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The Hollow Earth

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In 1836, Mason Algiers Reynolds leaves his family's Virginia farm with his father's slave, a dog, and a mule. Branded a murderer, he finds sanctuary with his hero, Edgar Allan Poe, and together they embark on an expedition to the South Pole. It is there where strange people, and stranger creatures abound, that their bizarre adventures truly begin.
Paperback, 234 pages
Published November 21st 2006 by Monkeybrain (first published 1990)
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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  229 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Let’s talk about regrets for a minute…. Okay? Good! We all have regrets, some of them small, some of them huge and some of them have no unit of measurement. I have had all manner of regrets: clothing choices, boyfriend choices, alcohol mixing choices, haircuts…. You get my point.

This book is one of them! I saw it in a local thrift store for $1 and snatched it up, thinking how can I go wrong? Welp, I can AND I did!!

Okay, I’ll let you in on a little secret; I could not care less about author’s s
Jay Daze
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, sea-lit, sf
It's a Huckleberry-Finn-steampunk adventure! But it isn't light-hearted fluff. The Hollow Earth: The Narrative of Mason Algiers Reynolds of Virginia may be light-hearted but it is also Southern Gothic sf with racism, rape, drug use and the generally dodgy characters that Rucker loves to fill his fiction with. And add to this historical characters, most especially Edgar Allen Poe and his marriage to Virginia, his thirteen year old cousin.

Like Poe's 1883 Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym which this b
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An odd novel about a journey into the hollow interior of the earth, taken in the 1830s by a Virginian farmboy, a slave from his farm, and Edgar Allan Poe. Well written and frequently entertaining, but uneven and ultimately confusing; Much of the story is taken up by the farmboy narrator's backstory, and Poe doesn't even enter until 80 pages are gone. The adventure in the interior world, and the people and creatures they find there, make for a brief episode. Some clever explanations appear for so ...more
brian dean
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fun book of exploration of the nearly-zero gravity world under our feet.

Mason Reynolds has a few misadventures and needs to escape. He meets up with Edgar Allen Poe and is carried along through his misadventures, eventually attempting to balloon over the South Pole in search of the South Pole Hole leading to the vast cavern of the Hollow Earth.

The story is wonderfully unbelievable and the characters wonderfully believable. Watching Mason's racist attitudes -quite liberal for his time but not f
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lost Worlds adventure of Doyle, Verne, and most of all Poe undercut by Rucker’s weirdness and silly humor, love for physics, and fondness for Harryhausen styled monsters. A tribute to E.A. Poe with references of course to the Narrative of A. Gordon Pym and other Poe tales(“Black Cats”, “William Wilson”, “Berenice”, Cask of Amontillado”) Also pokes fun at Lovecraft, whose ‘At the Mountains of Madness” is yet another sequel/tribute to The Narrative of A Gordon Pym.
Jun 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Mark Twain on acid-excellent!!
Nicholas Armstrong
Aug 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
There are no two ways to put this, Hollow Earth is a bad book. Period. Unlike some of my feelings about a book, whether it's a classic that I couldn't get behind or a plot overshadowed by imagery, this has nothing.

The back of the book leads me to believe I'm going on a light-hearted romp on a whimsical adventure the likes of which Terry Pratchet or Douglas Adams is akin but this book is neither.

We get a slew of characters who are as flat as paper and completely uninteresting. The only slightly
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steam-punk, fantasy
I have read many books by Rudy Rucker, and even once emailed him and got a pretty cool response (I had run into his email address while researching artificial life on line, in 1994, before there was any world wide web to speak of). I have not gotten around to adding them all to this list, but this one is my favorite. His other books all wild, fun and smart, but this one is also moving and politically poignant. Or maybe its just that I like E.A. Poe and mirror beings and I miss the Evil Spock fro ...more
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
A nerdy adventure story about a mid-19th century journal into the hollow Earth. I was expecting to like this a lot less than I did. It was consistently both fun and interesting to read. And for the most part firmly grounded in physics (if not reality), which is sort of amazing considering how weird some of the happenings are. I'd be interested in reading more of both his non-fiction and his fiction.
Keith Davis
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Edgar Allen Poe joins a polar expedition that discovers the entrance to the hollow earth and along the way we get explanations of many of Poe's stories as well as the story behind Poe's bizarre death. Typical Rucker insanity with its own internal logic.
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Speaking of books that hit ludicrous speed, this is another one. I would like to know the specific intoxicants consumed to hit on this storyline, but I am not sure I want to consume them myself.
Liz Zimmer
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tom Robbins, Phillip K Dick, Douglas Adams, but zanier than the others! I’ve mostly read Dr. Rucker’s math books, though I love his fiction. It was probably my inattentiveness to reading that made this book lag just a bit in the middle, as it’s a really wild ride.
I’m looking forward to reading more!

