Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne

Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole.

But Nemo's mission is one of French naturalist Dr. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge-and his methods coldly efficient. Hardcover , Extraordinary Voyages, 6 , pages. Extraordinary Voyages 6 , Captain Nemo 1. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Would I, a sixteen-year-old girl, enjoy and understand this book? Zak Longo If you love the ocean, and have an interest in it's nature, you will not feel bogged down by descriptions.

However, I do think the philosophical …more If you love the ocean, and have an interest in it's nature, you will not feel bogged down by descriptions. However, I do think the philosophical dances with Nemo will get a bit boring for readers under Apparently 6 in the Extroadinary Voyages series. Ami This book stand on it's own. Lists with This Book. 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, leagues across the world.

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.

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. 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. View all 31 comments. 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. I occasionally review field guides on Goodreads, and yet I actually preferred George Eliot's tangents ab Man, what a strange book. 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! 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. 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: 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 [ 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 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 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: View all 11 comments.

Oct 22, J.


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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? 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. Indeed, it's created a catch in literary studies: How bad are the old translations?

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. 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.

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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: 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: It need not even be a clear flow of events: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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. View all 16 comments. Miles Zarathustra I read it in French, so translation wasn't a problem.

But the archetypal theme is perennial. Thank you very much for posting this. May 05, Werner rated it it was ok Shelves: 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.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Seas by Jules Verne. Search eText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.

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!

View all 15 comments. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a marine adventure book, which can be qualified even fiction novel; one of the first novels of science fiction. In , when this book came out, no underwater trip had been done, reported, Jules Verne therefore allows to imagine from scientific basis for certain facts pressure, temperature, We say what avant-garde with this fully electrified submarine, its autonomous suits and wh Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a marine adventure book, which can be qualified even fiction novel; one of the first novels of science fiction.

We say what avant-garde with this fully electrified submarine, its autonomous suits and which are used for humanistic and non-military purposes! This novel is a real dashboard where we follow our four protagonists, we dive with them to discover the splendors of the sea, and the beautiful illustrations of Neuville adds to this part of fabulous. Admittedly, some passages are very too?

We are fascinated by Captain Nemo: What happened to him for wanting so much to leave the Earth forever? Why so much hate and rancor towards men, to the point of attacking their boats? Can we blame him, without knowing his past and knowing what men are capable of? Is it more to blame than the men who leave at the beginning of the novel hunt down the "monster" sailor to kill him because it harms the navigators? View all 8 comments. Jun 08, Jason Koivu rated it liked it Shelves: 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 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. View all 10 comments. People who can look at aquariums for hours. 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.

However the location should have been translated as "Badlands of South Dakota", which would have reflected the Professor's and Verne's cutting edge knowledge of aquatic fossils. Another pathetic translation was when Ned Land is said to use a Lentil a legume! That makes no sense does it? Of course not - until the word is correctly translated as a "lens" - then it makes perfect sense that Ned Land would use a lens, to focus the sun's rays to make fire!

Verne was a genius and he has suffered over years of libelous misrepresentation due to lazy and criminally ignorant translation. Verne isn't the only victim to suffer - generations of English speaking Science Fiction fans and scientists have been denied access to the genius that is Verne. This translation is the first step in righting a wrong, the second step is you reading the book as it was mean to be read. Trust me, you'll thank me for the recommendation! The only thing that could make this book any better would be if the Nautilus submarine in the illustrations was the submarine designed by Harper Goff!

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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    Add to Cart Add to Cart. About 20, Leagues Under the Sea An American frigate, tracking down a ship-sinking monster, faces not a living creature but an incredible invention — a fantastic submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo.

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