© 1864 Jules Verne
"Is the Master out of his mind?" she asked me.
"And he's taking you with him?"
I nodded again.
"Where?" she asked.
I pointed towards the center of the Earth.
"Into the cellar?" exclaimed the old servant.
"No," I said. "Further down than that."
While I'd expected an intriguing lecture-adventure (and wasn't disappointed), the characterazation of Axel and the professor took me by surprise. I don't recall finding either so entertaining in my youth: Axel in particular has a tendency to be over dramatic when describing what will happen to them, going on for whole paragraphs in descriptive, scientifically-specific prose. He's a 19th-century C-3PO.
A Journey to the Center of the Earth doesn't rival Around the World in 80 Days or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for entertainment value, but it's still a fairly enjoyable look at what geology was like in its early days.