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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (original 1870; edition 1987)

by Jules Verne (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,647177314 (3.73)1 / 370
Retells the adventures of a French professor and his two companions as they sail above and below the world's oceans as prisoners on the fabulous electric submarine of the deranged Captain Nemo.
Title:20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Authors:Jules Verne (Author)
Info:Galley Press (1987), Edition: LATTER PRINTING, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (Author) (1870)

  1. 50
    The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Also featuring Captain Nemo
  2. 40
    Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (Morteana)
  3. 30
    Nemo Rising by C. Courtney Joyner (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Nemo Rising is a modern sequel to Jules Verne's work
  4. 20
    Two Planets by Kurd Laßwitz (spiphany)
    spiphany: Another classic of early science fiction.
  5. 21
    The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (generalkala)
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English (162)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (177)
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
I don’t know what I exactly expected from this book, but not exactly this. I think I anticipated more plot and action. And this book is very erudite.

This is not really my thing. But still I’m amazed with the amount of information and knowledge contained in this book. Nowadays, we do not have a problem with access to detailed information on any topic, you can search virtually anything on the internet. But at a time when Verne wrote his book, this amount of information had to be impressive and required some serious research. All these curiosities included in the book were then completely unknown to the readers. I imagine that they had to ignite the imagination back then.

Unfortunately, times have changed and now this accumulation of encyclopedic information is a bit boring. Enumeration of all kinds of fish and marine animals is simply uninteresting for today's reader who is looking for action and plot twists. And I am not an exception.

Nevertheless, the book is a wonderful record of the scientific knowledge on the seas and oceans at the time. And this aspect is especially interesting for me. It's fascinating to catch a glimpse of how people saw the world 150 years ago. What interested them, what they were afraid of and how they imagined the future. And even more interesting is what they did not know then and what we already know now. Like the South Pole, which in Verne’s book looks very like Greenland which is very far from truth. And although the south pole is still studied by scientists, it is not a white patch on the map anymore.

The same with regard to the use of electricity. The light bulb was not invented until around 1880. It was not until 1882 that factories in the United States began producing light bulbs. Verne published his book 10 years before this! The idea of an entire ship (and a submarine!) being electrically powered had to be something fantastic in the Verne era and beyond human imagination.

Another aspect that I noticed reading this book is the perception of the world at the time. Even more valuable that it is not presented from the perspective of today's political correctness or an attempt to point out certain problems but shown in a way that was then quite natural. In the book we have a very well illustrated approach to colonialism and a way of thinking about the ‘savage’. And although today we have a completely different approach to these topics, contact with a report from the past helps us understand how our ancestors thought and how the world changed over years. Therefore, Captain Nemo who would be considered an ecologist and social activist even in more recent standards is an extremely interesting character.

I’m glad I read this book even if it is not my favourite. It's fascinating to see how people imagined the future and what turned out to be true.
( )
  Sarielle | Jan 15, 2020 |
[Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea] is a classic adventure story from the 19th century, centered on a mysterious sea captain, Nemo, in control of a wondrous (and terrible) undersea boat. The story's author, Jules Verne, didn't give Nemo any more than a sentence or two of backstory, so the reader has no idea what drives him. And in the end, the reader has no idea of his fate.

Briefly, the story is that the maritime world is threatened by a hostile vessel or maybe creature that attacks and sinks ships at the cost of every life on board. Several naval powers collaborate to build, equip, and staff a special ship to search for and detain/destroy this creature/vessel. When the hostile attacks and sinks the special ship, three survivors are taken aboard the hostile vessel, with the dire warning that they'll never be freed from it.

Then begins a fantastic travelogue under the sea. Twenty thousand leagues is the distance traveled by the vessel, known as the Nautilus, as it wends its way beneath the seas of the entire globe. The story's narrator, one of the three survivors, is an oceanographer, one of the best, and he catalogs all the marine life he sees. Exhaustively. Endlessly. Chapter after chapter. Occasional excitement bubbles up, but on the whole, the cruise isn't entertaining.

Example excitement. A squid tangles with the submerged Nautilus, arresting its movement. The vessel surfaces, Nemo emerges topside and slashes ineffectively at the creature's tentacles, is seized, then is rescued by deft harpooning by one of the three captives. Verne covers the event in a page or two. Walt Disney made a highlight of his film version of the story. I kept waiting and waiting for the damn squid's Big Moment, then almost didn't recognize it when it appeared (under an assumed name; my edition of the book called it a poulp. What!?)

What drives Nemo's seemingly aimless course is any reader's guess. Nemo is brilliant but, of course, moody and taciturn. He's not claustrophobic, and certainly not a sun-worshipper. Moreover, he's surrounded by silent, obedient, competent, selfless worker-creatures. Where did they come from? Why are they loyal to Nemo? What do they expect from the tour? (I know, don't ask. It can't be explained because the author can't come up with an explanation. No one could. But they are essential for getting the ship built and provisioned, the meals prepared, the toilets cleaned. Ok?)

