Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius
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Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  267 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Who is the real Andre Nemo, the man behind the Jules Verne's classic novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"? Free-spirited and inventive son of a French shipbuilder, Nemo goes to sea as a cabin boy, faces marauding pirates and bloodthirsty sharks, is marooned for years on a mysterious island, battles prehistoric monsters long believed extinct, journeys to the center of the E...more
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Published (first published 2002)
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Stephen
A rousing, well-told, thumping good yarn full of excitement-filled rollicking...and one I am fairly astonished to have enjoyed as much as I did. This is a page-turning, popcorn adventure with real heart and a few more brains in its noggin than I initially provided for. Within no time, it has sat on my expectations and made them cry uncle.

Let me explain...

Going in, I thought there was little hope for more than a single star and some rage clouds in this book’s narrative sky. I was already cogitati...more
Mark
Titan Books are re-releasing this book, which takes both Jules Verne, the writer, and his fictional character Andre Nemo (of 20 000 Leagues Beneath the Sea, amongst others) and mixes them up.
In this novel Andre Nemo, friend of the young Jules, is a real person, although one which Jules used in his writing. The key conceit here is that the adventures that Nemo has forms the basis for Jules’ prodigious writing later in life.

We begin the tale with both boys attempting to stowaway to sea. Unfortunat...more
Bryan
Kevin J. Anderson writes consistently entertaining science fiction. He includes a lot of adventure, and has a clean style that is accessible. Not the most experimental of authors, he is unlikely to win many awards nor further the genre, but he can be counted on for a good story and a good read.

Sounds a bit like Alan Dean Foster (and coincidentally, both authors write a lot of media-related titles also). Neither writes high literature, but you can enjoy their SF adventures without keeping it as a...more
Mallory Heart Reviews
A delightfully engrossing novel by an extremely talented author, Kevin J. Anderson, “Captain Nemo” can be classified in several categories; fantasy, historical fantasy, science fiction, science fantasy, adventure, thriller, coming-of-age, friendship memoir, and much more. It’s simply a breathtaking fictional view of the writings of Jules Verne, as if Verne were the amanuensis who recorded the true-life adventures of his best friend, rather than only a writer of science fiction. For readers who h...more
Leelan
Interesting book if a little uninspired at times. Jules Verne always dreamed of travelling and seeing the world but his strict father wouldn't let him. By the time Verne grows up he is set in his ways and can't bring himself to leave France. But his old friend Nemo returns now and again to tell him of his adventures. There is also an invented character involved, a woman(whose name escapes me) who forma part of a tentative romantic triangle of childhood companions. Basically Jules is living vicar...more
AMD
A long time fan of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and all things Jules Verne, this is a good Vernian read and inspirational adventure.

This story starts with a young Jules Verne and André Nemo exploring their home city of Nantes. In a wonderful story twist, Anderson weaves a adventurous yarn of two young boys from different steps of society but best friends in a world filled with dreams of science and adventure. Together they experience life, adventures small and large, mature, and both triumph an...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
I read this book, along with others-when "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". I got books on each of the characters to read. Sean Connery Makes most any movie better.
Andrew
not long back I read another novel using Jules Vernes characters..that book was 'the other log of phillious fogg' which was a book which promised much but just plodded along..this book however was a different story.
it melds the lives of the fictional nemo with his author Jules Verne and a romping tale is the outcome...within this premise the tales that dripped from vernes pen where culled from actual tales from the life of Nemo.
this premise works and the book itself is a strong work of fiction w...more
Autumn
A great fantasy distraction, highly recommend for an afternoon escape.
Willem van den Oever
Jules Verne is often considered to be one of the forefathers of science fiction. By combining interesting discoveries and fantastical possibilities in science and technology with exciting adventures and brave heroes, he captivated readers around the world with his works.
What many don’t know, though, is that Jules relied heavily on a childhood friend of his; one who explored much of the world during various expeditions in the mid-1800’s. Providing Verne with extensive notes and anecdotes of each...more
An Odd1
1840 Nantes France, inventive darkly exotic André Nemo hires on as cabin boy after his ship-builder father accidentally drowns. Cautious pal pale red-head Jules Verne tags along. Beautiful blonde courageous upper-class Caroline, gives each a ribbon, but secretly exchanges promises with Nemo. Middle-class lawyer Pierre Verne fetches back and beats his dreamy son. Verne scratches away, successful only when he records Nemo's exploits.

The easy flowing style has sparks of fierce fighting, hint of ro...more
Sue Smith
This book took me a lot longer to read than I thought it would. I kept getting hung up on ...or pissed off about ... how the characters were portrayed. It's a really hard thing for me to pin point actually. I think the book had huge potential and was quite excited to read it, but once it started, I found myself thinking - 'oh please'. It's almost too comically black and white - and the characters stayed too cardboard thin and predictable for the duration of the story. I'm not exactly painting th...more
Axel Howerton
Kevin J. Anderson is an author who’s used to creating new works from existing worlds and characters. He’s written books in the existing mythos of everything from Star Wars to Frankenstein, from Dune to DC Comics’ Superman. Obviously, with 40-some bestsellers and more than 20,000,000 books in print worldwide (that is a lot of zeroes); Anderson kind of knows what he’s doing.

Originally published in 2002, Anderson’s novel Captain Nemo: The Fantastic Adventures of a Dark Genius, was unceremoniously...more
Paul
This book has been a real struggle to rate and for the first 100 pages I almost didn't think I would finish it.

