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Journey to the Center of the Earth (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – March 4, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0486440880 ISBN-10: 0486440885 Edition: Dover Thrift Editions

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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: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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. This version is believed to be the most faithful rendition into English of this classic currently in the public domain. The few notes of the translator are located near the point where they are referenced.

Customer Reviews

Jules Verne is definitely the father and master of science fiction.
T. Hooper
The characters were very well developed, because of the information given about them and also how they were used throughout the story.
Nicholas Wendell
I love a story that grabs me right from the beginning and doesn't let go until the end.
Brianna Soloski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

176 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Susie Day on 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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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1999
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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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 13 people found the following review helpful By Librarian TOP 500 REVIEWER on 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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