Journey to the Center of the Earth is a book about three men who travel through an extinct volcano and almost reach the center of the earth. The names of these three, had the story been true, would have been handed down over the centuries, never to be forgotten.
Professor Otto Lidenbrock lived in Germany, in an old quarter of the town. He taught at the Johanneum, a university there. He was a bit eccentric, always on the rush. He also had a very difficult time pronouncing large, scientific words.
One day, in an old book shop, he found a calf bound volume in Icelandic, which contained instructions to the center of the earth. He immediately decided to go on this impossible journey.
The way led through an extinct volcano named Sneffels, which was located in the country of Iceland. Misty, with colonies of sheep-herders, Iceland was an almost deserted country in the part that the Professor, with his nephew Axel, traveled. A guide, who accompanied them to the center of the earth, led the way. His name was Hans, and he was an eider-hunter when he was not busy guiding.
When they reached the top of the volcano they saw three chimneys going straight down. After consulting instructions, they descended the central chimney.
Then began their endless, sloping descent through one tunnel after another. After a few dead ends, they finally set a course straight down, following the Hansbach, a stream named after their guide.
A good way in, Axel loses his way and finds himself in a maze of tunnels. After a day of despair, he falls down a perpendicular shaft and lands where his uncle and Hans are, losing consciousness.
When he comes to, he finds himself on a seashore in a huge underground valley. Everything in this valley was electric. The sun gave forth electrical light. The clouds looked like vapors, and everything had a dull glow to it.
Hans built a raft. A day later, they set sail for the far side. They pass along two prehistoric sea monsters, who give them a fright to remember. Three quarters of the way across, a storm catches them, but they make it safely to the other side.
There they find the initials of the man who wrote the instructions in the old book. But the passage is blocked by a large rock, so they blast it using three times the powder needed, igniting an explosion in an active volcano.
They are caught up in the momentum of the lava and are carried up for hours on a column of melted rock. It was an intermittent eruption, so it took awhile for them to get shot out. Eventually they did, falling into Italy.
There they board a ship and sail back to Germany, where they are received with great honors. They become rich and live happily ever after.
This book was written by Jules Verne in 1864. I like this book and I enjoyed reading it. It was a little boring at times, with lengthy chapters of endless tunnel traveling but nevertheless I liked it. It is a classic and I can see why people call it that.