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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea- Unabridged Audiobook

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Captain Nemo captures the men on his incredible submarine, the Nautilus. The captain and his unwilling passengers thus embark on a deep-sea odyssey that stretches from the palm-strewn Indian Ocean to the frozen peril of the South Pole. But the enigmatic Nemo has a darker purpose for his voyage...revenge on humanity.


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Captain Nemo captures the men on his incredible submarine, the Nautilus. The captain and his unwilling passengers thus embark on a deep-sea odyssey that stretches from the palm-strewn Indian Ocean to the frozen peril of the South Pole. But the enigmatic Nemo has a darker purpose for his voyage...revenge on humanity.

30 review for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea- Unabridged Audiobook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Hands down the WORST book I've read all year. I mean, there's boring and then there's mind-numbing. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is definitely the latter. I was actually looking forward to listening to this. It's supposed to be a classic action/adventure sci-fi book, right? And it's not an overly long book, which made me assume it was a pretty compact story. Plus, I usually have better luck when it comes to these older novels if I listen to the audiobook instead of trying to wade through all the Hands down the WORST book I've read all year. I mean, there's boring and then there's mind-numbing. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is definitely the latter. I was actually looking forward to listening to this. It's supposed to be a classic action/adventure sci-fi book, right? And it's not an overly long book, which made me assume it was a pretty compact story. Plus, I usually have better luck when it comes to these older novels if I listen to the audiobook instead of trying to wade through all the crunchy dialogue with my eyeballs. So, between those factors, I thought this would be a complete winner. But ho-ly shit this was terrible. Terrible! Ok, how to describe this book? Alright. If a really tedious nature show fucked a 5th grade word problem and didn't use a condom - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea would be their bastard child. The vast majority of this thing: Lattitude 54, Longitude 45. <--or whatever. On the {insert random date here} the crew of the Nautilus and my companions entered the {insert random body of water here} and observed {insert random sea life here}. Then Aronnax would go on to describe in excruciating detail every fucking thing about whatever chunk of seaweed, fish, oyster bed, sediment, etc. that they happened to be floating past. Now, sometimes my mind will wander for a second when I'm listening to an audiobook. Usually, it's one of those Did I remember to give my kid the check for that field trip? things that distract me. And then I'll just have to back the book up a few seconds to recoup whatever info I just lost. But with this one, I was spacing out constantly due to the fact that there was literally NOTHING happening. But I could lose half an hour and it wouldn't fucking matter because the professor would still be droning on about different types of pearls and how they were made, and what colors there were, and how much each kind sold for on the open market, and whether or not the oyster wept when they were gone. Or some other such nonsense. Where was the action I was promised?! Where was the adventure?! Not here, that's for goddamn sure. Still, I remembered hearing about the famous Scene With The Giant Squid and I figured it might make all of this other garbage worth wading through. Supposedly, it was this super awesome battle between man and cephalopod that left a lasting impression on people. <--I should have known better. Lamest. Battle. Ever. Let me save you some trouble. See, I thought that there was some menacing squid following them that decided to attack the sub and try to drag it to the bottom, or crush it with its massive tentacles, or break it open to slurp out the crew with a straw, or...something. Anything! But no. A group of big-ass squids was swimming by, a few got curious, one of the poor bastards got tangled around the fan or whatnot, and then when the crew when out to "fight" it off the Nautilus one of them got tossed off and killed. Oh, and Ned almost got eaten but Nemo hacked at the squid's beak and saved him. The End. Bah. There was a shining moment when I thought things were going to finally get cool as the Nautilus passed over Atlantis. Fucking Atlantis! <--Yes! These turds got out to explore every dull coral bed along the way, so surely they would stop and meander around this magically advanced civilization, right? Nope. They just floated on past it. Bye, Aquaman... And after that, I think I just lost the will to even try to muster up a few shits for the rest of it. Nemo's quitting land because of {insert spoilery things here} was also ridiculous but I could have easily given it a pass if this were a remotely engaging story otherwise. Since it wasn't, that was just ONE MORE THING that I found annoying. I mean, really? Why the hell would anyone go to all that trouble of building this masterpiece of a submarine just for revenge? Just track the fuckers down and shoot them in the head. It would be waaaaay easier and ultimately less time-consuming. Oh, and their stupid secret language that they spoke on board? It was probably Pig Latin, because everything else they did seemed like something thought up by a 10 year old. Why keep Aronnax, Conseil, & Ned prisoner just because they had seen the Nautilus? <--made no sense! It's not as though anyone could track them down even if those guys spilled the beans! They were literally the ONLY submarine in the world at that point and the oceans are HUGE. Again, I would have overlooked that with pleasure if I weren't so pissed off with this boring time-suck. The only fun thing about this was Ned Land. <--harpooner extraordinaire Just the fact that he is the ONLY surly Canadian I've ever read about was almost worth the price of admission. Seriously. Name another volatile Canuck in literature. Kind of hard to do, eh? (view spoiler)[ Or is it, Bub? (hide spoiler)] Anyway. It may be hard to tell but I didn't actually like this very much. However, if you did? Well, then that's good, too.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ken-ichi