Read at your own peril.
  weird_O | Nov 20, 2019 |
This book is about a Professor, the Professor's colleague, and another man who's friends with the professor and his colleague. The friend's name is Ned, the professor's name is Aronnax, and the professor's colleague's name is Conseil. In the beginning of the book the captain and his two friends are invited on the ship called the Abraham Lincoln to find a sea creature that's been bothering people out at sea. The professor and everybody else on board tried their hardest but they just couldn't find the creature. A few days later the captain said to turn the ship around however right when the crew was turning the ship something hit the boat. Everybody thought that the creature was a electrical narwhal but nobody actually knew what it was. Ned on the other hand was getting a harpoon to try and capture the creature. But when Ned threw the harpoon the harpoon bent when it came into contact with the creature. The creature shook the Abraham Lincoln and some men went flying off of the boat into the sea including Aronnax, Ned, and Conseil. But little did they know it was actually a ship called the Nautilus piloted by Captain Nemo. The problem in this story is the fact that Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned are trying to plan a escape plan to leave Nemo's ship. They eventually escaped during the night in a rowboat and that's how the story ends.
I really liked this book because the genre was adventure and I like adventure books. My favorite part of the book was when Captain Nemo showed Aronnax Atlantis. My least favorite part of the book was when Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned left the Nautilus. They should have stayed on that ship because they were being fed well and they were given the option to explore the sea whenever they wanted. They also could have at least bid farewells to the crew and Captain Nemo, but instead they were so sick and ready to leave the Nautilus. I think the main idea of this story is how beautiful the ocean is. What I mean by this is that the author is telling you how beautiful the sea really is. I only generate one thought and that thought was being on the Nautilus. I would really want to be on this ship because it would be a cool experience because I could be able to explore the ocean and its surroundings. ( )
  SVault.ELA2 | Oct 6, 2019 |
this was my classic book i decided to read this year. it was a quick and easy read a little different then what i taught it was gonna be about but enjoyed it and would recommend it. ( )
  cbloky | Oct 2, 2019 |
I had never actually read this before, despite being a fan of both science fiction and older fiction / horror (Lovecraft, Poe, Frankenstein, etc). I definitely enjoyed the book as it tells both a good story and proposed excellent science fiction (for the time ... now submarines and diving suits of all kinds aren't in their infancy, so it's interesting to see what Verne thought they could become). The down-sides of this story are:

a) the translation aspect leaves you wondering in many places if the English version(s) are at all accurate representations, or are somewhat dry /because/ of the translation
b) the long lists of various sea life and over-detailing of many objects gets tedious throughout the book
c) the ending leaves several fates unresolved that I feel we'd want to know more about

Still a very interesting read and a window into the times and the infancy of sci-fi. ( )
  Mactastik | Sep 4, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (251 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verne, JulesAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlerberth, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Austin, HenryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aylward, W. J.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, VictoriaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brunetti, MendorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butcher, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlquist, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coward, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, David StuartIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Neuville, Alphonse MarieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deske, MartinBearbeitungsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, John-HenriAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lupo, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mercier, LewisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, RonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, RonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Walter JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pratt, FletcherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stawicki, MattCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tirch, Judith AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, Frederick PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiese, KurtIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Seven Novels by Jules Verne

20,000 leagues under the sea [and] Around the moon by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth / Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea / Round the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Mysterious Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Amazing Journeys: Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Circling the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, and Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

The Annotated Jules Verne: Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne


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First words
The year 1866 was marked by a strange event, an unexplainable occurrence which is undoubtedly still fresh in everyone's memory.
In the year 1866 the whole maritime population of Europe and America was excited by a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon.
We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.
I leave you at liberty to shut yourself up; cannot I be allowed the same?
Like you, I am willing to live obscure, in the frail hope of bequeathing one day, to future time, the result of my labours.
At ten o'clock in the evening the sky was on fire. The atmosphere was streaked with vivid lightning. I could not bear the brightness of it; while the captain, looking at it, seemed to envy the spirit of the tempest.
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Disambiguation notice
This LT work should be editions containing the complete text of Jules Verne's 1869 novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Please do not combine it with any abridgements, adaptations, young readers' versions (see working list, below), pop-up books, Chick-fil-A editions, graphic novels, annotated editions, multi-title compendiums, single volumes of a multi-volume edition, or other, similar works based on the original.
Thank you.

Working list of abridged editions not to be combined with the standard editions - Best Loved Books for Young Children, Children's Classics, Great Illustrated Classics, Treasury of Illustrated Classics, Classics Illustrated, Classic Starts Series, Saddleback Illustrated, Stepping Stone Books, Now Age Classics, Young Collectors, (believe it or not) American Short Stories, Deans Children's Classics, anything by Malvina Vogel, Van Gool Adventure Series, Bring the Classics to Life,

The 1990 ed. of the Great Illustrated Classics contains the complete text (per L of C), ISBN 0895773473.
This is a youg reader adaptation of the original Jules Verne's Novel. Please, do not combine with the original one. Thanks
Please do not combine this work with either the film adaptations or with Jules Verne's original book. If you have a copy of this work, please consider supplying the name of the director (if it is a film adaptation) or the name of the author (if it is a book).
A chimera of crappy Amazon third-party reseller data that has "20,000 leagues under the sea
by Jules Verne" as the apparent author/title but the ISBN and associated cover of the Denoël/Présence du Futur french translation of "A Canticle for Leibowitz".
Annotated editions of works may include substantially more material than the original work. Thus, annotated editions generally should not be combined with un-annotated editions.
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Professor Aronnax, his faithful servant, Conseil, and the Canadian harpooner, Ned Land, begin an extremely hazardous voyage to rid the seas of a little-known and terrifying sea monster. However, the "monster" turns out to be a giant submarine, commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo, by whom they are soon held captive. So begins not only one of the great adventure classics by Jules Verne, the 'Father of Science Fiction', but also a truly fantastic voyage from the lost city of Atlantis to the South Pole.
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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100704, 1400108497

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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