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Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Centre of the Earth


Journey to the Centre of the Earth

ratings:
3.5/5 (63 ratings)
Length:
44 minutes
Released:
Dec 17, 2009
ISBN:
9780194215145
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

In Hamburg, Germany, Professor Otto Lidenbrock comes home with an old Icelandic book. In it there is a message about a journey to the centre of the Earth. This is the beginning of one of Jules Verne's most exciting stories. 'Is this message true? We must go to Iceland and see!' says Lidenbrock excitedly. But his nephew, Axel, wants to stay at home. Can Lidenbrock and Axel and their Icelandic guide, Hans, find the centre of the Earth? And can they all get home alive after their many underground adventures?
Released:
Dec 17, 2009
ISBN:
9780194215145
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Jules Verne (1828-1905) was a French novelist, poet and playwright. Verne is considered a major French and European author, as he has a wide influence on avant-garde and surrealist literary movements, and is also credited as one of the primary inspirations for the steampunk genre. However, his influence does not stop in the literary sphere. Verne’s work has also provided invaluable impact on scientific fields as well. Verne is best known for his series of bestselling adventure novels, which earned him such an immense popularity that he is one of the world’s most translated authors.


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What people think about Journey to the Centre of the Earth

3.6
63 ratings / 93 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    I have to admit that Jules Verne is harder to read as an adult than as a bright-eyed, impressionable kid. There is so much wonder on these pages, and yet I felt like I needed to work far too hard to get at it - the adventure is hidden behind steampunk techno-babble in a way that modern writers would never be able to get away with. Still, I'm glad to have revisited this book, and I will continue to work through the Verne canon, disillusioned though I am.
  • (4/5)
    Professor Leidenbrock and his nephew Axel find a mysterious note suggesting an Icelandic geologist traveled to the center of the earth and lived to tell the tale. The two prepare for the long and arduous journey to Iceland, for that is where the geologist began, and enlist the help of an Icelander named Hans to assist with the journey below ground. Not to spoil a 150-year-old book, but the trio makes it to the center of the earth after several setbacks and strange occurrences, and return safely to ground level.There is a scene near the start of the book in which Professer Leidenbrock and Axel are arguing about what they may find in the center of the earth. The nephew believes that the center would be liquid rock and metal. The professor is convinced that it is solid rock. Both trot out a series of scientific facts and figures to prove their points. Readers are of course meant to side with the Professor and, indeed, he is proven correct later in the book (or there would be no book), but as a modern reader, knowing that the nephew is actually correct, the exchange is pretty hilarious.While the science is obviously not accurate, the book itself is fun. It’s an adventure story written by a master. We read the story from Axel’s point of view, who is reluctant about everything involved in this journey. This makes for a pleasant “surprise” when Axel is proven wrong. If you’ve only ever seen the film version starring James Mason, you will be surprised at some of the differences. I hope you have fun with this classic, as I did.
  • (4/5)
    Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth follows the German professor Otto Lindenbrock and his nephew Axel as they, along with their guide Hans, descend into the Icelandic volcano Snæfellsjökull, see various prehistoric animals, and return via the Stromboli volcano in Italy. Verne found inspiration in the geologist Charles Lyell’s 1863 book, Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man as well as some of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. This edition, published by Oxford University Press, features a new translation from the original French by William Butcher. The book also features an introduction situating Verne and his work in its historical milieu as well as an explanation of the translation. As part of the Oxford World’s Classics series, the novel features explanatory notes for many of the scientific and foreign-language terms Verne used to add verisimilitude to the book. Though typically classified as science-fiction, the term was not popularized until Hugo Gernsback used it in the 1920s, and Verne himself would have considered this an adventure novel as it focuses more on the journey than the science or technology involved in getting there. This edition works well for those studying science-fiction and its history, though, and is a must-read for even the casual fan!
  • (4/5)
    I probably wouldn't have gotten through this very quickly had I been reading it on my own rather than listening to Tim Curry's masterful performance. He was able to infuse so much character into it, and it truly helped me to appreciate how well done this story really is. There really is a lot of character there. There is also A LOT of detailed geological and instrumental description that probably would have bogged me down, even though I understand it, it's not always the most exciting reading, but definitely added realism to the story. Axel and his uncle Otto, and their guide Hans, really have very distinct personalities that add humor to the story which I believe I would have missed without having the assistance of Tim's reading.