    Man, what a strange book. As I've learned from my more erudite sister, 19th century novelists are all about digression, and Verne, despite being very solidly camped outside Greatliterarynovelopolis in the growing shantytown of Genreville, is no exception. Literally half this book is a taxonomic listing of every plant and animal Arronax observes! I mean, even I was bored. Me. The nature freak. I occasionally review field guides on Goodreads, and yet I actually preferred George Eliot's tangents ab Man, what a strange book. As I've learned from my more erudite sister, 19th century novelists are all about digression, and Verne, despite being very solidly camped outside Greatliterarynovelopolis in the growing shantytown of Genreville, is no exception. Literally half this book is a taxonomic listing of every plant and animal Arronax observes! I mean, even I was bored. Me. The nature freak. I occasionally review field guides on Goodreads, and yet I actually preferred George Eliot's tangents about political economy and local gossip. That said, this is a pretty fun book. Adventure under the sea! Laconic yet cordial sumbarine übermenches thirsting for vengeance and whale milk! Canadians! Well, a Canadian. The Canadian. He had a harpoon. Reading science fiction that describes a future long past is also a hoot, especially if you're a huge goddamn nerd. Despite accurately predicting the feasibility of a submarine, I don't think Verne had actually spent much time in the water. The Nautilus navigates not by sonar, but by shining a really bright light. I think swimming in anything but the most crystalline tropical seas would convince you that wouldn't quite work. Every time the crew leaves the ship to go exploring, they actually walk on the sea floor instead of swimming. One time, Cpt. Nemo dodges a shark. It's kind of hard to dodge slow moving jellies when you're underwater, never mind one of Nature's most amazing swimmers. The book is also an interesting balance between technological hubris and an underlying conservationist theme. Nemo (and presumably Verne) decries the repercussions of overfishing when forbidding former harpooneer Ned Land from testing his skill against a pod of Antarctic whales: "In destroying the southern whale [...:] your traders are culpable, Master Land. They have already depopulated the whole of Baffin's Bay, and are annihilating a class of useful animals. Leave the unfortunate cetacea alone. They have plenty of natural enemies [...:] without you troubling them." Granted it's a utilitarian, anthropocentric kind of conservation ethic, but conservationist all the same. And yet earlier, upon beholding a massive bed of pearl oysters, Arronax narrates, "I could well understand that this was an inexhaustible mine of treasures, for nature's power to create goes far beyond man's capability of destruction." I doubt Verne set out with any fixed notions of environmental ethics in mind, but I find it intriguing that these contrasting sentiments keep popping up. I think Verne's apparent ambivalence about the morality of technological advances is more intentional. The Nautilus is a marvelous creation that Nemo uses to reveal the unknown and better understand the world. It's also a vicious instrument of vengeance he employs against his former countrymen (or maybe not his countrymen, reading some of the other reviews...), a nearly invincible ship that can sink below the reach of canons and fatally ram any conventional vessel from beneath. As a war machine in a world of steam and sail it would be monstrous. I also think it's significant that Nemo and the ship meet their apparent end not at the hands of other men or even by an animal, but by the unthinking and inestimable power of the sea itself, bringing to mind Melville's line from Moby Dick: ...however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Vingt Mille Lieues Sous les Mers = 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea = Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6, Captain Nemo #1), Jules Verne During the year 1866, ships of various nationalities sight a mysterious sea monster, which, it is later suggested, might be a gigantic narwhal. The U.S. government assembles an expedition in New York City to find and destroy the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and the story's narrator, is in town at the time Vingt Mille Lieues Sous les Mers = 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea = Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6, Captain Nemo #1), Jules Verne During the year 1866, ships of various nationalities sight a mysterious sea monster, which, it is later suggested, might be a gigantic narwhal. The U.S. government assembles an expedition in New York City to find and destroy the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and the story's narrator, is in town at the time and receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition; he accepts. Canadian whaler and master harpooner Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful manservant Conseil are also among the participants. The expedition leaves Manhattan's 34th St. Pier aboard the U.S. Navy frigate Abraham Lincoln, then travels south around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean. After a five-month search ending off Japan, the frigate locates and attacks the monster, which damages the ship's rudder. The three protagonists are hurled into the sea and ultimately climb onto the monster itself, which they are startled to find is a futuristic submarine. They wait on the deck of the vessel until morning, when they're captured, hauled inside, and introduced to the submarine's mysterious manufacturer and commander, Captain Nemo. The rest of the novel describes the protagonists' adventures aboard the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas beyond the reach of land-based governments. In self-imposed exile, Captain Nemo seems to have a dual motivation: a quest for scientific knowledge and a desire to take revenge on terrestrial civilization. Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can conduct advanced marine research; he also tells his new passengers that his secret existence means he can't let them leave—they must remain on board permanently. Professor Aronnax and Conseil are enthralled by the prospect of undersea exploration, but Ned Land increasingly hungers to escape. ... عنوانها: «سفینهٔ غواصه یا سیاست تحت‌ البحری»؛ «بیست هزار فرسخ سیاحت در زیر بحر»؛ «20000، فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «20000، (بیست هزار) فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ « 20هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «20(بیست) هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «شجاعان در اعماق زمین»؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در سال 1973میلادی عنوان01: سفینهٔ غواصه یا سیاست تحت‌ البحری؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: یوسف اعتصامی، تبریز: بی‌ نا: 1320ه.ق موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 19م عنوان02: بیست هزار فرسخ سیاحت در زیر بحر؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: محمود طرزی؛ کابل: مطبعه عنایت، 1332ه.ق عنوان03: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: رسول صدرعاملی، بی‌ نا: 1352؛ (اقتباسی از «بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا» در 26صفحه)؛ عنوان04: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مت‍رج‍م: رضا همراه، تهران اشراقی، بی‌تا؛ عنوان05: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: محمدتقی دانیا؛ تهران، اقبال، 1352؛ در 160ص؛ عنوان06: ب‍ی‍س‍ت ه‍زار ف‍رس‍ن‍گ زی‍ر دری‍ا؛ مت‍رج‍م: ع‍ل‍ی ف‍اطم‍ی‍ان، ت‍ه‍ران: ن‍ش‍ر چ‍ش‍م‌ ان‍داز: وزارت ف‍ره‍ن‍گ و ارش‍اد اس‍لام‍ی، س‍ازم‍ان چ‍اپ و ان‍ت‍ش‍ارات، 1377؛ (241ص مصور) چاپ بیست و دوم 1379؛ عنوان07: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مت‍رج‍م: ام‍ی‍ن ن‍ص‍ی‍ری؛ ت‍ه‍ران: س‍پ‍ی‍ده، چاپ اول 1364، چ‍اپ ی‍ازده‍م: 1379؛ عنوان08: 20000(ب‍ی‍س‍ت ه‍زار) ف‍رس‍ن‍گ زی‍ر دری‍ا، مترجم: شهلا انسانی، تهران اکباتان: 1365؛ (اقتباسی از بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ در 36صفحه مصور)؛ عنوان09: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریاها؛ مت‍رج‍م: اردشیر نیک‌پور، تهران: چاپ اول 1366؛ عنوان10: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا، ب‍ازن‍وی‍س‍ی و ت‍ص‍وی‍رگ‍ری: طاووس ص‍دی‍ق‍ی؛ ت‍ه‍ران: گ‍وه‍رش‍اد، 1381؛ (اقتباسی از: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ است در 20صفحه مصور)؛ عنوان11: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ بازنویسی: فیونا بدال؛ مترجم: صدیقه شریف؛ تهران: دادجو، 1388؛ چاپ دوم 1393؛ (اقتباسی از: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ در 95صفحه)؛ عنوان12: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: محمد همت‌خواه، تهران عصر اندیشه‏‫، 1391؛ (59ص مصور)؛ عنوان13: 20 هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: سلماز بهگام؛ مشهد ترانه، ‏‫1393؛ در 428ص؛ شابک 9786007061084؛ عنوان14: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: غزاله ابراهیمی؛ تهران کارگاه نشر‏‫، 1394؛ در 496 ص؛ شابک 9789645546463؛ عنوان15: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ بازنوشتهٔ لیزا چرچ؛ مترجم مجید عمیق؛ تهران؛ قدیانی، کتابهای بنفشه، ‏‫1394؛ در 128ص؛ شابک 9786002517616؛ عنوان16: بیست‌هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس محسن سلیمانی؛ تهران؛ امیر کبیر، کتابهای جیبی‏‫، 1394؛ در 190ص؛ شابک 9789643036164؛ عنوان17: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ بازنویسی لین بنتون؛ مترجم مهتا لبافی، تهران؛ شهر قصه‏‫، 1395؛ اقتباسی از: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ در 44صفحه مصور؛ عنوان18: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: نعیمه ظاهری؛ قزوین؛ سایه‌ گستر؛ ‏‫‏‏‏‏1395؛ در 47ص؛ مصور؛ عنوان19: بیست هزارفرسنگ زیردریا؛ اقتباس: سوده کریمی، تهران؛ کتاب‌های قاصدک، ‏‫1395؛ در 32ص مصور؛ عنوان20: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: صدیقه شریف؛ تهران؛ آبینه؛ 1395؛ در 95ص؛ عنوان21: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: پروین ادیب، تهران؛ بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب پارسه‏‫، 1395؛ در 248ص؛ شابک 9786002532391؛ عنوان22: 20000 فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: الهام دانش‌نژاد؛ تهران؛ دبیر‏‫، 1395؛ در 46ص؛ عنوان23: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: حمید؛ تهران، انتشارات اوریژینال، 1361؛ داستان تصویری، در 38ص؛ عنوان24: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: علی فاطمیان؛ تهران، چشم انداز، 1377؛ در 250ص؛ عنوان25: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: بیژن مدرس؛ تهران، کتاب مریم نشرمرکز، 1377؛ در 204ص؛ و البته که بسیاری دیگر، که هنوز نتوانسته ام بیابم نام «ژول ورن (زاده ی سال 1828میلادی؛ درگذشت سال 1905میلادی)»، برای همیشه، به عنوان پدر داستانهای تخیلی علمی، باقی خواهد ماند؛ برخی پیشرفتهای علمی و فنی را، ایشان، با خیال نیرومند خویش، پیش بینی کرده بودند، که امروز جامه ی تازه به تن پوشیده اند؛ در داستانهای ایشان، خلاقیت خیال انگیز بیداد میکند، داستانهای ایشان، با رویدادهای هیجان انگیز، و همراه با گرایش نیرومند اخلاقی و انسانی؛ برای نوجوانان، بسیار آموزنده هستند؛ چکیده داستان: سه مرد در دریا سرگردان هستند؛ زیردریایی ناتیلوس و کاپیتان آن ناخدا نمو، آنها را نجات میدهد؛ زمان رویداد، پیش از رخداد داستان جزیره اسرار آمیز است؛ افراد نجات یافته با زیردریایی، به مسافرتی طولانی میروند، و با عجایب بسیار در دریا روبرو میشوند؛ خیال نویسنده در قیاس با دانش آن روزگار، بسیار جالب و رویایی است تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    Pierre Aronnax, Assistant Professor in the Museum of Natural History, embarks on a ship to investigate the mystery of a powerful creature terrorizing the open seas. When he and two of his companions discover the Nautilus - a magnificent submarine owned by the uncompromising Captain Nemo – their journey takes them under the sea and 20,000 leagues across the world. For some time past, vessels had been met by ‘an enormous thing,’ a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infin Pierre Aronnax, Assistant Professor in the Museum of Natural History, embarks on a ship to investigate the mystery of a powerful creature terrorizing the open seas. When he and two of his companions discover the Nautilus - a magnificent submarine owned by the uncompromising Captain Nemo – their journey takes them under the sea and 20,000 leagues across the world. For some time past, vessels had been met by ‘an enormous thing,’ a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infinitely larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale. Pierre’s story starts strong with an arresting premise: the Government of the United States is among the first to take to the open seas in search of the monstrous creature. By personal invitation of the Secretary of Marine, Pierre joins the crew of the Abraham Lincoln. Three seconds after the arrival of [the] letter, I no more thought of pursuing the unicorn than of attempting the passage of the North Sea. Three seconds after reading the letter of the honourable Secretary of Marine, I felt that my true vocation, the sole end of my life, was to chase this disturbing monster, and purge it from the world. Unfortunately, the majority of the book is comprised of overly detailed scientific explanations (complete with mathematical equations) and long-winded descriptions of varied species of aquatic life. To be frank, it’s quite boring. In the eighty-ninth genus of fishes, classed by Lacépède, belonging to the second lower class of bony, characterized by opercules and bronchial membranes, I remarked the scorpaena, the head of which is furnished with spikes, and which has but one dorsal fin; these creatures are covered, or not, with little shells, according to the sub-class to which they belong. The second sub-class gives us specimens of didactyles fourteen or fifteen inches in length, with yellow rays, and heads of a most fantastic appearance. As to the first sub-class, it gives several specimens that singular-looking fish appropriately called a ‘sea-frog,’ with large head, sometimes pierced with holes, sometimes swollen with protuberances, bristling with spikes, and covered with tubercles; it has irregular and hideous horns; its body and tail are covered with calliosities; its sting makes a dangerous wound; it is both repugnant and horrible to look at. Worst of all, anyone in the mood for a death-defying battle with an enormous sea creature whose size defies believability will be sorely disappointed. A remarkable scientific feat for its time, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is an impressive classic but may fail to hold the attention of modern audiences.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I have to admit something kind of embarrassing here. I have never really given much thought to the title of this book. Also, there has never been much reason for me to use leagues as a unit of measurement. But, up until reading this book I always thought of the "Leagues Under the Sea" as the distance under the surface they go. But, actually, it is indicating a distance AROUND the world that they are travelling under the water. So, yeah . . . my face is a bit red! Verne may be the king of speculat I have to admit something kind of embarrassing here. I have never really given much thought to the title of this book. Also, there has never been much reason for me to use leagues as a unit of measurement. But, up until reading this book I always thought of the "Leagues Under the Sea" as the distance under the surface they go. But, actually, it is indicating a distance AROUND the world that they are travelling under the water. So, yeah . . . my face is a bit red! Verne may be the king of speculative sci-fi. He wrote so many books covering scientific discoveries that were just conjecture at the time, but ended up coming true. Maybe not all of it ended up in reality, but a lot of it did. I had to keep reminding myself that the things that sounded pretty normal for submarine travel were remarkable and unheard of at the time. I am not sure if this classic will appeal to all. Some of the sections do get repetitive and tend towards dryness. However, for me, the whole experience was worth it and I am glad to add another classic to my list of books read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ruby Granger

