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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Hinkler Illustrated Classics)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  85,617 ratings  ·  2,805 reviews
Journey into the deep.

This extraordinary voyage into the depths unknown aboard the legendary submarine Nautilus--commanded by the brilliant, tragic Captain Nemo-explores both the limitless possibilities of science and the twisted labyrinth of the human mind.

Librarian note: This edition includes a 2010 introduction by Stephen Baxter, a 1969 foreword by Mendor T. Brunetti,...more
Mass Market Paperback, 421 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Signet Classics (first published 1870)
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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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
Aug 01, 2014 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 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...more
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...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
Okay, nothing new about this story is there?

This is a piece of classic science fiction or adventure fiction, if you prefer. It's actually what I remembered. I've rated it five stars, but it's important to note, that five stars comes because of what this novel started.

This is the birth of steampunk and science fantasy. This is the book that most people point to, not that there aren't others, as one of the earliest purely science fiction stories. And, more importantly, this is loaded with hard s...more
Apr 12, 2009 Donna rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: can't think of anyone!
Shelves: 2009
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...more
I love Jules Verne but there are too many boring parts in this book. He has a bad habit, which really bugs me, of trying so hard to make his heroes seem brilliant that he has them reciting dictionaries. It's not believable, and seems a little lazy. For example, the characters will see plants in the ocean and they will converse for several chapters on all of the menial trivia involving the plants and their close relatives. It's not interesting information, it's just show-off data. He falls into t...more
Crystal Starr Light
Professor Pierre Arronax and his assistant, Conseil, join the crew of the Abraham Lincoln to chase down this strange ocean mammal that has been destroying ships. The duo, along with harpooner Ned Land, end up overboard and rescued by what is revealed to be a submarine, not a mammal. This submarine is captained by Nemo, a mysterious man who has eschewed the land in preference to roaming the open seas. Nemo takes the trio twenty thousand leagues across the seas - from the Pacific to the Indian to...more
3.0 stars. I liked this book and think that Verne did an excellent job of rationally explaining the science fiction elements of his story as well as doing a great job developing and describing the undersea world explored by the Nautilus. I really liked the explanation of the electric bullets and the wide variety of foods all harvested from the sea (the nicotine seaweed used in cigars was really cool).

As interesting as those elements were, the most interesting and compelling part of the novel was...more
Another book on my quest to rediscover the childhood joys of reading Jules Verne and to hopefully find some adult insights that were hidden from me as a child.

I think I may have loved it a little less as an adult but it is still a marvelous adventure travelogue. As a child, Jules Verne's colorful descriptions of undersea wonders opened my eyes and mind. Now I still think they are amazing but I see it as a 18th century costume adventure. Unlike a lot of readers, I found Verne's listings quite mar...more
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
3.5 stars

Overall a really good book. But it became boring since more than half of the book is about the various animals and plants that he sees under water. It really got boring because of those elaborate descriptions.
He deserves the title - "Grandfather of science fiction".
HOLY MOLY! It came out in 1869 and this novel invented "Electric Submarines". Diving suits and compressed oxygen tanks were not even invented when this novel came out!!

Another invention from thi...more
While 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is one of the more familiar titles in literature, I have to admit my familiarity with it comes less from the literary work of Jules Verne and more from the big-screen adaptation by Walt Disney. (And to some lesser extent, the now defunct ride at both American Disney theme parks). Growing up, the film's climatic battle with the squid was featured on numerous Wonderful World of Disney clips show.

So when I sat down this time to read the original novel, I had to pu...more
Victorian sci-fi / thrilling adventure books are always better in one's imagination than when one finally gets around to reading them. There's only so much semi-prophetic/humorously off-base "future" technology that one can marvel at in retrospect, especially when all the characters save Nemo are laughably flat (though the loyal, stoic man-servant is always a nice touch). I was hoping for a bit more fiery anti-colonialism from Nemo, but the book is 90% a written version of a National Geographic...more
Quinn Slobodian
It's an amazing book but weirdly difficult to get through because of all the pseudo-scientific jargon he packs into it, which I seem to remember reading later Verne admitted to totally making up. So just when you're getting interested by Nemo, thinking what the hell ethnicity is this guy anyway? or what is this energy he can produce? you get swamped by thirty pages on the architecture of urchin skeletons. I'm tempted to make the rare call that the movie might be better, definitely more easily re...more
David Sarkies
Oct 19, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All sorts of people
Recommended to David by: My Dad
Shelves: adventure
An oceanographic travelogue
19 October 2014

