Brooke's Reviews > Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
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Apr 02, 08

bookshelves: 2008, classics, science-fiction
Read in April, 2008

Two stars is almost generous; given his importance in the history of the science fiction genre, it really seems like Jules Verne should have produced something that stood the test of time. Twenty Thousand Leagues is a chore to read; I read in another review that a total of 75 pages are devoted to lists of fish. This explains why it didn't take me very long to read this book, after the first few fish passages, I began jumping over them whenever I noticed they were starting again.

Captain Nemo is an interesting character, but Verne practically wastes every chance to develop him into something great. I understand that in "hard" sci-fi, characters take a backseat to the science, but it's such a shame that Nemo wasn't fleshed out more. His presence alone (and deference to its position in literary history) is what saves this book from receiving only one star.

The main character's servant is almost as annoying as the fish passages; he splits his time between sucking up to his boss and compulsively classifying marine life. I wanted to strangle him every time he opened his mouth.

After suffering through this and Journey to the Center of the Earth, I considered myself well educated on Verne's contributions to the genre and returned Around the World in Eighty Days to the library without reading it.
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