    I did enjoy this but you could definitely tell it was written in the 19th century during an age of colonialism. Some of the chapters were difficult to read because of the incredibly dated and exclusivist language. Though, for this reason, it was also quite interesting to read critically.

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Jules Verne, classic pulp author, innovator of science fiction, originator of 'steampunk'--or was he? Many readers of the English language will never know the real Verne, and I'm not talking about those who dislike reading. Indeed, many well-meaning folks from the English-speaking world have picked up and read a book titled 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' cover to cover, and yet still know next to nothing of Verne, due to his long-standing translation problem. And as an interesting note, Jules Verne, classic pulp author, innovator of science fiction, originator of 'steampunk'--or was he? Many readers of the English language will never know the real Verne, and I'm not talking about those who dislike reading. Indeed, many well-meaning folks from the English-speaking world have picked up and read a book titled 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' cover to cover, and yet still know next to nothing of Verne, due to his long-standing translation problem. And as an interesting note, twenty thousand leagues does not refer to the depth of the Nautilus, but the distance traveled. Since his earliest publication, when the author was still alive, translations of his work into English have been abhorrent. For speakers of other languages, he is considered an intelligent, thoughtful, deliberate author, not a half-competent penner of fun pulp adventures (and this isn't some Baudelaire/Poe error on their part). Indeed, it's created a catch-22 in literary studies: current translations of Verne are so bad that no one wants to read or study him, so there's little demand for new translations. How bad are the old translations? Bad. Often up to 25% of the text is cut. Character names are changed, as are plot points and events. Anything which might reflect poorly on British colonial policy is left out. Verne's carefully-researched scientific facts and numbers are arbitrarily changed or deleted. 'Diving suit' becomes 'life vest' and in several incidents, translators added racial epithets, in one case translating 'he said' as 'whined the Jew'. Compare two translations of Verne, and you're likely to find they differ greatly in length, content, and story. Indeed, even the title in French does not end with 'sea', but 'seas'. Sadly, picking up a copy of the book, new or used, and you are still likely to get one of these terrible translations, since they are in the public domain. But we need suffer beneath this maltreatment no longer, for recently, several scholars have labored to bring to us faithful and well-researched translations. F.P. Walter donated his translation to Project Gutenberg, and it may be found here, while William Butcher's, which includes a critical introduction and footnotes, is available here. Reading through these, it must be clear that Verne is not a pulp author, with more imagination than sense, but then, it's also difficult to describe his work as science fiction or steampunk. For the first, all the technologies he puts forth are not fictional, but real, current technologies: submarines had been in use since the American Civil war and his descriptions all rely closely on data found in scientific journals. It's true that his submarine is much larger and more advanced than any other, but it's hardly the same leap as a race to the moon or a journey through time. Indeed, as with Doyle's Professor Challenger stories, it is not man who is fantastical, but the world around him. As for 'steampunk', the Nautilus skips right past steam and diesel and is wholly powered by chemical batteries and electricity, with nary a cog or flywheel to be found. As for the writing itself, it is intelligent, the characters strong, and Verne is quite capable of giving us those little insights which subtly alters our perception of the various interpersonal conflicts which dominate the book's plot. Though there are various events--the squid, meeting with this or that vessel, the undersea gardens, travel to the antarctic--these are all scattered throughout the story willy nilly, as if it were a real travelogue, tied together by the real central plot, which is the conflict between the captain and our heroes. But since fiction is artificial, it does not make sense for the author to pretend that it isn't, so I found it disappointing that the individual occurrences of the plot rarely seemed important, nor did Verne build up to them or create a letdown, afterwards. The famous scene with the giant squid was particularly disappointing and anti-climactic, emerging suddenly and then over in a few moments. It's something I've been struggling with as I work on my own Victorian sci fi novel: ensuring that each scene has purpose on its own, and flows from one to the next. It need not even be a clear flow of events: flow can also be achieved through mood, tone, and pace. Verne's book owes a great deal to Moby Dick, a book which bravely thrust from scene to scene, but where each scene was conceptually interconnected with the one before and the one after that, even if one was about the classification of whales and the next about someone being swept out to sea, there was still a conceptual link between them. Verne's digressions of science and classification are not bound up in the purpose and philosophy of his story, as Melville's are, which leads to another problem that I have been carefully weighing in my own writing: what to include. Again and again, Verne spends long parts of chapters listing through types of fish seen outside the ship. Some of these are like Ovid's lists: full of lovely images, colors, and shapes, a melange of words and sounds that approaches a sort of poetry. Some contain humorous or interesting details which have some bearing on the situation at hand. Yet in many instances, they are merely long, dry, and add nothing to the book. It certainly makes sense, as our narrator is a trained classifier, and duly interested in such things, but one of the rules of fiction is that we leave out reality when it is dull or extraneous, or pass it by with a few words, as Verne does dozens of time, commenting on the passing of days or weeks in a paragraph or even a sentence. To me, leaving in such long-winded, repetitious digressions was a mark against the book. But then, science fiction is very fond of such digressions, and Verne also indulges in the other kind: the long chapters of explanation about length, tonnage, and the particulars of undersea travel, all taking place at the slow pace of a Socratic dialogue: 'but then how do you replenish these sodium batteries being, as you are, always at sea', 'well, you see, I distill it from the very . . .', and so on. And of course, almost none of these myriad details are ever shown to be important again. My general rule is to only go into detail so much as it: I. Impacts the story directly II. Sets an artistic mood III. Symbolically explores the philosophical ideas in the book, or IV. Is amusing, in and of itself But then, Verne is not only indebted to Melville, but to Poe, and his disjointed, bizarre story The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket--his only foray into the novel, and one of those books that is so flawed and unusual that it has inspired whole generations of authors who feel that, with a bit more focus and tightening up, they might turn its form into something quite strong. So, when we rush from carefully-detailed and researched science and plunge into silly, unsupported tall tales in Verne, we can, to some degree, thank Poe, whose story started as a straightforward travelogue and ended as some kind of religious symbolic fever dream. But it is strange to me to see Verne spend a chapter talking meticulously about the tonnage of the Nautilus and what volume of water would be required to sink to certain depths, and then claiming that sharks can only bite while swimming upside-down and that pearl divers in Ceylon wouldn't be able to hold their breath for more than a minute at a time. It just goes to show that no matter how much careful research and deliberation you put into a book, you're still going to make errors, so in the end, you might want to focus more on your story, plotting, and pacing (things you can control), and less on endlessly researching things that could just as easily be passed over without the story losing anything (except length). And overall, this is what I wish Verne had done. While I respect the intelligence and precision with which he pursues his work, and I would definitely not rank him among the pulps, the very rich character story at the center of the book was too lightly touched upon, when, as in Frankenstein or Moby Dick, it could have been the focus, and made for a much stronger book. The characters, the conflicts, and the psychology were all there, but in the end, we leave the book without a completed arc.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Annemarie

