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Journey to the Center of the Earth

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An adventurous geology professor chances upon a manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a route to the earth's core. Professor Lidenbrock can't resist the opportunity to investigate, and with his nephew Axel, he sets off across Iceland in the company of Hans Bjelke, a native guide.

The expedition descends into an extinct volcano toward a sunless sea, where they encounter a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic marine life — a living past that holds the secrets to the origins of human existence.

240 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 25, 1864

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About the author

Jules Verne

5,287 books10.5k followers
Novels of French writer Jules Gabriel Verne, considered the founder of modern science fiction, include Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

This author who pioneered the genre. People best know him for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before people invented navigable aircraft and practical submarines and devised any means of spacecraft. He ranks behind Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie as the second most translated author of all time. People made his prominent films. People often refer to Verne alongside Herbert George Wells as the "father of science fiction."


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,037 reviews
Profile Image for Federico DN.
395 reviews787 followers
August 21, 2023
One does not simply walk into the center of the Earth.

Young student Axel and Professor Otto Lidenbrock, studying a very old manuscript, discover an ancient pathway into the center of the Earth. They immediately travel to Iceland, and with the assistance of Hans, a local guide, they find an entrance in Snæfellsjökull, a volcano near Reykjavík. The travel is extensively long, and not without its many perils. Will they be able to make it? And what amazing wonders await hidden within the depths of the Earth?

An incredible adventure like only the immortal Jules Verne can deliver. The book starts somewhat slow, and I must confess I found everything regarding Iceland particularly boring, but once they enter the volcano, it’s a non-stop journey of thrilling dangers and ever greater surprises. Never ending sheer amazement. This is my favorite Verne book so far, I’ve read a few others and I'm always intent on reading more. His extraordinary voyage series is pure classic magic.

It’s public domain. You can find it HERE.

*** The movie (2008) is an entertaining adaptation. Not a great movie, nor exactly faithful to the book, some very big licenses were taken, but still very popcorn worthy. Stellar cast including stars like Fraser, Hutcherson and Briem. I think the best of the movie are the especial effects, beyond awesome, and, if not the plot, at least they truly depict the beautiful essence of all the wonders of this hidden world Verne created with his book. All the anti-gravity stuff felt absolutely preposterous, but oh well, Hollywood right? But other than that, very entertaining, and easy to watch. Overall a nice complement to the reading.

*** The movie (1959) is a somewhat mediocre adaptation. Several changes were made to the plot, and none particularly good. These include a second shadow expedition with a merciless antagonist, a new partner with a romance, and a brief period in Atlantis. The only thing I liked was the introduction of Gertrude, a companion goose; which coincidentally was also the saddest thing. The plot was very slow paced and mostly boring. There were also several scenes of singing, which annoyed me to no end. The effects were lacking, but considering the year of filming might be excusable. Prof. Lindenbrook is portrayed as an obnoxious misogynist jerk. And the acting (of everyone) was subpar at best.

[1864] [240p] [Sci-Fi] [3.5] [Recommendable]

★★★☆☆ Journey to the Center of the Earth [3.5]
★★★☆☆ The Fur Country [3.5]
★★★☆☆ The Lighthouse at the End of the World
★★☆☆☆ Will of an Eccentric [2.5]


Uno no simplemente entra al centro de la Tierra.

El joven estudiante Axel y el Profesor Otto Lidenbrock, estudiando un muy viejo manuscrito, descubren un antiguo camino hacia el centro de la Tierra. Inmediatamente viajan a Islandia, y con la ayuda de Hans, un guía local, encuentran una entrada en Snæfellsjökull, un volcán cerca de Reykjavík. El viaje es extensivamente largo, y no sin sus muchos peligros. ¿Podrán acaso lograrlo? ¿Y qué asombrosas maravillas esperan escondidas en las profundidades de la Tierra?

Una increíble Aventura como solo el inmortal Julio Verne puede entregar. El libro empieza algo lento, y debo admitir que encontré todo lo que respecta a Islandia bastante aburrido, pero una vez que entran en el volcán, es un sinfín de emocionantes peligros y cada vez mayores sorpresas. Puro asombro sin final. Este es mi libro favorito de Verne hasta ahora, leí algunos más y siempre tengo la intención de leer otros. Su serie de viajes extraordinarios son pura magia clásica.

Es dominio público, lo pueden encontrar ACA.

*** La película (2008) es una entretenida adaptación. No una gran película, ni exactamente fiel a la obra, algunas licencias muy grandes fueron tomadas, pero aun así muy digna de palomitas de maíz. Un elenco estelar incluyendo estrellas como Fraser, Hutcherson y Briem. Creo que lo mejor de la película fueron los efectos especiales, más allá de espectaculares, y, sino la trama, al menos verdaderamente representan la hermosa esencia de todas las maravillas de este mundo secreto que Verne creó en su libro. La parte de la anti gravedad me pareció totalmente absurdo, pero bueno, ¿eso es Hollywood no? Pero más allá de eso, muy entretenida, y fácil de ver. Dentro de todo un lindo complemento para la lectura.

*** La película (1959) es una bastante mediocre adaptación. Varios cambios fueron hechos a la trama, y ninguno particularmente bueno. Estos incluyen una segunda expedición fantasma con un despiadado antagonista, una compañera nueva con romance, y un breve período en Atlantis. Lo único que me gustó fue la introducción de Gertrude, un compañero ganso; que coincidentemente también fue lo más triste. La trama fue muy lenta y mayormente aburrida. También hubo varias escenas de canto, que me fastidian al máximo. Los efectos fueron decepcionantes, pero considerando el año de filmación podría ser excusable. El Prof. Lindenbrook es retratado como un insoportable idiota misógino. Y la actuación (de todos) fue menos que regular cuando mucho.

[1864] [240p] [Ciencia Ficción] [3.5] [Recomendable]
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews558 followers
June 10, 2022

"Et quacumque viam dedent fortuna sequeamur"
(Therever fortune clears a way, Thither our ready footsteps stray)

If Jules Verne is known for one thing, that is for being exceptionally thorough. When I read Mysterious Island sometime back, the sheer amount of scientific data were shocking. It was like a 'Complete Survival Guide' for any and all situations. This time around, it is time for the beginner's guide to all things geology.

"Science, my lad, has ben built upon many errors; but they are errors that it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth."

The story revolves around a trip to the center of earth (obviously...) proposed and planned by a scientist (and his reluctant nephew), using a historical document they had come across as a guide. To be honest, at least when I first started the book, I was only interested about the way how the author might start the journey inwards, especially considering this was written a long time ago. Books like these have the potential drawback of sounding dated when it comes to scientific explanations and such. But as it turns out, he had figured out an ingenious way not only to get the journey started, but to keep the reader entertained throughout the journey using many adventure elements. I was completely immersed during the entire adventure.

"A man shut up between four walls soon loses the power to associate words and ideas together."

However, this book considerably deviated from Mysterious Island in one major way, namely the ending. For some reason, it felt like the author had rushed the ending somewhere after the mid point of the book. Had it all been fast-paced, it might've been okay, but considering how detailed oriented and slow the pace was in first part of the journey, the ending didn't feel harmonious with the rest. Nevertheless, I'm glad it was a happy ending.

"Books, instead of growing moldy behind an iron grating, should be worn out under the eyes of many readers."

"Such is the conclusion of a history that I cannot expect everybody to believe, for some people will believe nothing against the testimony of their own experience. However, I am indifferent to their incredulity, and they may believe as much or as little as they please."
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
December 27, 2011
Gawd dim it, bollocks, ShazBot and shit snacks...I am so, SO bummed that I didn’t experience Jules Verne’s novels for the first time as a young man, rather than as an aging manolescent. Reading them now, as a 41 year old, I still find myself carried away in the rollickingness of his well crafted adventures, but part of me knows deep down in my nethers that there’s a warm, gooey nostalgia that will always be missing. This giant load of empty in my core, if filled, would likely have elevated this from a really good read to a cozy memory-rewind of simpler, happier times.

*coughs bitterness from aching heart.*

Alas, my loving parents were unintentionally guilty of literary child neglect. Thus, while I really enjoyed all those afternoons watching Gilligan’s Island, I think my time would have been better utilized immersing myself in the classics of Wells, Verne, Doyle and Poe.

So, yes, it hurts...

...and I’m a little disappointed...

...maybe even a skosh angry...

But...*wipes tear*...no sense crying weeping uncontrollably over spilled milk** misspent reading years. I must just remember to ensure that I don’t make the same error with my own children. So far, so good.

**Why anyone would shed tears over spilled bovine teat juice is beyond me.


One of the most popular and beloved works within Verne’s 54 volume Les Voyages Extraordinaires, Journey to the Center of the Earth tells of the travels of Professor Lidenbrock, an accomplished and incredibly impatient, mineralogist, and his quiet, reserved nephew Axel.

