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Capitaine Nemo #2

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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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 overboard in the attack, only to find that the “monster” is actually a futuristic submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by a shadowy, mystical, preternaturally imposing man who calls himself Captain Nemo. Thus begins a journey of 20,000 leagues—nearly 50,000 miles—that will take Captain Nemo, his crew, and these three adventurers on a journey of discovery through undersea forests, coral graveyards, miles-deep trenches, and even the sunken ruins of Atlantis. Jules Verne’s novel of undersea exploration has been captivating readers ever since its first publication in 1870, and Frederick Paul Walter’s reader-friendly, scientifically meticulous translation of this visionary science fiction classic is complete and unabridged down to the smallest substantive detail.

269 pages, Hardcover

First published March 20, 1869

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About the author

Jules Verne

5,291 books10.5k followers
Novels of French writer Jules Gabriel Verne, considered the founder of modern science fiction, include Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

This author who pioneered the genre. People best know him for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before people invented navigable aircraft and practical submarines and devised any means of spacecraft. He ranks behind Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie as the second most translated author of all time. People made his prominent films. People often refer to Verne alongside Herbert George Wells as the "father of science fiction."


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,644 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
4,063 reviews69.5k followers
May 16, 2023
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 crunchy dialogue with my eyeballs. So, between those factors, I thought this would be a complete winner.
But ho-ly shit this was terrible.


Ok, how to describe this book?
Alright. If a really tedious nature show fucked a 5th grade word problem and didn't use a condom - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea would be their bastard child.
The vast majority of this thing:
Lattitude 54, Longitude 45. <--or whatever.
On the {insert random date here} the crew of the Nautilus and my companions entered the {insert random body of water here} and observed {insert random sea life here}.

Then Aronnax would go on to describe in excruciating detail every fucking thing about whatever chunk of seaweed, fish, oyster bed, sediment, etc. that they happened to be floating past.
Now, sometimes my mind will wander for a second when I'm listening to an audiobook. Usually, it's one of those Did I remember to give my kid the check for that field trip? things that distract me. And then I'll just have to back the book up a few seconds to recoup whatever info I just lost. But with this one, I was spacing out constantly due to the fact that there was literally NOTHING happening. But I could lose half an hour and it wouldn't fucking matter because the professor would still be droning on about different types of pearls and how they were made, and what colors there were, and how much each kind sold for on the open market, and whether or not the oyster wept when they were gone.
Or some other such nonsense.


Where was the action I was promised?! Where was the adventure?!
Not here, that's for goddamn sure.
Still, I remembered hearing about the famous Scene With The Giant Squid and I figured it might make all of this other garbage worth wading through.
Supposedly, it was this super awesome battle between man and cephalopod that left a lasting impression on people. <--I should have known better.


Lamest. Battle. Ever.
Let me save you some trouble. See, I thought that there was some menacing squid following them that decided to attack the sub and try to drag it to the bottom, or crush it with its massive tentacles, or break it open to slurp out the crew with a straw, or...something. Anything!
But no.
A group of big-ass squids was swimming by, a few got curious, one of the poor bastards got tangled around the fan or whatnot, and then when the crew when out to "fight" it off the Nautilus one of them got tossed off and killed. Oh, and Ned almost got eaten but Nemo hacked at the squid's beak and saved him.
The End.


There was a shining moment when I thought things were going to finally get cool as the Nautilus passed over Atlantis.
Fucking Atlantis! <--Yes!
These turds got out to explore every dull coral bed along the way, so surely they would stop and meander around this magically advanced civilization, right?
They just floated on past it.
Bye, Aquaman...


And after that, I think I just lost the will to even try to muster up a few shits for the rest of it.

Nemo's quitting land because of {insert spoilery things here} was also ridiculous but I could have easily given it a pass if this were a remotely engaging story otherwise. Since it wasn't, that was just ONE MORE THING that I found annoying. I mean, really? Why the hell would anyone go to all that trouble of building this masterpiece of a submarine just for revenge? Just track the fuckers down and shoot them in the head. It would be waaaaay easier and ultimately less time-consuming.
Oh, and their stupid secret language that they spoke on board? It was probably Pig Latin, because everything else they did seemed like something thought up by a 10 year old.
Why keep Aronnax, Conseil, & Ned prisoner just because they had seen the Nautilus? <--made no sense!
It's not as though anyone could track them down even if those guys spilled the beans!
They were literally the ONLY submarine in the world at that point and the oceans are HUGE.
Again, I would have overlooked that with pleasure if I weren't so pissed off with this boring time-suck.


The only fun thing about this was Ned Land. <--harpooner extraordinaire
Just the fact that he is the ONLY surly Canadian I've ever read about was almost worth the price of admission. Seriously. Name another volatile Canuck in literature.
Kind of hard to do, eh?


Anyway. It may be hard to tell but I didn't actually like this very much.
However, if you did? Well, then that's good, too.
Profile Image for Ken-ichi.
598 reviews563 followers
August 23, 2009
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 about political economy and local gossip.

That said, this is a pretty fun book. Adventure under the sea! Laconic yet cordial sumbarine übermenches thirsting for vengeance and whale milk! Canadians! Well, a Canadian. The Canadian. He had a harpoon. Reading science fiction that describes a future long past is also a hoot, especially if you're a huge goddamn nerd. Despite accurately predicting the feasibility of a submarine, I don't think Verne had actually spent much time in the water. The Nautilus navigates not by sonar, but by shining a really bright light. I think swimming in anything but the most crystalline tropical seas would convince you that wouldn't quite work. Every time the crew leaves the ship to go exploring, they actually walk on the sea floor instead of swimming. One time, Cpt. Nemo dodges a shark. It's kind of hard to dodge slow moving jellies when you're underwater, never mind one of Nature's most amazing swimmers.

The book is also an interesting balance between technological hubris and an underlying conservationist theme. Nemo (and presumably Verne) decries the repercussions of overfishing when forbidding former harpooneer Ned Land from testing his skill against a pod of Antarctic whales: "In destroying the southern whale [...:] your traders are culpable, Master Land. They have already depopulated the whole of Baffin's Bay, and are annihilating a class of useful animals. Leave the unfortunate cetacea alone. They have plenty of natural enemies [...:] without you troubling them." Granted it's a utilitarian, anthropocentric kind of conservation ethic, but conservationist all the same. And yet earlier, upon beholding a massive bed of pearl oysters, Arronax narrates, "I could well understand that this was an inexhaustible mine of treasures, for nature's power to create goes far beyond man's capability of destruction." I doubt Verne set out with any fixed notions of environmental ethics in mind, but I find it intriguing that these contrasting sentiments keep popping up.

