Monotonous and anti climactic story narrated by an insufferable whiner. Not even Tim Curry's performance, excellent as it was, could polish this turd of a story.
I suspect that, as a child, I read an abridged version of this classic tale... or possibly I just forgot how much whining the narrating character does. Nevertheless, it was fun to go back to it and Tim Curry is as good as you'd expect him to be. For those who know and love this tale, this is a good new experience of it. For those who always meant to read Jules Verne books, but never did--don't start here. Read 20K Leagues and some others first.
I did not give the performance five stars only because Mr. Curry's interaction with the Jules Verne writing style develops an up and down lilt that starts to feel like waves after a while and makes a listener feel sleepy as much as interested. I wondered, at times, if Mr. Curry himself found the narrating character's internal monologue a bit tedious.
And all while getting my daily workouts! I love my Audible! I was surprised at how much science and geography were part of this book, not having looked anything up prior to deciding to read it. I learned a lot and was entertained.
This is one of those classics so embedded in culture that you know the story without ever reading it. These classics stand out from other works just as the few tbousand visible stars stand out from the billion others we don't see. Each star has held its place for ao long that we don't notice the individual unless we deliberately look - but together they form a familiar backdrop by which we can navigate and enjoy this world.
But after finishing this I ask myself whether some classics should fade from the sky. I felt that Jules Verne gave us a narration of spectacle only; the sibterranean world is explored but the human soul is not. It's interesting to imagine you're hearing tbe story as a contemporary, when people weren't so numb to spectacle and the story would have been gripping as it is. But I feel that classics should have some kind of greatness about them, and that grestness should probably be more than just situation... it should teach us something about ourselves.
On that score I'd allow JTTCOTE to be crowded out of yhe sky.
But one thing is worth repeating: Tim Curry's performance is superb.
Never read the book or saw the movie, but really enjoyed the Audible version. I decided to watch the movie, and it was so not-the-book, I stopped after about 15 grinding minutes. Tim Curry is an AWESOME narrator! I would definitely recommend this, especially if you like science fiction.
The Story is addicting and will keep you listening to the end. I was excited when I first got the book to see that it was narrated by Tim Curry - he is so talented and narrates this book perfectly. Loved every minute.
If you like science expeditions, goofy old professors or adventure/discovery tales, this is totally up your alley. If not then I'd suggest you give it a shot anyway cause you might change your mind.
Yes, this was time well spent for me, because this is a classic that I had never read as a child. It gave me some cultural/historical perspective on the state of science in Verne's time, and an appreciation of how far science has come. For my son (8) it was entertaining, captured his imagination, and made him laugh a few times. And I think he liked feeling a little bit "superior" in his understanding of modern science. It also spurred some good discussions for us.
Perhaps, but I found some of the more technical sciency sections quite tedious--not because I don't understand the terms (I'm a biologist)--but mainly because the long lists of scientific names do nothing to advance the story, and rather seem like a device to make the reader feel like a naive outsider. So the tone comes off as pompous, which is funny since it is not even real science, just science fiction. Incidentally, Curry's reading of these litanies of jargon had an unmistakable irony that, for me, highlighted Verne's naivite and the absurdity of the whole premise.
Tim Curry's reading is absolutely masterful. I didn't love this book, but I loved his reading. He brought out the hints of irony, humor, and absurdity that would have been lost on me if I had been reading it myself. This is not a humorous book generally, but we did burst out laughing at a few of those great Tim Curry moments. I especially loved the absurdity of the professor's optimism and determination in the face of utterly impossible situations.