Once again my Classical Literature Bookclub has selected a book that I have been meaning to reread but have not been able to due to the multitude of other books on my to-read shelf (and also the fact that the copy that my Dad owns is back in Adelaide, along with the other Jules Verne books that I would like to read again). While many people seem to put Verne into the category of a Science-fiction writer, to me this book comes across more of an adventure...more
John Yelverton
Another wonderful story from the father of science fiction. This books opens your imagination to world of untapped possibilities.
خالد العشرى
أيام تخبية القصص وسط كتب المذاكرة :)
Lars Guthrie
Getting through 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' took some hard work, but it held a number of surprises that kept me going.

One of them is that Verne apparently did not see himself as just a scifi/fantasy writer, and wanted to make sure that his readers knew that he was well versed in the works of the scientists and explorers of the mid-nineteenth century. Not to mention that he had extensive knowledge of underwater flower and fauna, the geography of the ocean floors, and the ability to t...more
If you're going to read this book, make sure you get this translation or read in the original French. The other translations make egregious mistakes and remove a lot of the politics from what is essentially a political book. I read a ton of Jules Verne as a kid, so much so that he was my favorite writer. Back then, Journey to the Centre of the Earth was my favorite book. However, having re-read his books as an adult (and even writing a paper about this one in college), this one stands head-and-s...more
Dec 15, 2008 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys classic science fiction.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okay, look. Yes, it was ahead if its time, yes nothing was written like this before, yes it was wildly inventive and amazing historically, and yes I am sure it's all hurt by reading it in translation.


It's 2011. Submarine travel, while not exactly commonplace, is simply not enough to carry a reader through the dense opacity of biological lists of species that fill this book.

Boring, slow, repetitive, poorly constructed.

Halfway through this painful slog. Would give up on it if I wasn't reading...more
Overall, a good book, often exciting, and one I enjoyed; parts were a bit slow-moving or technical for me, and a few questions seemed to be left unanswered. Still, I see why Cpt. Nemo has become such a famous character!
Wow, wow, wow. Excellent book. Probably not much needs to be said about this classic, but it was much more than I expected.
Ugg. Well, I broke one of my cardinal rules of reading and was punished: Never read science fiction prior to 1970. There only exceptions are technology's which still haven't been discovered (time machines, teleportation, lasers, what have you). I just enjoyed "Around the World in Eighty Days" so much I figured, "I'll bet everything he wrote holds up!"

Not so much, but technology is only one of the many problems this book has. Yes, we now have submarines and understand aquatic life. So everything...more
I will be quite honest, I found this boring. Yes, its a 19thC classic Science Fiction novel containing some very prophetical ideas (Submarines) and very descriptive naturalism (Jules Verne must have studied extensively about sea creatures and the Oceans fauna) but its just too much. He spends whole pages describing sea creatures and not only that, he uses their Latin names in most cases. It left me feeling confused and quite honestly I started skim reading some pages and that is never a good thi...more
Xinlai Chen
This book is very interesting. The story begins in 1866 a cause uproar of strange, many ships found Kraken at sea, the French biologist professor Aaron Nath invited to chase the monster, who knows, fell into the water, and peer into the monster on the spine, was captain Nemo shelter, began the seabed travel. They embark from the Pacific Ocean, India ocean, Coral Island, red sea, Mediterranean, and then into the Atlantic, and see many rare marine plants and animals and water singular vision. Fin...more
It’s been at least 15 years since I read Jules Verne’s classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea the first time in high school. Since then I have earned an engineering degree and gotten SCUBA-certified, both of which, needless to say, lend me a new insight into Verne’s work.

When reading 20,000 Leagues, it’s crucial to be aware of the time in which Verne wrote. The book was written in 1870, in an effectively pre-industrial France. Submarines of the time were horrifically primitive by any modern standa...more
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What's the most boring book you've ever read? 60 665 Sep 24, 2014 03:13PM  
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Nine F book lovers: classic mini review(bryan) 1 1 Jun 22, 2014 07:31PM  
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Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the genre of science-fiction. He is best known for his novels "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864), "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870), and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873).

Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of spa...more
More about Jules Verne...
Around the World in Eighty Days Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3) The Mysterious Island  From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4) Five Weeks in a Balloon (Extraordinary Voyages, #1)

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“The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the Living Infinite. ” 250 likes
“We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.” 111 likes
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