    Actual rating: 4.5 🌟 It's very evident that Jules Verne did a ton of research for this book. I would even go so far to say that there is more info-dumping than there is plot. However, Verne has a way of pulling you into the story and writing in such a enthralling way that this large amount of explanations and listing of names isn't boring or repetitive. It just adds to the story and to the development of the characters. I'm not surprised in the slightest that there are people out there who are a Actual rating: 4.5 🌟 It's very evident that Jules Verne did a ton of research for this book. I would even go so far to say that there is more info-dumping than there is plot. However, Verne has a way of pulling you into the story and writing in such a enthralling way that this large amount of explanations and listing of names isn't boring or repetitive. It just adds to the story and to the development of the characters. I'm not surprised in the slightest that there are people out there who are actually convinced that Verne is telling a non-fictional tale. It all just seems so real, believable and convincing. I also felt this constant air of mystery while reading, which was strengthen further by how many things are left to the imagination and remain unresolved. I do have to say that I strongly believe that this book isn't for everyone, especially due to the large extent of maritime information. I'm a huge lover of ocean animals though, so I certainly felt lots of joy while reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Werner

    Verne's works are difficult for an English-speaking reader to evaluate fairly, because he wasn't well-served by the English translations of his day --which are still the standard ones in print, which most people read. The translators changed plots and characters' names in some cases, excised passages they considered "boring," and generally took a very free hand with the text; so you never know how much of the plodding pacing, bathetic dialogue, and stylistic faults (for instance, what passes for Verne's works are difficult for an English-speaking reader to evaluate fairly, because he wasn't well-served by the English translations of his day --which are still the standard ones in print, which most people read. The translators changed plots and characters' names in some cases, excised passages they considered "boring," and generally took a very free hand with the text; so you never know how much of the plodding pacing, bathetic dialogue, and stylistic faults (for instance, what passes for "description" here is usually simply long lists of marine species whose appearance most readers have no idea of) to blame on them and how much on Verne. In any case, those characteristics are fully in view in the translation of this novel that I read, in addition to the basic 19th-century diction which will be off-putting to many modern readers anyway (my wife chose not to finish the book). The success of the book when it was written, in my opinion, owed much more to the novelty of the premise than to the execution of the finished product; and today, where submarines and undersea travel are commonplace, that factor doesn't operate. (This is a pity, because Captain Nemo is actually one of Verne's more complex and memorable characters, and deserves a better literary medium for his story!)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

    My eyes did not leave the Captain, who, with his hand stretched out to sea, was watching with a glowing eye the glorious wreck. Perhaps I was never to know who he was, from whence he came, or where he was going to, but I saw the man move, and apart from the savant. It was no common misanthropy which had shut Captain Nemo and his companions within the Nautilus, but a hatred, either monstrous or sublime, which time could never weaken. Did this hatred still seek for vengeance? The future would soon My eyes did not leave the Captain, who, with his hand stretched out to sea, was watching with a glowing eye the glorious wreck. Perhaps I was never to know who he was, from whence he came, or where he was going to, but I saw the man move, and apart from the savant. It was no common misanthropy which had shut Captain Nemo and his companions within the Nautilus, but a hatred, either monstrous or sublime, which time could never weaken. Did this hatred still seek for vengeance? The future would soon teach me that.Between 1866 and 1868, ships across the world keep encountering what appears to be a giant, dangerous narwhal. The U.S. government sends the USS Abraham Lincoln to hunt down the creature. Joining the expedition is the book’s narrator, Pierre Aronnax, a French professor of marine biology. But when the ship finally find the ‘monster,’ Aronnax, his manservant Conseil, and a hot-tempered harpooner named Ned Land, are thrown overboard during the attack. The three men are ultimately rescued by the ‘monster,’ which is revealed to actually be a giant steel submarine. Choosing life over death, the three reluctantly agree to remain on the Nautilus, and under the control of its Captain, the mysterious, magnetic Nemo. Thus begins this classic adventure tale by Jules Verne, one of the foundational writers of science fiction. Unlike H.G. Wells, who wrote science fiction that was far more philosophical than technical, this book reads like an old-timey Michael Crichton novel. There’s a great deal of science—actual and predictive—within this story. It foretells modern submarines, scuba gear, and greater use of electric power. It also predicts future trends from trying to save the whales and ecological protectionism to opposing sport fishing and living as a pescatarian. Captain Nemo is, of course, the most interesting character here even though, like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, we only see him sporadically and only through the eyes of the narrator. He’s on a self-imposed exile from the rest of humanity, and he occasionally carries out acts of vengeance against certain ships that cross his path. But he’s not a one-dimensional villain, as he also sends money to help oppressed people around the world, and acts to help individual people that he meets. The journey of Nautilus spans the globe, exploring underwater forests, coral graveyards, the South Pole, and even Atlantis. The story paints a picture of a beautiful undersea world, with creatures real and imagined, including the famous giant squid. It’s not always scientifically or historically accurate, but it is consistently interesting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    As a story of adventure, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea seems a bit dated. However, even though it is told as a tale of adventure, there is more to Verne's famous story. The science in Twenty Thousand Leagues, especially considering the time it was published, is amazing. We got a sort of psychological account of Captain Nemo, but I would have liked more backstory on how he got to be the man our protagonist meets. What were his accomplishments before he became the recluse we As a story of adventure, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea seems a bit dated. However, even though it is told as a tale of adventure, there is more to Verne's famous story. The science in Twenty Thousand Leagues, especially considering the time it was published, is amazing. We got a sort of psychological account of Captain Nemo, but I would have liked more backstory on how he got to be the man our protagonist meets. What were his accomplishments before he became the recluse we see in the story? Still, it was an easy read and, since I'm now scuba diving in Honduras, quite timely! 3.5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    This is definitely one of the best classic science fiction I've read so far. I was amazed that Verne might have started the idea of the submarine and the under the sea explorations. While I was reading this, I was contemplating where he got his ideas or whether silly it might be, he could have time traveled from his time to the future or vice versa. This is definitely one of the best classic science fiction I've read so far. I was amazed that Verne might have started the idea of the submarine and the under the sea explorations. While I was reading this, I was contemplating where he got his ideas or whether silly it might be, he could have time traveled from his time to the future or vice versa.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    "Is more than one pearl ever found in an oyster?" asked Conseil. "Yes, my boy. Some oysters are veritable jewel boxes. I've even read of an oyster-but I can hardly believe it-which contained no less than a hundred and fifty sharks." "A hundred and fifty sharks!" cried Ned Land. "Did I say sharks?" I cried. "I meant to say a hundred and fifty pearls. It wouldn't make sense to say sharks." This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads. I always feel a bit weird reviewing a book that I haven't read "Is more than one pearl ever found in an oyster?" asked Conseil. "Yes, my boy. Some oysters are veritable jewel boxes. I've even read of an oyster-but I can hardly believe it-which contained no less than a hundred and fifty sharks." "A hundred and fifty sharks!" cried Ned Land. "Did I say sharks?" I cried. "I meant to say a hundred and fifty pearls. It wouldn't make sense to say sharks." This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads. I always feel a bit weird reviewing a book that I haven't read in its native language. Translations are all very well, but the very soul of a book must always be lost when it comes to being turned in to English, unless, of course, the original author is the translator. Then it is not translation, just bad writing. But translations are odd things and, sadly, the only thing available to me and thus are all I can review. In the case of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea it is a translation, but a mighty one. I was captivated from the start, with the magnificence of the descriptions, setting the scene, getting me excited about the whole ruddy adventure. I enjoyed Professor Aronnax and his very Passepartout-esque servant Conseil and their rather odd relationship. Ned Land was grand, if only for a laugh. And then we got on Captain Nemo's submarine, the Nautilus, and two things happened. Captain Nemo was, honestly, pointless. He wasn't to be feared, or particularly enigmatic. He was just a bit of a lonely loser. He should have been explored more-not to the extent that the mystery was solved completely, but surely to a deeper level akin to what his submarine goes to. Captain Nemo was, in short, a huge disappointment. His so-called revenge on society is, quite frankly, pathetic, as well. Secondly, we sink in to a deluge of classifications of fish and other marine life. Countless lists of the things Aronnax, Conseil and Ned see. Countless fish. I understand that the sea holds many of these, but to list them all is ridiculous. It felt like nothing but tedium and perhaps a little showy-showy. I suppose an adventure that is trapped beneath the waves will have limitations in how quick the pace can go, but the very nature of the journey and the interim expeditions-whilst incredibly imaginative and very forward-thinking-tended to be slow and fairly lacklustre. The whole thing petered out in a rather tremendous fashion. I feel slightly cheated by it, to tell the truth, as the start really had me engaged and mentally prepared to be taken on a fantastic journey. Instead, I just learned about latitude and classifications of fish. Blog | Reviews | Instagram | Twitter

