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Editor reviews

The Underground City, also known as The Black Indies, The Child of the Cavern, and other titles, is an adventure novel of the extraordinary by the French fabulist, Jules Verne. Set in Scotland in the Victorian age, the novel stars James Starr, a venerable member of the academy, who sets off to explore a long-closed mine in the middle of Scotland. What he finds there is shocking.

Performed in a grave, mysterious style by Jon Bolen, Starr’s journey reveals an entire family living far beneath daylight, deep in the abandoned mine. But his discoveries do not end there. Soon he finds beautiful homes, a fishing lake, young lovers, and presence that may be evil wrought pure. This audiobook is best enjoyed above the Earth’s surface.

Summary

How can humans survive and prosper 1,500 feet below the earth's surface? Jules Verne successfully weaves a dark yet magnificent story into this equally dark world. The story takes place in a revived and now prosperous coal mine. Amazingly, life in the mine has everything that one desires, including a lake, fish and attractive homes. Yet there lurks an evil presence. Unexplainable, malicious, and life-threatening occurrences begin. But why? The evil force could destroy the underground world and everyone in it!
©2000 Tantor Media Incorporated

What listeners say about The Underground City

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lovely story well performed

Excellent English and interesting story.Well narated, I could follow even though I had breaks in the listening.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-20

the narrator is the most boring human alive

Please get a new narrator. i listened to approximatelly an hour of this book. I just couldn't stand the flat monotone voice of this old man streeeetchiing aaaal thee woooords oooouut. i kept expecting him to yawn. this was the most horrible performance i have ever seen / listened to.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 04-10-06

A Middling Tale

As a longtime Jules Verne fan, I was looking forward to this story. I was happy with the tale itself, although the narrative structure could have been more active. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by the reader's lack of a decent Scots accent.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 17-07-08

Suspensful story line

This was an enjoyable reading about a coal mine located near Edinburgh, Scotland. Having traveled extensively throughout Scotland, I was saddened to hear the narrator consistently mispronounce the word Edinburgh using instead the American rendering of Edinburg. Other than this mispronunciation, the story line proved to be most intriguing. I would recommend this book to others.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 11-03-21

Wrong narrator

I don’t want to judge harshly, as I didn’t finish the book. I also don’t want to say it was a terrible narrator, as he may do fine work on other jobs. However, I will say that his use of accents was terrible. The Scottish coal miner shifted from Irish to French, to an American trying to soften his hard Rs. Yet, never Scottish (Edinburgh does NOT have a hard G sound). At times it sounded like a college freshman trying to sound more intelligent by anglicizing his voice. It would have been significantly better if he had just narrated in his own voice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Square peg
  • 09-05-21

Distracted by the narrators attempt at an accent

I really wanted to get caught up in this book, but the narrator's attempt at a British accent was distracting.

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  • healthyhabits
  • 04-04-21

Fun story, good reading

I'm not sure why others have been so negative about the reader. Perhaps it's not an authentic Irish accent. I wouldn't know that. It sounds rather Irish to me. But I think the real point of interest was that it was very understandable. Others have said it wasn't but I thought it was fine. And I listen to everything at 1.5 speed and I still understood it fine. Also, the story is intriguing so I wanted to keep listening. It was great!

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  • Simon Brooks
  • 08-03-21

Not Verne’s best, but worsened by one of the worst narrators.

Over Verne’s work, this is not the greatest, but some interesting facets like all of his works.
The narrator Mr. Bolen tried to hide his American accent to effect an English narration, but his attempts at Scottish accents came off as a cross between Irish & a piratical tune. Between that & his inaccurate pronunciation of several Scottish names & words, it was grinding to get through. Thank goodness it was “free”, included in the membership, otherwise I would have felt most aggrieved at the waste money on top of the time spent.

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  • Joseph E. Mccallum
  • 01-03-21

A bit too bogged down with detail

If you want a story that is 80% details about coal mining practices and 20% about the actual characters, this is for you! I didn't hate it, but it wasn't a great story. The mining practices were somewhat interesting, but I was more interested in the formation of the underground city, and they spent little time on that.

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  • KS
  • 20-02-21

Jules Vern

I’m a Jules Vern fan, this story is so boring I couldn’t even finish it. I think I listened to 30 minutes to give it a fair shot. The narrator is fair but I just couldn’t get into this book. It’s a short book but it seemed to drone on.

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  • Meg
  • 05-01-21

Awesome story. Amazing voice.

This book was not what I was expecting. A love story at the bottom of a hole. The reader was amazing. different voices for each character made following along with the story very enjoyable. I loved it. I wish I had read this book earlier.