[Read by Simon Prebble]
Geologist Otto Lidenbrock is perusing an ancient Icelandic manuscript when he discovers a mysterious encrypted note. The message reveals the account of a sixteenth-century explorer who claims to have found a passageway to the center of the earth.
In his quest to penetrate the planet's primordial secrets, the impetuous professor, together with his quaking nephew, Axel, and their devoted guide, Hans, sets off immediately for Iceland. Descending through the belly of a volcano into the bowels of the Earth, they discover an astonishing subterranean world of prehistoric proportions.
A classic of science fiction that helped give birth to the genre, this imaginative speculation on the earth's nature is both a rousing adventure story and an apt portrait of the psychology of the questing scientist. Though often scientifically outdated, books of Verne's ''Voyages Extraordinaires'' series still retain their sense of wonder that appealed to readers of his time, and still provoke an interest in the sciences among the young.