Jules Verne: A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages #3)
by Jules Verne
narrated by Tim Curry
(classic, sci-fi?, adventure)
This is a book that I have thought I’d read without having ever read before. I think this is because I saw the 2008 movie with Brendan Fraser. There are also some educated guesses you can make about the book if you know the classic adventure novel genre.
- The hero and company will successfully navigate their troubles and reach their approximate destination.
- There will be complications, but no one (important) will be killed.
- Our hero and company will be unable to bring back any riches from their journey, or any proof that enables them to live the rest of their lives as wealthy men (because they ARE DEFINITELY ALL MEN).
And yes, those educated guesses were all appropriate for this book as well. The one thing I did not expect – but which was a welcome (sometimes) change from my expectations – was how whiny the narrator was. I will grant that I wouldn’t want to make this journey either, and would complain bitterly about it. However, it seemed he would swing from complaining to enthusiastic adventurer without any middle ground. It was a bit disorienting at times. (On the other hand, given what was being described, I would have been annoyed if he hadn’t been excited. I just wish there was more middle ground and less complaining once they got to the exciting part of the journey.)
So: is this worth reading? If you haven’t, yes. You should definitely read this. It’s a classic for a reason. However, don’t expect it to be current on the science. It may have been considered science fiction at the time (I’m really not sure) but it doesn’t hold up to current science. If you have already read it, then it’s up to you whether a re-read is a good idea. I personally tend to only re-read classics that I really enjoyed or which have a cultural or societal reason for the re-read. (For instance, Animal Farm will probably be one I re-read periodically because of its impact on society. And many of the Hawthorn stories I’ve read are ones I enjoy reading and will revisit for the story itself.) This one, though, I’m not sure will be necessary for me to re-read. I do want to read more of Verne’s adventure novels, but I don’t know that I’ll need/want to revisit the individual stories a second time.