While perusing an ancient manuscript, Lidenbrock discovers a mysterious message encrypted in runic script. After cracking the code, with unexpected help from young Axel, the professor discovers that the message describes how to locate a secret passage leading to, uh, take a wild guess. The pair immediately scamper off to Iceland where, with the help of hunter/guide named Hans Bjelke, they discover the hidden entrance and embark on a highly perilous, but even more highly enjoyable, adventure.


Verne was a consummate story-teller who never wrote down to his audience or cut corners with his material. One of the most enjoyable aspects for me about reading his stories is the scientific thoughtfulness that Verne poured into his novels. True, much of his science is badly dated and many of his theories, including the central premise of this story, have long since been disproved and relegated to nonsenseville.

However, when written, Verne was conscientious in his attempt to be as accurate as possible and employed a rigor to his plot elements and story details that few can match. This diligence was the result of Verne’s desire to use his novels to use his novels as teaching tools as well as entertainment. This is a major bonus for the reader because Verne’s devotion to authenticity actually enhances the sense of wonder by creating an air of plausibility that allows the suspension of disbelief to occur unconsciously and, thus, unnoticed.

What I’m bushing around the beat about is that I really, really enjoyed this. I’m couldn't give it the full 5 stars because I thought the initial portion of the novel (i.e., the part before the entrance to the hidden passage) took a bit too long to develop and the time spent in the most interesting segment of the journey (i.e., the [censored to avoid spoilerage] was too fleeting. Still, there is genuine wonder here and excellently drawn characters who display remarkable depth for this kind of story. Add to that an ending that is perfectly suited for the tale and you have a classic, well done adventure yarn that should be read.

Oh, a final gripe in the interest of full disclosure. The ending’s awesomeness was dampened a tad for me by the compass “mystery” which I thought was overindulged by the Jules. Two days after finishing this, I am still mildly annoyed by that snippet of the tale so I thought I would be remiss if I failed to mention it.

However, minor nits and compass annoyance aside, this was a great experience. Definitely one I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

4.0 stars.

P.S. I need to add a note to the doofus-brained asshats who put together the 1871 English translation published by Griffith and Farran. Dear Sirs, You SUCK!!! Worse, this version happens to be the one that the geniuses at Easton Press decided, in their unimaginable stupidity, to use in their collection of science fiction classic. The mind boggles. This literary assassination abridged and largely rewrote the story, even changing the main character’s name from Professor Lidenbrock to Hardwigg.

Thank Odin and Cthulhu, the unabridged audiobook I listened to was the original, quality translation. This actually gave me the ability to compare the to volumes. There is no comparison. If you are reading a version where the professor’s name is Hardwigg...toss it in the trash and find an original translation. As for the creators of the 1871 abomination, I only wish you could find yourself on the receiving end of justice...

Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
September 12, 2011
Why does Jules Verne often remind me of Monty Python? I mean, it's not funny or anything. Perhaps I was struck by the fact that Robur-le-conquérant doesn't just feature a flying machine called the Albatross, but also gives you a precise figure for the speed of a swallow. Anyway, with further apologies:

Dead Parrot

Me: I wish to register a complaint about this novel, which I purchased not 45 years ago in this very boutique.

John Cleese: Oh yeah? What's wrong wiv it?

Me: The title is A Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Cleese: And?

Me: Well, they never get to the center of the Earth.

Cleese: They almost do.

Me: They don't.

Cleese: They get more than halfway there.

Me: Excuse me, what is the radius of the Earth?

Cleese: Well guv, couldn't say offhand...

Me: I'll tell you what it is. It's 6,378 kilometers.

Cleese: Could be.

Me: And do you know how far down they get?

Cleese: I'd have to look that up...

Me: Their maximum depth is about 320 kilometers.

Cleese: I don't see your point.

Me: They get about 4.7% of the way there.

Cleese: Look guv, there's dinosaurs...

Me: My good man, I don't care how many dinosaurs there are! The story simply doesn't correspond to the title, that's all. Here, let me give you an example. Take this DVD, Anal Gangbang Slut 8. If the only thing that happened was that the woman removed her gloves, would you say I'd got my money's worth?

Cleese: She takes her shoes off as well.

Me: She does?

Cleese: Yeah.

Me: Can I swap?

Cleese: If you like guv. No skin off my nose.

Me: Done.

[Huge animated foot comes down and squashes both actors. Silly music, followed by announcer's voice]

Announcer: And now for something completely different. The All-England Summarising Proust Competition.

Contestant: Proust in his first book, talked about, talked about...
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews46 followers
November 13, 2021
(Book 866 from 1001 books) - Voyage au centre de la Terre = Journey To The Centre of The Earth = A Journey to the Centre of the Earth = A Journey to the Interior of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages #3), Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth is an 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne.

The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the center of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the Stromboli volcano.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نخست ماه اکتبر سال2010میلادی

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «سفر به مرکز زمین»؛ «سفر به اعماق زمین»؛ «شجاعان در اعماق زمین»؛ «م‍س‍اف‍رت‌ ب‍ه‌ م‍رک‍ز زم‍ی‍ن‌»؛ «دن‍ی‍ای‌ زی‍رزم‍ی‍ن‍ی‌»؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ انتشاراتیها: (دنیای کتاب و انتشارات امیرکبیر، و ...) ادبیات نوجوانان سده 19م

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: قدیر گلکاریان، تهران، عارف، سال1370؛ در127ص؛ چاپ دوم سال1371؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسه - سده 19م

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: احمد پناهی خراسانی، مشهد، باربد، سال1372؛ در226ص؛

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: جلیل دهمشکی، تهران، جانزاده، سال1375؛ در126ص؛

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: فاطمه نقاش، تهران، کوشش، سال1375؛ در106ص؛

عنوان: سفر به اعماق زمین؛ مترجم: حسین چترنور، تهران، شرکت توسعه کتابخانه های ایران، سال1376؛ در125ص؛ شابک9646209173؛ چاپ سوم سال1380، چاپ چهارم سال1381؛ چاپ ششم سال1384؛

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: نفیسه دربهشتی، تهران، پیمان، سال1376؛ در120ص؛ شابک9645981255؛

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: علی فاطمیان، تهران، نشر چشم انداز، چاپ1379؛ در237ص؛ شابک9644221761؛

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: مرجان رضایی، تهران، نشر مرکز، چاپ سال1391؛ در هفت و310ص؛ شابک9789642131402؛

عنوان: سفر به مرکز زمین؛ مترجم: معصومه موسوی، قم، آوای بیصدا، سال1397؛ در32ص؛ شابک9786009926114؛

مترجمها خانمها و آقایان: «ق‍دی‍ر گ‍ل‍ک‍اری‍ان‌»؛ «نوشین مستوفی»؛ «معصومه موسوی»؛ «غزاله ابراهیمی»؛ «حمیدرضا جهانشاهی»؛ «ثمین نبی‌پور»؛ «محمدرضا قدیانی»؛ «ح‍س‍ن‌ اف‍ش‍ار»؛ «پ‍روی‍ز ه‍وش‍م‍ن‍د راد»؛ «شهلا انسانی»؛ «فری‍دون‌ وه‍م‍ن‌»؛ «سيده‌سودابه احمدی»؛ «فرزانه مهری»؛ «سمیه شکرزاده»؛ «سوده کریمی»؛ «ع‍ل‍ی‌ ف‍اطم‍ی‍ان‌»؛ «مهتا لبافی»؛ «محسن سلیمانی»؛ «مهران محبوبی»؛ و ...؛

رمانی علمی–تخیلی اثر «ژول ورن» است؛ داستان این رمان در مورد یک پروفسور «آلمانی»، به نام «اوتو لیدانبراک» است که باور دارد برخی دالان‌های گدازه، به مرکز زمین می‌روند؛ او به همراه برادرزاده‌ ی خویش «اکسل» و «هانس»، که راهنمای آنهاست، از آتشفشانی در «ایسلند» پایین می‌روند، و با ماجراهای بسیاری همانند حیوانات پیش ار تاریخ، و خطرهای طبیعی رودررو می‌شوند، تا اینکه در پایان در جنوب «ایتالیا» در «استرومبولی»، دوباره به روی زمین باز می‌گردند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 21/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for James Tivendale.
317 reviews1,343 followers
December 17, 2016
"As long as the heart beats, as long as your body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life"

I thought this book was brilliant and superbly well written by Venre as I will summarise below.

It follows 3 main characters:-
1) Professor Lidenbrock: a scientific genius who does not know when to quit even when the odds are less than 1% of success.
2) His Nephew, Axel: our narrator - written in a similar way to Conon-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or Leroux's - Joseph Routabille stories. The insider following and reporting on the bizarre genius of the main character. He is also highly intelligent but worries a bit too much. He is the more human/ emotional character is this death defying adventure.
3) Hans: Our trusty hunter, servant, side-kick who is quiet, composed and saves every-ones life about 3 times.

