Sunday, December 24, 2017

Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne

Otto Lidenbrock is a German professor who believes that there are several volcanic tubes spread across the Earth which lead directly to its core.  Searching for irrefutable proof of his new theory, Otto takes his nephew Axel and their guide Hans deep into the caves beneath Snaefellsjokull, an active volcano in Iceland.  There, much to their disbelief, the three explorers encounter a number of natural hazards and even some prehistoric creatures!

Mr. Verne first published this book in 1864, and I think that one of the reasons behind its longevity is its outlandish plot.  Of course it was written back in a golden age of science and exploration, when academics were making major leaps of progress in all fields of study.  Most of Mr. Verne’s books have strong elements of science and discovery worked into the plot, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of them to readers of all ages.  Upon reading “Journey to the Center of the Earth” for a second time, however, I found myself marveling at our modern levels of scientific progress.  Could it be possible that today’s generation might have its own young Jules Verne among us, a budding author who’s already hard at work writing stories about genetic engineering or deep space exploration?

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