“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is an adventure story. The story is told from the view of a M. Aronnax a French marine biologist who is taken from his world. The adventure begins when M. Aronnax goes out to investigate the appearance of a new kind of whale, a behemoth that has sank several ships in the past months and is becoming a hazard. A whaling ship, The Abraham Lincoln, goes out to find and kill the whale. After several weeks of searching the crew finds the great whale, after attempts to cripple it the whale releases a blast from its blow hole which knocks M. Arronax and two of his companions off the boat. Upon entering the water they are left behind and await death in the frigid water, however fate takes a turn for them and the whale turns out to be a submarine, and the captain, who has cut his ties with humanity, allows them to come on board. Thus begins the great adventures of M. Aronnax and his companions in the underwater ship “The Nautilus”
In this novel man vs. nature is a bit more complex than the typical man vs. nature theme, which usually entails men battling the forces of nature. In this case, which is typical of science-fiction, man is trying to overcome nature; man is trying to defy nature. Captain Nemo tries to create an alternate nature, which at the time of this novel was a foreign as living in outer space.
In my opinion this is written in a narration. It was very informative, interesting, and clairvoyant to future technologies. He details many different phenomena, as well as talking about hundreds of different species of fish. He goes into great detail of every occurrence on the nautilus in chronological order, which, unfortunately gives the book a tendency to drone on and on in endless lists of things that could be left out of the book. He does not leave much to the imagination, explaining every fish, algae, and cetacean that they see.
Rating I would give this book a 3.75 out of 5. It is a good book, with great ideas and interesting experiences, but the way it is written often makes it difficult to understand and follow, I occasionally found myself drifting off to sleep while reading it. This book is most definitely not for everyone, I would only recommend it to an experienced reader, one who can stay focused at all times during the read. I also believe that it may be easier to understand if one had the knowledge of a marine biologist, this would give them insight into the parts of the book where he lists species often in their Greek names.