I think Verne's apparent ambivalence about the morality of technological advances is more intentional. The Nautilus is a marvelous creation that Nemo uses to reveal the unknown and better understand the world. It's also a vicious instrument of vengeance he employs against his former countrymen (or maybe not his countrymen, reading some of the other reviews...), a nearly invincible ship that can sink below the reach of canons and fatally ram any conventional vessel from beneath. As a war machine in a world of steam and sail it would be monstrous. I also think it's significant that Nemo and the ship meet their apparent end not at the hands of other men or even by an animal, but by the unthinking and inestimable power of the sea itself, bringing to mind Melville's line from Moby Dick:
...however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make...
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
435 reviews4,266 followers
May 7, 2023
What book has the most creativity?

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is a strong contender! What an incredible ride!

When I was growing up, I lived in a small town with plenty of open spaces. When I returned recently, I noticed that the field where I used to run is now bursting with new homes.

Where is the one great undiscovered region to explore? The ocean! Although even that area is shrinking…..

Although written in 1870, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is a splendid read. It is about the adventures of Captain Nemo and Monsieur Aronnax in their seafaring travels. What will they find below the surface?

The adventures in this book are so diverse that if I wrote this book, I would be extremely proud of myself.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews44 followers
November 3, 2021
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 and receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition; he accepts. Canadian whaler and master harpooner Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful manservant Conseil are also among the participants.

The expedition leaves Manhattan's 34th St. Pier aboard the U.S. Navy frigate Abraham Lincoln, then travels south around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean. After a five-month search ending off Japan, the frigate locates and attacks the monster, which damages the ship's rudder.

The three protagonists are hurled into the sea and ultimately climb onto the monster itself, which they are startled to find is a futuristic submarine. They wait on the deck of the vessel until morning, when they're captured, hauled inside, and introduced to the submarine's mysterious manufacturer and commander, Captain Nemo.

The rest of the novel describes the protagonists' adventures aboard the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas beyond the reach of land-based governments.

In self-imposed exile, Captain Nemo seems to have a dual motivation: a quest for scientific knowledge and a desire to take revenge on terrestrial civilization.

Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can conduct advanced marine research; he also tells his new passengers that his secret existence means he can't let them leave—they must remain on board permanently. Professor Aronnax and Conseil are enthralled by the prospect of undersea exploration, but Ned Land increasingly hungers to escape. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «سفینهٔ غواصه یا سیاست تحت‌ البحری»؛ «بیست هزار فرسخ سیاحت در زیر بحر»؛ «20000، فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «20000، (بیست هزار) فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ « 20هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «20(بیست) هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا»؛ «شجاعان در اعماق زمین»؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در سال 1973میلادی

عنوان01: سفینهٔ غواصه یا سیاست تحت‌ البحری؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: یوسف اعتصامی، تبریز: بی‌ نا: سال1320ه.ق موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسه - سده 19م

عنوان02: بیست هزار فرسخ سیاحت در زیر بحر؛ نویسنده: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: محمود طرزی؛ کابل: مطبعه عنایت، سال1332ه.ق

عنوان03: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: رسول صدرعاملی، بی‌ نا: سال1352؛ (اقتباسی از «بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا» در26صفحه)؛

عنوان04: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مت‍رج‍م: رضا همراه، تهران اشراقی، بی‌تا؛

عنوان05: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: محمدتقی دانیا؛ تهران، اقبال، سال1352؛ در160ص؛

عنوان06: ب‍ی‍س‍ت ه‍زار ف‍رس‍ن‍گ زی‍ر دری‍ا؛ مت‍رج‍م: ع‍ل‍ی ف‍اطم‍ی‍ان، ت‍ه‍ران: ن‍ش‍ر چ‍ش‍م‌ ان‍داز: وزارت ف‍ره‍ن‍گ و ارش‍اد اس‍لام‍ی، س‍ازم‍ان چ‍اپ و ان‍ت‍ش‍ارات، سال1377؛ (241ص مصور) چاپ بیست و دوم 1379؛

عنوان07: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مت‍رج‍م: ام‍ی‍ن ن‍ص‍ی‍ری؛ ت‍ه‍ران: س‍پ‍ی‍ده، چاپ اول سال 1364، چ‍اپ ی‍ازده‍م: سال1379؛

عنوان08: 20000(ب‍ی‍س‍ت ه‍زار) ف‍رس‍ن‍گ زی‍ر دری‍ا، مترجم: شهلا انسانی، تهران اکباتان: سال1365؛ (اقتباسی از بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ در36صفحه مصور)؛

عنوان09: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریاها؛ مت‍رج‍م: اردشیر نیک‌پور، تهران: چاپ اول سال1366؛

عنوان10: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا، ب‍ازن‍وی‍س‍ی و ت‍ص‍وی‍رگ‍ری: طاووس ص‍دی‍ق‍ی؛ ت‍ه‍ران: گ‍وه‍رش‍اد، سال1381؛ (اقتباسی از: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ است در20صفحه مصور)؛

عنوان11: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ بازنویسی: فیونا بدال؛ مترجم: صدیقه شریف؛ تهران: دادجو، سال1388؛ چاپ دوم سال1393؛ (اقتباسی از: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ در95صفحه)؛

عنوان12: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: محمد همت‌خواه، تهران عصر اندیشه‏‫، سال1391؛ (59ص مصور)؛

عنوان13: 20 هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: سلماز بهگام؛ مشهد ترانه، سال‏‫1393؛ در428ص؛ شابک9786007061084؛

عنوان14: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: غزاله ابراهیمی؛ تهران کارگاه نشر‏‫، سال1394؛ در496ص؛ شابک9789645546463؛

عنوان15: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ بازنوشتهٔ لیزا چرچ؛ مترجم مجید عمیق؛ تهران؛ قدیانی، کتابهای بنفشه، سال‏‫1394؛ در128ص؛ شابک9786002517616؛

عنوان16: بیست‌هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس محسن سلیمانی؛ تهران؛ امیر کبیر، کتابهای جیبی‏‫، سال1394؛ در190ص؛ شابک9789643036164؛

