A Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne
I made a promise to myself about a year ago that I would start reading classic science fiction, and this book did not disappoint. The prose is dated, to be sure, but the grounding of the plot in hard science is something I appreciate in all science fiction. The journey is, indeed, incredible, and it was a joy to read. I did feel sorry for poor Henry, forced by an overbearing uncle to endure amazing hardship simply for prestige and glory. My one complaint with the book is how anticlimactic it is. Do they ever really reach the center of the earth? It seems as though Verne had a pre-set page limit, wrote volumes about the journey, and then suddenly found himself with only ten more pages allowed. In the end, of course, the book is not about the actual center of the earth, but rather the journey towards it. I very much look forward to reading more of Verne's fantastic voyages.