I analysed this book as having 3 divisions in the way the story was created and therefore progressed.

To begin with - decoding a bizarre cipher, establishing the plot and the build up to the mission ending up in Iceland.

Secondly, a quite sombre, despondent and slow segment about our gang penetrating the Earth via volcano and happenings in the seedy under-passages in the worlds crust. One scene truly stood out for me here which raised the tempo. Axel finds himself lost from his crew with no rations, no light - really no hope. This scene was harrowing and claustrophobic as a reader we obviously put ourselves in that nightmare scenario. That was gripping.

Finally, about the last 40% is all full of over enthusiastic energy and vigour and it is great. Superbly paced narrative at this point including scenes of seeing fighting prehistoric monsters, being lost at sea in unbelievable and intense electric storms and if that all wasn't fun enough - to conclude they get rip-roaringly catapulted out of a volcano!! The book has some great set pieces.

For some people I can see it is not an easy read. It is very science-based and used so much specialist language that it could put people off. I have said previously that this wasn't an issue to me as I believe the effort you put in to a book rewards the overall outcome. I am not a scientist but if I want to be in this world I have to adapt, enjoy and sometimes even learn the relevant terminology to get in to the characters minds.

The first 2 sections I mentioned were 4 star. The final section is 6 star - hence the review. It is reminiscent of Conon-Doyle's adventure tale The Lost World but instead of Professor Challenger and friends going up a formation/ mountain to find an amazing world, Professor Lidenbrock and chums do the opposite and go down.

I think this was free or about £0.99 on kindle so definitely worth picking up. I will hopefully read another of the Extraordinary Voyages books soon and hope they follow in the same vein.

James x
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,192 reviews1,817 followers
March 10, 2022

Credo che questo sia il primo film, del 1959, diretto da Henry Levin, con James mason che interpreta il professore, non Otto ma Oliver.

Per molti Jules Verne è scrittore di fantascienza. Per me, che con la fantascienza non ho mai legato particolarmente (cosa c’è di più fantascientifico del quotidiano?), Verne è soprattutto scrittore d’avventura. È così che l’ho sempre considerato ed è per questo che mi è piaciuto leggerlo quando avevo qualche anno in meno.

Voyage au centre de la Terre parte subito alla grande, con una prima parte nella migliore tradizione, assaggio saporito e gustoso di quanto aspetta oltre: siamo in Germania, ad Amburgo per la precisione, e conosciamo subito i due protagonisti, il professor Lidenbrock e suo nipote Axel. Il professore è uno di quei professori di quell’epoca, specializzato in mineralogia ma sa tanto di tutto, a cominciare dalle lingue: ha nome tedeschissimo, Otto, e cinquant’anni, il che lo pone probabilmente nella fascia d’età “anziana” (vallo a dire ad AstraZeneca!).
Axel è probabilmente il nipote che tutti vorrebbero avere: affezionato, educato, curioso.

Nel 1977 ci fu una versione tutta spagnola diretta da J. Piquer Simon.

E allora, lo zio professore arriva a casa e mostra al nipote un prezioso libro di qualche secolo prima. Il libro, che risale al 1100, è in islandese. Ovvio che il prof s’intenda anche di una delle lingue più parlate al mondo, quella islandese. Chiacchierando col nipote, ooops, dalle pagine del librone scivola per terra una pergamena. Il prezioso foglio è scritto in runico, cioè l’antico alfabeto dei popoli germanici, e deve risalire almeno al 1500.
Nella pergamena si parla di un altro professore, uno scienziato, Arne Saknussemm, che in quell’epoca avrebbe compiuto un viaggio tuttora incredibile: al centro della Terra. Nel senso, di sotto terra, nelle viscere della Terra, fino al suo centro.
La pergamena spiega come e perché, ma ovviamente con rebus quiz indovinelli e varie amene difficoltà.
Slurp, che partenza.

L’adattamento americano più recente è del 2008 diretto da Eric Brevig, dove il protagonista è Brendan Fraser, simpatico attore muscolare e fracassone che all’epoca era sia troppo giovane per interpretare il professore che troppo cresciuto per il ruolo del nipote.

La partenza è la stessa usata da Saknussemm, un vulcano islandese. I nostri eroi si avvalgono dell’aiuto di una cosiddetta guida, che si capisce poco in cosa possa guidarli, data la natura del viaggio, che si presume nessuno abbia più compiuto da almeno tre secoli a questa parte: e quindi, Hans, più che guida, è tuttofare, due mani robuste da uomo di fatica esperto e pratico della natura.

Andando avanti, accompagnati da Verne che scrive per tenere il lettore avvinto alla pagina, si scopre che più che il centro si tratta di gran profondità, dalle parti dell’ombelico, ma non necessariamente il centro di tutto. E si scopre che sottoterra si incontrano cose che sembrano venire da un mondo esistito e poi sepolto.
Zio e nipote concludono il viaggio, e voilà, si trovano sotto il vulcano dell’isola di Stromboli: dall’Islanda alla Sicilia, tutto a piedi e navigando i corsi d’acqua sotterranei (Stige?), ne hanno fatta di strada.

Nel 2012 altro adattamento con molto libera ispirazione, dove più o meno Michael Caine è il professore e Dwight Johnson la guida.

Film ne sono stati realizzati diversi, quattro per il grande schermo e cinque per il piccolo, più quattro in animazione. Non manca un paio di videogiochi e i parchi gioco dedicati al romanzo, sparsi sulla superficie della Terra.

Echi di un mio grande amore, Edgar Allan Poe – in verità, scoperto dopo Verne – echi di Atlantide. Avventura moderna che ha il gusto della mitologia.
Ma forse la maggiore fonte d’ispirazione è l’Inferno dantesco, quello sì grande fantascienza.

Una delle belle illustrazioni di Édouard Riou per l’edizione originale del 1864.
Profile Image for Adrian.
570 reviews209 followers
April 2, 2019
So my first experience of this story was the 1959 film (a good year ha ha), that I saw probably in my early teens, normally around the Christmas time. I have a penchant for 1950s sci-fi "B" movies and this film was certainly part of my drive to read the books that were made into the wonderful films.
So some time in the mid 70s I read this book and discovered there were loads more that I knew I would enjoy.
So fast forward 40 years and I've probably watched the 50s movie more than I've read the book, so it was time to read the book again. And what a memorable read it was, yes I could see James Mason as Professor Lindenbrook, but the characters are (regardless of the movie) well rounded and unique. Considering it is not really a long book Jules managed to pack an amazing amount of story into such a small number of pages, a story that is fast paced and well constructed. And worth reading if you are into classic sci-fi or even if you just enjoyed the film (1959 version is far superior).
Given it is now 5 years since I read this (I had forgotten to write a review), it should certainly be making its way to the top of my TBR again.
Profile Image for Leo ..
Author 2 books382 followers
November 14, 2019
When I was young I read this book and most of his others too. I used to wonder about the Hollow Earth and often compared it to Middle Earth and Midgaurd. Alice down the rabbit hole. Shamballa and Hades. Like At The Earths Core this book opens the imagination to an inner realm. I have researched this concept and it is very fascinating indeed. The diary of Admiral Byrd is worth looking into. Agartha. Ancient discoveries have been made illustrating this concept. Were these greats of literature on to something?
Himmler believed in the concept and it is now proven fact that the Nazi's had interest in Antarctica. They even had some sort of infrastructure there. Imagine the possibility of a world within a world. Like an atom is like a universe. Protons and neutrons inside like miniature planets. Inner space. Like in the film Men In Black. The universe is on Orion's Belt. Orion is the cat and on his collar/belt is a small glass marble containing the universe. Inner space and different dimensions?

The mind boggles.

Reading these old books can be hard to digest. Sometimes the old way of writing can distract one from the story. However, if the book becomes mundane, irksome or just a chore to read, try to stick with it. Subconsciously the mind is expanding. The vocabulary will broaden. The senses amplify. One individually enters their own world of academia. The more one reads, the more aware one becomes. Food for thought.🐯👍
Profile Image for Matt.
3,815 reviews12.8k followers
October 25, 2020
This novel by Jules Verne is not only deemed a classic, but also a jam-packed adventure set in the 19th century. Verne mixes the wonders of a story that would be considered fanciful in its day (and today, as well) with some scientific discussions to keep the reader on their toes. While I have steered away from classics for reasons all my own, I am pleased that I was nudged to read this book.

The story opens in May 1863, with Axel Lidenbrock living in Germany, alongside his uncle, Professor Otto Lidenbrock An academic in the field of geology, the elder Lindenbrock is quite focussed on his work and always open to new adventures. When Otto arrives home one day, he has quite the treat for his nephew, a manuscript by an Icelandic historian of some repute. Within the manuscript is a note that baffles them both, until it is properly translated and read, revealing a secret adventure made by another Icelandic fellow, Arne Saknussemm. It would seem that Saknussemm undertook a trip to the centre of the Earth, accessed through a crater in a dormant volcano. According to the document, one can only gain access for a short time each year and Otto determines that he must undertake this adventure, bringing Axel with him.

