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Journey to the Center of the Earth (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Jules Verne
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 4, 2005 0486440885 978-0486440880 Dover Thrift Editions 10 and up 5 and up
A pioneer in the genre of science fiction writing, Jules Verne possessed an uncanny ability to imagine--often with startling accuracy — the future possibilities of science. In this classic novel, first published in 1864, the author introduces readers to Otto Lidenbrock, a professor of geology who ventures into a fantastical world within an extinct Icelandic volcano. Verne's vivid imagination and masterful storytelling ability has made this book a popular choice among readers for more than 140 years.

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Journey to the Center of the Earth (Dover Thrift Editions) + Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Dover Thrift Editions) + Treasure Island (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Editorial Reviews


'this edition of what symbolically and psychoanalytically must be his richest text will, however, do much to encourage a more just apprectiation. William Butcher's new translation is effective and enjoyable, The end-notes are extremely useful ... Valuable avenues of analysis are suggested with brisk confidence,' The Modern Language Review

'a virtuoso exegete' French Studies --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Thrift Editions edition (March 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486440885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486440880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 179 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Different Versions? June 19, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Yes there are different versions, The best one is the original in French. There are more than one translations into english, one with the Main character's name as Harry, the other as Axel.

I read the 'Harry' version first, but only partway through as it was terrible! I thought Verne was a bad writter or something. But, when I was older, I found another copy (Puffin Classics btw), and I thought I'd give it another go. That was one of the best books I had ever read, it funny and imaginative. The characters even had character!

Well, I looked into it, and compared my new version with the first book I had read and both of them with the original. Mine was pretty close. The names were kept the same, most of the sentences were similar in structure (so that someone like me who can't read french could tell that they were the same book).

The 'Harry version' however, invented entire chapters out of thin air, discarded others and changed significant plot points. I hope this helps some of you decide which one to get, and that there is more than one translation.

If the book starts with:

"ON 24 May 1863, a Sunday, my uncle, Professor Lidenbrock, came rushing back towards his little house at No.19 Konigstrasse, one of the oldest streets..."

You know you have the good version.

Otherwise, I love this book and would recomend it to anyone, whether a science fiction fan or not.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three explorers go to the center of the earth August 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a classic novel by Jules Verne. In the story, Professor Hardwigg and his nephew Harry discover an ancient parchment by an alchemist named Arne Saknussemm. They travel to Iceland and climb an extinct volcano called Sneffels. With them is the Icelandic hunter Hans. They journey into the center of the earth, in which Harry gets lost. They come upon and ocean and cross it. While they are on the sea they witness a battle of ancient sea monsters. Eventually they are thrown out of a volcano on Stromboli, an island in Italy. This was a wonderful book, but sometimes it went into too much detail. Still, a classic five star book. I don't see why anyone would give it 4 1/2 stars. It is simply absurd. I recommened this book to anyone with a good imagination.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verne's most thrilling novel March 4, 2002
This book proves Verne's greatness as a writer of fiction. The science in this science fiction flies largely in the face of modern science, yet the read is no less gripping today than it was in its infancy. The story is pretty simple. Professor Lidenbrock, a neurotically impatient scientist, discovers a cryptic manuscript written by a long-dead explorer; with the help of his nephew, he decodes the cryptogram to read an account of a journey to the center of the earth begun beneath a dormant volcano in Iceland. The nephew, Axel, a talented geologist and mineralogist himself, refuses to believe that the core of the earth is not exceedingly hot; additionally, he cares more about Grauben, the eccentric professor's ward, than risking his life on a scientific adventure. He proves unable to dissuade his uncle and thus joins with him on a journey to Iceland. There, they hire a stoic Icelander to lead them down into the earth. Most of the action takes place underground, with the adventurers suffering several trials, daring risks, and finally discovering a whole new world hidden miles below the earth's crust. The ultimate trial and danger they face consists of returning to the surface.
Axel narrates the story, and the strength of the novel lies in his character. The professor and the Icelandic guide are unusual personalities, but Axel is very real and easy to relate to. He really does not want to go in the first place, and he is most liable to greet dangers and risks by bemoaning his fate and declaring his party done for in their foolish efforts. It is he who suffers the most privation when the men's water runs out, and it is he who finds himself lost in the utter blackness of the caverns for three days.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A particularly good, modern translation April 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This Penguin/Puffin Classics translation of Verne's wonderful book is absolutely terrific. It is accurate and fun to read. But be aware that any (other) version of this great novel mentioning Professor "Hardwigg" in the opening segment is a literary fraud, a complete re-write, and not a translation of Verne at all. In that version, a would-be Verne-improver changed characters' names and many plot details.The shame is, that old bogus version is still not recognized as such and is still being sold as if it were truly Verne. Sadly, that is the one many of us grew up reading.

Any true translation (such as in this Puffin Classic) identifies the professor as "Lidenbrock" or "Liedenbrock" NOT as "Hardwigg," (and that is how you can easily distinguish the real vs. the sham). There are old translations that get it right, but in modern times two translations stand out: one by Robert Baldick (this one) and one by William Butcher. They are both good, the difference mainly being a matter of style. Some prefer Butcher; I happen to prefer Baldick.

Don't let the fact that Baldick's translation here appears in a children's imprint deter you from considering it; this is not a simplified "kiddy" version. It appeared first in 1965 as an adult Penguin book, and twenty years later (unchanged) as a Puffin book, and now as an ebook. Butcher's is more recent and, as he is a noted Verne scholar, his credentials certainly carry weight. But that doesn't make him a better wordsmith. We read Verne primarily for fun and for the thrill of adventure. Baldick's translation enables us to do just that.

Another reviewer was very critical of Baldick's use of "behindhand" to mean late or tardy, and on that basis, unfairly gave the entire book a very low rating.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
This is a book that was on a young gentleman's wish list for Christmas. He is an avid reader and I am sure he has long ago read this story.
Published 17 days ago by Patricia M Bootes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but it would have been easier if it had been proof read and...
I chose this book because I think
the author is a genius. he wrote about things that. we're impossible then, possible in the imagination. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Joyce Koslosky
5.0 out of 5 stars Galloping good
well done to receive a little rough and a little more than Ryan and a few years back to the same way to get the same way as the best way to get a good idea to years ago and I have... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Callahanggt
2.0 out of 5 stars Plot was a little slow
Journey to the Center of the Earth was incredibly slow. It took 100 pages for them to get to the volcano, walk around, and run out of water. That is half of this 200 page novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jessica B.
Published 1 month ago by JFO
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizook
This book is so dope. I wish they would make a movie about this and put the worst actor in the history of the world in it. That would be dope.
Published 2 months ago by Matthew Mouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoping youngsters would read also this.
Having read this book the first time when 11 years old, nothing had changed. It stubbornly had not given any ground, and was as fascinating as ever.
Published 3 months ago by Kalevi Tervanen
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the complete original book
This is required reading for my daughter's homeschool program but it was not the original book or it is heavily edited. I wish Amazon would clarify this in the description. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ken Wheeler
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
I ordered these books for my grandmother, who is incredibly leery of purchasing things online. Thank you for making this a positive experience, as i never would have heard the end... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat a classic
If you want a great book that is well read, you won't be disappointed. Excellent for a road trip or a daily commute.
Published 4 months ago by Greg H.
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