Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules VerneJanuary 17, 2012
The Setting: Germany, Iceland, and underground. 1863.
The Story: An eccentric old professor and his plucky nephew find and translate a message leading them to the a gateway into the center of the earth. Adventure and danger ensues.
The Science: Verne is a big fan of science, but I got a little bored about the whole “is it hot inside the earth or not?” debate that continued throughout the novel. Science says…. It gets hot. Like really hot. These characters would have died.
The Reaction: I was delighted to find that there was less listing of things than in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But the first 100 pages are just about the journey from Germany to Iceland, which is less exciting than the underground adventures. Once they were underground, I found it really exciting and fun. It’s clear why this is a classic.
The Cover: Oh this cover. It’s a very nice cave with some bones and a boy scout in a baseball cap. Wait. What? This book is explicitly set in 1863, and plucky nephews weren’t wearing jeans and a baseball cap at that time. We are very amused. Otherwise…. it’s a fine cover.
Next Up: “There is No Defense” by Theodore Sturgeon.