Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Jules Verne

Phew…Well THAT was an adventure! I once again have chosen a novel where the plot is evident in the title. I am hesitant to disclose any details, because I don’t want to spoil anything for future readers.

Verne has an extraordinarily rich imagination. This unique imagination led Jules Verne to become regarded as one of the founders of the science fiction genre. I am surprised I haven’t read anything by him before. Within my book’s introduction, I even found a clue into what helped shape Verne’s colourful mind. As a boy, he was adventurous. Unfortunately, he was beaten so badly by his father, after he was found hiding on a ship bound for India, he resolved to travel only in his imagination from that point on. Isn’t that one of the saddest things you have ever heard?! I guess it is a gift to readers of generations to come, but still so tragic that he never had any tangible adventures of his own.

I won’t reveal any plot secrets, however I will talk a little about the characters. Prof. Otto Lidenbrock is an impetuous, scholarly, polyglot, who is hardly ever swayed from his mission, regardless of the perils that block his way. Sometimes heroism looks a lot like lunacy and vice versa. His nephew, Axel, is the most cautious of the bunch. He is also very bright, but is quick to give up at pretty much every point in the journey. Then there is Hans, the hardworking, extremely loyal, hired hand from Reykjavik, Iceland. This guy is unflappable. I seriously thought he was a robot at one point. He really only cared about receiving his wages at the end of each week. I found that kind of funny, considering all that the trio goes through. I will note that there is a couple of female characters, but because of the time period, they were not even considered to go on the adventure. They just had to wait patiently at home, you know, as women folk do.

In any case, it does make me wonder which kind of adventurer I would be. I would like to think I would have the steadfast courage of Hans, the tenacious heart of Lidenbrock, but also a little of Axel’s better judgment and life preservation sense, but who knows. I really don’t think one knows what they are capable of, until put in certain situations.

Polyglot (n): a person who speaks, writes, or reads several languages

If you were a polyglot, think of all the conversations you could have overheard and actually understood. Hmmm…maybe not, sometimes ignorance is bliss.


Books Read: 4


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