Upon their arrival in Iceland, Otto and Axel hire a local guide to take them to the volcano, where they will scale it and seek to access the passage at just the right moment. Beginning the adventure, the trio commence their descent, soon exhausting their water supply. Professor Otto begins expostulating about the various geological finds around them and making calculations to track their progress. The group comes across a subterranean body of water, solving one concern and helping to dash some of the scientific beliefs of the time. Temperature increases and means of travel are turned on their heads, while all three seek to understand what awaits them as the journey continues,

The adventure deepens when a larger body of water appears before them, forcing the trio to make some major decisions, which include building a raft and exploring some of the local terrain. Much of the area is filled with bones of long-extinct creatures that piques Axel’s interest, leaving him to wonder if the adventure might have been worthwhile after all. Much of the discoveries prove baffling to Axel, though he marvels at what he can see, as well as what might await him as they push onwards.

After constructing a raft, they set sail and encounter some truly harrowing creatures, as well as a few meteorological phenomena that baffle them all and leave them doubting their choice to take the voyage. However, determination wins out and they find themselves forging onwards, making new and exciting scientific calculations about their depth and what might be above them at the Earth’s surface.

Determined not to stop until they reach their destination, Axel and Otto convince their guide to keep moving, though the task gets more and more harrowing. It is only through grit and determination that they will be able to survive, especially when they discover a new set of remains that sends chills up all their spines. While the trip down has been anything but boring, how will they ever get back, without having to traverse the path already taken? Verne excites the reader with this and much more as the journey takes even more twists in the latter part of the novel.

While I am not well-versed in Jules Verne or his work, I did a little background reading and discovered that this was the second of his special voyages collection, which opens the minds of the reader to a world of adventure, scientific discovery, and analysis. It is said that Verne used novels like this to introduce the world to what is now science fiction, which is completely understandable. His penchant for showing that science is full of mistakes that are only corrected by hands-on attempts is echoed throughout the narrative.

Axel Lindenbrock is the narrator of the piece and becomes the presumptive protagonist of the story, though I would offer the dual role to include Professor Otto. Both learn a great deal from one another and help to foster an adventurous nature throughout the piece. While there is a great amount of hesitation at one point, the Linderbrocks grow closer throughout the story, their characters developing alongside the relationship they forge in this harrowing trip to places unknown.

While there are few secondary characters in the piece, Verne uses the history books and scientific tomes to inject species that serve as guideposts to a world long-ago extinct. This serves to educate and entertain the reader throughout, offering them a glimpse of how science presented things in the 1860s, as compared to the present. I did take much away from the descriptions, even though my background is not the sciences. Always nice to learn while enjoying a classic piece of literature.

The story itself proved to be highly alluring, even for one whose scientific mind sits somewhere in a glass jar. Verne is able to inject true adventure throughout, keeping the reader wondering what awaits them around the next corner. The characters complement one another well (going so far as to compliment each other, occasionally) and their banter propels the narrative forward. Using the Axel journal as the primary means of recounting the story offers a daily log of events, pulling the reader even deeper into the journey and hoping that they, too, will almost feel a part of events as they occur.

While there is a strong scientific flavour to the story, it does not engulf the text, keeping the reader reaching for reference texts or losing interest. There are terms peppered throughout, but they are explained well enough as to educate, rather than inundate. As mentioned above, Verne effectively combines the spark of adventure with the fuel of scientific discovery to create an explosive birth of the science fiction genre!

The book is not overly long, with its chapters propelling the reader forward with ease. Everything appears to flow effectively and the curious reader may even devour it in a day or two. I chose the Audible version because Tim Curry led me on the adventure, which added more to the story than simply guiding myself. I cannot say enough about how enjoyable this was and encourage those with a love of audiobooks to seek this version for themselves. Curry does a masterful job at every turn.

Kudos, Mr. Verne, for such a delightful story. While I may not rush to devour all your work immediately, I am curious to see if I might venture on another of your extraordinary adventures in the future.

This book fulfills a supplementary read for October 2020 in the Mind the Bookshelf Gap reading challenge.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Beverly.
833 reviews313 followers
January 30, 2020
A bit too pedantic for me, Journey to the Center of the Earth, is full of half-baked scientific notions and unproven theories put forth in a dry, scholarly manner, which does nothing for the story at hand. Professor Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel and their stalwart and phlegmatic guide Hans are the characters making the journey. They start in Iceland by climbing down into a dead volcano.

As they make their way, the reluctant Axel is always begging his uncle to go back. His Uncle Otto then berates the young man for his lack of courage and tenacity. They repeat the same conversation in different forms. The only other variation in their interactions is when Otto tells Axel why his science is wrong. Otto gives long monologues on his scientific theories which would have been enough for Axel to kill him. No court in the land would have prosecuted. Hans doesn't speak and always sides with the professor. The only time Otto is kind to his nephew is when Axel gets lost.

Long story short, they make their way down, down. And discover many unscientific things, like an ocean inside the mantle? Also, prehistoric sea creatures which battle it out around their makeshift raft on the interior ocean. Somehow, they get thrown back on the surface of the earth through an active volcano, without getting hurt. So, it was a bit of a trudge for me and not very exciting, except when Axel was lost in the dark.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,986 followers
November 2, 2016
This was a DNF for me when I was a teenager. I loved the old movie, but I just couldn't get into the book.

Then, I selected this for my Goodreads book-club a couple of years ago thinking that now that I have grown up and read more - and because Jules Verne is one of the founding fathers of sci-fi - I would now love it. Unfortunately, it was still a bit slow and hard to get through. I enjoyed it, but it just didn't keep me enthralled liked I hoped it would.

Then, I went back and watched the movie and I did not think it was as great as I remembered. *Sigh* there goes one of my childhood memories!
Profile Image for Annemarie.
250 reviews696 followers
May 24, 2017
It was a pure joy to read this wonderful story of adventure, I felt entertained the whole way through.
I loved the characters, the writing style and the plot so incredibly much. I can't even explain why, I just had a good feeling every time I picked up this book.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
December 27, 2020
”The tension between the armchair and adventure, between security and possibility, lies at the heart of Verne, as of his age--an age of scientific, technical , industrial, colonial expansion, but also of questioning and reverie...The template of Verne’s great novels [is] a fusing of myth and the real; a new, modern, awestruck apprehension of the manmade and the natural; a dream--yet sometimes nightmare--of the possibilities of mankind, technology and the sublime.” ---From the introduction by Tim Farrant

As I was reading Journey to the Center of the Earth, I kept thinking to myself about those Victorian Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, and Europeans of all stripes, who were feeling the thrill of adventure as they sat in their favorite reading chairs and cracked open the latest scientific thriller from Jules Verne. This particular book was first published in 1864. The Civil War in America was still raging to its bloody conclusion, and I’m sure there were many Americans of means who couldn’t wait to escape to wherever Jules Verne was willing to take them.

The Victorian age was an age of discovery. Men were tramping to the deepest heart of Africa, to the highest peaks in Tibet, and courting death in the Sahara Desert, all in an attempt to be the first to discover something. Nothing, of course, existed until a white man laid eyes on it. These days, nothing has been seen unless one has taken a selfie with it. Believe me, the great Victorian explorers would have loved to travel with an iPhone X to faithfully record all of their feats of valor and chronicle the dark mysteries they unraveled.

No one better exemplifies the Victorian explorer than the radical geologist, Dr. Otto Lidenbrock, who suffers strongly from an incurable case of bibliomania. He has discovered a pamphlet, hidden within another wonderful literary acquisition, a runic text written by an Icelandic writer that proposes that the center of the earth is not a fiery ball of flame, but a hidden world of wonders. He proposes to his nephew that they leave for Iceland immediately and begin a descent into the extinct volcano Snaefell. Axel, a much more cautious person than his uncle, would much rather laze about in his uncle’s study, sucking on his hookah and contemplating exactly how he is going to win the permanent affections of his uncle’s beautiful, young ward, Gräuben.

Of course, if his uncle dashes off to Iceland and becomes incinerated in the fiery hells of the Earth, it will hardly endear himself to the young lady.

Axel soon finds himself reluctantly caught up in his uncle’s mad adventure. With the help of their Icelandic guide, they descend into what Axel feels will be certain death.

Jules Verne writes with verve:
”The rain is like a roaring cataract between us and the horizons to which we are madly rushing. But before it reaches us, the cloud curtain tears apart and reveals the boiling sea; and now the electricity, disengaged by the chemical action in the upper cloudations; networks of vivid lightnings; ceaseless detonations; masses of incandescent vapour; hailstones, like a fiery shower, rattling among our tools and firearms. The heaving waves look like craters full of interior fire, every crevice darting a little tongue of flame.”