Strangely for an Anderson novel the book starts poorly. Part one which details the principle characters childhoods is plodding and you are left caring very little for Jules Verne. This is a theme that seems to flows through the book which left me wondering if perhaps Kevin J Anderson loathed writing it. I understand why Verne has been presented the way he has, to act as a counterpoint t...more
Daniel Cann
This hugely ambitious project takes the reader behind Jules Verne’s enigmatic, mysterious loner Captain Nemo (called Andre Nemo here). Anderson provides us with an exhilarating tale that spans a lifetime from childhood dreams and fantasies with friends Jules Verne (a masterstroke by Anderson) and Caroline Aronnax, to life on the high seas and adulthood.

The nineteenth century is an age of adventure, invention and wonder. The Victorians world was an exotic place to be explored and Nemo’s story tak...more
Erik
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I've always been a huge fan of Jules Verne, and especially "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," so this book had immediate appeal to me. That being said, the best part about this book was the way Anderson tied in all of Verne's novels and stories and wove them together, as if Verne's books were inspired from his real life experiences. The story is fast paced and exciting and will certainly be enjoyed by anyone, even if your knowledge of Verne a...more
Jake Hartnett
If you love Jules Verne half as much as I do, then you'll love this!

It's wonderfully written with vivid descriptions and clear painted pictures throughout, making it very easy to imagine the whole story, as if you're actually seeing happen on the big screen. Great storyline in general, including all of the great works of Verne subtly touched upon, as well as good character development, especially that of Andre Nemo.

This one definitely does the Verne adventures justice in a modern spin on the g...more
Wendy
I almost didn't make it past the first chapter because of the dumping included with each new character's introduction. That said, I'm glad I read on because the novel was a great adventure with pirates, dinosaurs, wars, and more! I love the insights this gives us into the mysterious Captain Nemo. Worth the read.
Josiah
This is a fun fanfic biography of best friends Jules Verne and fictional Andre Nemo, and Caroline Arronax - the woman they both adore. Nemo is the "doer" who gets into one rollicking adventuer after another, while Verne is an armchair traveler, wishing he could share Nemo's adventures but instead only using them to fuel his writing career. The author speculates on the inspirations for dozens of Verne's most popular classics including "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "The Mysterious Island," "From...more
Howard Anders
Very interesting, well-written, and well researched take on Jules Verne and his anti-hero, Captain Nemo. Reminiscent of the Jose Farmer books on Tarzan.
Bruce
I've enjoyed Anderson's books in the past, I regard him as a solid writer, but this one just struck me as lazy. The basic premise is that Jules Verne was just a mediocre writer, but when his childhood friend tells him stories of his adventures, Verne turns them into books. Sorry, that just doesn't work for me, Verne was obviously not a lazy, mediocre writer! It was a decent enough action tale I suppose, but I just didn't see any imagination on Anderson's part. For a much better alternate take on...more
Rod Pyle
Typically wonderful Anderson. Nemo and Verne grow up together in 1800's Paris. Verne stays behind to write and study in an effort to win the acceptance of his demanding and dismissive father; Nemo loses his single father and travels the Seven Seas. Both are smitten with the same woman, Caroline Aronnax (daughter of the professor and shipping magnate) but Nemo wins her heart. A delightful tying-up of the many elements of the Verne stories. My only regret was that Verne's stay-at-home adventures h...more
Sam the Reader
Captain Nemo is, no doubt, an epic and thrilling adventure and romantic novel. The story is very compelling, but I do think that it lacked the kick of what a 1st person story would've had. The story was more "told" than it was "shown" to us, and feelings are beautifully worded, but lacked intimacy. Furthermore, the start and end grasped your attention wildly, but the middle remained mundane throughout. Overall, it wasn't what I was looking for. The romance was too pure, and thus, unbelievable,...more
Stephen
I was a bit disappointed with this one. Nemo is certainly an interesting character, but Anderson takes him in a somewhat boring direction. Instead of putting together an original story leading up to 20,000 Leagues and Mysterious Island, the author uses him as the boyhood friend and inspiration for all of Jules Verne's stories. He basically shoe-horns him into Verne's most famous novels, and awkwardly I might add. For this reason, this book comes off as a rip off of Verne. It's a shame really, I...more
Rebecca Defield
Wonderful and tragically beautiful.
Mike
Just finished the terra Ingonito trilogy by this author which I thought was good. But this one is a series of previously described adventures held together by a romance. In short it is incredulous for such a series of events to happen in sequence.
Fred
Have to admit that having read this about three years ago I don't remember a lot of particulars. That said, I'm confident of the 2 star rating. I distinctly remember being unimpressed and thinking that this didn't quite live up to the legendary 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea of Jules Verne.

If you happen to see this one at a yard sale or someone happens to give it to you for free then sure, pick it up. But otherwise, don't order this and pay shipping whatever you do.
Hannah
I grew up reading and loving the adventures penned by Jules Verne. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was my first and so the character of Captain Nemo is very near to my heart. So to now see him seamlessly inserted into the rest of Verne's tales is fantastic. Anderson weaves fiction & history together in the style of William Goldman & Edward Rutherford...combined in such a way that you have no trouble accepting it. It's a book I'd recommend to any fan of Jules Verne & adventure.
Ben Arispe
This was a great read. I've been a fan of Kevin J. Anderson's work for quite a while now, and this story is a little different. The story focuses on Andre Nemo, a friend of the author Jules Verne. We find that Verne uses all the adventures Nemo had to inspire his adventure novels. I thought this was a great way to tell the story of how Verne came up with his fantastic ideas. And in the end it's a love story, so the females will appreciate it too!
Lillian Angelovic
A compelling re-visioned "history" of Captain Nemo and his author, Jules Verne. I enjoyed seeing the characters from the books come to life in ways that remained true to their fictional originals.
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Pseudonyms: Gabriel Mesta, K.J. Anderson

He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and is the co-author of the Dune prequels. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in coll...more
More about Kevin J. Anderson...
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