James Lafayette Tivendale's Reviews > Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
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really liked it
bookshelves: classics, sci-fi

"As long as the heart beats, as long as your body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life"

I thought this book was brilliant and superbly well written by Venre as I will summarise below.

It follows 3 main characters:-
1) Professor Lidenbrock: a scientific genius who does not know when to quit even when the odds are less than 1% of success.
2) His Nephew, Axel: our narrator - written in a similar way to Conon-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or Leroux's - Joseph Routabille stories. The insider following and reporting on the bizarre genius of the main character. He is also highly intelligent but worries a bit too much. He is the more human/ emotional character is this death defying adventure.
3) Hans: Our trusty hunter, servant, side-kick who is quiet, composed and saves every-ones life about 3 times.

I analysed this book as having 3 divisions in the way the story was created and therefore progressed.

To begin with - decoding a bizarre cipher, establishing the plot and the build up to the mission ending up in Iceland.

Secondly, a quite sombre, despondent and slow segment about our gang penetrating the Earth via volcano and happenings in the seedy under-passages in the worlds crust. One scene truly stood out for me here which raised the tempo. Axel finds himself lost from his crew with no rations, no light - really no hope. This scene was harrowing and claustrophobic as a reader we obviously put ourselves in that nightmare scenario. That was gripping.

Finally, about the last 40% is all full of over enthusiastic energy and vigour and it is great. Superbly paced narrative at this point including scenes of seeing fighting prehistoric monsters, being lost at sea in unbelievable and intense electric storms and if that all wasn't fun enough - to conclude they get rip-roaringly catapulted out of a volcano!! The book has some great set pieces.

For some people I can see it is not an easy read. It is very science-based and used so much specialist language that it could put people off. I have said previously that this wasn't an issue to me as I believe the effort you put in to a book rewards the overall outcome. I am not a scientist but if I want to be in this world I have to adapt, enjoy and sometimes even learn the relevant terminology to get in to the characters minds.

The first 2 sections I mentioned were 4 star. The final section is 6 star - hence the review. It is reminiscent of Conon-Doyle's adventure tale The Lost World but instead of Professor Challenger and friends going up a formation/ mountain to find an amazing world, Professor Lidenbrock and chums do the opposite and go down.

I think this was free or about £0.99 on kindle so definitely worth picking up. I will hopefully read another of the Extraordinary Voyages books soon and hope they follow in the same vein.

James x
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Reading Progress

December 12, 2013 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)
December 12, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read (Other Paperback Edition)
October 20, 2016 – Started Reading
October 20, 2016 – Shelved
October 20, 2016 –
page 19
7.48% "This is reminiscent already of a lot of 19th century fiction I have read and enjoyed. So far, an seemingly amazing scientific genius is being analysed by our friendly, less excited but more like us - narrator. Sherlock Holmes, Professor Challenger and Joseph Routabille books come to mind off that top of my head."
October 20, 2016 –
page 46
18.11% "A goodreads reader complained that this book was too science-based for her or him to enjoy. I disagree. A lot of words featured here you would not find in a YA book, but you get back from a book what you put in to it. This is great so far."
October 20, 2016 –
page 80
October 21, 2016 –
page 110
43.31% "This has been chilled so far. Nice tour of Iceland, meeting some cool people, just climbed up a volcano... and now we are going to 'journey to the centre of the earth' - awesome x"
October 21, 2016 –
page 130
51.18% "Our cast are travelling deep underground but they don't have any remaining water... will any be forthcoming?"
October 21, 2016 –
page 170
October 21, 2016 –
page 195
76.77% "This has been a cool book so far that I can analyse as three parts.\nThe discovery, decoding and the build up to the mission.\nThe quite slow, drawn out scientific gloomy passages when penetrating the Earth & the part I have gotten to know which is truly breakneck action. (Fighting of monstrous sea creatures, lost at sea, standing unbelievable intense electric storms)....\n\nCan't wait to see how it concludes."
October 21, 2016 –
page 230
90.55% "Poetic. "As long as the heart beats, as long as your body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life""
October 21, 2016 – Shelved as: classics
October 21, 2016 – Shelved as: sci-fi
October 22, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Eugenio (new) - added it

Eugenio Will pick up one day! Great review. Skipped through some spoilery parts

message 2: by James (new) - added it

James Lafayette Tivendale Understandable. I never read reviews on classics before I read them. Being so old they don't really count as spoilers as millions of people already know the stories

message 3: by Henry (new) - added it

Henry Avila Another splendid review, James, get next 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Mysterious Island and From the Earth to the Moon, my favorite Verne books, you already read the other two, these five novels are also his most popular too, with fans...

message 4: by James (new) - added it

James Lafayette Tivendale Thank you so so much for your kind words Henry. I have that book lurking and waiting on my kindle and I cannot wait to read. When I put my mind to a book like that it normally gets read in 24 hours :) Hope you have had a good weekend pal x

message 5: by Candace (new)

Candace Fantastic review, James! :)

message 6: by James (new) - added it

James Lafayette Tivendale @Candace - to get such a nice review from goodreads royalty like you is phenomenal ! Thank you so much x

message 7: by Henry (new) - added it

Henry Avila You are welcome, James, have to decide soon on my 25th Verne novel to read...

message 8: by Ian (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ian Anderson In my edition the narrator is an English boy called Harry and his German uncle is Professor Von Hardwigg.

Taha Shlibek Just finished reading the novel and man I am not even a native English speaker but an Arab, and though the excessive use of scientific terminology did in fact affect my experience reading the novel, I still felt thrilled, excited and nervous at times. Definitely 5 stars worthy. I'm now looking forward to reading more works of the author. Splendid!

Sabri Beateful book diffrent book and very very amazing book

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