Norman Dietz sounds as if he’s having as much fun performing this novel as listeners will have hearing it. As the story’s first-person narrator, Axel, Dietz sounds appropriately incredulous as he tells the tale of his uncle, Professor Otto Lidenbrock. Dietz portrays Lidenbrock as an impatient, crazed man, incapable of focusing on more than one thing at a time. Lidenbrock is obsessed with an original runic manuscript that claims to reveal a passage to the center of the Earth. From chambers of combustible gases and a battle between prehistoric creatures to giant insects and a herd of mastodons, Dietz delivers a thrilling journey down into the depths of Jules Verne’s imagination.
(P)1988 by Recorded Books, Inc.
"Its marvels still inspire feelings of awe and wonder. A Journey to the Center of the Earth will always have readers willing to follow." (The Washington Post)
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
It is hard to grade Verne. The debacle that is the early English translations is well-documented and well-reported: names were changed, plots altered, sections cut. I mean come on, you are translating from French, not Mongolian. Learn the freaking metric system. Even some of the more precise translations don't seem to work well. Anyway, not being fluent in French I have no way to totally discriminate, all I know is several different translations disappointed me on multiple levels.
This version is based on the 1871 translation published by Griffith and Farran. It is an abridged and altered translation. The professor's name has been changed from Lidenbrock to Hardwigg; Axel's name changed to Harry; Grauben's name was changed to Gretchen. There have been chapters left out, parts of other chapters have been changed, parts have been added to other chapters.
That being said, you've got to hand it to Verne. He was climbing without a rope. So, again, back to how hard it is to grade Verne. How do you discount for the fact that he was a pioneer of scientific romances? I'm glad I read it, but will avoid the crappy translations in the future.
Norman Dietz does a good job at narration. His voice doesn't grate and he subtly works his way through Verne's scientific adventure novel.
The narrator does a magnificent job of bringing to life my favorite Jules Verne novel. The narration is clear and expertly delivered. I have listened to this audiobook many times, as it has a way of launching me clear of the daily cares into the utterly fantastic such as only Verne can deliver.
This is a great book, with wonderful charaters but the ending was not what it could be, a bit of a let down. The narrator was great.
If this book's a classic, it's only for its novel thinking of the time
and not for any literary merit. It barely has a plot, there are no interesting discoveries, and the characters are annoying and unbelievable. I hung on through the whole thing, thinking "real soon now, something interesting is bound to happen." When they finally encounter what may be an intelligent being, they run away! The only real conflict is between the characters and their manic-depressive mood swings, and that conflict is boring. The climax is anticlimactic, and the characters survive their trip more by sheer luck than by ingenuity.
The recording is of very poor quality, and periodically changes in pitch enough to be very annoying. I presume that this is caused by using low-quality source tapes to make the digital copy.
Then you will love the main character of this book. My goodness was he an annoying whiner! I finished it because i started it, no other reason.
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