Journey to the Center of the earth
By Jules Verne
In 1972, Jules Verne wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth in English. Jules Verne is a European writer who wrote some prominent books about exploration. In this book, the narrator, alternatively called Harry and Henry, is the nephew of another main character, Professor Von Hardwigg. While reading some obscure book, the Professor finds a piece of parchment written in ancient Icelandic proclaiming that those who wish to journey to the center of the earth must go to such and such a mountain crater in Iceland at such and such a time in July. All excited, the Professor and his whining, reluctant, often ironic and sarcastic nephew set out with the encouragement of the niece.
While in Iceland, they hire a guide named Hans. They go to this mountain and go into this long deep hole in the crater with the aid of ropes. Along the way there are a lot of things that happen, such as the nephew getting lost, shortage of water, taking the wrong route, meeting a storm, meeting a couple of sea monsters; you get the picture. Finally they blow up this big rock that they think is in their way, and it causes a volcanic eruption. They ride it in their little raft and come out somewhere in Asia. They get back home to Germany, are hailed rather skeptically at first but later are treated as heroes.
One thing bothered the Professor after the storm the compass just went screwy, saying they were going the opposite direction. However, after they had gotten home, Harry discovered what was wrong. The magnetism of the strange ball of electricity that they encountered during the storm caused the compass's erratic behavior. Thus ends the story, with the Professor much relieved.
On the whole, this book is interesting, if confusingly different from the movie, which I unfortunately encountered before I read the book. I would recommend it to those who are interested in seeing another view of the tale.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007