    I highly recommend listening to this version, as we like to say Tim Curry could read the phone book and it would be a 5 star performance. He brings this classic adventure story to life and I'm happy to have experienced it!
  • (4/5)
    I know a lot of people who don't bother to read a book that has a movie version. You don't need to worry about this book. The movie is so different from the book that you won't know what will happen.
  • (3/5)
    There is a lot to get past in this book, the hysterical narator/nephew, all knowing uncle, mute, resourceful guide, the lack of character progression, the lists of flora, fuana & minerals, and diversions to show of at the time cutting edge science. But for all that it moves fast and always wanting to know what happens next. Ruined only by the lack of a compelling conclusion.
  • (3/5)
    I was a young adolescent when I first started reading this book. However, I placed the book on top of the family's station wagon when we stopped at a convenience store only to lose it when we I forget it as I hopped back in the car. Fifty years later, I finally finished it. When Professor Lidenbrock deciphers a runic note authored by Icelandic alchemist Arne Saknussemm, he discovers that the alchemist discovered and traveled a passage in Iceland to the center of the Earth. With the assistance of a Icelandic guide, the taciturn Hans, Professor Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel, and the novel's narrator, follow their predecessor in his descent into an extinct volcano to the center of the Earth.If you have seen either the 1959 movie with James Mason and Pat Boone or the 2008 film with Brendan Fraser, you will not significant differences, especially with the latter which is more a sequel to the book. In the book there are no competitors seeking to first reach the center of the Earth, no dinosaur fights on the beach, or abandoned temples at the center of the Earth. However, the book is a good read nevertheless.
  • (2/5)
    “We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.”Professor Otto Lidenbrock , metallurgist and bibliophile, returns to his home in Hamburg in 1863 with a prized and obscure Icelandic runic manuscript which he eagerly shows to his nephew, ward and assistant Axel. In the process of which an old piece of paper falls out of the book and is discovered to have a message in code from “Arne Saknussemm!…another Icelander, a savant of the sixteenth century, a celebrated alchemist.” After hours of trying to decipher the code Axel, to his own surprise, succeeds in doing so. Fearful of what this discovery may lead to Axel is initially determined not to reveal it to his uncle believing he alone will never solve it. However, when his uncle refuses to let anyone in the household eat until the riddle is solved, hunger finally forces Axel to yield the message, which is:“Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jokul of Sneffels, which the shadow of Scartaris touches before the kalends of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth; which I have done, Arne Saknussemm.”Over the intervening years since his death Saknussmm has been largely discredited but on reading the message the Professor immediately starts secretly preparing for Axel and himself to journey to the extinct Sneffels volcano in Iceland, in the hope of retracing Saknussemm's footsteps. At the time there is a raging scientific debate as to whether the centre of the Earth is cold or hot with the Professor believing it to be the former. He envisages this trip as his opportunity to prove his way of thinking is right. Once on Iceland they hire a guide called Hans and set of on an exciting and dangerous adventure.Firstly I think that it is only fair that I admit that I'm not really a fan of science-fiction and when this is coupled with the fact that the action takes place on earth making the science behind it all the more improbable, then I am going to struggle. My main concern is the lack of character development. Throughout the Professor is portrayed as intrepid explorer who seems to have a logical explanation for everything contrasted with Axel, the cowardly voice of reason trying vainly to oppose him, whereas Hans is a largely silent, steadfast, dependable, unflappable, unquestioning servant. Whilst this did cause a certain amount a contrast and friction between the characters, I cannot in all honestly say that I particularly took to any of them. However, if you are able to put all this to one side and read it purely as a boys' own adventure story then, despite its age and the fact that there are no car chases or gun battles, it still has its place and why it is still read and enjoyed today.
  • (4/5)
    True to form, this is a classic adventure piece at it's best! This was a great read with something new happening on nearly every page. Axel and his eccentric uncle Professor Otto Lindenbrock discover an ancient text that happens to fall out of one of the Professor's coveted historical tombs. The text explains how to get to the center of the earth through a crater located in Iceland. The farther they descend into the earth, the farther back in time they seem to travel as they begin to see plants and even animals that lived on earth once long ago. With peril and even death lurking around every corner and down every passage, will Axel and his uncle (along with their guide) ever make it to the surface world alive again? However wrought with tons of scientific jargen, this book is not difficult to follow and instead proves to be quite easy for the reader to follow along. With exciting plot twists at every turn, Verne leaves you constantly wondering if our pros will EVER see daylight again. Simply a classic.
  • (3/5)