What made Verne so popular with readers during the later part of the 19th century was his gift for blending known facts with his very plausible flights of fancy. He must have subscribed to every scientific journal available at the time, and any article could prove to be the basis for his next book. The plausibility is such a key element because the armchair traveler he was taking along with him must be able to see himself in the midst of the action. A grocer dreaming of a life beyond potatoes and tomatoes, too, could descend into the bowels of the earth and hopefully return with a tale worth telling.

Next book in this Everyman’s collection is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, one of my all time favorite Verne stories. I will definitely be rereading that one.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/
Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,565 reviews1,890 followers
July 28, 2019
Well that was fun.

I staged an unarmed raid on the library and with some guilt I made off with Journey to the Centre of the Earth, my instinct was that this is a children's book and so taking it was the equivalent of grabbing an ice cream or a lollipop from a wailing child, though on reflection unlike the ice cream the book can be consumed a few times before it's glue binding cracks and the bound pages flutter free. This edition even comes with 3-D glasses - finally an immersive text, one can slide down an 's', grab hold of a 'b' and swing underneath, have your fall into the subtext broken by the sharp hook of a 'q', but it turned out that only the front cover is in 3-D which strikes me as a poor tease.

In truth, and you may have suspected this if you have seen the film, it is not a very good adventure because the narrator is a participant on the journey, which indicates that his chances of surviving the trip without the loss of his fingers are pretty good. Verne is a bit scatty on the details - they do run out of water for a while but they seem to have magic food supplies, when desperately the adventurers share a last meal of some meat and a few biscuits each gets a pound of food each - half a kilo, which is a fair quantity, suspiciously as though Jesus was the expedition's quarter-master.

Of interest I think to the popular adventure genre is the now classic odd couple in this case irascible mad Scientist uncle and cowardly by-the-book nephew off set by taciturn and universally capable guide. Well you will say what about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, surely he was a mad scientist, maybe even the first one? Frankenstein, Frankenstein, Frankenstein is down at the tragic end of the familiar mad scientist spectrum while Professor Lidenbrook is way over on the charmingly eccentric end of the spectrum, and this type, I venture to suggest, has come to dominate the field. He's the kind of geologist who sometimes broke his specimens through testing them too abruptly (p.4) suggesting to me that one would be very cautious if shaking hands with him. He is indifferent to scientific orthodoxy, everything can be disproved by unverifiable adventure while the by-the-book nephew is comically, yet reasonably, terrified by the likelihood of imminent death whether due to extreme heat, pressure, thirst, starvation, being consumed by prehistoric monsters, getting burnt up in pyroclastic flows and so on.

Verne maintains a lively flow despite a lack of plot or adventure or character development through short chapters and near constant incident. Something is always happening. Something inconsequential, but something none the less, like a Jackie Chan film. At the end there is a terrible drive to rapidly finish what is in any case a pretty short adventure, as though Verne was sitting having his breakfast while his publisher was shouting through the letterbox ' Jules, I know you're in there, you've got to finish that story or we're done'

I was pleasantly surprised by the sense that Verne had done some research - his Icelanders sitting down to feast on Skyr for instance, TV adverts tell me that happens all the time in Iceland, although curiously Verne refuses to mention woolly patterned pullovers. But I was disappointed by the redundancy, the dreamy atmosphere of forests of mushrooms and colourless flowers,with petals like paper, rapidly brought to the page then left behind. I get the impression of a mind over excited with incident and images, amusingly for a book called Journey to the centre of the earth we don't get to the centre of anything, we are firmly anchored to the surface, it is light-hearted and whimsical, entirely populated by comical foreigners (ie anybody not French), fun and I think deeply influential - a Don Quixote for an age of mass popular culture maybe. I'm intrigued to think that he may have had some influence on Haldor Laxness, but then it's easy to imagine Laxness reading Verne as a child, the pastor reminiscent of Pastor Jon in Under the Glacier though the mysterious wife not troll like, just supernatural in another direction, perhaps Under the Glacier is a response to the cultural appropriation of Iceland by Verne, a re-enchantment of the world beneath the lava fields and peat bogs a place not for blase exploration by German science, but of mystery, of Trolls, Elves and the eternal femme or God as she is otherwise known, but I need at least one rereading and some dreaming of colourless flowers with papery petals first before I'm certain of that.
Profile Image for Paul Haspel.
563 reviews83 followers
July 4, 2022
Jules Verne is my favorite French writer. There. I have said it.

Mind you, I did not say “Jules Verne is the greatest French writer.” Back in graduate-school days, I’d have gotten laughed out of the third-floor English Department seminar room in Taliaferro Hall at the University of Maryland if I’d said anything like that. I do not claim for a moment that Verne possesses the epic sensibility of Hugo, or the psychological insight of Proust, or the wit and subtlety of Colette, or the unflinching realism of Zola. What I do claim is that Jules Verne knows how to write stories that are engaging and compelling. I approach the work of Hugo or Proust or Colette or Zola with dutiful reverence. I take up a Jules Verne novel with a smile, thinking, “This is going to be fun.”

It was that way when I was a very young boy, when a Verne novel would whisk me away from the suburban comfort of my Bethesda, Maryland, home and off into a world of adventure; and it is that way now, as I return in middle age to Voyage au centre de la Terre (1864), the novel that we in the Anglosphere know somewhat better as Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Verne’s storytelling verve and the far-ranging quality of his imagination are very much on display here. Moreover, of all Verne’s novels this may be the one that partakes most of the nature of myth. We’re all used to the idea that the archetypal, mythic story involves a descent into the abyss, wherein the hero combines a physical journey beneath the surface of the earth with a voyage downward into his or her own psychology, a confrontation with one’s own inner demons. In the case of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, the whole damned thing is a descent into the abyss.

The heroes of our journey are Dr. Otto Lidenbrock, a German professor who is singularly driven by his need to find something that no one has discovered before; Lidenbrock’s young nephew Axel, who narrates the novel and in the process reveals his own trepidation about making the journey; and Hans, the stoic Icelander who serves as guide, leading Lidenbrock and Axel from the crater at Snæfellsjökull in western Iceland on their journey to – well, you know, the centre of the earth.

Lidenbrock is led on this journey by his discovery of a scrap of manuscript written by a 16th-century Icelandic scientist named Arne Saknussemm. Axel does not share Lidenbrock’s enthusiasm for the voyage, but is induced in part by his love for Gräuben, Lidenbrock’s beautiful young ward, who encourages him to make the journey. They leave Hamburg and make their way to Iceland, enlist the services of Hans, and make their way down into the crater of Snæfellsjökull.

Character development is not Verne’s strong suit. Throughout the novel, Lidenbrock is obsessed and enthusiastic; Axel is reluctant; Hans is stoic and accepting: the characters simply demonstrate these traits in varying ways as the novel progresses. One reads a Verne novel not for characterization but for plot, and this novel has plotline in abundance – one life-threatening episode after another. Like Odysseus or Aeneas in the epic poems of classical times, Lidenbrock, Axel, and Hans proceed from one danger to another – dead-end tunnels, hunger and thirst, storms, sea monsters, giants, floods, molten lava. The more I think about it, the more I think Verne may have had the Odyssey and the Aeneid in mind as he wrote this book.

Because I read Journey to the Centre of the Earth on a trip to Iceland, I enjoyed the leisurely manner in which Verne conveys his journeyers from their Hamburg home to Iceland, and lets them sojourn for a bit in Reykjavík and its environs before finally – at the beginning of Chapter 17 of a 45-chapter book, 90 pages into a 233-page novel – setting the three on their journey coreward.

These initial chapters display Verne’s talent for descriptive writing:

The longer of the streets in Reykjavík runs parallel to the coast, and it is here that merchants and traders in cabins of horizontal red beams ply their trade….I had soon paced these sad and dreary thoroughfares; sometimes I spied a yellowing lawn like a threadbare woollen rug, or a vegetable garden whose meagre crops – potatoes, cabbage, lettuce – would not have looked out of place on a Lilliputian table. A few drooping gillyflowers did their best to adopt a sunny disposition. (p. 51)

To those readers who would want Verne to hurry up and get on with centre-of-the-earth stuff, I would counsel patience. Verne knows that a good book is all about the journey.

Once our three travelers have made their way into the crater of Snæfellsjökull, and follow the path set forth by Arne Saknussemm (the phrase “the shadow of Scartaris” becomes very important here), each new section of underground passage uncovers new wonders: “Sometime a series of vaults like the arches of the counter-nave in a Gothic cathedral appeared before us….A mile further on, we were forced to stoop beneath low, rounded arches in the Romanesque style, supported by large pillars formed by the rock face itself” (p. 100).