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    For years this is what Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meant to me... Look familiar? I know, I know...That's just not what Jules Verne intended. Hey, Disney tried and it was fun when I was about 7 or 8, but back when Vernes wrote this, he was writing a true thrill ride! The story is of an underwater mission to seek and destroy a sea monster. That premise is turned on its head and the story takes a more scientific and character-based slant. Verne takes his readers on a trip to new worlds, som For years this is what Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meant to me... Look familiar? I know, I know...That's just not what Jules Verne intended. Hey, Disney tried and it was fun when I was about 7 or 8, but back when Vernes wrote this, he was writing a true thrill ride! The story is of an underwater mission to seek and destroy a sea monster. That premise is turned on its head and the story takes a more scientific and character-based slant. Verne takes his readers on a trip to new worlds, some real and just recently discovered as well as his own fictionalized lands. This must have been an edge-of-your-seater back when it came out. It looks a bit dated when held up to the light of the 21st century though. The writing is not stellar, but as pure adventure there are certain passages that still entertain and send someone like myself back to my childhood and that silly ride at Disney.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    I picked this book up -- this specific edition -- because I saw it was illustrated by the Dillons. This was fortunate because it turned out that, contrary to my previously held belief, I had not read it. What I had read as a child was some heavily edited-for-excitingness version almost entirely absent the encyclopedic accounts of marine life and oceanic conditions that constitute the bulk of the text. So few are the actual adventures of Nemo and the Professor and his two companions that I now wo I picked this book up -- this specific edition -- because I saw it was illustrated by the Dillons. This was fortunate because it turned out that, contrary to my previously held belief, I had not read it. What I had read as a child was some heavily edited-for-excitingness version almost entirely absent the encyclopedic accounts of marine life and oceanic conditions that constitute the bulk of the text. So few are the actual adventures of Nemo and the Professor and his two companions that I now wonder how they managed to get enough material to still have a book. The narration of the action is very understated, also, so I wonder if it was actually rewritten for the volume I had. With modern special effects this could make a great movie -- not an action film, but more like a marine documentary with strange asides into the human psyche. The above image (a Ransonnet-Villez lithograph of corals) is not from or even directly related to this book, but merely an illustration of the type of investigation of the undersea world that was becoming possible at the time due to new technologies.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    “Under the sea Under the sea When the sardine Begin the beguine It's music to me What do they got? A lot of sand We got a hot crustacean band Each little clam here know how to jam here Under the sea” - Sebastian the groovy Caribbean Crab The perfect soundtrack for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas really. I bet Captain Nemo wishes he’d thought of it. The direct translation of the full title of this here book is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World*, note the S at the “Under the sea Under the sea When the sardine Begin the beguine It's music to me What do they got? A lot of sand We got a hot crustacean band Each little clam here know how to jam here Under the sea” - Sebastian the groovy Caribbean Crab The perfect soundtrack for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas really. I bet Captain Nemo wishes he’d thought of it. The direct translation of the full title of this here book is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World*, note the S at the end of “Seas” also, the tour spans multiple seas you know. The book really is what it says on the tin, a large part of it book reads like a travelogue with more marine biology infodumps than I know what to do with. This aspect of it is a little like Moby-Dick*, the difference is that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (eff the extended title) is much more accessible and less dry (haha!). The version I read is translated from the original French by F. P. Walter with an excellent introduction by Mr. Walter that is informative, not too long and creates a nice sense of anticipation. Art by GoldenDaniel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, as you probably already know, is the adventure of Professor Pierre Aronnax, his ridiculously faithful servant Conseil, and the ruff 'n' tuff, love-em-and-leave-em, wham-bam-thank you-maam, Ned “Is that a harpoon or are you just happy to see me” Land. That sentence went on so long I train of thought has derailed... Oh yes! The adventures of the above-mentioned fellows in the Nautilus, a super-submarine captained by the mysterious Nemo***. Basically, Prof Aronnax and co go hunting for a creature they believe to be a mega-whale which they believe to have sunk several ships in the ocean and has to be stopped. As luck would have it, their own ship is sunk and the creature they are hunting turns out to be the high-tech submarine the Nautilus. Fortunately for them, Captain Nemo is nice enough to rescue them and take them on board his sub, less fortunate is that he won’t allow them to leave the Nautilus – ever! From then on Prof Aronnax’s first person narrative takes us along on this extraordinary voyage. The 20,000 leagues of the title refers to the distance, not the depth, covered by Aronnax’s voyage on board the Nautilus, which mostly takes place under the sea. I see what you did there Mr. Verne! I have to confess I am not an enthusiast of marine biology so my mind did float off to other places during some of the more educational passages. In all fairness, the book never bored me though, the tone of the narrative is always affable and pleasant to breeze through. If you are familiar with Disney’s awesome 1954 adaption of the book you will already know what to expect at the climax of the book involving a giant octopus (called devilfish in the book). This scene is brilliantly depicted by Verne, I was surprised how vivid and effective it is even in written form. Octopus vs The Nautilus (no idea who to credit, sorry) The central characters are quite well developed, though I did find Conseil to be subservient to a fault: “He's in Master's employ, he thinks like Master, he speaks like Master, and much to his regret, he can't be counted on to form a majority.” In a scene where oxygen was running out of the Nautilus, Conseil says "Oh, if only I didn't have to breathe, to leave more air for Master!" . For heaven’s sake man, get some agency! Ned Land may be a little plebeian but at least he is his own man. The faithful servant Passepartout from Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days is very similar to Conseil, but he is much more independent and even goes off on a solo adventure for a while. Aronnax is the least interesting of the main characters, but he makes a good narrator. Captain Nemo is, of course, awesome. A sort of Sherlock Holmes crossed with Batman – with gills (well, no gills but I bet he wishes he has them). I generally prefer Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days to this one, as it has less slack and moves along at a brisker pace. Still I like Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, it is very amiable and entertaining to read. _______________________ * “Vingt mille lieues sous les mers: Tour du monde sous-marin” if you want to get all Frenchie about it. ** Can I just plug my awesome terrible review of Moby-Dick here, it’s probably an all-time worst review of this venerated book. But I like it ;) **** *** Unfortunately the Nautilus is not yellow so I can’t, in all good conscience, quote from another song. **** My "emojitional" Twilight review is even worse, and it gets very little love, either because it is too far ahead of its time, or too far behind! But Cecily likes it so it can’t be all bad ;) Audiobook clearly and entertainingly read by Librivox volunteer Ms. Michele Fry. Thank you!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chad Bearden

