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

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  391 Ratings  ·  82 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
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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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
Dec 24, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ross Armstrong
Not a good experience with this. I am a big Jules Verne fan and this is a really disappointing read.

This is supposed to be a biography of Verne's fictional Captain of the Nautilus from "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea." Instead we get a mash up of a fictional Jules Verne and Nemo being best friends as children and also both in love with the same woman. It starts with the myth of Verne never travelling anywhere and living and writing vicariously through Nemo. While Verne did not travel extensively,
Dec 22, 2009 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, sf
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
The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft
Apr 02, 2012 The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to The Haunted Reading Room by: Hearts on Fire Reviews
Shelves: june-2012-reads
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
Oct 27, 2008 Leelan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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
Timothy Boyd
Sep 14, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book blending a fantasy "biography" of Jules Verne and Captain Nemo. Anderson does an excellent job blending the historical facts of Verne's life into the fictional life of Nemo. I liked how the "true" history of the amazing stories of Jules Verne were revealed. Good, entertaining and nicely done read. This is the first book by Anderson that I have read that he has not co-authored with someone. I will be seeking out more of his work. Very recommended
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.
Aug 16, 2011 Autumn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended, fiction
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
Nek0 Neha (BiblioNyan)
Captain Nemo is a swashbuckling tale about Jules Verne and his most delightful and adventurous character, André Nemo. The novel actually has a very interesting concept in that the two men are friends, one inspiring the other with his exploits. I could tell that it was decently researched, but the writing and overall presentation of the plot left me feeling very bored at times and mildly frustrated with repetitive character traits.

One of the key aspects of this story is that André Nemo, a charac
An Odd1
Aug 03, 2011 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Nov 09, 2011 Erik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cécile C.
May 25, 2015 Cécile C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Okay. This was endearing and entertaining enough, so I'll give it a 3. There's still not much to say about it. It's a mash-up of Verne's novels as lived by a reimagined version of Captain Nemo, who is portrayed as a childhood friend of the writer. It's not extremely well-written, but I enjoyed the condensed version of Verne's most famous novels and a few not-so-famous ones.

I don't think I get the choice to make Nemo French, honestly. In the original version, he's an Indian prince fighting again
Maggie Walsh
Jul 16, 2016 Maggie Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love any book that makes me want to read other books. In this case, I want to reread all of the Jules Verne books I own and go buy several that I don't.

In some ways, this book fits into the "back story" genre. That's what I call books like "Wicked" or "The Phantom" that try to explain why an antagonist turns out the way they do. In the original story, we often only have glimpses of their past. In the case of Captain Nemo, he seemed to be a tragic figure. But why did he feel that his only optio
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
Aug 07, 2014 AMD rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Axel Howerton
Sep 20, 2011 Axel Howerton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
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
Matt Bille
Oct 21, 2015 Matt Bille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anderson's "biography" of Nemo is terrific fun for those of us who are fans of Jules Verne. While Anderson takes some liberty in making Nemo a Frenchman and Nemo his true name, his character is true to the image we all have in our minds. Making Andre Nemo the lifelong friend of author Verne allows Anderson to roam the globe with the inspiration for Verne's novels. It turns out that some of the Verne novels directly describe Nemo's adventures, while others are inspired by stories Nemo tells his o ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
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
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
Feb 18, 2011 Bruce rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jun 24, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jake Hartnett
Mar 09, 2014 Jake Hartnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 17, 2016 Eduard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars. It was ok. Can't be much more considering the author is using characters that aren't his and fictionalizing. I could almost put this book in young adult category (for boys). There was much "romance" that was too puerile for adults yet too adult for a young boy to read in an adventure story. However the book was a mildly entertaining adventure story of sorts that was an easy fast read. I don't regret reading it or look at it as a waste of time. A library book read (meaning meh, found i ...more
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
Rod Pyle
May 31, 2013 Rod Pyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ewen Tan
Mar 10, 2014 Ewen Tan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Ben Arispe
Apr 03, 2012 Ben Arispe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 09, 2012 Fred rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: captain nemo 1 4 Sep 25, 2013 09:31AM  
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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
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