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Journey to the Centre of the Earth Paperback – October 30, 1965

ISBN-13: 978-0140022650 ISBN-10: 0140022651

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 30, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140022651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140022650
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (555 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Novel by Jules Verne, published in 1864 in French as Voyage au centre de la Terre. It is the second book in his popular science-fiction series Voyages extraordinaires (1863-1910). Otto Lidenbrock, an impetuous German professor of geology, discovers an encoded manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a passageway to the center of the Earth. Otto impulsively prepares a subterranean expedition, enlisting his young nephew Axel and a stoic Icelandic guide, Hans Bjelke. After descending into an extinct volcano in Iceland, the men spend several months in a underground world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic sea creatures until they ride a volcanic eruption out of Stromboli Island, off the coast of Italy. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

Language Notes

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

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Customer Reviews

This book has mystery, adventure, and very good characters.
Eugene Foerster
While the book starts out in good form, it really starts to drag a bit and getting to the actual point of the descent into the interior of the earth takes too long.
This book held my attention from the first page to the end.
Phyllis A. DeMoll

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 167 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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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons VINE VOICE on June 6, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This kindle edition is based on the 1871 translation which slightly abridged and altered Verne's original (for example, the Professor is here named Hardwigg, rather than the original's Lidenbrock, and his niece is here named Gretchen rather than Grauben). That's probably the most generally known English translation (it's the one I read obsessively as a child), and it's still a great read, but sticklers for textual accuracy might want to do a little more searching.

As to the novel itself, while unquestionably one of Verne's masterpieces in terms of story, it's probably the one that's aged the hardest of all Verne's works, and almost all of the science in this text has been exploded, modified, or simply changed by the intervening hundred and fifty-odd years of scientific development. Because Verne was in part intending this book to be a source of scientific education, the characters spend a lot of time talking about geology, archaeology, etc., to each other, and since most of that's outdated now, modern readers may want to skip over the more scientific chunks of the book and simply read it as an exploration tale.

From that perspective, the most interesting thing about this book might be that it's arguably the progenitor of the "Lost Prehistoric World" genre, and readers who want more in that vein might want to look up later books that focused more squarely on modern-explorers-in-dinosaur-country stories, such as Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, or Edgar Rice Burrough's novel _The Land that Time Forgot_ or his _Pellucidar_ series (explicitly set in the hollow interior of the globe).
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35 of 37 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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30 of 33 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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