عنوان17: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ بازنویسی لین بنتون؛ مترجم مهتا لبافی، تهران؛ شهر قصه‏‫، سال1395؛ اقتباسی از: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ در44صفحه مصور؛

عنوان18: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: نعیمه ظاهری؛ قزوین؛ سایه‌ گستر؛ سال‏‫‏‏‏‏1395؛ در47ص؛ مصور؛

عنوان19: بیست هزارفرسنگ زیردریا؛ اقتباس: سوده کریمی، تهران؛ کتاب‌های قاصدک، سال‏‫1395؛ در32ص مصور؛

عنوان20: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: صدیقه شریف؛ تهران؛ آبینه؛ سال1395؛ در95ص؛

عنوان21: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ مترجم: پروین ادیب، تهران؛ بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب پارسه‏‫، سال1395؛ در248ص؛ شابک9786002532391؛

عنوان22: 20000 فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اقتباس: الهام دانش‌نژاد؛ تهران؛ دبیر‏‫، سال1395؛ در46ص؛

عنوان23: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: حمید؛ تهران، انتشارات اوریژینال، سال1361؛ داستان تصویری، در38ص؛

عنوان24: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: علی فاطمیان؛ تهران، چشم انداز، سال1377؛ در250ص؛

عنوان25: بیست هزار فرسنگ زیر دریا؛ اثر: ژول ورن؛ مترجم: بیژن مدرس؛ تهران، کتاب مریم نشرمرکز، سال1377؛ در204ص؛

و البته که بسیاری دیگر، که هنوز نتوانسته ام بیابم

نام «ژول ورن (زاده ی سال1828میلادی؛ درگذشت سال1905میلادی)»، برای همیشه، به عنوان پدر داستانهای تخیلی علمی، باقی ��واهد ماند؛ برخی پیشرفتهای علمی و فنی را، ایشان، با خیال نیرومند خویش، پیش بینی کرده بودند، که امروز جامه ی تازه به تن پوشیده اند؛ در داستانهای ایشان، خلاقیت خیال انگیز بیداد میکند، داستانهای ایشان، با رویدادهای هیجان انگیز، و همراه با گرایش نیرومند اخلاقی و انسانی؛ برای نوجوانان، بسیار آموزنده هستند؛

چکیده داستان: سه مرد در دریا سرگردان هستند؛ زیردریایی ناتیلوس و کاپیتان آن ناخدا نمو، آنها را نجات میدهد؛ زمان رویداد، پیش از رخداد داستان جزیره اسرار آمیز است؛ افراد نجات یافته با زیردریایی، به مسافرتی طولانی میروند، و با عجایب بسیار در دریا روبرو میشوند؛ خیال نویسنده در قیاس با دانش آن روزگار، بسیار جالب و رویایی است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 11/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews9,000 followers
January 24, 2021
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 speculative sci-fi. He wrote so many books covering scientific discoveries that were just conjecture at the time, but ended up coming true. Maybe not all of it ended up in reality, but a lot of it did. I had to keep reminding myself that the things that sounded pretty normal for submarine travel were remarkable and unheard of at the time.

I am not sure if this classic will appeal to all. Some of the sections do get repetitive and tend towards dryness. However, for me, the whole experience was worth it and I am glad to add another classic to my list of books read.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
701 reviews3,355 followers
July 10, 2017
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 infinitely larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale.

Pierre’s story starts strong with an arresting premise: the Government of the United States is among the first to take to the open seas in search of the monstrous creature. By personal invitation of the Secretary of Marine, Pierre joins the crew of the Abraham Lincoln.

Three seconds after the arrival of [the] letter, I no more thought of pursuing the unicorn than of attempting the passage of the North Sea. Three seconds after reading the letter of the honourable Secretary of Marine, I felt that my true vocation, the sole end of my life, was to chase this disturbing monster, and purge it from the world.

Unfortunately, the majority of the book is comprised of overly detailed scientific explanations (complete with mathematical equations) and long-winded descriptions of varied species of aquatic life. To be frank, it’s quite boring.

In the eighty-ninth genus of fishes, classed by Lacépède, belonging to the second lower class of bony, characterized by opercules and bronchial membranes, I remarked the scorpaena, the head of which is furnished with spikes, and which has but one dorsal fin; these creatures are covered, or not, with little shells, according to the sub-class to which they belong. The second sub-class gives us specimens of didactyles fourteen or fifteen inches in length, with yellow rays, and heads of a most fantastic appearance. As to the first sub-class, it gives several specimens that singular-looking fish appropriately called a ‘sea-frog,’ with large head, sometimes pierced with holes, sometimes swollen with protuberances, bristling with spikes, and covered with tubercles; it has irregular and hideous horns; its body and tail are covered with calliosities; its sting makes a dangerous wound; it is both repugnant and horrible to look at.

Worst of all, anyone in the mood for a death-defying battle with an enormous sea creature whose size defies believability will be sorely disappointed.

A remarkable scientific feat for its time, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is an impressive classic but may fail to hold the attention of modern audiences.
Profile Image for Ruby Granger.
Author 3 books46.9k followers
June 30, 2020
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.
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews10.2k followers
November 13, 2012
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, twenty thousand leagues does not refer to the depth of the Nautilus, but the distance traveled.

Since his earliest publication, when the author was still alive, translations of his work into English have been abhorrent. For speakers of other languages, he is considered an intelligent, thoughtful, deliberate author, not a half-competent penner of fun pulp adventures (and this isn't some Baudelaire/Poe error on their part). Indeed, it's created a catch-22 in literary studies: current translations of Verne are so bad that no one wants to read or study him, so there's little demand for new translations.

How bad are the old translations? Bad. Often up to 25% of the text is cut. Character names are changed, as are plot points and events. Anything which might reflect poorly on British colonial policy is left out. Verne's carefully-researched scientific facts and numbers are arbitrarily changed or deleted. 'Diving suit' becomes 'life vest' and in several incidents, translators added racial epithets, in one case translating 'he said' as 'whined the Jew'. Compare two translations of Verne, and you're likely to find they differ greatly in length, content, and story. Indeed, even the title in French does not end with 'sea', but 'seas'.

