Everybody likes a little sense of adventure in their life. Maybe it might be conquering your fear of heights or going on that vacation to the other side of the world that you’ve been dreaming about. An adventure can be found in every day life. In Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, a young boy and his uncle go on the adventure of a lifetime (if you haven’t guessed where, check out the title…). This classic novel was published in 1864, a time when writing was very formal and rigid. Verne’s personality really shines through with the little comments the narrator makes, which can be pretty hilarious. The young boy Henry, a food connoisseur, is the nephew of the eccentric Professor Hardwigg. His uncle has purchased an ancient book in the old Icelandic vernacular and has tried to decipher it’s meaning. Henry (I’ve learned that if you are reading European-based novels that are probably pre-twentieth century, Harry is a nickname for Henry) stumbles across the meaning by looking at the paper backwards and using his mad language skills to discover it is directions to the center of the earth. His uncle is ecstatic and plans a trip to Iceland promptly. Along the way to their destination, they meet people who will help out with planning the trip and also the journey to the inactive volcano where the passageway to the center of the earth is believed to be. They travel for some time until they reach Mount Sneffels (pause for a giggle) and descend down the Scartaris crater, and prepare to face what’s to come in the supposed center of the earth.
This book was given to me by my boyfriend for our year anniversary because he knows I love classic novels and this is his favorite. Now I can see why! This story is full of spunk, even with the constraints of the time period it was written in. Verne was known for his futuristic stories, kind of like H.G. Wells, and you can see that in this novel. I haven’t gotten to the part where they encounter all the wonders in the center of the earth, so look out for part two of this post coming soon!