Journey to the Center of the Earth – Jules Verne

There used to be a cartoon about two sets of explorers seeking the center of the globe. It fascinated me and broke my tiny little heart when it vanished from the airwaves. Decades later I read the inspiration for that stupid show (or at least a translation of it by Frederick Amadeus Malleson and revised by Ursula K. Heise) while sojourning on St. Thomas. Previously I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and am still impressed with Verne’s prolific nature, encyclopedic knowledge, and vast imagination. This isn’t to suggest that the story is flawless. Verne provides an incomplete, if engaging, tale of adventure and humor of a scientist, his unwitting nephew/assistant, and a stoic servant who, together, spelunk into the bowels of the planet in search of it fabled core.  

Verne is more concerned with providing the foundation of the exploration, rather than the revelation of it, being more interested in convincing the reader that one could reach the terrestrial center and not so concerned in actually taking his audience there. Why else would almost half the novel be spent on the surface world and end without any word of subsequent quests?