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Editorial Reviews

Noted geologist Professor Liedenbrock discovers a cryptic message hidden in the pages of an ancient volume purporting to show the way into the center of the earth. Liedenbrock determines to make this fantastic journey, insisting his 16-year-old nephew, Henry, accompany him. Tim Curry handles the verbal pyrotechnics of Verne’s classic adventure, capturing the sardonic wit and droll observations of 16-year-old Henry. Writing in 1864, when explorers such as Burton, Stanley, and Livingstone were charting the earth’s geography, Verne created the fantastical geography of the world below based on current scientific fact. With breathtaking surety, Curry’s performance takes listeners from Germany to Iceland to the bowels of the earth and back, providing humor and clarity.

Publisher's Summary

Journey to the Center of the Earth is one of literature’s earliest works of science fiction. It vividly animates a fantastical subterranean world as an intrepid crew, led by the eccentric Otto Lidenbrock, traverses the planet’s core and its various bizarre obstacles: giant mushrooms and insects, a herd of mastodons, prehistoric humans, a treacherous pit of magma, and more.

Tim Curry, narrator of the customer favorite A Christmas Carol, returns for an encore performance that delivers a range of distinct character voices and captures the energy and enthusiasm of a time when scientific exploration was a brand new adventure.

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Public Domain (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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So Good!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

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Son liked it, Mom not so much

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jules Verne? Why or why not?

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.

What does Tim Curry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

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Takes dedication

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Sure! It's a classic and with Tim Curry's incredible voice, it's a winner. Mind you the story is slow to start and as we have so much technology and many more books to read it's not hard to figure out some of the twists and turns and hidden treasures that so excited people who read the book in its day. I picture young boys at the time thoroughly pouring over this as an adventure story to transport them into another world and not so science-y that it's difficult to understand. I thought of this book for a long trip and it was our first audiobook on said trip. While some of the beginning descriptions were long, some of them reminded me of the landscape we were traveling--southern Minnesota- along the Iowa border. Although some of the narration got long, we stuck with it...I wanted to know how it all ended!

Any additional comments?

Typical old school classic, but falls faintly into many sciences, and not way out typical of nowadays distopyia or outerspace science fiction. A good adventure story from way back when.

I didn't give this rave reviews because for me it didn't always hold my interest, but it brought back memories for my husband who read it in book form. He almost gave up on it but it carried through in the end and he thoroughly enjoyed it again.

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Really puts the “science” in science fiction

I first read this book when I was a very young girl, and it is amazing how much of it I recalled upon re-reading it 40 years later. Certainly, the details have faded from my memory, but as I listened to the audiobook (given a glorious reading by Tim Curry) I felt myself transported to my early childhood. I felt again the fascination for geology, paleontology and archeology this book and other similar ones engendered in me. For the book is a veritable encyclopedia of vocabulary and theories from these disciplines. No matter that many of the concepts are outdated, any young person with an interest in the sciences would find the tale of the “savant” Professor Lidenbrock, his fearful nephew Axel and their intrepid guide Hans fascinating. I recall looking up many of the words in a dictionary as I read, and am certain that this book played a key role in my lifelong interest in science and science fiction.

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Very entertaining. Love Tim Curry

Any additional comments?

Loved the journey, nothing like any of the movies that have been made over the years. It's surprising how the movie makers take liberty w/ the authors creations. The performance by Tim Curry was wonderful. Great Story.

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Why didn't I remember that this book stinks?

I bought this because of my high opinion of Tim Curry -- have even seen him live -- but I found myself dulled-to-sleep by Verne's story and more than a little irritated by Curry's voice work (especially for the uncle).

In theory this is a great story, but in print it suffers from its time period. More than half of the book is grindingly dry exposition about the whiney nephew (how could I have forgotten how badly he needed to be slapped?) and references to theories and scientists of the time, almost none of whom are even known today they were of so little consequence. Curry does his best, but he has little to work with.

If you must listen to this novel skip the high price of this version "extreme rapidity" and bore yourself to death with a cheaper copy.

This is a book best remembered for the very little that stands out as interesting, but never bothered with again. A post-card-length synopsis of the highpoints would suffice and could probably be remade into a decent movie as long as Brendan Frasier is not miscast into it again, unless he is there to slap the nephew.

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  • Adam
  • Lund, Sweden
  • 05-11-14

Never really drawn into the story

What did you like best about Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry? What did you like least?

The mix of adventure and science was invigorating, however the differences of the nature in the book as compared to reality was one of the things I liked the least (I realize it was written in the 19th century and I'm unaware of the knowledge in the subject of that time). Also the constant description of distances in miles/yards/foots, which unless you are used to it, is fairly annoying (mostly since it was mentioned quite regularly).

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

No real reaction and that was the problem, I enjoyed the story somewhat but I was rarely drawn into the story in such a manner that I couldn't stop listening.

Did Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry inspire you to do anything?

Not really. I like the mix of adventure and science and will perhaps try to find other books in that genre.

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Fell Flat

Although familiar with the story I had never read this well-known tale.
I am happy that I did not pay full-price! What should have been an exciting and interesting adventure was simply tedious. The main character seemed to be having fainting fits through the whole book. I just could not feel any connection to any of the characters.
I enjoy Tim Curry's voice and would like to listen to another audiobook narrated by him, but the story fell flat.

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  • Aaron
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 04-25-14

Journey to the Center of a Clasic Novel

It’s a classic. You know the story: Brendan Fraser, some kid, and a mute descend into an extinct volcano to journey to the center of the earth, and face trials and tribulations along the way. Yeah, some of the perils are a little forced, and the word “electricity” is both misused and overused, but heck the book was written in 1864, so what do you expect. Seriously though, if you haven’t yet read it, do so. It’s worth it.

I must say, however, that I am more than slightly disappointed with Tim Curry’s performance. Don’t get me wrong, he has a great voice, good pacing, and nice tone, but he uses character voices inconsistently. For example, his voice for the uncle suits the character well, but far too often he slips and uses the same voice for the narrator, which is confusing and irritating because I’m not sure who is saying what. Other than that, great job, especially with pronouncing “Snæfellsjökull.”

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  • Lucy
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 04-05-14

Tim Curry's Voice is Magical

This is a book that I've read, and re-read many times. This edition, as narrated by Tim Curry, is lovely. His voice adds a husky gravitas that is lovely to listen to. The story almost becomes secondary to listening to Curry read it.