    This is a great fantasy story, if you take it with some serious grains of salt. The imagery is marvelous, the pace is very fast. Keeps your attention throughout. The physical demands that he expected from the human body though and the slight continuity problems in the end are the only problems I have with it.I have to say the film with James Mason tightened some things up quite well.
  • (5/5)
    This is my favorite Jules Verne book. I don't know exactly what it is I like about it, but I find it absolutely fascinating and I like the characters, especially Axel, the professor's nephew. Today, we know that such a journey would most likely be impossible, but I can't help being pulled into the adventure. The copy I read - probably this edition - had notes, with explanations for everything - making the book easy to read, for anyone, with no prior knowledge of French or history. For me, at least half of those notes were a bit unnecessary, but I read them anyway. Someone went to the trouble of explaining every single thing in a book from the 19 century. I didn't need all that help, but it's comforting to know that it's there for those who need it.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fun, quick read. I did find it a bit slow to start off with but I was later swept up in the excitement of the journey and the wondrous things that the three travellers encounter on their journey. It's a short book, and didn't take me long to read, but it was definitely worthwhile reading.
  • (4/5)
    Journey to the Center of the Earth is the grand adventure story of Professor Lidenbrock's quest to follow a the instructions in a cryptic text that describe how one can descend to the very center of the planet via volcanic tubes originating in an Icelandic volcano. He sets out with his nephew Axel and their hired guide Hans on an extraordinary journey through the bowels of the earth that has them encountering strange phenomena and many dangers. The story is told entirely from Axel's point of view as he writes journal of the trip.This is my first time reading Jules Verne. It was a lot of fun and reminded me very much of the 1959 movie. The story starts off slow and spends a bit more time in the preparation than on the journey than I'd like. I wish there had been more time spent deep within the earth and the discoveries there. Axel is quite over dramatic and probably should never have gone along with his uncle. The science in the story is incredibly out dated so you have to unplug that part of the brain to enjoy the adventure.I listened to the audio book narrated by Tim Curry. His performance is top notch and fits the work beautifully. I love the emotion he's able to give the characters.
  • (5/5)
    Jules Verne is often called the first science fiction author, and though this book is more fantasy than reality, its main character definitely establishes what now seems to be the stereotypical boisterous, overzealous, obsessive-but-lovable scientist character in Otto Lidenbrock; I couldn't help but imagine Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown whenever he was described. The plot manages to take off right away, but just when you think Lidenbrock is figuring everything out too easily, he struggles, a nice dose of reality. Verne mixes serious science with adventure, and though he definitely errs on the side of the latter (the end was just a touch too unbelievable for my taste), the novel is a classic response to the times in which it was written. The characters repeatedly have to question whether the theories and science they believe in are right based on the evidence they encounter, a metaphor that fittingly describes the challenge Darwin posed to society with the publication of his "On the Origin of Species" five years before this book was released. My biggest disappointment was that the females are relegated to stay-at-home-and-wait roles in the story; the main female character actually seemed like a strong and capable person, but didn't get to join the adventure. Otherwise, this was a fun read that would be perfect for capturing the interest of readers from the middle grades and up.
  • (4/5)
    A great classic!
  • (5/5)
    A great adventure story and tale of discovery. Axel and his uncle, the Professor, set out for the centre of the earth via an Icelandic volcano, with the help of their intrepid and unflappable porter. A human drama about Axel's overcoming of his fears and facing up to many uncertainties. His cool, sceptical and questioning attitude is contrasted with his uncle's impatience and immense self-confidence. The exchanges between Axel and his uncle keep the drama going, as well as their amazing journey with all its dangers. Also has its funny comic moments! Is the centre of the earth a boiling furnace or not? is just one of the scientific questions which inform the narrative with intelligence and curiosity. A true original of science fiction, and definitely worth re-reading.
  • (3/5)
    Time has not been gentle to this classic.
  • (5/5)
    I don't really do formal reviews of classics. I'll say that I greatly enjoyed this story. Following the characters down into the Earth wasn't just an adventure but a lesson in the science of the time (though not completely accurate by today's views of the world). I like a good adventure, some learning, and an all-round good story. I'm fast becoming a fan of Jules Verne's work.
  • (2/5)
    I should first say that the 2 stars I have given this book is based on my own personal feeling when reading the book. This novel is certainly a classic - there's no denying that. But naturally it has shown its age over the many years since it was first written, and in a way I think it is unfair to judge the book through strictly modern eyes. Many modern readers, particularly children and young adults, will find it dull and didactic in the extreme; and perhaps its use now lies in the fact that it gives a unique snapshot of the birth of science fiction and the conceptions man had of the future at that point in time.
  • (3/5)