When, eventually, the three find themselves on the shore of a vast underground ocean – Professor Lidenbrock immodestly designates it the Lidenbrock Sea – things get really interesting. The epic sea battle between an ichthyosaur and a plesiosaur that takes place in Chapter 33 is the earliest example I know of a storyteller looking for a way to bring modern people together with extinct dinosaurs – decades before Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1912), and more than a century before Jurassic Park.

This Penguin Books edition of Journey to the Centre of the Earth is particularly good for a couple of reasons. The introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley looks perceptively and with sympathy at the pressures under which Verne wrote, including an imperious and demanding editor. Editor Peter Cogman provides helpful footnotes that situate this novel within 19th-century geological studies and make clear that, like science-fiction novelists ever since, Verne studied his science carefully, incorporated existing scientific knowledge in order to enhance the story's verisimilitude, and -- perhaps most importantly -- threw the science out the window whenever scientific fact would have interfered with a good story.

Do the characters seem flat? Yes, at times. Does Verne sometimes lead his characters into literal or figurative dead ends? Absolutely. Does he squander some interesting narrative opportunities – e.g., Axel’s and Lidenbrock’s discovery of mastodons being led by a man, “a giant capable of commanding these monsters….more than 12 feet tall” and carrying “an enormous bough, a crook worthy of this antediluvian shepherd” (p. 200)? Most certainly. And is the novel’s resolution, through which Verne finds a way of quickly bringing major characters of the novel back to a surface they spent months descending from, an example of deus ex monte? Quite possibly. And yet, in a way, none of that matters.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a great and entertaining story. Small wonder that the posh restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower (a Verne-style achievement in itself) bears Jules Verne’s name. Small wonder that this story has been filmed so many times (e.g., the 1959 film in which James Mason as the professor finds himself looking at rhinoceros iguanas dressed up as Dimetrodons; or the 2008 film in which Brendan Fraser as a geologist goes with his nephew and an Icelandic guide in following the clues left by “Vernians” who believe that Verne’s novels offer clues for real-life exploration). This is a fun novel, a happy journey.
Profile Image for Shovelmonkey1.
353 reviews886 followers
July 26, 2011
I've tried to make The Journey to the Centre of the earth myself people, and let me tell you, it is fraught with danger! It should be a warning to you that I'm writing this from the bed of a Burns unit by typing with two chargrilled finger stumps, because the centre of the earth is not some wonderfully hollow, sparkly geode, oh no! In reality its a burning hot ball of lava, so hot that it makes the centre of a Pop Tart feel like a skinny dipping spree at the North Pole. You have been warned. Geology may rock but it can also get bloody warm as well!

If you don't believe me, and are still prone to believe the Jules Verne school of geological thought, I'm backed up by the Wikipedia page :(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Journe...)
where the person who wrote the entry for the book clearly states that Verne's description of the fantastical middle earth has been "soundly refuted". Let's face it, if the centre of the earth really was some kind of lost world of wonders, Disney would have sunk a two and a half mile deep elevator shaft down there sometime in the 1960s and we'd all be queuing at the edge of a lava tube to pay £500 per ticket to get down there.

If on the other hand you are still tempted to make a journey to the centre of the earth from the comfort of your own armchair then I'm sure you'll be charmed and thrilled by the subterranean world of wonders which await. Lava tubes (like dried out waterflumes)provide direct access to the labyrinthine maze of geological fun. Middle-world primordial seas (which would have left modern day scientists to ponder the fact that the earth really resembles a partly filled laundry detergent ball), filled with giant fishes the likes of which would have had Hemingway weeping for mercy. Dinosaurs wander through ancient primeval forests of petrified wood and giant mushrooms and barren shores of bleached bones reveal the true nature of humanities origins. Essentially Verne has gathered together all the best and most interesting bits of Early World Prehistory (the bits that you loved as a kid) and created a memorable if scientifically confused master piece. Ok, it's now a bit dated and yes the centre of the earth really is not quite a Verne would have us believe but this is old school story telling at its best.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,943 reviews608 followers
January 16, 2023
This story is a direct sequel to "From Earth to the Moon," whose narrative was interrupted immediately after the "shooting." We find Barbicane, Nicholl, and Ardan running full speed toward our satellite aboard the shell.
This short novel is an opportunity to take stock of the knowledge of the time about space and the moon. Of course, from our point of view, some issues seem very naive: the presence of selenites, gravity "reversing" on the way between the two stars, and an astronaut opening the cabin window to throw garbage … But we must, however, keep in mind the utterly novel idea of 1869 of the very idea of such an expedition, not to mention its disturbing similarity with specific Apollo missions that took place a century after exactly.
Profile Image for Tracey.
1,080 reviews252 followers
November 20, 2017
I have had a ridiculous amount of fun this year listening to classic novels as audiobooks. When Audible offered a freebie (I think it was a freebie) of Journey to the Center of the Earth read by Tim Curry, I was excited – Tim Curry! Come on. It almost didn't matter what it was; I kind of place Curry in the same class as Tom Baker – love the actor, adore the voice, will listen to literally anything read by him. (Though Tom Baker wins by having been The Doctor, of course.)

And I was right. Curry was fabulous. His performance – and it was in every way performance – was incredibly enjoyable, and accounted for a good part of my rating. The voices he gave to the characters were dead on; the emotion with which he invested some scenes elevated them; it's purely because of his voice that I don't completely loathe the two main characters of this book, Axel and his Uncle/Professor Otto Liedenbrock. Not completely …

I do dislike them intensely, though. Even Tim Curry couldn't prevent that.

I will absolutely grant that part of my dislike for the book was some inability to separate myself as a 21st-century woman with a (very) basic (high school) education in geology from myself as reader of a book published and I assume set in 1864. From the former point of view it's an absurd figment of science fantasy. I know, I know – I have no problem accepting vampires (as long as they don't sparkle), werewolves, thousand-year-old druids and 932-year-old Time Lords. I never said I was consistent.

Still, despite the initial head-meets-desk reaction I had to a forest many leagues below the surface of the earth, not to mention a life-filled ocean and the mastodon-herding giants – still, it was fun. It felt like a Disney version of science, crossed with Lewis Carroll – fall down the universe's biggest rabbit hole, and land in an impossible, improbable wonderland. I was able to enjoy some of the fantasy.

The parts I could enjoy were simply outweighed by the stupidity of the characters. The two so-brilliant scientists, Axel and his uncle, were textbook examples of book-smart vs. street-smart. I mean, what moron goes on any expedition into the unknown with only a little water? Good God, people, don't you watch Les Stroud and Bear Grylls? Well, no, obviously not, but – common sense, men! "Oh, don't worry, we'll find fresh-water springs": probably the last words of many a dim adventurer.

And the subject of stupid adventurers brings me straight to Axel. Good grief. In my Goodreads updates I referred to him as a damsel in distress, and also TSTL: Too Stupid To Live. Bringing that boy on an expedition (I keep wanting to write a Winnie-the-Pooh-esque "expotition") is like taking a penguin to the Bahamas. I lost count of the number of times he fell or got lost or otherwise needed rescuing – and every single time there was poor old Hans, probably thinking "ach du lieber (or the Icelandic equivalent thereof), we should just put the fool on a leash." I can't imagine why his uncle brought him in the first place, unless he didn't realize what a Moaning Myrtle the boy would become, in addition to being a hazard to himself and all those around him. Every step of the way he complained and protested and fretted and despaired. The fact that he happened to be right in some of his complaints – as, for example, when he protested the minimal amount of water they were toting – doesn't make his constant whingeing easier to tolerate.

And the Professor … a more overbearing, pompous, irritating, foresightless windbag I don't remember in my reading. Did I mention it was his decision to bring only a little water with them? And also to chuck most of their gear down an apparently bottomless hole, confident that they would catch up to it in the climb. And also to set off across an apparently limitless ocean in a boat I wouldn't sail in a bathtub rather than try to trek the shoreline. And then to pause at random intervals and pontificate as if in front of an audience.

Oh, and to take few or no specimens of their discoveries. "Center of the earth, eh, Liedenbrock? Riiiight."

My list, made early on in the read/listen, for tips on a hypothetical Journey to the Center of the Earth:
1. Bring water
2. Lots
3. Lots and lots - humans are not camels.
4. Be sure to pay guide/servant/lifesaver weekly, even if he can't spend the money
5. Give guide/etc raise after he saves your butt after you disregarded 1 & 2
6. Do not bring nephew; he is prone to both hysterics and despair
7. Do not bring uncle/professor, as he confuses humans with camels (also: twit)
8. Do bring Tim Curry, because he just makes everything sound good.

I don't think the uncle and nephew actually did give Hans any kind of monetary reward for saving their rear ends, on several more occasions than just the water situation. The uncle paid him promptly every week – not that he was able to spend or bank or otherwise appreciate said payment, miles below the surface of the earth – and probably lost it all in their adventures.