Sadly, picking up a copy of the book, new or used, and you are still likely to get one of these terrible translations, since they are in the public domain. But we need suffer beneath this maltreatment no longer, for recently, several scholars have labored to bring to us faithful and well-researched translations. F.P. Walter donated his translation to Project Gutenberg, and it may be found here, while William Butcher's, which includes a critical introduction and footnotes, is available here.

Reading through these, it must be clear that Verne is not a pulp author, with more imagination than sense, but then, it's also difficult to describe his work as science fiction or steampunk. For the first, all the technologies he puts forth are not fictional, but real, current technologies: submarines had been in use since the American Civil war and his descriptions all rely closely on data found in scientific journals. It's true that his submarine is much larger and more advanced than any other, but it's hardly the same leap as a race to the moon or a journey through time. Indeed, as with Doyle's Professor Challenger stories, it is not man who is fantastical, but the world around him. As for 'steampunk', the Nautilus skips right past steam and diesel and is wholly powered by chemical batteries and electricity, with nary a cog or flywheel to be found.

As for the writing itself, it is intelligent, the characters strong, and Verne is quite capable of giving us those little insights which subtly alters our perception of the various interpersonal conflicts which dominate the book's plot. Though there are various events--the squid, meeting with this or that vessel, the undersea gardens, travel to the antarctic--these are all scattered throughout the story willy nilly, as if it were a real travelogue, tied together by the real central plot, which is the conflict between the captain and our heroes.

But since fiction is artificial, it does not make sense for the author to pretend that it isn't, so I found it disappointing that the individual occurrences of the plot rarely seemed important, nor did Verne build up to them or create a letdown, afterwards. The famous scene with the giant squid was particularly disappointing and anti-climactic, emerging suddenly and then over in a few moments. It's something I've been struggling with as I work on my own Victorian sci fi novel: ensuring that each scene has purpose on its own, and flows from one to the next.

It need not even be a clear flow of events: flow can also be achieved through mood, tone, and pace. Verne's book owes a great deal to Moby Dick, a book which bravely thrust from scene to scene, but where each scene was conceptually interconnected with the one before and the one after that, even if one was about the classification of whales and the next about someone being swept out to sea, there was still a conceptual link between them.

Verne's digressions of science and classification are not bound up in the purpose and philosophy of his story, as Melville's are, which leads to another problem that I have been carefully weighing in my own writing: what to include. Again and again, Verne spends long parts of chapters listing through types of fish seen outside the ship. Some of these are like Ovid's lists: full of lovely images, colors, and shapes, a melange of words and sounds that approaches a sort of poetry. Some contain humorous or interesting details which have some bearing on the situation at hand. Yet in many instances, they are merely long, dry, and add nothing to the book.

It certainly makes sense, as our narrator is a trained classifier, and duly interested in such things, but one of the rules of fiction is that we leave out reality when it is dull or extraneous, or pass it by with a few words, as Verne does dozens of time, commenting on the passing of days or weeks in a paragraph or even a sentence. To me, leaving in such long-winded, repetitious digressions was a mark against the book.

But then, science fiction is very fond of such digressions, and Verne also indulges in the other kind: the long chapters of explanation about length, tonnage, and the particulars of undersea travel, all taking place at the slow pace of a Socratic dialogue: 'but then how do you replenish these sodium batteries being, as you are, always at sea', 'well, you see, I distill it from the very . . .', and so on. And of course, almost none of these myriad details are ever shown to be important again. My general rule is to only go into detail so much as it:

I. Impacts the story directly
II. Sets an artistic mood
III. Symbolically explores the philosophical ideas in the book, or
IV. Is amusing, in and of itself

But then, Verne is not only indebted to Melville, but to Poe, and his disjointed, bizarre story The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket--his only foray into the novel, and one of those books that is so flawed and unusual that it has inspired whole generations of authors who feel that, with a bit more focus and tightening up, they might turn its form into something quite strong. So, when we rush from carefully-detailed and researched science and plunge into silly, unsupported tall tales in Verne, we can, to some degree, thank Poe, whose story started as a straightforward travelogue and ended as some kind of religious symbolic fever dream.

But it is strange to me to see Verne spend a chapter talking meticulously about the tonnage of the Nautilus and what volume of water would be required to sink to certain depths, and then claiming that sharks can only bite while swimming upside-down and that pearl divers in Ceylon wouldn't be able to hold their breath for more than a minute at a time. It just goes to show that no matter how much careful research and deliberation you put into a book, you're still going to make errors, so in the end, you might want to focus more on your story, plotting, and pacing (things you can control), and less on endlessly researching things that could just as easily be passed over without the story losing anything (except length).

And overall, this is what I wish Verne had done. While I respect the intelligence and precision with which he pursues his work, and I would definitely not rank him among the pulps, the very rich character story at the center of the book was too lightly touched upon, when, as in Frankenstein or Moby Dick, it could have been the focus, and made for a much stronger book. The characters, the conflicts, and the psychology were all there, but in the end, we leave the book without a completed arc.
Profile Image for Hend.
174 reviews266 followers
March 17, 2019
تحفة روائية يمتزج فيها العلم مع الخيال باسلوب رائع لا يستهين بعقل القارئ
من روايات الخيال العلمى القليلة التى قاومت الزمن، بل و تزيد قيمتها بمرور الوقت، وهو ما يميز الأدب الجيد
Profile Image for Luís.
1,947 reviews611 followers
August 26, 2023
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a marine adventure book that can qualify even fiction novels; one of the first science fiction novels.
In 1864, when this book came out, it had made no underwater trip, as reported; Jules Verne allows us to imagine from the scientific basis for individual facts (pressure, temperature, different seas and oceans traveled) and more spooky for cross creatures. We say what is avant-garde with this fully electrified submarine, its autonomous suits used for humanistic and non-military purposes!
This novel is a real dashboard where we follow our four protagonists and dive with them to discover the splendors of the sea, and the beautiful illustrations of Neuville add to this significant part. Admittedly, some passages are very distinct and detailed in classifying species in maritime coordinates. Still, we must not forget that the imminent Professor Oronnax holds this dashboard.
We are fascinated by Captain Nemo: What happened to him for wanting so much to leave the Earth forever? Why so much hate and rancor towards men, to the point of attacking their boats? Can we blame him without knowing his past and understanding what capable men are? Is it more to blame than the men who leave at the novel's beginning, hunting down the "monster" sailor to kill him because it harms the navigators?
Profile Image for Annemarie.
250 reviews698 followers
October 10, 2018
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 actually convinced that Verne is telling a non-fictional tale. It all just seems so real, believable and convincing.
I also felt this constant air of mystery while reading, which was strengthen further by how many things are left to the imagination and remain unresolved.
I do have to say that I strongly believe that this book isn't for everyone, especially due to the large extent of maritime information. I'm a huge lover of ocean animals though, so I certainly felt lots of joy while reading.
Profile Image for Werner.
Author 3 books601 followers
November 6, 2022
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, pointless dialogue, and stylistic faults (for instance, what passes for "description" here is usually simply long lists of marine species whose appearance most readers have no idea of) to blame on them and how much on Verne. In any case, those characteristics are fully in view in the translation of this novel that I read, in addition to the basic 19th-century diction which will be off-putting to many modern readers anyway (my wife chose not to finish the book). The success of the book when it was written, in my opinion, owed much more to the novelty of the premise than to the execution of the finished product; and today, where submarines and undersea travel are commonplace, that factor doesn't operate. (This is a pity, because Captain Nemo is actually one of Verne's more complex and memorable characters, and deserves a better literary medium for his story!)
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,883 reviews16.6k followers
September 9, 2023
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.