    You can't be a serious science-fiction reader without delving just a bit into the genre's roots. To remedy an embarrassing lack of any Jules Verne on my reading list, last year I read "Journey to the Center of the Earth". I can see how to a young reader, it would be an instant classic. It's a pretty ripping adventure complete with hidden underground worlds and dinosaurs and gleefully wrong-headed theories about geology. What's not to love? Maybe I was a little disappointed? I was hoping for more You can't be a serious science-fiction reader without delving just a bit into the genre's roots. To remedy an embarrassing lack of any Jules Verne on my reading list, last year I read "Journey to the Center of the Earth". I can see how to a young reader, it would be an instant classic. It's a pretty ripping adventure complete with hidden underground worlds and dinosaurs and gleefully wrong-headed theories about geology. What's not to love? Maybe I was a little disappointed? I was hoping for more than just a corny adventure story. There wasn't a lot there send me searching the shelves for another Jules Verne novel. But, alas, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" sat there anyway, patiently waiting for me be curious enough to crack it open. Its prospects weren't too hot, but it did have one thing playing to its advantage, and that one thing was: Alan Moore. You see, Alan Moore had written several years ago, a Victorian era literary adventure comic called "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." In it, he collects literary characters from various eras and sends them off to save the world. For its base of operations, the team used The Nautilus, the otherworldly submarine of Captain Nemo. Moore's version of Nemo was about a million miles away from the James Mason version in the classic Disney movie, which was a lot closer in tone to the goofy peril invoked in "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Moore made Nemo dark and brooding and ambiguous and cryptic. There wasn't anything corny about it. Okay then...what the heck. I gave Verne another chance, and plucked the novel off the shelve and had a look. Unexpectedly, the first thing I read was a brief introductory essay by Ray Bradbury comparing "20,000 Leagues" to "Moby Dick", laying out a convincing arguement for how Nemo and Ahab are opposite sides of the same coin: Ahab evil in his pursuit to conquer the Great Whale and the sea, Nemo evil in his pursuit to become one with it. Now Ray Bradbury has always been a bit of a starry-eyed dreamer (which isn't a bad thing), so it wasn't too far fetched to think he was reading this Verne novel through rose-colored lenses, but quite frankly, nothing in "Center of the Earth" really lent itself to being compared seriously to any Great American Novels, so perhaps I'd be dealing with something different this time out. Equipped with a bit of optimism, it was time to let the book speak for itself. And the novel spoke for itself. Where "Center of the Earth" was a slick popcorn action story, "20,000 Leagues" is dark and gritty and real. Rather than cartwheeling through flashy action-set-pieces, the story of Doctor Arronax and harpooner Ned Land's imprisonment by Nemo is a crawling, cryptic one. It moves very slowly and deliberately, taking its time to offer lavish descriptions not only of the expansive vistas of the world's oceans, but also of the Nautilus, the grand undersea palace constructed by Nemo in his self-imposed exile from society. Some of the descriptions of sea life are almost tedious (okay, 'almost' nothing, they really are tedious). As our narrator is a marine biologist, we are graced with several encyclopedic descriptions of every possible creature you might find in the depths. Slowly, however, you begin to realize how much in love with the ocean Arronax is, and all the endless cataloguing of sea-life are really the doctor's love poems to the sea. And via Arronax's great passion, Nemo slowly becomes less of a villain. How villanous is it exactly to offer an awe-struck marine biologist an opportunity to spend the rest of life studying things no other scientist could even dream existed. Which paves the way for Ned Land, the restless harpooner who keeps popping his grizzled nose into the room and reminding everybody that Nemo is a megalomaniac bastard. Which is basically true, but honestly, I only begrudgingly accepted Nemo as the bad guy, maybe because I, like Arronax, am a scientiest at heart. Anyhow, the moral ambiguity of Nemo, the starry-eyed wonder of Arronax, the tough-as-nails grit of Ned (I honestly think Verne was picturing Kirk Douglas when he created Ned) gives the reader a host of characters with whom to get deeply invested. Combined with the intricate and luxurious descriptions of the world under the ocean, "20,000 Leagues" is a vastly different sort of adventure than "Center of the Earth". Much to my surprise and delight, it is far more than a schlockly romp around the ocean. It may not be at the same level as "Moby Dick", but it definitely reads as a work of fine literature.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    211215 this is a later addition: this is perhaps something of an example of sentiment over current rating, but it does also critically intrigue, in arguments why this work is the first true science fiction. there is a well known critical position that science fiction is the 'literature of cognitive estrangement', where the usual, the mundane, is made 'strange', engaging thought from some slightly different perspective- i just read a critique that verne perhaps operates the other way round, that 211215 this is a later addition: this is perhaps something of an example of sentiment over current rating, but it does also critically intrigue, in arguments why this work is the first true science fiction. there is a well known critical position that science fiction is the 'literature of cognitive estrangement', where the usual, the mundane, is made 'strange', engaging thought from some slightly different perspective- i just read a critique that verne perhaps operates the other way round, that he makes the 'strange' into the familiar, the mundane, the european world of mid 1800s, so less threatening and somehow maintaining worlds comfortable to readers always explainable in applied science, in engineering, in spite of any fantastic devices or worlds... 031015 first review: this is another book i decide to reread that i once gave a five. when i rated that it was by memory, and of that an abridged version. this is a new read, a new translation, a new experience. thus sentiment plays less of a role, but i am unsure how much of this rating is the idea rather than execution... this edition comes with a 60 page introduction, which sets it up well. the text itself is complete, around 430 pages, and of the same vintage as The Wretched (Les Miserables) by Victor Hugo. it is interesting to think of these books as contemporary, of how each works, how different, how similar. also how much of it is images of the disney movie, from which in reading it is hard to escape. this is the good: brass/steampunk visuals of the nautilus, james mason as captain nemo. the bad: kirk douglas as ned land the harpooner (singing!), peter lorre as conseil, the movie pacing and resolution... there is not much to comment on, except to reiterate what critics if not everyone knows by now: the translations read as kids book are bad, abridging is radical, the ideas are beautiful. exact failings of the translations i do not know, as i do not read (perfect) french. of abridging, well there are many, many, long passages detailing such things as mechanics, science, engineering, then catalogues of fishes, sharks, and other marine life. there is great specificity of latitude, longitude, depth, type of seawater. there is some gesture to the power of electricity, other concepts such as walking undersea, on finding wreckage wealth, of drowned ruins, of pearls beyond measure, of all the ways nemo refuses the land, in food, in fuel, in everything from furniture to ink. these sections are shortened or omitted. at the time perhaps they were needed to give scientific plausibility to the magical experience, by now they are boring, now we read past them, but i enjoy them in an abstract, comic, way... particularly marine life as seen between scientific classification by conseil, and whether they are edible by ned land... other comments: this is the genesis of science fiction as 'hard science' rather than speculative, rather than social science fiction, and the overriding attitude is that everything, however fantastic, has a scientific rationale- even if such is speculative, if such is imaginative license, it is the philosophical principle that science enables and explains everything. so be ready for a lot of science (of 1869). do not read this if you like say, genre romances...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Olivier Delaye

    Read this in French when I was a kid and I loved it. Reread it recently in English and I'm still in awe. When a story is good, it's good in any language, and this one proves the rule. Read this in French when I was a kid and I loved it. Reread it recently in English and I'm still in awe. When a story is good, it's good in any language, and this one proves the rule.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julian Worker

