My result for The Classics Club’s 13th Spin feature was Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. I was pleased with this result as I have previously really enjoyed Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth follows the intrepid Professor Liedenbrock on his extraordinary expedition down the extinct volcano Snæfellsjökull in Iceland in search of the very core of the world. The professor is joined on this arduous journey by his long-suffering nephew Axel and their devoted guide Hans – all three are to be pushed to their very limits physically and mentally, and their relationships will be tested to the max as they push further down into the earth through twisting, pitch black tunnels towards an astonishing discovery.
All of this is narrated by Axel who back home in Germany has long-suffered his uncle’s bad temper and demanding nature. Even he can’t believe it though when a mysterious message in a runic manuscript has his uncle packing immediately and dragging him along on this insane mission. Axel is more even tempered than his uncle but he is also rather gutless – fearing that this expedition at best will come to excruciating, professional embarrassment or at worst that they will never be seen again; either becoming lost or boiled alive by the Earth’s magna core. So not the most likeable protagonists which leaves me admiring Hans, their guide, who suffers it all without complaint!
This is the second novel I have read by Jules Verne. I thought it was another well written and described book with some good drama and again it had Verne’s down-to-earth style – unlike many of contemporary’s more formal style – which I enjoyed so much from my previous read. The story is narrated to us by Axel in a diary like style that helped me to get to know him and feel close to the action, but I also found that it took some of the tension out of the tale; as I knew for Axel to continue the story he had to survive! So overall I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as Around the World in Eighty Days but it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a classic, science-fiction adventure which I whipped through. I still have Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea on my Classics Club list which I am looking forward to reading. Good read.
Have you read this? Have you read any of Verne’s other adventures?
The Classics Club – 45/50