mayo 25, 2011

Journey to the Centre of the Earth, by Jules Verne (May 2010)

'Journey to the Centre of the Earth', a science fiction novel by the renowned author Jules Verne, was first published in 1874. Verne, considered to be one of the fathers of the science fiction genre, defied theoretical science (the hypothesis of the liquid nature of the inner structure of our planet, in particular) by assuming that highly-risked travellers could actually reach the very depths of the Earth, since in the 1874 science context, the general understanding implied such a task could not be accomplished. Taking this into account, it isn't surprising to find out that the novel enjoyed instant and enduring popularity after being released.

In my opinion, what is amazingly interesting about this book is the fact that an enourmous amount of imagination was poured into its developing: the energetic atmospheres created and the highly descriptive manners of narration, along with thorough technical and scientific details, could only have been the result of an inspired mind, such as Verne's (determinining proof of this fact is that he virtually invented the modern submarine when he wrote '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' with an innovative approach). In addition, the novel's vocabulary is quite rich, therefore, it is a remarkable learning tool.

As regards the plot, the novel introduces Prof. Liedenbrock, an eccentric boffin who comes across a thirteenth century document which states the location of the entrance of an immensely long tunnel (Snæfell volcano, in Iceland), supposedly leading to the depths of the unknown. The assertive and resilient professor, joined by his rather unconvinced nephew and a quite indispensable Icelandic guide, immediately start planning a seemingly impossible mission: climbing down through that extremely dangerous cave, in order to provide scientific evidence supporting the Humphry Davy theory (non-heated nucleus), which actually stated logical arguments, contrary to what one might expect.

In conclusion, this novel puts together an extraordinary adventure with scientific contents, making of it an essential reading for all science fiction lovers. However, I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the journey and adventure type of story.

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