Apr 6, 2012

Dünyanın Merkezine Seyahat (Journey to the Center of the Earth)

Original Title: Voyage au Centre de la Terre
Turkish Title: Dünyanın Merkezine Seyahat
English Title: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Author: Jules Verne
Pages: 409
Rating: 4/5

It was back in December 2010 when I decided to read ALL books of Jules Verne. It was mainly because I was impressed by the new set of Jules Verne books in Turkish offered by one of my favorite publishers in Turkey, Ithaki. I started with the lovely story of Dr. Ox (Dr. Ox’s Experiment: The Drama in the Air / I owe a review to this entertaining book) and I continued.

Journey to the Center of the Earth is my 6th Jules Verne book and I’ve been thinking about creating a perpetual “Jules Verne Readalong” but I haven’t mind up my mind yet. Plus, I’m not sure if people would participate. Maybe it’d work if I make it bilingual. Well, this is not the right place to think about it.

It is the story of an extraordinary voyage of Professor Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and their trusty Icelandic guide, Hans. When Professor Lidenbrock discovers an ancient parchment suggesting a journey to the center of the Earth is possible, he wastes no time in pulling his nephew and ward, Axel, into an expedition, through a crater in an extinct volcano in Iceland into the center of the Earth. Harry actually sees no good that can come of this expedition, but he has no option but to agree.

I already made up my mind. I will read ALL books by Jules Verne but I hesitated a bit before I start reading this one. I had read “From the Earth to the Moon” back in May 2011 and I didn’t like it as it felt like I was reading a science book. Then I decided to take a look at some of the reviews posted in Goodreads and/or by bloggers about “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. I saw that there were a lot more negative reviews than I expected. Then, I again postponed reading it till this April.

As this is my 6th Jules Verne novel, I can boldly say that Verne’s writing style is generally “pure, hard core science fiction”. He uses a great deal of scientific explanation, theories and analysis, which is my main source of admiration to his work. “Journey to the Center of the Earth” differs though.

Its scientific component is not as dominant as that of “From the Earth to the Moon”. It is not futuristic. It is about an extraordinary travel that occurred during the time period the characters lived in. The plot involves the history of the world so it somehow relates to us all. I liked the way the narrator, Axel explaining the meaning of scientific terms and past discoveries.

Having written this book in 1864, as usual, Jules Verne was way ahead of his time and peers. It’s hard to understand how he managed to gather this much diversified scientific facts all together. Many sci-fi authors hardly do it today although we have access to almost everything thanks to internet.

Although what happens in the book seems to be far from reality, I really enjoyed it. When I was reading it, I could easily imagine what the travelers were going through. I felt the danger, suspense and despair Axel went through. I felt like I was travelling with them to the center of the earth!

After I checked the web, I saw that A Literary Odyssey and I read and reviewed this book almost at the same time so you should check it out. Our points of view are pretty much different from one and another so you’ll have a different perspective.

If you are thinking of listening to audio book version, check out My Awful Reviews.

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