    Tremendous research by the author to provide many examples of the flora and fauna found in all the seas around the world. I would like to have known a little more of Nemo's background and what motivated him to do what he did. I am not sure where the three protagonists obtained all the clothing from unless I missed that part. Tremendous research by the author to provide many examples of the flora and fauna found in all the seas around the world. I would like to have known a little more of Nemo's background and what motivated him to do what he did. I am not sure where the three protagonists obtained all the clothing from unless I missed that part.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Dr. Pierre Arronaux along with his manservant Conseil and Canadian Harpooner Ned Land are captured and imprisoned inside of the submarine known as the Nautilus after mistaking it for a sea creature and attacking it on the USS American Naval ship The Abraham Lincoln. There they meet the Eccentric and adventurous Captain Nemo who tells them that they are going to remain on board his vessel forever to go on an extraordinary tour under the sea. Will the men be able to ever get home or will they stay Dr. Pierre Arronaux along with his manservant Conseil and Canadian Harpooner Ned Land are captured and imprisoned inside of the submarine known as the Nautilus after mistaking it for a sea creature and attacking it on the USS American Naval ship The Abraham Lincoln. There they meet the Eccentric and adventurous Captain Nemo who tells them that they are going to remain on board his vessel forever to go on an extraordinary tour under the sea. Will the men be able to ever get home or will they stay on the ship until they die? Can they stop Ned Land before he does anything stupid? Read on and find out for yourself. This was a pretty good and interesting read as well as the first book I have ever read by Jules Verne. I have heard of this book from some of my friends who have loved it and seen the Disney film they came out with which I may watch in the future. I thought the scientific and technical parts were interesting and to go on an underwater tour to see the marine flora and fauna would be awesome to do! If you enjoy classic literature and books about under the sea then be sure to check this book out. It is available to get at your local library and to buy wherever books are sold.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    I must reproduce the passage from this book which I found yesterday in Kingsley Amis's New Maps of Hell. Did I have the same translation when I read it at age nine? Even now, it seems strangely familiar, and in particular I remember wondering about that odd word "poulp":What a scene! The unhappy man, seized by the tentacle and fastened to its blowholes, was balanced in the air according to the caprice of this enormous trunk. He was choking, and cried out, 'À moi! à moi!' (Help! help!) Those Fren I must reproduce the passage from this book which I found yesterday in Kingsley Amis's New Maps of Hell. Did I have the same translation when I read it at age nine? Even now, it seems strangely familiar, and in particular I remember wondering about that odd word "poulp":What a scene! The unhappy man, seized by the tentacle and fastened to its blowholes, was balanced in the air according to the caprice of this enormous trunk. He was choking, and cried out, 'À moi! à moi!' (Help! help!) Those French words caused me a profound stupor. Then I had a countryman aboard, perhaps several! I shall hear that heartrending cry all my life! The unfortunate man was lost. Who would rescue him from that powerful grasp? Captain Nemo threw himself on the poulp, and with his hatchet cut off another arm. The first officer was fighting with rage against other monsters that were climbing the sides of the Nautilus. The crew were fighting with hatchets. The Canadian, Conseil, and I dug our arms into the fleshy masses. A violent smell of musk pervaded the atmosphere. It was horrible.Having since then read Verne in the original French, I can report that it is better in the original. But the difference is probably less than you imagine.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike Anastasia

    This is a great book and I can understand how it's rightfully considered a classic, but I have to imagine this is as uninspiring to our generation as the first iPhone manuals will be in 150 years. When this was written, the idea of naval travel was only practically available to the rich and, beyond that, the concept of a submarine was on the same lines as a rail gun or UAV to us. We've probably imagined - either through stories, video games or whatever - that such things could exist in our world This is a great book and I can understand how it's rightfully considered a classic, but I have to imagine this is as uninspiring to our generation as the first iPhone manuals will be in 150 years. When this was written, the idea of naval travel was only practically available to the rich and, beyond that, the concept of a submarine was on the same lines as a rail gun or UAV to us. We've probably imagined - either through stories, video games or whatever - that such things could exist in our world but most of us won't ever get to interact with them or have an inside look at their mechanics. Verne gave the people of the world that exact view of an unimaginable submarine 80 years before U-boats stalked the western banks of his homeland. We STILL don't know 20% of the secrets the ocean holds and that number was effectively 0% in 1868, so I have a tremendous respect for the feeling of quest, exploration and wonder Verne imbued his work with. Since many Europeans never even had contact with oceans in their lives (provided they lived inland - no cars, expensive trains and unstable boats), this would have been absolutely riveting to them. And with that, I find myself lost with the biology and chemistry on display in M. Arronax's notes. There are time where the species he investigates feel like shopping lists (which is the point, the perspective Verne went for here was a notebook, not a first person recollection - which he also did in Harry's notebook for Journey to the Center of the Earth) and, after always being taught that shopping lists are wrong in prose, they stick out to me like the knuckles of a sassy Catholic boy after the nun fetched the ruler. Outstanding story but I would have had a bit better time with it if the biological observations didn't seem so numerical. Either way, though, outstanding. Also, Verne's adherence to the "central fire" - a scientific observation that the earth had a liquid iron core, which was disputed in his lifetime - is sensational. He was an author who wrote better than everyone and knew more than most scientists in the process. The compressed air, electric lamps and diving suits used onboard the nautilus directly influenced the first generations of diving apparati used by the British, German and American navies in the 1880s. Amazing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Within the pages of this 1869 Classic sci-fi adventure, you will experience life underwater aboard the amazing submarine Nautilus encountering gigantic sea monsters, a 600 pound oyster shell with a flawless Pearl the size of a coconut, and fight your way thru man-eating Sharks as well as the Great Ice Barrier. While the story is a little "heavy" on the descriptions of the colorful fish and unusual plant life, there are also sea battles and shipwrecks to keep one entertained.Professor Aronmax nar Within the pages of this 1869 Classic sci-fi adventure, you will experience life underwater aboard the amazing submarine Nautilus encountering gigantic sea monsters, a 600 pound oyster shell with a flawless Pearl the size of a coconut, and fight your way thru man-eating Sharks as well as the Great Ice Barrier. While the story is a little "heavy" on the descriptions of the colorful fish and unusual plant life, there are also sea battles and shipwrecks to keep one entertained.Professor Aronmax narrates the story from his perspective as a ten month captive aboard the Nautilus along with his faithful servant Conseil and Canadian harpooner friend Ned Land whose on-going escape plans are continually thwarted within the secretive world of the reclusive Captain Nemo.This is my very first Jules Vern novel, but won't be my last.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Firstly, I won't deny that Jules Verne knows his stuff. This book is full of scientific analysis, with a detailed knowledge of zoology, ocean currents, geographical construction and engineering designs. While the character development is stalled and Nemo is the only one to truly grow (somewhat, that is), the amount of knowledge Verne shoved into the book made it sink- no pun intended. I'm in no way denying that this book is interesting and is not worthy of a higher rating. There were parts where Firstly, I won't deny that Jules Verne knows his stuff. This book is full of scientific analysis, with a detailed knowledge of zoology, ocean currents, geographical construction and engineering designs. While the character development is stalled and Nemo is the only one to truly grow (somewhat, that is), the amount of knowledge Verne shoved into the book made it sink- no pun intended. I'm in no way denying that this book is interesting and is not worthy of a higher rating. There were parts where I actually felt myself getting drawn into the world. The description of the underworld life sucked me in, and I could almost see what Verne was describing. But after page after page after page of nothing but telling, not showing, I felt myself losing interest. There is only so much I can really take. There was also a subtle humour. One part is when Aronnax is in one of his underwater walks with Nemo, and it starts to rain. He thinks to himself that he'll get wet, forgetting that is he underwater, and his realisation catches him off-guard. Furthermore, I did like Conseil, however he seemed to be much younger than his thirty years and had a rather strong romantic devotion to his Master. I'm not suggesting that Verne was unknowingly writing a homosexual relationship between Aronnax and his assistant, but reading it as a modern reader, I cannot help picking up on this relationship. After all, I wouldn't know of many fictional servants who would willingly plunge into the ocean depths simply because their Master fell after being pulled away by a then-thought-of gargantuan water monster. In closing, this is a great historical work. I don't deny that, and I do recommend that book to people for that fact alone. It has inspired many sci-fi works today, and Verne is- was- a very knowledgeable scientific writer. However, it is not in my taste. The language isn't difficult, but after constant descriptions that appear to be written to explain to the reader alone (I don't know anyone who would explain the size of something in the amount of water it displaces!), I couldn't help feeling dragged down by it. Besides this, I really did like it, but couldn't give it a higher rating due to the difficulty it took to read line after line of description of fish.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    I read this EARLY in high school, about a hundred years ago, so I cannot write an appropriately thoughtful review due to time and a memory sodden with time. However, I can recollect one memorable anecdote about this reading. This book was so good, I could not put it down, literally. I think I started this on Friday afternoon and finished sometime Sunday night, with barely a TV show in between.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Uhtred