*** 2023 reread -

Still fun but I gotta say it has not held up like I thought it might. The nineteenth century scientific prose which is in a way pre-Steampunk or Real Steampunk or something got somewhat tedious here and there.

The idea of a mysterious "submarine" vehicle roaming around the globe, under the waves must have been really cool when this first came out in the 1860s and Verne's imaginative use of electricity may be lost on modern readers. The author's descriptions of naturalist scenes was also noteworthy.

A hundred and fifty years later and Captain Nemo, uncivilized yet urbane, dangerous and unpredictable, still steals the show. But this time just for fun I imagined the Captain looked like Bill Murray and the crew resembled Zissounauts.

Profile Image for Veronica Alvarez.
318 reviews17 followers
March 23, 2021
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
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,633 followers
February 9, 2022
طرنا مع فيرن من الارض للقمر
و هبطنا معه لمركز الارض
و ها نحن نغوص مع كابتن نيمو تحت الماء
عالم و َ مساعده و بحار يعثرون علي كائن غريب و يكتشفون فجاة انه غواصة؛ ليصبحوا سجناء كابتن نيمو و طاقمه لاابدمع معاملتهم معاملة كريمة

وقعت هذه الأحداث قبل اختراع الغواصة بعقود؛ و لكن وصفها فيرن بشكل دقيق كأنها امامه؛ و ينطلقوا في رحلات لا تصدق؛ حتي يهرب الثلاثة و يكتبوا عن تجربتهم في نيوتليس
ليتنبا فيرن باختراع :الغواصة؛ َ بدلة الغطس؛ و السفن الحاملة للرؤوس النووية

الحيوية و العبقرية؛ الكبرياء و الغموض ؛تلك هي صفات بطل جعل من البحر عالمه و منزله
و اعتزل العالم يأسا من البشر و حرص فيرن علي ابقاء دوافعه غامضة للنهاية
و لم يوضحها فعلا الا في رواية :الجزيرة الغامضة
ليظل كابتن نيمو احد اشهر اشرار الادب العالمي
Profile Image for Blaine.
782 reviews660 followers
November 7, 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 teach me that.
Between 1866 and 1868, ships across the world keep encountering what appears to be a giant, dangerous narwhal. The U.S. government sends the USS Abraham Lincoln to hunt down the creature. Joining the expedition is the book’s narrator, Pierre Aronnax, a French professor of marine biology. But when the ship finally find the ‘monster,’ Aronnax, his manservant Conseil, and a hot-tempered harpooner named Ned Land, are thrown overboard during the attack. The three men are ultimately rescued by the ‘monster,’ which is revealed to actually be a giant steel submarine. Choosing life over death, the three reluctantly agree to remain on the Nautilus, and under the control of its Captain, the mysterious, magnetic Nemo.

Thus begins this classic adventure tale by Jules Verne, one of the foundational writers of science fiction. Unlike H.G. Wells, who wrote science fiction that was far more philosophical than technical, this book reads like an old-timey Michael Crichton novel. There’s a great deal of science—actual and predictive—within this story. It foretells modern submarines, scuba gear, and greater use of electric power. It also predicts future trends from trying to save the whales and ecological protectionism to opposing sport fishing and living as a pescatarian.

Captain Nemo is, of course, the most interesting character here even though, like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, we only see him sporadically and only through the eyes of the narrator. He’s on a self-imposed exile from the rest of humanity, and he occasionally carries out acts of vengeance against certain ships that cross his path. But he’s not a one-dimensional villain, as he also sends money to help oppressed people around the world, and acts to help individual people that he meets.

The journey of Nautilus spans the globe, exploring underwater forests, coral graveyards, the South Pole, and even Atlantis. The story paints a picture of a beautiful undersea world, with creatures real and imagined, including the famous giant squid. It’s not always scientifically or historically accurate, but it is consistently interesting.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews928 followers
December 31, 2019
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 see in the story? Still, it was an easy read and, since I'm now scuba diving in Honduras, quite timely! 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book938 followers
June 26, 2020
Le Nautilus, le Capitaine Nemo, le calamar géant ! Voici un très court et très inexact résumé de ce chef-d’œuvre de Jules Vernes. En vérité, Nemo n’est pas Ahab et le poulpe géant n’est pas la baleine blanche. L’épisode du calamar intervient incidemment vers la fin du roman de Verne et a été monté en épingle de la même façon que l’a été l’épisode de Don Quichotte et des moulins à vent, au début du roman de Cervantes.

Vingt mille lieues sous les mers est un tour du monde (à l’instar des aventures de Phileas Fogg dans les airs) et avant tout un roman documentaire sur la mer, c’est-à-dire : pas tant un roman de science-fiction, comme on a souvent voulu l’étiqueter, mais bien plutôt un roman de vulgarisation scientifique et géographique sur les océans. Le cadre narratif — le merveilleux vaisseau sous-marin, le ténébreux capitaine, son mystérieux équipage et ses trois sympathiques otages — n’est le plus souvent guère plus que cela : un cadre.

