Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 196: A Journey to the Center of the Earth

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!


This past week I have been reading a classic for a group read, A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. I am currently about two-thirds of the way through. Here is a bit of a teaser for you.



Soon the rapidity of the descent began to assume frightful proportions; and menaced a fearful fall. I clutched at the sides; I grasped at projections of rocks; I threw myself backwards. All in vain. My weakness was so great I could do nothing to save myself.

Suddenly earth failed me.

(Chapter 25)




ABOUT THE BOOK:

Journey to the Center of the Earth (French: Voyage au Centre de la Terre, also translated under the titles A Journey to the Centre of the Earth and A Journey to the Interior of the Earth) is a classic 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Snæfellsjökull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the Stromboli volcano.

From a scientific point of view, this story has not aged quite as well as other Verne stories, since most of his ideas about what the interior of the Earth contains have since been disproved, but it still manages to captivate audiences when regarded as a classic fantasy novel.

Some translated versions of the novel, including the one I possess, have changed the professor’s name from Lidenbrock to Von Hardwigg, and his nephew’s name from Axel to Harry—no idea why. Perhaps the original translator thought those names would play better to an English audience? Who knows. The novel has been adapted many times over to stage, television and film.





18 comments:

Alice Audrey said...

I found this one somewhat disappointing.

Paulita said...

I like "the earth failed me" but I was struck by all the semicolons. If this were my composition students, I'd be marking those semicolons wrong! Hope you enjoy it. Here's Mine

Heather said...

Alice: I'm pretty lukewarm about it so far myself. It's not the worst novel I've ever read, but not the most exciting, either.

Heather said...

Paulita: Yes, those semicolons bother me, too. They should have been commas or periods. Hard to say whether that is the work of the author or the translator.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Great opener, but I don't know if I want to read it. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Keri said...

Maybe I should re-read this. From that excerpt it sounds like the narrative could be symbolic of failure in life, but when I originally read it I was younger so that probably didn't occur to me. After having massively effed up my own life from almost a decade as a heroin addict, the first sentence seemed like it could be applicable to my life, lol. Anyhoo, here's my Teaser Tuesday

Heather said...

Hi Laurel-Rain: As noted in the teaser, it's not the opening, but from chapter 25. I doubt I ever would have read this one on my own, had it not been chosen as a group read. I tend not to care for sci-fi.

Heather said...

Keri: I hadn't thought about it, but I suppose it could be applied to the wrong choices one makes in life. Sounds like you are on the right path now, though! ☺

Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

I re-read this one at least once a year. It's one of my favourites.I just love the story so I'm hoping you enjoy it. It was definitely innovative for it's time.
Come see my Teaser Tuesday Post

-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

Yvonne said...

Great teaser!

Heather said...

Kimberly: Verne certainly had quite the imagination, which is probably why the book remains a sci-fi/fantasy staple so many years later.

Heather said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

A classic! But since writing styles have changed so much since this book was written, I'm guessing it's pretty hard to read.
My Teaser is from THE HUSBAND'S SECRET.

Greg said...

I enjoyed the movie version of this as a kid (the James Mason version) but I've never read the book. I can imagine, as someone else said, that the writing style is a bit old- fashioned!

Heather said...

Sandra: It's not the writing style so much as all the science mumbo-jumbo that has slowed me down a bit. I feel like I need a crash course in geology.

Heather said...

Greg: I've never seen any of the movie/TV adaptations--at least, not that I can remember. The writing style is a bit old-fashioned, but it's the science talk that's been slowing me down a bit. Much prefer Dickens or Tolstoy, LOL.

Stephanie @ Once Upon A Chapter said...

That's a great quote! It makes me want to pay this book a visit. :)

Heather said...

Thanks, Stephanie -- I'm glad you like it, and hope you enjoy the book should you pick it up. :)