Journey to the Center of the Earth (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) : Wildly popular, prolific and prophetic, Jules Verne leads his legions of delighted readers on journeys beneath the sea and beyond the stars. Here, the grandfather of modern science fiction takes us to the Earth's core. The quest begins when irascible but dedicated mineralogy professor Otto Lidenbrock finds a centuries-old parchment inside an even older book. His nephew Axel decodes it, and discovers instructions on how to get to the center of the Earth: "Go down into the crater of Snaefells Yocul," an extinct Icelandic volcano. As they descend, the explorers also travel backward to the past, through layers of human history and geologic time, encountering prehistoric plants and animals and ultimately coming to understand the origins of humanity itself. Though brimming with exciting exploits, this journey is also metaphorical - a spiritual and psychological trip to the center of the human soul. While many of Verne's scientific speculations have been proven, it is this author's remarkable ability to fashion a rousing tale full of compelling characters, extraordinary adventures, and provocative ideas that ensures he will be read for years to come.