Thom Swennes's Reviews > Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
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May 09, 2012

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Like so many of those stories that have their biggest claims to popularity through film, 20 000 Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne, has been portrayed on celluloid many times and the book differs greatly from its cinema-graphic interpretations. I must admit that this is the first time I have physically taken the book in hand and read it. I thought I knew it too well to waste time reading it in print but this assumption is false. Now that I have read it I must admit that, in my opinion, it falls far short of my expectations if I were a naturalist, marine biologist or expert in culinary arts this book might have interested me more. Verne’s insight in future developments is as impressive as the ludicrousness and absurdity of some of the asserted abilities of the Nautilus.
I was unpleasantly at the blind hostility Captain Nemo displayed against the sperm whale and his consequent slaughter of these majestic mammals of the deep disgusted me. I am not competent to judge on Verne’s biological observations but I do question his metrological assumptions and/or phrasings hereof.
The Nautilus’s encounter with the giant squid that so excited me as a little boy in the movie theater, falls well short of the mark in print. This, in my opinion, is one of those few times that the Hollywood version outshines the original work.
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