    I remember being a slightly better fan of this book when I was younger and I don't know if it was since I read an edition that was geared toward for juvenile crowds or if there was another reason behind it (maybe since I was actually caught up in the adventure for the first time). Unfortunately my second reading of this book ended up driving me up the wall. Unlike "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" the book is more of a heavier scientific bent and so it runs extremely slow to one who may not be into the bland tone. Furthermore there are spells where it seems the reading just drones on and on then a flash of adventure that is combined with little used words so a dictionary is quite handy. The character development is for the most part quite deep although more is given to the two main protagonists of the book. Hans would have been a much better character to have developed but since the narrator never quite understood him or tried to see what was going on he is left out of the picture besides as the one that is always there as quiet, strong, resourceful and saving them from danger more than can be counted. The story is definitely an adventure story while it will allow you to escape. Most definitely not like the movies (none of which I have seen) since movies require more action so don't come in judging from a film. Instead just sit back and enjoy the book for the way that it was written.
  • (4/5)
    A solid science-fiction adventure novel, though characterisation was a little weak I thought.
  • (5/5)
    Unabridged version, so original manuscript and totally exciting to read... I enjoyed reading this novel. I think young reader must read this great book.
  • (4/5)
    True to form, this is a classic adventure piece at it's best! This was a great read with something new happening on nearly every page. Axel and his eccentric uncle Professor Otto Lindenbrock discover an ancient text that happens to fall out of one of the Professor's coveted historical tombs. The text explains how to get to the center of the earth through a crater located in Iceland. The farther they descend into the earth, the farther back in time they seem to travel as they begin to see plants and even animals that lived on earth once long ago. With peril and even death lurking around every corner and down every passage, will Axel and his uncle (along with their guide) ever make it to the surface world alive again? However wrought with tons of scientific jargen, this book is not difficult to follow and instead proves to be quite easy for the reader to follow along. With exciting plot twists at every turn, Verne leaves you constantly wondering if our pros will EVER see daylight again. Simply a classic.
  • (3/5)
    A a classic that I should have read some time ago, but never had. I'm not a sci-fi fan. so I kept putting off this read. All in all, this was a good read. The characters, while no backstory, are well developed within the story line. The journey was alternately exciting and boring. Exciting when we see human-guarding mastodons, but incredibly boring when it takes 120 pages or so to describe the various genus of prehistoric mammals. The ending was a bit abrupt. Verne definitely has a way with words and vocabulary, even in the sci-fi genre. The words are beautiful, varied, and well-placed/used.
  • (4/5)
    When I read this in high school, I loved it, but I have no idea what I'd thnk of it now.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book and understand why it's a classic. Very exciting!
  • (3/5)
    It appears that there are two circulating English versions of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. The one I read on my Kindle was published by Dover, and the protagonists are the German mineralogy Professor Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel, the narrator of the tale.On deciphering a secret Runic/Latin message written in an old Icelandic MS by the 16th c. savant, Arne Saknussemm:Descend the crater of the Jokul of Snafell, that the shadow of Scartaris softly touches before the Kalends of July, bold traveller, and thou wilt reach the center of the earth. Which I have done., the Professor and his nephew set off immediately for Iceland.Arriving in Iceland, the Professor hires an Icelandic eider-hunter, Hans, as a guide to for their ascent of (and subsequent descent into) the crater of Snafell. Marvellous adventures follow, most unbelievable, given what we now know of dormant volcanoes and the center of the earth, and the travellers eventually emerge through the volcano of Mount Stromboli in Sicily. It's an entertaining and quick read, if thoroughly preposterous.
  • (3/5)
    I was a bit surprised how much my expectations with this book were colored by the 1959 movie based off of it, I was surprised because I knew going in they weren't really the same but I still found myself missing the whimsy of the movie, which made the book seem a bit drab in comparison. I found the characters a bit flat, not quite believable by today standards, I never really bought them as real people or believed in their motivations and I found the ending a bit rushed and convenient, though I'm not sure how else it could have ended. That said, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and it was a much faster read then I had expected and was an interesting adventure story. It was also a fascinating look back at the early days of Earth science, of science as we know it in general, and its easy to forget just how much we had to learn.
  • (3/5)
    Tonight is the Manly Book Club, a neighborhood book club I started for an excuse to hangout and talk ideas with the guys in my neck of the woods. We're talking about Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth." While it's not the most interesting book we've read, reading it has certainly been an interesting look through a keyhole at how the world, and fiction, has changed over the last one hundred and fifty years.

