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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

(Captain Nemo #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  212,127 ratings  ·  7,580 reviews
When an unidentified “monster” threatens international shipping, French oceanographer Pierre Aronnax and his unflappable assistant Conseil join an expedition organized by the US Navy to hunt down and destroy the menace. After months of fruitless searching, they finally grapple with their quarry, but Aronnax, Conseil, and the brash Canadian harpooner Ned Land are thrown ove ...more
Hardcover, Extraordinary Voyages, #6, 394 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1869)
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Zak Longo If you love the ocean, and have an interest in it's nature, you will not feel bogged down by descriptions. However, I do think the philosophical dance…moreIf you love the ocean, and have an interest in it's nature, you will not feel bogged down by descriptions. However, I do think the philosophical dances with Nemo will get a bit boring for readers under 25. (less)
Niaz Chowdhury It's okay to read Jules Verne's book out of order because most novels are unrelated and standalone in nature. Of course, there are very few exceptions…moreIt's okay to read Jules Verne's book out of order because most novels are unrelated and standalone in nature. Of course, there are very few exceptions; for example, in this case, you might be interested in reading the Mysterious Island following this novel. Why? That could be your motivation; discover it yourself! (less)

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Hands down the WORST book I've read all year.
I mean, there's boring and then there's mind-numbing. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is definitely the latter.


I was actually looking forward to listening to this. It's supposed to be a classic action/adventure sci-fi book, right? And it's not an overly long book, which made me assume it was a pretty compact story. Plus, I usually have better luck when it comes to these older novels if I listen to the audiobook instead of trying to wade through all the
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Vingt Mille Lieues Sous les Mers = 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea = Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6, Captain Nemo #1), Jules Verne

During the year 1866, ships of various nationalities sight a mysterious sea monster, which, it is later suggested, might be a gigantic narwhal. The U.S. government assembles an expedition in New York City to find and destroy the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and the story's narrator, is in town at the time
Hannah Greendale
Pierre Aronnax, Assistant Professor in the Museum of Natural History, embarks on a ship to investigate the mystery of a powerful creature terrorizing the open seas. When he and two of his companions discover the Nautilus - a magnificent submarine owned by the uncompromising Captain Nemo – their journey takes them under the sea and 20,000 leagues across the world.

For some time past, vessels had been met by ‘an enormous thing,’ a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infin
I have to admit something kind of embarrassing here. I have never really given much thought to the title of this book. Also, there has never been much reason for me to use leagues as a unit of measurement. But, up until reading this book I always thought of the "Leagues Under the Sea" as the distance under the surface they go. But, actually, it is indicating a distance AROUND the world that they are travelling under the water. So, yeah . . . my face is a bit red!

Verne may be the king of speculat
Ruby Granger
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this but you could definitely tell it was written in the 19th century during an age of colonialism. Some of the chapters were difficult to read because of the incredibly dated and exclusivist language. Though, for this reason, it was also quite interesting to read critically.
J.G. Keely
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
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-german
Actual rating: 4.5 🌟

It's very evident that Jules Verne did a ton of research for this book. I would even go so far to say that there is more info-dumping than there is plot. However, Verne has a way of pulling you into the story and writing in such a enthralling way that this large amount of explanations and listing of names isn't boring or repetitive. It just adds to the story and to the development of the characters. I'm not surprised in the slightest that there are people out there who are a
May 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Veronica Alvarez
I mean is a good book and classic and all you want, I get it but for me still is one of this big books with a lot of text and descriptions (which is a clearly characteristic of classics) but overall enjoyable, I think that right now is not the books that I'm looking for I always think about classics (like this) would be better for me when I'm old and have more time, and I still think that
Perhaps I will read it when I'm old and I'd enjoy it more
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library, 2020
My eyes did not leave the Captain, who, with his hand stretched out to sea, was watching with a glowing eye the glorious wreck. Perhaps I was never to know who he was, from whence he came, or where he was going to, but I saw the man move, and apart from the savant. It was no common misanthropy which had shut Captain Nemo and his companions within the Nautilus, but a hatred, either monstrous or sublime, which time could never weaken. Did this hatred still seek for vengeance? The future would soon
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
As a story of adventure, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea seems a bit dated. However, even though it is told as a tale of adventure, there is more to Verne's famous story.

The science in Twenty Thousand Leagues, especially considering the time it was published, is amazing. We got a sort of psychological account of Captain Nemo, but I would have liked more backstory on how he got to be the man our protagonist meets. What were his accomplishments before he became the recluse we
[Shai] Bibliophage
This is definitely one of the best classic science fiction I've read so far. I was amazed that Verne might have started the idea of the submarine and the under the sea explorations. While I was reading this, I was contemplating where he got his ideas or whether silly it might be, he could have time traveled from his time to the future or vice versa. ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
“Under the sea
Under the sea
When the sardine
Begin the beguine
It's music to me
What do they got? A lot of sand
We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
know how to jam here
Under the sea”

- Sebastian the groovy Caribbean Crab

The perfect soundtrack for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas really. I bet Captain Nemo wishes he’d thought of it.

