Translated by Frederick Amadeus Malleson in 1877.
scientific specimens; and stones too, enough to rebuild entirely the house in Königstrasse, even with a handsome additional room, which would have suited me admirably.
But on entering this study now I thought of none of all these wonders; my uncle alone filled my thoughts. He had thrown himself into a velvet easy-chair, and was grasping between his hands a book over which he bent, pondering with intense admiration.
"Here's a remarkable book! What a wonderful book!" he was exclaiming.
These ejaculations brought to my mind the fact that my uncle was liable to occasional fits of bibliomania; but no old book had any value in his eyes unless it had the virtue of being nowhere else to be found, or, at any rate, of being illegible.
"Well, now; don't you see it yet? Why I have got a priceless treasure, that I found his morning, in rummaging in old Hevelius's shop, the Jew."
"Magnificent!" I replied, with a good imitation of enthusiasm.
What was the good of all this fuss
It contains a zealous German professor, a wet blankety nephew, a monosyllabic Icelandic duck farmer, a few myopic Godzillaesq dinosaurs, a prehistoric Sheppard and a delightfully ludicrous ending that reads like a diary of a very slow log flume.
It isn’t pure pulp, however, and it contains a few very emotively rendered passages, such as when Axel gets lost in the bowels of the earth. Also contain the following passage:
“If we are neither drowned, nor shattered to pieces, nor starved to death, there is still the chance that we may be burned alive and reduced to ashes.”
At this the professor shrugged his shoulders and returned to his thoughts.
Imaginative. I read it years ago, when I was stuck on the outskirts of reality in "Genre-land". Since my Associates in English, I remember there being subterranean monsters and laugh. How absurd! And yet, Verne was, if you saw his list of works, very versed in so many parts of the world. And in science too. I suppose that, after all, if one digs deep enough but not too deep, he or she will find the remains of ancient monsters after all . . . And beneath flood-gates what else would one find but er- . . . water.
Spoiler Alert: And finally, which science could foresee the comical ending? I suppose then much of the magic is in the story-telling as much as in the science.
It was turned into what was one of my favorite films as a kid. In summary though, some of its science is more comparable to that in the Back-to-the Future trilogy: ironically, in which work the sons of Doc Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) are named Jules and Verne.
I never thought I would find such an everyday topic so ehntralling!
An great book, which I read first years ago. Now I have the opportunity to read it again, and so do others