The translation used by Audible was an odd one. The only example I noted was this: "His absolute silence increased every day." If it's absolute, it can't increase, though, can it? The edition Goodreads links to has it as: "But his habit of silence gained upon him day by day" - which works. I would be interested in either reading or listening to another version, to see if anything improves … but no. The language wasn't the problem. The problem was that I spent over eight hours alternately smiling happily at Tim Curry's performance and wanting to reach through my iPod and shake Axel and Otto until their ears flapped. It's another of those "could-have-been" books. It could have been so much fun. It just wasn't.
Profile Image for Tanabrus.
1,857 reviews163 followers
December 11, 2019
Finalmente comincio a leggere la bella collezione Hetzel delle opere di Verne, dopo più di un anno che prendo in edicola questi libri.
E finalmente torno a rileggere uno dei libri che ho letto e riletto innumerevoli volte da bambino.

Sicuramente si avverte un poco il peso del secolo e mezzo trascorso dalla sua pubblicazione, sia nella caratterizzazione dei personaggi -fatta con l'accetta: il professore è tendenzialmente una dinamo inarrestabile diretta esclusivamente al proprio scopo, senza riguardi per niente e nessuno, nonché luminare immenso su quasi ogni argomento; Hans è il servitore perfetto, mansueto e remissivo, forte e ingegnoso, abile in tutti i lavori manuali, con l'intuito del cacciatore e capace di sopravvivere ovunque; Axel è un dotto in divenire, ha ancora pulsioni umane da ragazzo ma a sprazzi mostra la possibilità di diventare come lo zio... però almeno lui, malgrado le conoscenze superiori a quelle che un diciannovenne potrebbe avere e malgrado la passività nei confronti del professore, spesso ha dubbi, ha paura, vuole tornare a casa e addirittura osa seguire le teorie più accreditate andando contro lo zio!- sia soprattutto nell'uso eccessivo di termini scientifici con un tono quasi didascalico.
Però, francamente, questo peso per quanto lo si possa avvertire non infastidisce particolarmente.

Perché abbiamo subito il mistero del messaggio dell'antico storico islandese.
Perché abbiamo le descrizioni dell'Islanda del diciannovesimo secolo, e una dichiarazione d'amore per le scoperte scientifiche e tecnologiche di quella meravigliosa epoca, un amore che Verne riversa nelle descrizioni, nei sermoni che mette in bocca o nei pensieri dei suoi personaggi, negli strumenti scientifici e nel loro costante utilizzo, nelle teorie esposte e inseguite per tutto il libro.

Si può davvero raggiungere il centro della Terra?
E se le teorie sulla conformazione della Terra non fossero corrette, e ci fosse dello spazio visitabile?
E se così fosse, non potrebbe essersi ricreato un nuovo mondo, in questa Terra sotterranea nascosto molte miglia sotto la crosta terrestre?

Un'immaginazione fervida e senza limiti sposa l'amore per la scienza, aprendo nuovi orizzonti senza sfociare nella fantascienza ma cercando di dare solide basi scientifiche, quantomeno possibili, alla sua storia.
Cosa che, a metà dell'ottocento, poteva suonare davvero come un qualcosa di vagamente possibile. Improbabile e screditato dalle teorie scientifiche, ma non impossibile: non vivevano forse in un'epoca in cui spesso nuove tecnologie, nuovi ritrovamenti, nuove scoperte scientifiche andavanoa contraddire le certezze del passato?
E allora, perché non sognare di una discesa tremenda dentro a un vulcano spento, di un mare infinito sotto la crosta terrestre illuminato da misteriosi fenomeni elettrici, di mostri marini sopravvissuti al passare dei millenni, di antiche specie animali ormai estinte tornate in vita in quell'ecosistema protetto e fuori dal tempo?

Un viaggio appassionante, anche a distanza di tutti questi anni.

Ah, in questa edizione abbiamo inoltre due racconti in appendice: Un dramma al Messico, dedicato a un ammutinamento su navi spagnole al tempo dell'indipendenza del Messico, e il racconto divertente Dieci ore di caccia, sull'apertura stagionale della caccia in Francia.
Profile Image for Dirk Grobbelaar.
554 reviews1,093 followers
January 12, 2019
Now began our real journey. Hitherto our toil had overcome all difficulties, now difficulties would spring up at every step.
I had not yet ventured to look down the bottomless pit into which I was about to take a plunge.
The supreme hour had come.

OK so if you’re a reader of Science Fiction, and especially the classics, you owe it to yourself to read some Jules Verne. Not only was he enormously influential in the genre, but he is responsible for stories that are still popular to this day.

What human power could restore me to the light of the sun by rending asunder the huge arches of rock which united over my head, buttressing each other with impregnable strength?

The story here is not unfamiliar. In fact, it’s been well covered by film and television, as well as the illustrated medium, a great many times. I will therefore not go into great detail around the plot, other than to say that it deals with a journey into the earth’s crust and below (much like the title states).

So, then, the dream in which I had had a vision of the prehistoric world, of the tertiary and post-tertiary periods, was now realised.
And there we were alone, in the bowels of the earth, at the mercy of its wild inhabitants!

It’s an adventure novel, really, and not hard science fiction by modern standards. However, it would have been a very different story at the time of first publication (1864). The scientific discussions presented here must have been positively electrifying.

There are only a few characters and none are truly fleshed out. This, I think, is a symptom of the genre and the time it was written. Science Fiction has come a long way since 1864.

It is apparent that the author was aiming not only for a base to present his own scientific beliefs (the book does enter “lecture mode” on a few occasions) but also to press some “sense of wonder” buttons in his readers. I didn’t read the book in the original French but in English, alternating between the Penguin Classic translation and the Gutenberg Project translation (there are some interesting comparisons / differences between the two but that is a discussion for another time). Still: it is obvious, even in translated form, that Mister Verne had a flair for the dramatic and knew how to spin a yarn. Respect.

From that hour we had no further occasion for the exercise of reason, or judgment, or skill, or contrivance. We were henceforth to be hurled along, the playthings of the fierce elements of the deep.

3.5 – 4 stars

Read as part of annual “have to read” agreement with wife.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,099 followers
April 2, 2019
Let's go on an adventure!

But first, an apology to Mr. Verne. I avoided this book for many years because I'm a fan of planetology and anyone who attempts to convince me that they can get this deep into the crust has GOT TO BE SHITTING ME. So what did I do? I avoided it.

Never mind when this came out and never mind about dinos and giants and lightning storms and great underground oceans and a very distinctive and cooler mantle.

As Science Fiction, with just a grain of credulity, the novel is GREAT! :) I mean, Verne even gives us the puzzle at the very beginning and sets up the great scientist against all the other great scientists and goes out to disprove the super, super hot interior theory! That's a big nod to science, yo. Let the handwavium commence. :)

I refuse to refer to this book as Journey to the Center of the Earth ever again. It will henceforth be referred to as Journey to the Interior of the Earth. It's true enough. 320 kilometers deep. That's not a lot. It's just a tiny fraction of the crust.

But for a few blokes first walking then rushing forth on a grand underground waterway, meeting vast monsters in vast caverns, getting separated and having to determine their locations by each other by the time it takes the speed of sound to get to them, I have to say that this ranks right up there with the very, very best adventure novels I've ever read.

I can easily imagine transplanting any number of its features upon an alien world and being just as thrilled. Move over, Doyle. Verne is the reigning champion. :)

Just... wow. :)
Profile Image for Andrea Belfiori.
125 reviews971 followers
March 11, 2021
Jules Verne è sempre una garanzia! Un romanzo di avventura davvero coinvolgente e immaginifico, ma se vi inquietano i luoghi chiusi e stretti sappiate che questo libro mette un sacco di ansia.
Profile Image for Carlos.
109 reviews95 followers
July 24, 2023
Nowadays that we have a lot of technology and everything is immediate, I feel that the "surprise" factor is not as good as it used to be when I was a child -20 or 25 years ago-, since you really needed to research, I barely had decent internet at school and nothing at home so it was way more satisfactory when I could research about a book, read it and discover how good and catching it was. It felt like a hidden gem. Well, I simply cannot imagine how people felt all the way back in 1864 when they discovered such a novel, such a journey and such invitation to something new.
I am very happy I finally read this book. I was in Nantes -where Verne was born- a few months ago and I went to the Verne's museum. Lovely place which helped me a lot to grow more interest in Verne's work and life. This was a very good reason why I read this: I was in the "Verne's mood".
Some of my real passions in life are geography and languages (besides books, of course), so I couldn't feel more identified with the first few chapters of the book, talking about Icelandic and languages in general, the uncle being a polyglot. Also describing a country that I would really love to go one day such as Iceland... it just sounds so beautiful and attractive. I liked the fact that the book had many chapters, all of them (at least in the edition I read) were no more than 10 pages long, which made the reading very smooth despite all the technical words that were used especially for geology and minerals and for the description of how the Earth "works", in which field I am completely ignorant. I guess this last reason is why I put 4 stars and not 5, because sometimes I was really lost in so many new concepts and I had to search a few of them on Google. The good thing is that it also felt educational, so I shouldn't even complain about it.
Regarding the characters, I would like to be like Professor Lidenbrock one day... what a smart human being. Even if I just were a polyglot, would be enough. Axel was a charming character, brave enough to join his uncle in such a crazy adventure. And the hero of the story: The good Hans, which even though was a servant and spoke only Danish with Professor Lidenbrock, was the best of all. Without Hans, nothing would have succeeded.
I really liked the book and I am happy I read this classic. Completely approved and recommended.
Profile Image for Amy Norris.
118 reviews22 followers
April 22, 2018
Fun, adventurous, and original. Jules Verne is considered the father of science fiction for a reason. His books, in my opinion, hold up better than most classics out there. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been reading his stories back the 1800s.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth is not Verne’s strongest work but is still a fast-paced and fun read. The story follows a professor, his nephew, and their trusty Icelandic guide as they journey down through the Earths crusts.

