Tuesday, November 16, 2010
"A Journey to the Centre of the Earth" was a great story filled with adventure and a lot of science - some made up, but much of it rooted in the truth. I learned a lot as an adult and came out with tons of words I had never heard of and the feeling like I had just been through a great, admittedly far-fetched, adventure. Had I read this as a kid, it probably would have stimulated my natural love for rocks and geology (I took a two-term course in university, just for fun). Part of the annoyance for me is that there were a few things that could go either way and I wasn't sure whether they were fact or fiction. Part of me says 'who cares?' because the book was just so entertaining.
Having been to Iceland, I was happy to find out that the journey began in Iceland and that Professor Hardwigg and Harry tried to go to the library to find out more about a famous Icelandic explorer. This took me back to a trip I took a few years ago to Iceland, where I did a ton of research on distant relatives (I'm part Icelandic).
The prose in the novel was more sophisticated and fluid then I anticipated, which made me forget I was reading a novel that was most likely intended for children. Since this was a book club book, I'm interested in finding out what the ladies in the group thought of this work. I wonder if it is more geared to the male sense of adventure or if it applies to all with a love of science and discovery. Time will tell.
This was the first thing I have read by Jules Verne, and it was the second book he wrote in 1864, preceded by "Five Weeks in a Balloon." I will definitely give some of his works more of a go, probably delving into "Around the World in Eighty Days" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" first. The latter is better known as his greatest work of all time, and made it to the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written by the Easton Press.
If you've ever read Jules Verne, I'd love to hear from you... especially those who have read his works both as a child and as an adult.