)
A timeless popular classic from the father of science-fiction, I had seen the film before but I had not read the book since childhood. Reading it again made me marvel at the imagination and igenuity of a man who wrote this book remember, at the same time as the American Civil War was being played out across the Atlantic. His description of the geology encountered on the journey and the scientific observations noted by the Professor and Axel make the one hundred and thirty years since this book was first published seem irrelevant. It makes you pause and think and if you are prepared to have your disbelief suspended then you will enjoy the journey.
Starting in Hamburg, where Professor Lidenbrock uncovers a rare manuscript, the "Heims Kringlas", containing an encyphered message by Arne Saknussemm, a famous 16th-century Icelandic alchemist, telling of his journey to the centre of the earth, we are transported on an amazing journey to the very bowels of the earth with the Professor, his ever-suffering nephew Axel and their stoical Icelandic guide Hans.
From their starting point inside the Icelandic volcano Sneffels, our trio follow in the footsteps of Saknussemm, descending along a trail of underground passages, lava gallerys and amazing geological formations; overcoming exhaustion, dead-ends and a lack of water, before emerging onto an underground sea lit by an "electric light", and inhabited by prehistoric creatures. More astounding still; they catch sight of twelve foot high humans who tend flocks of mastodons.
Through it all the Professor exhorts and bullies, Axel despairs and questions, whilst Hans, silently and without ceremony, saves their lives again and again.
The book contains a truly memorable passage when Axel becomes separated from the Professor and Hans seventy-five miles underground. His feelings of absolute panic and despair are vividly depicted by Verne and linger long in the memory.
Unfortunately our adventurers don't actually reach the centre of the earth (unlike Saknussemm), much to the Professors disappointment, instead, after being dragged down an abyss on a raft, they are shot up and out of an active volcano, finding themselves in Sicily.
An exhilarating book written in an age when there was still so much exploring left to do, by a man with an almost boyish enthusiasm for adventure and mystery. "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" has stood the test of time and will continue to do so as long as there are people willing to be transported on fantastic literary journeys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how have you not read this?, 11 May 2014
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This was on my list of books I should have read, so I did. It is interesting to see where the various tellings pick up bits from and I did prefer the Guy Pierce film verson BUT having said that, this is a clasic and I think must be taken as so. Remember this was new when it was written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripped, 27 July 2011
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amazing story up until about three quarters of the way thru where I felt it got slightly far-fetched for a few chapters but I would still recommend as a good read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth, yet not, 31 Dec 2004
There are some scenes that stay in my memory from this book. One of these is when the adventuring trio raft across an underground ocean and have to stay on a raft in the midst of a fight between giant nemesis sea 'dinosaurs'. Another is when the narrator thinks that he has lost his companions and his torch breaks so he is left in the dark miles underground thinking that he is forever lost. I truly felt the fear of being lost to its extreme when reading this. He does manage to find the professor and Hans, but the means are about as crazy as so much in this book, (which is a quaint thing about the book). I think Jules Vernes does the "dare to be bad" thing with the unlikely things that happen, but he might have taken this too far and actually ended up by being a little bit bad because of these totally impossible and unbelievable things that happen or things which the travellers survive for a happy ending, (such as being ejected up from miles underground through the vent of a volcano and surviving). This is probably the most enjoyable and visual adventure story that I have read, and actually, although the things that happen are hard to believe, this is slightly in dream territory, and Vernes clearly had an appreciation for geology and things. I did an A-level in geology, and every time that I was going to object to one of his suggestions he would then justify it. (One of these was that I objected that under the earth it would be far too hot to survive, but Verne justifies this by saying that the protagonists go underground in a tunnel made of granite and hence the temperature gradient doesn't effect them much. At least he know which parts to justify. This must be one of the earliest science fiction books, and is sort of geological science fiction. Also, one thing that I falsely objected to is that going to the centre of the Earth is a totally ridiculous idea for a science fiction story because it is so far-fetched, but in the story the adventurers only actually stay within the Earth's crust, which although deep, is only a tiny distance in geological terms. This made things a lot more realistic. Also the exciting atmosphere of Iceland prior to their 'breach' of Earth's crust stays in my memory. If you like the sound of it, read this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale from France's greatest writer, 23 May 2002
A timeless popular classic from the father of science-fiction, I had seen the film before but I had not read the book since childhood. Reading it again made me marvel at the imagination and igenuity of a man who wrote this book remember, at the same time as the American Civil War was being played out across the Atlantic. His
description of the geology encountered on the journey and the scientific observations noted by the Professor and Axel make the one hundred and thirty years since this book was first published seem irrelevant. It makes you pause and think and if you are prepared to have your disbelief suspended then you will enjoy the journey.
Starting in Hamburg, where Professor Lidenbrock uncovers a rare manuscript, the "Heims Kringlas", which contains an encyphered message by Arne Saknussemm a famous 16th-century Icelandic alchemist telling of his journey to the centre of the earth, we are transported on an amazing journey to the very bowels of the earth with the
Professor, his ever-suffering nephew Axel and their stoical Icelandic guide Hans.
From their starting point inside the Icelandic volcano Sneffels, our trio follow in the footsteps of Saknussemm, descending along a trail of underground passages, lava gallerys and amazing geological formations, overcoming exhaustion, dead-ends and a lack of water, before emerging onto an underground sea lit by an "electric light", and inhabited by prehistoric creatures. More astounding still, they catch sight of twelve foot high humans who tend flocks of mastodons.
Through it all the Professor exhorts and bullies, Axel despairs and questions, whilst Hans, silently and without ceremony, saves their lives again and again.
The book contains a classic passage when Axel becomes separated from the Professor and Hans seventy-five miles underground. His feelings of absolute panic and despair are vividly depicted by Verne and linger long in the memory.
An exhilarating book written in an age when there was still so much exploring left to do, by a man with an almost boyish enthusiasm for adventure and mystery. Journey to the Centre of the Earth has stood the test of time and will continue to do so as long as there are people willing to be transported on fantastic literary journeys.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic science fiction novel, and justifiably so., 25 Nov 2000
By A Customer
I decided to read this book purely out of curiosity: to see how similar it is to the film. It proves to be rather different, particularly regarding the characters. The scientific theories mentioned whilst the scene is being set, such as that of "central heat" are now little debated. Don't forget however that to this day, no one has actually penetrated the earth's crust. There could really be a whole other world down there! The characters are brilliantly developed, especially Professor Lidenbrock who emerges as a complex and at the same time, singleminded, 19th century adventurer. Some of the scenes are not adequately described, though. The battle of the sea monsters is dealt with in a couple of pages, for example, whilst other scenes enjoy luxuriant dialogue even when it is not necessarily justified. Overall, however, a stimulating read even after 140 years. It is evident that the author was a true visionary and in possession of a highly scientific mind. He predicted the moon landings, and another prediction made by Verne that has recently come to light is that of hydrogen replacing fossil fuels as the world's primary source of energy. This may prove similarly accurate. Just one more thing: the titles of the chapters almost give the whole story away, whilst the title of the book, without giving too much away, is not entirely accurate!
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Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (Mass Market Paperback - 31 Dec 1992)
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