Verne’s stories are always well-researched and I appreciate how he manages to seamlessly incorporate science and geography into the narrative. I always finish his books feeling just a little bit smarter than before.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,206 reviews3,200 followers
February 6, 2023
4.0 Stars
While I prefer 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I also really enjoyed this novel. I love how Verne writes these cozy classic science fiction books that blend hard science into these exciting adventure stories. I loved the professor sharing his knowledge, even if it was a bit of an "info dump" at times. Also, I really enjoyed the Iceland setting because I'm fascinated by the country. 
Profile Image for Uhtred.
271 reviews15 followers
February 1, 2023
The great visionary Jules Verne wrote this imaginary-scientific-metaphorical book in 1864 (it is difficult to define it). Someone insists on listing it in children's literature, but I disagree at all. It is a book that can (and must) be read at all ages.
It all starts with an old book, the Heims-Kringla of Snorre Turleson, an Icelandic text of the twelfth century, in which a luminary of Mineralogy, Professor Lidenbrock, finds an encrypted message composed of runes. The translation of the message also includes the name of Arne Saknussemm, an Icelandic alchemist and explorer of 1500 who had made a journey to the center of the earth, with instructions on how to accomplish the journey. After this discovery, the professor, accompanied by his nephew Axel, will begin the wonderful journey to the center of the earth.
The professor, as a scholar should be, is very precise, meticulous, wears large glasses, is tall and thin; he loses patience quite easily and at first he can't stand his nephew much.
Axel, young and skeptical, goes on the adventure with his uncle but does not believe at all what he says.
The two are truly different from each other, but in the course of the book we will learn to love them both, and we will see them put together their differences to face the challenges they will encounter on the journey.
They will also take Hans with them on the journey, a mountain guide who will help them with ropes, pegs and ice axes to tackle the difficult points.
The journey starts from Hamburg and the first stop is the Snaeffels, a volcano in Iceland (which I saw in real life last year!) which will be the entrance to their journey to the center of the earth.
The adventure is full of twists and turns: the three will retrace (and we with them) the various layers that make up the earth's crust, finding fossils of animals that have been extinct for millennia and wonderful creatures of nature that do not exist on the surface.
Obviously in an adventure book there must be a bit of thrilling and in fact the three will have to deal with the high heat, the lack of water, climbs and descents that will make them lose their bearings, and will meet dinosaurs and sea monsters from which will have to defend themselves and escape. Adventures are on the verge of impossible, but if you forget the special effects of the Hollywood movies of our times and try to immerse yourself in what the world was in the 1800s, you can understand how great Jules Verne was: the three travelers arrive in a large underground cave, where they find an immense sea and decide to cross it on a raft. During the crossing they witness a bloody fight between two monstrous dinosaurs and are thrown by a storm on a shore. When they look at the compass they realize they have returned to the starting point and are therefore a little discouraged. Before attempting the crossing again, they decide to explore the area and here they find prehistoric forests, mushrooms as tall as trees, a herd of mastodons and many skeletons of men and other prehistoric animals.
During the exploration, the three find signs made by Saknussemm to indicate the way but the passage is blocked by a landslide. They then try to make their way but cause a collapse that opens a chasm that throws the three with their raft deeper and deeper until they then go up inside one of the secondary chimneys of an erupting volcano; pushed by water and lava, they ascend the earth's cavities through a magma tunnel and are expelled at the foot of Stromboli, the volcano of the Aeolian Islands.
Personally I consider this book a milestone for a reader worthy of the name: if you haven't read it yet, whatever age you are, read it. Five stars.
Profile Image for David.
73 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2011
Before reading this book, I had taken a glance at some of the reviews posted by others. To my surprise, there had been a lot more negative reception than I had expected, even though at some time or another, any novel will find its detractors.

One of the criticisms I came across was that of this novel "being too descriptive, and long-winded", and comments of that nature.

Now, after having just finished the book, I feel at liberty to respond to these statements as being misguided or unwarranted. By reading only a fraction of Jules Verne, it shouldn't take too long to recognize that his style of writing is of the 'hard-science fiction' approach. That is to say he has a greater focus on approach of scientific explanation, theorem and objective analysis of the conditions to which the characters are exposed.
Rather than having a storyline more driven by plot and a character's reactions and observations. In other words, this "long-windedness" that people are criticizing is more of a self-deflecting mechanism of their inability to accept and/or comprehend this style of writing.

I will sound biased by saying this, but I truly believe there is nothing you can criticize of this book or Verne's style and approach. He was ahead of his time and is just as impressive and remarkable 145 years later. To criticize him is really to ignore criticism of yourself for having found incompatible material to your liking, or for having little patience.

ALL OF THIS, is to stress to others who may be interested in this to definitely give 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' a chance, at least once in your lifetime. It is 'science-fiction' that deals with extraordinary situations that occur to characters during their time periods which they lived in. Not during some futuristic-imagined reality
(not to say those books aren't good either).
It's all the more reason to be fascinated, in addition to the fact that the adventures within deal more with the past than with the future.
I would venture to say this is 'historic-science-fiction'. It involves the history of the world, and having said that, it is relevant to everyone existing.

I for one am humbled to have had the experience, not to mention it has opened new doors for learning and discovery.

February 14, 2020

Me gustó bastante más que La vuelta al mundo en 80 días , único libro que había leído de Verne.
Viaje al centro de la Tierra me pareció interesante y entretenido de leer. Por momentos sí se me hacía un poco pesado y de explicaciones científicas (que no entendía) muy densas, pero siempre mantuvo mi interés.
Me hubiera gustado que se desarrollara más el personaje de Hans, ya que prácticamente no tiene diálogos en la historia, es más un personaje fantasma que siempre está ahí, mudo, en el fondo, (salvándole el pellejo a los protagonistas más de una vez), pero sorprendentemente, aún así, logra caer bien, al igual que Gräuben, que aunque sale poco, no te es indiferente.

El profesor Lidenbrock está loco, pobre de Axel, yo me hubiera dado por muerta desde el día uno viajando con ese señor xd.
Profile Image for MK.
279 reviews61 followers
April 12, 2019
I read this because a modern kindle (The Maw, by Taylor Zajonc), which I finished reading just before this, quotes from it extensively, and obviously took it as its inspiration. The Maw was an adventure tale exploring a supercave in Africa, on the trail of a famous - but of tainted repute - explorer who was lost with no trace a century earlier. Verne's tale is an adventure tale exploring a supercave system, whose expedition was launched based on the lost hints of a learned man who had fallen into disrepute centuries earlier... Yes, so, obviously many points in common. The stories themselves are very different, tho.

Anyway, I love adventure stories, and I haven't read a Verne tale that I haven't enjoyed yet (although I've only read a few so far ... ), so I got good enjoyment out of this one.

I admit to being in suspense for much of the novel, waiting to see if their guide would leave them, if the uncle failed to make a Saturday payment to him :-p. Verne made much of the fact that the guide would accept no payment in advance, and would work for the uncle only so long as he was paid every Saturday..

Good, fast read.


Note at the beginning of the novel:

“[ Redactor's Note: Journey to the Centre of the Earth is number V002 in the Taves and Michaluk numbering of the works of Jules Verne. First published in England by Griffith and Farran, 1871, this edition is not a translation at all but a complete re-write of the novel, with portions added and omitted, and names changed. The most reprinted version, it is entered into Project Gutenberg for reference purposes only. A better translation is A Journey into the Interior of the Earth translated by Rev. F. A. Malleson, also available on Project Gutenberg.]”

Hm. This edition, "the most re-printed edition" is "a complete re-write of the novel, with portions added and omitted, and names changed".

I guess I'll have to try to track down V001 someday ...
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