Jules Verne — Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Jules Verne is always a bit of a treat. His fantastically imagined books are a combination of awful science and curiously accurate predictions about the future. Journey to the Centre of the Earth is Verne at both his best and worst; the writing is entertaining, the manic energy of Professor Lidenbrock and his sadsack nephew Axel are hilarious, especially when contrasted with the ridiculous scientific hypothesis that men can journey, well, through the center of the earth. Following an ancient Icelandic code left by a previous explorer, the two men and their guide enter the earth through the extinct volcano Snæfells… and discover a world beyond time. Purely as an adventure novel, this is unparalleled; again, the science is ridiculous but if you can manage to suspend your disbelief, there’s nothing more entertaining than watching Axel whine his way through a gigantic underground sea as lightning strikes all around them. Oh, Jules Verne. What a wonderful place your mind must have been.

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