Sally's Reviews > Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
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's review
Jan 07, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: iceland, adventure, deadly-peril, sci-fi, 1800s, explorers, travel

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. For serious. I AM SO GLAD I READ THIS!!!! It was absolutely incredible from start to finish, such a wonderfully unexpected joy to read - I only grabbed it off readitswapit in order to swap out one of my books, and I figured this was a classic that it couldn't hurt to have sitting on my shelf. Took it with me to Stuttgart so I could read it and leave it... and then was quite sad to have to leave it :P

I just loved the fun and wit of the writing and noted down SO many quotes and the like:

"And he's taking you with him?"
I nodded again.
"Where?" she asked.
I pointed towards the centre of the earth.
"Into the cellar?"

^ That seriously made me LOL. Axel is an awesome narrator. "My uncle had not slept a wink all night. In his impatience I believe he had been trying to push the train along with his feet." Heee :D I do tend to steer clear of reading Very Old Books in case the writing is all dry, but this certainly wasn't. I foresee more Jules Verne in my future.

I loved the travel aspect at the start too, getting to Iceland, from Hamburg via Copenhagen. It was an awesome travelogue as well as a crazy adventure, and made me want to go to Iceland, dammit :P

Aha, another!
"Arne Saknussemm!" replied the Reyjavik teacher. "You mean the sixteenth century savant who was at one and the same time a great naturalist, a great alchemist, and a great traveller?"
"One of the glories of Icelandic literature and science?"
"Just so."
"A most illustrious man?"
"I grant you that."
"And whose courage matched his genius?"
"I see that you know him well. [...] Well, what about this works?"
"Oh, his works?... We haven't got them."

ROTFL. I was also amused by the line "we are like people from Hamburg taking the Hannover road to go to Lübeck!" XD (since from my rail adventure of last year, I know where all those places are in relation to the others!) And Axel's observation of his uncle, "his gaiety was really ferocious" is just a brilliant line.

As well as that, I loved how damn REAL it all actually sounded. At first it's all just SUCH a madcap idea but then it creeps up on you, because it's all so vividly described... that you start thinking it might all be possible. ;) I totally asked a few times, you can't REALLY have an ocean deep underground with tides and storms, clouds and lightning, etc? I kept being fooled because IT FELT SO REAL. Like a truly forgotten and real world, full of prehistoric beasts and even a 12-foot tall man.

Oh boy, the battle between the ichthyosaurus and the plesiosaurus was EPIC. :D

I also got such a kick out of the line, on page 237, "gradually Hans, my uncle and I were obliged to take off our jackets and waistcoats"... I just love that their waistcoats managed to last that long :D I enjoyed how gentlemanly they all were, so much the perfect 19th century intrepid explorers.

And OMG when Axel became lost, that was terrifying! Of all the places you do not want to become separated from your group... o.O I was so fearful for him. Man. Of course you know it all has to come out all right in the end, but the fear and tension was done very well. And then you get to a chapter called "Saved" and can breathe a sigh of relief that it's all over ;) Seriously, those chapter names! "Shot Out of a Volcano" was the other massively spoilery one :P And that, btw, was genius. I loved it. I want to see the film now!

"My uncle then became a great man, and I the nephew of a great man." - Such fun, from start to finish. :D
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Duvall The only Jules Verne I've ever read was From the Earth to the Moon... And it was entirely in French :x

I'm now realizing that perhaps it's not the writing that turned me off, but the translating. It was my first (and last) foreign language novel. I'll consider checking out more of his works thanks to you!

Sally In French?! I had no idea you were that fluent, I'm impressed :D

zomg Journey to the Centre of the Earth was SO awesome. I hope you enjoy it if you do read it! I'm not usually one for the classics, but I'm definitely going to seek out more now.

message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Duvall I'm no longer that fluent, that was in high school with many years of French under my belt. I haven't practiced in years. I can still read it pretty well, but speak it? Not a chance :/

message 4: by Sally (last edited Jan 10, 2012 03:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sally Aw yeah, I know the feeling! I was so good at French in high school and then last year in France I was just LOST. I'd love to get that all back, but I'm much more invested in my Dutch and German...

Both of which I'm still really slow at hearing and speaking, I should hasten to add! Though I did learn a German song today almost by heart... XD

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