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Book Review: Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (5 star review)

Journey to the Center of the Earth

written by Jules Verne

352 pages // published in 1864 // classic science fiction


Originally published in French in 1864, Journey to the Center of the Earth tells the story of Professor Lidenbrock, his nephew, and a hired guide who, following the instructions of a medieval alchemist claiming to have found a passage to the center of the earth, travel deep into an Icelandic volcano. Deep in the earth, the dangers are beyond imaginable. They traverse subterranean oceans, have encounters with dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, and do so all in the spirit of adventure and discovery. Considered a classic in the science-fiction and fantasy genre, Jules Verne’s epic novel is an enduring tale of man’s desire to uncover the great unknowns of life and nature.

My Review

5 Star Rating

This book is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Before reading it, I never knew how fitting the title is. But when I finished this epic novel, there truly are no other words to describe it. I felt as though I, myself, had been on a journey, for a few weeks while I read it, and that I also had trekked down to the center of the earth. What other title could there have been for this book?

There's so much SCIENCE in the book. There are occasional passages devoted to the history of science or, many times, talk of rock types and variations. I certainly felt like it is a book that appeals to the scientific mind. Myself? I loved the long passages, relished in the nerdy talk, and sat (in my reading chair) in awe of the fantastic discoveries that just leapt off the pages. I like that the author didn't dumb down the story for the sake of the readers-who-don't-know-much-about-science. No, not all all -- instead, he dishes out the whole thing, beginning to end, and lets you feel the nerdy electricity just run all through you while you read.

Even though many of the facts and calculations are likely fictional, I in no way felt that it was just a made-up story. It was more than that for me. It is a story to live and breathe in (and maybe to die in, if you get lost in those caverns!).

Cons? Well, just one, and I hate to spoil my review with it, but some like-minded Christians might like to know this. The story is definitely not told from a creationist's mindset. Quite a few times hundreds-of-thousands of years, or perhaps even millions, are mentioned. But if you don't pay much attention to these time frames, the rest is golden.

There's plenty of other material and elements in there, aside from just science, of course. There's wittiness, humor (at least a couple of scenes set me off laughing!), treachery, the biggest kind of adventure possible, and a whole lot of beautiful imagination.

Honestly, Journey to the Center of the Earth grabbed my attention, held me close through the entirety of the journey and didn't release me until the final word had been said. It is that good. And I felt crushed when I couldn't read the book anymore, because it was finished.

I've not read anything else by Jules Verne yet. But I sure look forward to it!! So far, this taste I've received of his science fiction has been out of this world for me.


Available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audio format.

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This is book #3 for me in the Back to the Classics 2017 challenge.
[CATEGORY: 19th Century Classic]

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  1. I haven't read anything by Jules Verne yet, but he's definitely on my list! I do remember one of my friends thinking 10000 Leagues Under the Sea spent too much time describing fish, though. :p

  2. I've never read this although I love the concept and have seen the old movie version a few times when I was younger (and loved it, old as it is). I really should read this! And I love that cover with the mushrooms.

  3. This sounds like it would be a fun read. I need to pick up some more Jules Verne at some point. I loved Mysterious Island but found 20,000 Leagues to be a little dull at times.