20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Book - 2001
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Publisher: New York : Signet Classic, [2001], c1969
ISBN: 9780451528193
Characteristics: xiii, 463 p
Additional Contributors: Brunetti, Mendor T.


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Oct 09, 2019

Another classic Jules Verne book... an interesting read. Verne describes the scenes in detail, painting a masterpiece in the reader's head. Just be ready to read a bunch of mathematics.

Feb 06, 2019

This particular edition is an unabridged one (translated by William Butcher). I gather many of the editions floating out there are in fact abridged versions. The obvious reason for the abridgments is that the novel is chock full of lengthy lists and scientific information dumps. For the modern reader these information interludes could be seen as swamping the actual story (which is quite good). After finishing the novel, I found myself OK with these moments, which are all basically rooted in the storyteller's (Dr. Aronnax) written account of this Twenty Thousand league journey with the mysterious (and tragic) Captain Nemo, aboard his amazing submarine the "Nautilus." Aronnax is, at heart, a scientist, and he records everything that Nemo reveals to him.

The outline of the story is of course well-known, but I have to wonder how much is lost by relying on that outline as it exists for so many in the various abridgments as well as the Disney movie. The tragic grandeur of Nemo acquires, can probably only be fully appreciated, to my mind, after all of those descriptive passages and adventures have created a context for the unfurling, at the South Pole, of that black flag with the large N on it. The translator, William Butcher, takes Verner very seriously, and this edition, with its copious notes and informed Introduction, makes an old story new. I was particularly intrigued by the influences of both Melville and Poe on Verne's creation. You can also see the influence Verne, with all of his use of concrete detail, must have had on the coming Pulp writers in the next century, where science fiction is elevated by science fact. (That walk through Atlantis rocks!) Highly recommended. -- Steve Harris

Mar 14, 2018

Interesting but bizarre fantasy story. The plot is strange, the characters rather unlikeable and the science is atrocious...but the book is, despite all these things, still worth reading.

Jun 19, 2017

I'm sure this novel was fascinating stuff in the 19th century, but today it's old technology, so unless you're into technology museums, you won't be interested in Verne's great detail regarding submarines. The movie is better. Unless I missed it, the giant squid isn't in the book, which is one of the best parts of the movie.

Kdmullerspy Jun 21, 2014

I love this story. It engrossed me from the first chapter! I wish it could have said more about Captain Memo's story.

sarahzaidi Jul 17, 2012

Amazing Read~
A great sea adventure! :)

Oct 27, 2011

I tried really hard to stick it out with this book. It's a classic and usually I enjoy those, but this one just isn't working for me. Verne's passion for science is obvious but his minute attention to detail and forever giving the classification of each species encountered was grating after a while. While the narrative passages were relatively interesting, they were broken up by dull passages full of lists or scientific names. Other things that bothered me are evidence of the age of the book, as the novel has a distinctly imperialistic flavour. The other thing that really bothered me was the emphasis on hunting down various species regardless of its rarity. One passage in particular mentioned that the animal of the moment may be one of the last of its kind and then they hunt it anyway. I made it slightly over halfway but just couldn't handle any more of the stock characters with their stock reactions and the litany of aquatic species. Which sadly meant that I didn't get to encounter the giant squid. But I think I may just be happier with my fuzzy memories of the Disney film with Kirk Douglas.

Jul 02, 2011

A favourite of mine, 20,000 Leagues is the best of Jules Verne. Plus, you can learn tons of info about the deep blue sea.

Apr 08, 2010

Jules Verne has created an very captivating character in Captain Nemo. Unfortunately, he loses sight of this fact, and the greater part of this book is bogged down in lengthy and detailed descriptions of things that, while nice for a while, do little or nothing in most cases to advance the plot. The beginning is strong, and the end is decent, and for that and other flashes throughout the book, I liked it, but I really do think it could have been much better.

Aug 19, 2009

A wonderful story of hate, revenge, adventure, and deep sea diving! I love Jules Verne and this book was one of his best.

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Sep 28, 2014

sach1212 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

lms Apr 18, 2008

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lms Apr 18, 2008

Captain Nemo is a demented scientist who wants to control the world using his submarine


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