Hello again all and welcome to another blog post!
So, being back in the halls of University for another semester of my psychology degree I thought I’d write this post up before things got hectic again. For the past two months and a half I’ve been following the trail of the worthy explorers in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, through every twist and turn of the volcanic and granite channels, across every underground shore and through every violent storm.
The main two things to consider about this novel are the year it was written in – 1864- and the culture of the century, that being the 19th. During this century there was a noticeable paucity of photographic evidence, and people didn’t have much money to travel. So it was the duty of authors to paint the readers a picture and put them ‘in’ the story, so to speak. This is what Jules Verne does best – the way he has constructed his environment pulls you into the work. You can lose yourself in there. As to the culture, it’s quite evident throughout Journey to the Centre of the Earth that people generally didn’t know what to expect from other people across the globe given that travel was at a premium.
The work itself is an interesting mix of scientific fact and a good dose of solid fiction. The characters are relateable, genuine, and moreover after journeying through the whole book with them you feel like they’re family. The way Verne outlines the scenery leaves nothing to the reader’s imagination, and the words pop from the page.
It does, however, differ greatly to the various movie instalments that have been created over the years. I think it’s good that it differs; it gives readers a chance to see the work how Verne intended it to be seen, without the CGI and animatronics.
In other news, I recently finished reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Suffice to say, it wasn’t what I expected. It’s a dark story with a heavy moral to it. Like a Grimm fairytale, it tells the story of a scientist who wanted to improve humanity. In doing so, he creates a monster that rampages through the town, murdering and pillaging to its content. With the mind of a human and the strength of a beast, it seeks love but cannot find it. Frankenstein loses his loved ones to the monster, and in the end loses his own life because he couldn’t love his own creation. Overall, Frankenstein is a work of genius. It warns readers that hatred will only lead to disaster, and that respecting each other is the best thing we can do regardless of how different we might be to one another. It goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover, and always keep an open mind.
Finally, for my transport reading I’ve dipped my nose into the pages of Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide, the third book in the Ender’s Game series. It’s been a while since I’ve read a proper sci-fi novel, and it’s nice to return to familiar ground. It feels like coming home after a long trip away. Before reading Xenocide I’d heard some very flattering things about Card’s work, and it certainly lives up to the rumours. His writing style is clipped, but it carries emotion well and gives the characters the serious feel that they need. Updates will be forthcoming, I’m only halfway through right now but it’s getting better.
I’m also still ploughing my way through Steig Larsson’s last book in the Millennium trilogy. The pace has slowed down significantly, and I’m finding it harder to follow. But I’ll persevere, if not for finding out the ending then for the awesome that is Larsson.
In the meantime, I hope you’re all looking forward to the release of The Book Thief and Ender’s Game in the cinemas soon, and the upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey next year and the second Hobbit film. Fun times ahead!
To all my faithful readers;
Never stop reading!