A l’intérieur se dessine la prodigieuse richesse et complexité du monde sous-marin : sa géologie, ses courants, sa faune et sa flore, dont Verne se délecte à énumérer les noms aux sonorités surnaturelles, pages après pages, comme si son intention avait été, au fond, de composer une encyclopédie d’histoire naturelle et de biologie marine romancée, un hallucinant bestiaire. Les fonds marins étant pratiquement inexplorés à l’époque où Verne écrivait, plusieurs points du récit traduisent une fantaisie surprenante, un peu désuète, voire attendrissante : le tunnel sous l’isthme de Suez, la découverte des ruines sous-marines de l’Atlantide, la fosse océanique de seize kilomètres, l’océan sous les glaces antarctiques ; mais sans doute tout ceci ne paraissait-il pas si naïfs aux jeunes lecteurs avides d’instruction scientifique, en cette deuxième moitié du XIXème siècle.

Au passage, Verne fait des clins d’œil aux lecteurs d’Homère (Nemo n’est qu’un autre nom pour Outis, qui n’est qu’un autre nom pour Ulysse), d’Edgar Poe (le voyage en Antarctique d’Arthur Gordon Pym, ainsi que le terrible Descent into the Maelström), de Victor Hugo (la pieuvre géante des Travailleurs de la mer). Plus que Neuville, l’illustrateur de cette édition, pour moi, celui qui donna, peut-être inconsciemment, un vrai visage au Capitaine Nemo et a son Nautilus est sans doute le Commandant Cousteau et sa Calypso, parcourant en tous sens les mers de notre planète, pour condamner la sottise destructrice des hommes et pour éduquer la jeunesse de demain. Je soulignerais pour finir que tant Hergé (voir en particulier Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge) que le cinéaste James Cameron (entre autres, à travers The Abyss et Titanic) ont une dette éternelle envers Jules Verne.
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,950 reviews436 followers
August 5, 2023
"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 in its native language. Translations are all very well, but the very soul of a book must always be lost when it comes to being turned in to English, unless, of course, the original author is the translator. Then it is not translation, just bad writing. But translations are odd things and, sadly, the only thing available to me and thus are all I can review.

In the case of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea it is a translation, but a mighty one. I was captivated from the start, with the magnificence of the descriptions, setting the scene, getting me excited about the whole ruddy adventure. I enjoyed Professor Aronnax and his very Passepartout-esque servant Conseil and their rather odd relationship. Ned Land was grand, if only for a laugh.

And then we got on Captain Nemo's submarine, the Nautilus, and two things happened. Captain Nemo was, honestly, pointless. He wasn't to be feared, or particularly enigmatic. He was just a bit of a lonely loser. He should have been explored more-not to the extent that the mystery was solved completely, but surely to a deeper level akin to what his submarine goes to. Captain Nemo was, in short, a huge disappointment. His so-called revenge on society is, quite frankly, pathetic, as well.

Secondly, we sink in to a deluge of classifications of fish and other marine life. Countless lists of the things Aronnax, Conseil and Ned see. Countless fish. I understand that the sea holds many of these, but to list them all is ridiculous. It felt like nothing but tedium and perhaps a little showy-showy.

I suppose an adventure that is trapped beneath the waves will have limitations in how quick the pace can go, but the very nature of the journey and the interim expeditions-whilst incredibly imaginative and very forward-thinking-tended to be slow and fairly lacklustre.

The whole thing petered out in a rather tremendous fashion. I feel slightly cheated by it, to tell the truth, as the start really had me engaged and mentally prepared to be taken on a fantastic journey. Instead, I just learned about latitude and classifications of fish.
Profile Image for [S] Bibliophage.
950 reviews859 followers
February 24, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews806 followers
April 25, 2017
“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 end of “Seas” also, the tour spans multiple seas you know. The book really is what it says on the tin, a large part of it book reads like a travelogue with more marine biology infodumps than I know what to do with. This aspect of it is a little like Moby-Dick*, the difference is that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (eff the extended title) is much more accessible and less dry (haha!). The version I read is translated from the original French by F. P. Walter with an excellent introduction by Mr. Walter that is informative, not too long and creates a nice sense of anticipation.

Art by GoldenDaniel

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, as you probably already know, is the adventure of Professor Pierre Aronnax, his ridiculously faithful servant Conseil, and the ruff 'n' tuff, love-em-and-leave-em, wham-bam-thank you-maam, Ned “Is that a harpoon or are you just happy to see me” Land. That sentence went on so long I train of thought has derailed... Oh yes! The adventures of the above-mentioned fellows in the Nautilus, a super-submarine captained by the mysterious Nemo***. Basically, Prof Aronnax and co go hunting for a creature they believe to be a mega-whale which they believe to have sunk several ships in the ocean and has to be stopped. As luck would have it, their own ship is sunk and the creature they are hunting turns out to be the high-tech submarine the Nautilus. Fortunately for them, Captain Nemo is nice enough to rescue them and take them on board his sub, less fortunate is that he won’t allow them to leave the Nautilus – ever!

From then on Prof Aronnax’s first person narrative takes us along on this extraordinary voyage. The 20,000 leagues of the title refers to the distance, not the depth, covered by Aronnax’s voyage on board the Nautilus, which mostly takes place under the sea. I see what you did there Mr. Verne! I have to confess I am not an enthusiast of marine biology so my mind did float off to other places during some of the more educational passages. In all fairness, the book never bored me though, the tone of the narrative is always affable and pleasant to breeze through. If you are familiar with Disney’s awesome 1954 adaption of the book you will already know what to expect at the climax of the book involving a giant octopus (called devilfish in the book). This scene is brilliantly depicted by Verne, I was surprised how vivid and effective it is even in written form.

Octopus vs The Nautilus (no idea who to credit, sorry)

The central characters are quite well developed, though I did find Conseil to be subservient to a fault:

“He's in Master's employ, he thinks like Master, he speaks like Master, and much to his regret, he can't be counted on to form a majority.”

In a scene where oxygen was running out of the Nautilus, Conseil says "Oh, if only I didn't have to breathe, to leave more air for Master!" . For heaven’s sake man, get some agency! Ned Land may be a little plebeian but at least he is his own man. The faithful servant Passepartout from Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days is very similar to Conseil, but he is much more independent and even goes off on a solo adventure for a while. Aronnax is the least interesting of the main characters, but he makes a good narrator. Captain Nemo is, of course, awesome. A sort of Sherlock Holmes crossed with Batman – with gills (well, no gills but I bet he wishes he has them).

I generally prefer Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days to this one, as it has less slack and moves along at a brisker pace. Still I like Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, it is very amiable and entertaining to read.