The direct translation of the full title of this here book is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World*, note the S at the
Joey Woolfardis
"Is more than one pearl ever found in an oyster?" asked Conseil.
"Yes, my boy. Some oysters are veritable jewel boxes. I've even read of an oyster-but I can hardly believe it-which contained no less than a hundred and fifty sharks."
"A hundred and fifty sharks!" cried Ned Land.
"Did I say sharks?" I cried. "I meant to say a hundred and fifty pearls. It wouldn't make sense to say sharks."

This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads.

I always feel a bit weird reviewing a book that I haven't read
Jason Koivu
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, fiction
For years this is what Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meant to me...

Look familiar?

I know, I know...That's just not what Jules Verne intended. Hey, Disney tried and it was fun when I was about 7 or 8, but back when Vernes wrote this, he was writing a true thrill ride!

The story is of an underwater mission to seek and destroy a sea monster. That premise is turned on its head and the story takes a more scientific and character-based slant. Verne takes his readers on a trip to new worlds, som
Chad Bearden
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
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
211215 this is a later addition: this is perhaps something of an example of sentiment over current rating, but it does also critically intrigue, in arguments why this work is the first true science fiction. there is a well known critical position that science fiction is the 'literature of cognitive estrangement', where the usual, the mundane, is made 'strange', engaging thought from some slightly different perspective- i just read a critique that verne perhaps operates the other way round, that ...more
Olivier Delaye
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this in French when I was a kid and I loved it.
Reread it recently in English and I'm still in awe.
When a story is good, it's good in any language, and this one proves the rule.
Julian Worker
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous research by the author to provide many examples of the flora and fauna found in all the seas around the world. I would like to have known a little more of Nemo's background and what motivated him to do what he did. I am not sure where the three protagonists obtained all the clothing from unless I missed that part. ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Dr. Pierre Arronaux along with his manservant Conseil and Canadian Harpooner Ned Land are captured and imprisoned inside of the submarine known as the Nautilus after mistaking it for a sea creature and attacking it on the USS American Naval ship The Abraham Lincoln. There they meet the Eccentric and adventurous Captain Nemo who tells them that they are going to remain on board his vessel forever to go on an extraordinary tour under the sea. Will the men be able to ever get home or will they stay ...more
I must reproduce the passage from this book which I found yesterday in Kingsley Amis's New Maps of Hell. Did I have the same translation when I read it at age nine? Even now, it seems strangely familiar, and in particular I remember wondering about that odd word "poulp":
What a scene! The unhappy man, seized by the tentacle and fastened to its blowholes, was balanced in the air according to the caprice of this enormous trunk. He was choking, and cried out, 'À moi! à moi!' (Help! help!) Those Fren
Mike Anastasia
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book and I can understand how it's rightfully considered a classic, but I have to imagine this is as uninspiring to our generation as the first iPhone manuals will be in 150 years.

When this was written, the idea of naval travel was only practically available to the rich and, beyond that, the concept of a submarine was on the same lines as a rail gun or UAV to us. We've probably imagined - either through stories, video games or whatever - that such things could exist in our world
Within the pages of this 1869 Classic sci-fi adventure, you will experience life underwater aboard the amazing submarine Nautilus encountering gigantic sea monsters, a 600 pound oyster shell with a flawless Pearl the size of a coconut, and fight your way thru man-eating Sharks as well as the Great Ice Barrier. While the story is a little "heavy" on the descriptions of the colorful fish and unusual plant life, there are also sea battles and shipwrecks to keep one entertained.

Professor Aronmax nar

Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this EARLY in high school, about a hundred years ago, so I cannot write an appropriately thoughtful review due to time and a memory sodden with time. However, I can recollect one memorable anecdote about this reading. This book was so good, I could not put it down, literally. I think I started this on Friday afternoon and finished sometime Sunday night, with barely a TV show in between.
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
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have re-read this classic by Jules Verne after many years and I must say that it is very good for one’s health to re-read books read when child. Verne was a visionary and who better than him can make us see these strange years we are living through the eyes of a visionary? It was 1870 when Verne wrote about the exploits of a feared and mysterious sea monster with imperforable armor and incredible speed. A monster capable of sinking even the largest galleons like small boats. The plot takes pla ...more
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, classics
This was a fun story. I remember seeing the movie when I was a kid but forgot what happened so I went into this story knowing very little. The only thing I remember was a giant squid. However, the squid fight was only two pages and near the end of the book which was a bit of a let down for me.

I really liked the characters in this story. I thought Nemo, captain of the Nautilus, was a very cool guy. Who else would stick a library in a submarine? Of all the captains of seafaring voyage books I’ve
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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

Other books in the series

Captain Nemo (2 books)
  • The Mysterious Island (Extraordinary Voyages, #12)

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