Trey Lane
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
If this book’s description contains ingredients that hold your attention, you won’t be disappointed. This book is a trip.
M.k. Yost
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: hollow-earth
If you know your nineteenth century history, especially the history of strange ideas from John Cleves Symmes, Jr., you'll find this a pretty interesting read.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Bought this because Rucker. ‘Twas a silly tale, but it was redeemed by the historical tie in. A beach read, but not the best Rucker nor the best acid-dropping fantasy, though there were some elements reminiscent of Niven's Integral Trees.
Artur Coelho
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Confesso um certo gosto pelo tema da terra oca. As teorias de buracos nos pólos que conduziriam a uma enorme caverna com um sol interior têm um certo fascínio por fugir da normalidade das descobertas científicas. Sabendo que são ideias alucinadas, seduzem-nos pela mesma razão que terras perdidas ou ilhas esquecidas: espaços onde a ciência não desvendou o imaginário, locais onde ainda podemos dizer que aqui há dragões. A teoria da terra oca, ainda hoje defendida por acérrimos defensores (também h ...more
S.L. Saboviec
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-a-hard-copy
I became obsessed with this book when I was a pre-teenager, and--no offense to Mr. Rucker or pre-teenagers--that's not a compliment. It was one of my first delicious forays into dark fantasy (ooo, it was so *interesting*!), and the foreword? prologue? epilogue? that stated it was a discovered non-fiction account convinced gullible child-me that this stuff really happened. Shortly thereafter, I also became obsessed with Whitley Streiber's "non-fiction" alien abduction accounts; my point being tha ...more
Nigel S.
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
There's nothing worse than a book that starts out good but gets worse as it goes, because once you're past a certain point you feel kind of obligated to finish it and you just get more and more p----- off until you turn that last, miserable page and can finally throw the g-------- thing into the river, where hopefully a duck will choke on it. As you probably guessed, this is one of those books. The first half - where the main kid meets Edgar Allen Poe and they run a savage burn on this entire to ...more
Aug 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Not my thing. I don't know why not, though. This book has many of the ideas and tropes which I find most attractive, interesting, and entertaining in my reading material. I just didn't like it. I couldn't even get all the way through it. Bitterly disappointed about this I was; it looked so promising.

NOT recommended.

Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Of all the Rucker I've read, this it the only one that's left me flat. But that has more to do with the fact that I'm not a huge fan of Poe. If he had given H.P. Lovecraft a similar treatment, I probably would have wet my pants!
Dec 18, 2008 added it
Fun stuff. Found it a little tough at the start - maybe that was just getting used to the writing style. But it soon picks up with an amusing mix of old adventure and new physics. Plus a strange L'Trimm reference?
Jul 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Not really science-fiction; more a historical fiction fantasy. Whatever. It also exhibits a decent social conscious, beyond that it's not all that good.

Three starts may be too much.
Ray Charbonneau
Jun 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
DNF. Stupid and tedious.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
A silly read.
Rich Mulvey
It's a year later and I still haven't gotten more than 40 pages into the book, so clearly I'm never going to finish it.
Chris Van Dyke
Apr 07, 2007 marked it as to-read
TTBRMMWTRT. A history of the hollow earth movement - hey, I didn't need to read any further than that.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2008
Henry Hopper
rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2010
rated it it was ok
May 19, 2016
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Rudolf von Bitter Rucker is an American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and one of the founders of the cyberpunk genre. He is best known for his Ware Tetralogy, the first two of which won Philip K. Dick awards. Presently, Rudy Rucker edits the science fiction webzine Flurb.