    Published in 1864, it's the third of fifty-four (!) in Verne's series of "extraordinary voyages," which includes "Around the World in Eighty Days" and "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." Today's reader might find it slow, arduous, and painfully melodramatic at points...which, to be honest, is probably how the journey was. Since, writing styles have changed, but this was the 1860s, and Verne was at that time the apex of scifi.

    Slow and arduous though the Journey seems sometimes (it takes half of the book just to get to the volcano down into the Earth), it's still a creative and enjoyable foray of imagination and speculative science. Verne does make stuff up, but his characters weld math and science (as understood then) as much as they do the ropes and lamps they carry on their subterranean adventure. It's an interesting contrast to a lot of today's novels, weighted as much towards social justice as the fantastic, if not more, and not one that suffers in the contrast.

    (It does seem odd that the main character is affianced to his cousin, though...what's with that?)
  • (4/5)
    I thought I should read Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and books like that before I start in on steampunk. Jules Verne puts the science in science fiction. I personally love that he writes about geology or biology in his bizarre narratives. Just to learn a bit! This one does have a bit of a slow start to get to the mountain to go underground... it's around page 80. But then the story picks up speed and it keeps one-uping itself with what is found under that Icelandic volcano. I loved the story more than I thought I would of Professor Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and the trusty Icelandic assistant Hans, always getting them out of a bind. The book is far less boring than I thought it would be. (And also, I want to avoid any movies made from these books, since I can't imagine they're better.) But try not to find it interesting when a character is lost 75 miles under the earth and then his torch goes out... and I don't want to mention anything else they find to ruin the book. I love most 19th century stories and this is no exception but it seemed like I was reading this one in five page chunks. I'm looking forward to others from Verne though! And I can't wait to get into steampunk!