* “Vingt mille lieues sous les mers: Tour du monde sous-marin” if you want to get all Frenchie about it.

** Can I just plug my awesome terrible review of Moby-Dick here, it’s probably an all-time worst review of this venerated book. But I like it ;) ****

*** Unfortunately the Nautilus is not yellow so I can’t, in all good conscience, quote from another song.

**** My "emojitional" Twilight review is even worse, and it gets very little love, either because it is too far ahead of its time, or too far behind! But Cecily likes it so it can’t be all bad ;)

Audiobook clearly and entertainingly read by Librivox volunteer Ms. Michele Fry. Thank you!
Profile Image for Dalia Nourelden.
544 reviews760 followers
April 23, 2023
اشهد ان لا إله الا الله
اخيرااا خلصت
اللى يعرفني يعرف ان معنديش مشكلة مع تفاصيل الرواية وبطء الأحداث طالما الأسلوب حلو ومندمجة مع الرواية لكن هنا الرواية اختبرت وتجاوزت كل صبري واحتمالى ولولا انها عندى ورقي بجانب طبعا صحبة القراءة الجميلة مع الأصدقاء اللى كنا بنعيط سوا كنت سيبتها فعلا. بجانب انى كنت تعديت نصها بالفعل .

المشكلة هنا مش في الوصف والكلام الكتير وبطء الأحداث، المشكلة كانت انها انتقلت من كونها رواية خيال علمى لكتاب عن عالم البحار والأسماك.
بيتسرسل فى صفحات وفصول في وصف وتصنيف أنواع السمك وخصائصها ومعلومات تانية كتير . لو أنها مهتمة بالكلام ده كنت اكيد اسمتعت بس انا مش مهتمة وبجانب انى اعتقد لو انا مهتمة كنت هلجأ لكتاب بيتكلم عن الموضوع ده مش رواية خيال علمى.

" ان أبعد المحيطات لاتزال خافية علينا. فماذا يحدث في تلك الأعماق؟ أى المخلوقات يمكن أن تعيش في أعماق تبعد اثني عشر أو خمسة عشر ميلاً تحت سطح الماء ؟ إننا لا نستطيع أن ندرك الطبيعة التي تتكون منها تلك المخلوقات أو الهيئة التي عليها"

وفيرن هنا حب يجاوب على التساؤل اللى طرحه في أول الرواية بإستفاضه رهييبة توصل للملل .

انا كنت مستمتعة فعلا في الجزء الاول من الرواية وتقريبا حتى الفصل ال ٣٠ كنت مستحملة التفاصيل وبعدى بسرعة على التفاصيل اللى مش مهتمة بيها بس فعلا تعبت وزهقت لدرجة انى كنت بعدى فقرات بنظرة عيني لحد ما اوصل لحوار بين الشخصيات أو وصف لأحداث بتحصل مش إثبات الكاتب للمعلومات اللى عارفها والبحوث اللى اكيد عملها عشان يكتب الرواية دى .
انا مش من طبعي انى أتجاوز فقرات بس في بعض الأحيان كنت مضطرة اعمل كده عشان أقدر أكمل الرواية وأخلصها .

بس ده ميمنعش ان أسلوب سرد الرواية حلو وخفيف فيما عدا طبعا حصص العلوم وعالم البحار . وفكرة الرواية حلوة واعتقد في وقتها كانت مبهرة . وقدرت بالفعل تجذبني في البداية إلا انها مقدرتش تجذبني للنهاية .

حتى منتصف الرواية تقريبا كان تقييمي لها ٣ نجوم ثم أصبحت مترددة بين ٢ او ٣ ومع النهاية كان ترددى ما بين نجمة او اثنين .

٥ / ٧ / ٢٠٢٢
Profile Image for Mir.
4,869 reviews5,036 followers
August 1, 2014

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 wonder how they managed to get enough material to still have a book. The narration of the action is very understated, also, so I wonder if it was actually rewritten for the volume I had.

With modern special effects this could make a great movie -- not an action film, but more like a marine documentary with strange asides into the human psyche.

The above image (a Ransonnet-Villez lithograph of corals) is not from or even directly related to this book, but merely an illustration of the type of investigation of the undersea world that was becoming possible at the time due to new technologies.
Profile Image for Chad.
252 reviews41 followers
August 31, 2008
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 than just a corny adventure story. There wasn't a lot there send me searching the shelves for another Jules Verne novel. But, alas, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" sat there anyway, patiently waiting for me be curious enough to crack it open. Its prospects weren't too hot, but it did have one thing playing to its advantage, and that one thing was: Alan Moore.

You see, Alan Moore had written several years ago, a Victorian era literary adventure comic called "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." In it, he collects literary characters from various eras and sends them off to save the world. For its base of operations, the team used The Nautilus, the otherworldly submarine of Captain Nemo. Moore's version of Nemo was about a million miles away from the James Mason version in the classic Disney movie, which was a lot closer in tone to the goofy peril invoked in "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Moore made Nemo dark and brooding and ambiguous and cryptic. There wasn't anything corny about it.

Okay then...what the heck. I gave Verne another chance, and plucked the novel off the shelve and had a look.

Unexpectedly, the first thing I read was a brief introductory essay by Ray Bradbury comparing "20,000 Leagues" to "Moby Dick", laying out a convincing arguement for how Nemo and Ahab are opposite sides of the same coin: Ahab evil in his pursuit to conquer the Great Whale and the sea, Nemo evil in his pursuit to become one with it. Now Ray Bradbury has always been a bit of a starry-eyed dreamer (which isn't a bad thing), so it wasn't too far fetched to think he was reading this Verne novel through rose-colored lenses, but quite frankly, nothing in "Center of the Earth" really lent itself to being compared seriously to any Great American Novels, so perhaps I'd be dealing with something different this time out. Equipped with a bit of optimism, it was time to let the book speak for itself.

And the novel spoke for itself. Where "Center of the Earth" was a slick popcorn action story, "20,000 Leagues" is dark and gritty and real. Rather than cartwheeling through flashy action-set-pieces, the story of Doctor Arronax and harpooner Ned Land's imprisonment by Nemo is a crawling, cryptic one. It moves very slowly and deliberately, taking its time to offer lavish descriptions not only of the expansive vistas of the world's oceans, but also of the Nautilus, the grand undersea palace constructed by Nemo in his self-imposed exile from society.

