Monday, January 11, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne

I’ve had this on my bookshelf for almost a year, but just recently cracked it open. Big mistake—I loved it! Suspense and adventure, exploration and mystery, this book was hard to put down.

The narrator, Otto Lidenbrock, plays the role of the normal man swept up in extraordinary events which is usually a nice tool to explain what is happening without talking down to the reader. Unfortunately, this narrator is whiny and pompous which at times made him hard to take. His arrogance did however occasionally provide for some unintentional humor at times, such as when Otto describes his Icelandic hosts: “...when one fishes, hunts, and shoes horses, one ends up adopting the tone and manners of fishermen, hunters, and other somewhat rude folk.”

My mother the librarian will probably be disappointed that I didn’t delve into the deeper levels the story portrays: man’s journey of introspection. I read for enjoyment, however, and I had enough of analyzing literature in school! Journey to the Center of the Earth is an entertaining story in its own right, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

First Sentence:
On May 24, 1863, a Sunday, my uncle, Professor Lidenbrock, rushed back to his little house located at No. 19 Königstrasse, one of the most ancient streets in the old town of Hamburg.

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