|Brendan Fraser reads A Journey to the Center of the Earth in the 2008 movie A Journey to the Center of the Earth|
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1865)
by Jule Verne
Not sure where my unwarranted prejudice against audiobooks came from. The fact is that if you have a long period where you are driving or sitting on a train or plane, or exercising for over an hour, an audiobook is a good bet. Audiobooks are subject to the same copyright laws as the underlying books- public domain books are also public domain audiobooks. Journey to the Center of the Earth makes for a good public domain audiobook because it's a science fiction genre piece, it isn't that long and there are dinosaurs and shit towards the end of the book. Still, Journey to the Center of the Earth is a novel written in 1865, and the structure of the novel (and audiobook) is slow to accelerate and features chapters and chapters of staging: introducing the professor, getting them to Iceland, getting them down the volcano- the narrative doesn't really take off till they find the Lidenbrock Sea- a giant underground ocean.
Although Journey to the Center of the Earth was "scientific" in its day, the subsequent discovery that the Earth was not, in fact, hollow, or hollow-ish, diminished the strength of the underlying science and pushes the modern reader towards a reading that interprets Journey to the Center of the Earth as a fantasy. The high point of the first half of Journey is Iceland as a location. I think it's probably the first time that Iceland features as a setting in any novel.