    I have re-read this classic by Jules Verne after many years and I must say that it is very good for one’s health to re-read books read when child. Verne was a visionary and who better than him can make us see these strange years we are living through the eyes of a visionary? It was 1870 when Verne wrote about the exploits of a feared and mysterious sea monster with imperforable armor and incredible speed. A monster capable of sinking even the largest galleons like small boats. The plot takes pla I have re-read this classic by Jules Verne after many years and I must say that it is very good for one’s health to re-read books read when child. Verne was a visionary and who better than him can make us see these strange years we are living through the eyes of a visionary? It was 1870 when Verne wrote about the exploits of a feared and mysterious sea monster with imperforable armor and incredible speed. A monster capable of sinking even the largest galleons like small boats. The plot takes place in the sea and is told by Professor Arronax, a famous French naturalist. Arronax is invited by the United States government to participate in an expedition to identify the huge animal responsible for the sinking of a ship. According to the testimonies of the few survivors, the animal was gigantic, had fluorescent eyes, was capable of puffing up water columns up to 50 meters high and Arronax thinks it is a very large narwhal, very fast and with a piercing horn. He is intrigued and agrees to leave, accompanied by Conseil, his personal assistant. The two depart on the ship Abraham Lincoln, where they meet Ned Land, a Canadian considered the king of harpoons. After three months of unsuccessful navigation they finally come across the monster; during the clash the Lincoln is rammed and due to the collision, Aronnax, Conseil and Land fall into the sea and remain at the mercy of the waves for hours, until now close to death they find something hard and metallic. Aronnax immediately realizes that they are on a submarine and in fact shortly afterwards some crewmen arrive who capture them and take them inside, where they meet Captain Nemo, the commander of the Nautilus, a very modern submarine. Nemo considers them war prisoners and takes them with him on a journey into the abyss that will last 20,000 French leagues, that is the beauty of 78,000 km, during which they will discover amazing things. The submarine, with an electric motor, is a real world apart: it has a sumptuous lounge, a library with 12,000 books, a museum with paintings and statues, a control room with the best navigation tools, a well-stocked kitchen, numerous bathrooms and an engine room with very powerful engines. During their long journey, the three will visit with Nemo all the seas of the Earth: they will start from the Pacific Ocean where, wearing special diving suits equipped with air generators, they will walk for hours through forests of underwater trees and hunt fish with an electric gun invented by Nemo, as well as seeing a 2 meter long oyster containing a pearl the size of a coconut. They then arrive in the Mediterranean Sea and after the Strait of Gibraltar they enter the Atlantic. Here the three begin to differentiate and Ned Land, who is not interested in scientific discoveries, plans an escape from the Nautilus but on the appointed day, Nemo invites the three to an excursion in a bay where 18 century Spanish galleons full of gold lie. Ned Land's attempt to escape fails and the Nautilus leaves for the South Pole. During the journey, one night Nemo interrupts navigation and takes Aronnax to the edges of a sunken crater to see the remains of an ancient city with temples and columns. It is none other than the ruins of the lost continent of Atlantis ... The Nautilus then resumes its journey towards the South Pole, where, after being stuck under the ice, they reach Cape Horn. The Nautilus is now heading towards the Equator, where in the Bahamas it will be attacked by a herd of giant octopuses 8 meters large. Nemo, the guests and the crew are forced to go out and fight against the octopuses to free the submarine and resume the journey to the USA. In these months, Ned Land has tried several times to organize an escape, always advised against by Aronnax, and here too, given the proximity of Long Island, he takes the opportunity to try to escape, but a storm arrives and Nemo decides to leave for Europe. After passing Ireland, the Nautilus crosses the English Channel and suddenly a warship appears and shoots it with cannons. Nemo launches the submarine at full speed and pierces the ship causing it to sink and killing all occupants. Aronnax is upset and would like to insult Nemo but freezes seeing him cry in front of the photograph of a woman and two children. After this fact, still upset, Aronnax decides to yield to Ned's requests to escape: the three take possession of a lifeboat but just as they are about to put it into the sea they hear great noises and screams. They then understand that the Nautilus is about to be sucked into the terrible Maelström whirlpool, near Norway, where Nemo may have voluntarily led it. During the excited phases that follow, the three protagonists lose consciousness and wake up, safe and sound, in the hut of a fisherman in one of the Lofoten Islands, where they are restored waiting to be able to return to France. Aronnax often thinks of Captain Nemo, hoping that he survived and that he is still on his way to the seas, perhaps having found the answers to the torments that besieged him and that Aronnax had sensed. Verne's worlds are always fantastic and wonderful, both scientific and naturalistic: you are immersed in such fantastic atmospheres that it seems to be there. It is a world made up of special effects, which surely enchant children, but which certainly also have a hold on adults who want to dream a little. A writer still read after 150 years can be defined immortal, and I am happy that this is the case for Verne. The adventures aboard the Nautilus are still thrilling today and I imagine that at the time of publication they must have looked amazing; the underwater world was unknown and underwater events easily led to science fiction. Then there is the enigmatic figure of Captain Nemo, who lends himself to highly personal psychological interpretations: the mysterious and charismatic Captain Nemo is captivating, intriguing, perfectly portrayed and defined in the psychological profile by Verne. He seems to be the calmest and most wise man in the world, but he will reveal a fierce rancor towards humanity, a rancor that Verne will not explain to us and that therefore leaves us with a bit of a bitterness in our mouth and sadness for Nemo. Where will Captain Nemo be now?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This was a fun story. I remember seeing the movie when I was a kid but forgot what happened so I went into this story knowing very little. The only thing I remember was a giant squid. However, the squid fight was only two pages and near the end of the book which was a bit of a let down for me. I really liked the characters in this story. I thought Nemo, captain of the Nautilus, was a very cool guy. Who else would stick a library in a submarine? Of all the captains of seafaring voyage books I’ve This was a fun story. I remember seeing the movie when I was a kid but forgot what happened so I went into this story knowing very little. The only thing I remember was a giant squid. However, the squid fight was only two pages and near the end of the book which was a bit of a let down for me. I really liked the characters in this story. I thought Nemo, captain of the Nautilus, was a very cool guy. Who else would stick a library in a submarine? Of all the captains of seafaring voyage books I’ve read, I liked Nemo the best. He truly cared about his crew and when one died in a battle, he always gave them a moment of silence and his eyes were filled with tears. He was a compassionate guy with a big heart, even though he tried to hide it with a tough outer layer of authority. This story is a classic and Jules Verne is one of the pioneers of Sci-fi so what’s not to love?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    It has been said that Captain Nemo is the worst villain in classic literature. I disagree. I submit that Verne's intimate knowledge of marine biology, which he thrusts upon the reader in chapter after painful chapter, is TRULY the worst villain in classic literature, though it could be argued that Melville's familiarity with the whaling industry is right up there. Overall, too much of the book told me too little. I was hoping for a better character sketch of Captain Nemo, and I was left wanting It has been said that Captain Nemo is the worst villain in classic literature. I disagree. I submit that Verne's intimate knowledge of marine biology, which he thrusts upon the reader in chapter after painful chapter, is TRULY the worst villain in classic literature, though it could be argued that Melville's familiarity with the whaling industry is right up there. Overall, too much of the book told me too little. I was hoping for a better character sketch of Captain Nemo, and I was left wanting more. So much more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I have just spent the best part of the last 2 weeks reading this, and I'm wondering why I bothered. I had completely the wrong impression of what this book was about, not having heard the story or seen any of the films (apart from Captain Nemo turning up in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!). I thought that the 20,000 leagues under the sea meant that they literally went down vertically to 20,000 leagues below the surface and there found a land full of fantastical creatures a la Journey to the C I have just spent the best part of the last 2 weeks reading this, and I'm wondering why I bothered. I had completely the wrong impression of what this book was about, not having heard the story or seen any of the films (apart from Captain Nemo turning up in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!). I thought that the 20,000 leagues under the sea meant that they literally went down vertically to 20,000 leagues below the surface and there found a land full of fantastical creatures a la Journey to the Centre of the Earth (which I also haven't read). But it was basically a fictional travel guide to the world's oceans written in the 1860s and therefore now out of date. The language (which I understand is a translation) was flowery and at some points consisted of paragraphs of lists of names of various sea plants and animals. The one exciting bit of the book, which I had anticipated for 221 pages before I finally got to it, lasted for approximately one and a third pages! I remember now why I don't read fiction that was written more than 50 years ago. And I think Hollywood has a lot to answer for.

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