Saturday, December 4, 2010
Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne
With the help of his nephew, Professor Von Hardwigg decodes a manuscript that provides the starting point of one of the most amazing journeys ever taken. Along with his nephew and a guide they pick up in Iceland, Professor Von Hardwigg attempts to prove that you can journey to the center of the Earth and come back to tell the tale.
This happens to be one of those classics that I've always wanted to read, always planned on reading, but never did. I always found myself being distracted by new "shiny" books screaming for my attention. Luckily, I found this and a few other classics at Barnes & Noble for less than $2 a piece in hardcover. Now finally seemed like the right time to delve into a story that I knew but never read.
To be honest with you, I'm still not sure what I thought of it. I think I went into it with too many preconceived notions about what was going to happen once they started their journey inside the tunnels and caverns of the Earth. I was expecting a lot more action than what I got, though the action that took place was intense. There were fantastic battles of extinct marine animals that threatened the lives of our travelers as they journey across a vast inland sea. Not to mention the ferocious storm that almost killed them, the author brought that to life in such vivid detail that I felt I was on that raft with them.
What the book was about for me, as narrated by Harry, the Professor's nephew, was a journey more about the personal aspects of undertaking such a risky enterprise rather than the thrills and chills associated with traveling leagues under the Earth's crust. It was about the wonderful interactions between the three characters and how each of them dealt with set backs and triumphs. I found myself getting lost, not in the description of their environment, but in the way Harry chose to recount the story and how he dealt with the doubts and his lack of total faith in their endeavor.
I loved this book, not in the way I thought I would, but loved it even more for that. If you haven't read it yet, I would strongly encourage you to even if you are not that comfortable with the SciFi genre. Like a lot of well written SciFi this story transcends any stereotypes you should have about it.