Some of the descriptions of sea life are almost tedious (okay, 'almost' nothing, they really are tedious). As our narrator is a marine biologist, we are graced with several encyclopedic descriptions of every possible creature you might find in the depths. Slowly, however, you begin to realize how much in love with the ocean Arronax is, and all the endless cataloguing of sea-life are really the doctor's love poems to the sea.

And via Arronax's great passion, Nemo slowly becomes less of a villain. How villanous is it exactly to offer an awe-struck marine biologist an opportunity to spend the rest of life studying things no other scientist could even dream existed. Which paves the way for Ned Land, the restless harpooner who keeps popping his grizzled nose into the room and reminding everybody that Nemo is a megalomaniac bastard. Which is basically true, but honestly, I only begrudgingly accepted Nemo as the bad guy, maybe because I, like Arronax, am a scientiest at heart.

Anyhow, the moral ambiguity of Nemo, the starry-eyed wonder of Arronax, the tough-as-nails grit of Ned (I honestly think Verne was picturing Kirk Douglas when he created Ned) gives the reader a host of characters with whom to get deeply invested. Combined with the intricate and luxurious descriptions of the world under the ocean, "20,000 Leagues" is a vastly different sort of adventure than "Center of the Earth".

Much to my surprise and delight, it is far more than a schlockly romp around the ocean. It may not be at the same level as "Moby Dick", but it definitely reads as a work of fine literature.
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,257 followers
February 11, 2015
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, some real and just recently discovered as well as his own fictionalized lands.

This must have been an edge-of-your-seater back when it came out. It looks a bit dated when held up to the light of the 21st century though. The writing is not stellar, but as pure adventure there are certain passages that still entertain and send someone like myself back to my childhood and that silly ride at Disney.
Profile Image for Axl Oswaldo.
332 reviews166 followers
January 2, 2023
No cabe duda que estoy frente a la mejor novela de Jules Verne que he leído y que creo leeré jamás.

Debo reconocer que antes de leer Veinte mil leguas de viaje submarino le tenía cierto pánico y respeto a la obra (el respeto se lo sigo teniendo); había leído comentarios de lectores diciendo que era un libro altamente descriptivo, aburrido, que parecía una enciclopedia listando únicamente especies de animales, que la aventura nunca llegaba, y que el final era decepcionante. Vamos a ver, todo lo que menciono podría cumplirse si mi experiencia hubiera sido negativa, pero no puedo estar más que feliz con el resultado de mi lectura, una experiencia que ha sido de lo mas entretenida y gratificante.

El libro en sí está escrito con el estilo de Verne que ya la mayoría conocemos, sigue de hecho el mismo patrón que Viaje al centro de la Tierra y La vuelta al mundo en 80 días, pero lo lleva al siguiente nivel al ser un libro, en mi opinión, más redondo y más completo. La novela, en efecto, es altamente descriptiva, especialmente porque el narrador, el profesor Aronnax, se detiene a mencionar todas las especies que observa en cada lugar por el que pasan, al igual que su criado Conseil, quien es muy bueno para clasificarlas. Algunas veces dan detalles de los animales o flora que se cruzan, otras veces luce como una lista de supermercado; no sé si seré yo, pero jamás me aburrió el que fuera de esta forma, sin mencionar que el libro lo leí en conjunto con mi madre y al terminar nuestra tanda de capítulos, tras haber anotado una serie de nombres, los buscábamos en YouTube para ver dichas especies en video y conocer un poco más sobre ellos. ¿Si aprendimos algo tras hacer esta lectura? La pregunta mejor sería, ¿qué no aprendimos?

La aventura está presente en cada capítulo (o casi), donde nuestros protagonistas, tras haber sido secuestrados por el capitán Nemo —no entraré en detalles aquí pero uno de ellos va desarrollando un caso de síndrome de Estocolmo a lo largo de la historia—, se adentran a las profundidades y en vez de 80 días, aquí recorrerán las 20,000 leguas del título a lo largo y ancho del globo. Fue una historia que no pude soltar, que me mantenía en ella capítulo tras capítulo y que incluso sentía que me estaba educando (tener cuidado en esto porque hay datos que, o son actualmente obsoletos, o son completamente inventados por Verne). Los personajes también se vuelven inolvidables e irreemplazables y son únicamente cuatro: Aronnax y Conseil, que ya mencioné anteriormente, Ned Land, un arponero canadiense que me recordó ligeramente a una combinación de Starbuck y Queequeg de Moby Dick, y por supuesto, el enigmático capitán Nemo.
Pienso que el capitán Nemo es y será el personaje más emblemático de Verne, un ser de lo más misterioso, extraño y que además inspira respeto y sabiduría, un personaje que uno no termina de conocer, pero que con lo que se sabe de él pienso que es más que suficiente, ya que te mantiene en esa incertidumbre que te hace posicionarlo en ese lugar tan especial. Al final, y hablando del final de la historia, uno termina donde empezó, lo que entiendo que pueda parecer decepcionante, pero para mí fue el mejor final que Verne podría haber escrito, uno con más preguntas que respuestas. Al menos en este caso me he quedado más que satisfecho.

No hace falta decir que recomiendo ampliamente este libro, sí y sólo sí:
A) eres fan de los libros de Verne
B) te gustan las historias ambientadas en el mar, pero sin un vocabulario tan técnico y específico
C) tienes interés por la vida marina a un nivel donde no te importa que te describan todo lo que ven, fauna, flora y demás
D) no te importa quedarte con más preguntas que respuestas al final
E) no tienes problema con que se mezclen unidades del sistema internacional y del anglosajón desmesuradamente, donde, por ejemplo, la profundidad la mencionen en metros y la distancia en cables o en millas.

P.S. Una mención honorífica a la editorial Nórdica por esta edición tan bellamente ilustrada, con más de 50 ilustraciones a color, donde la historia va cobrando vida a través de ellas.


—Sí, lo amo. El mar lo es todo. Cubre siete décimas partes del globo terrestre. Su aliento es puro y sano. Es el inmenso desierto en el que el hombre nunca está solo, pues siente latir la vida a su alrededor. El mar es el vehículo de una existencia prodigiosa y sobrenatural. Es movimiento y amor, es el infinito hecho vida, como dijo uno de sus poetas. En efecto, profesor, la naturaleza se manifiesta en él por sus tres reinos: mineral, vegetal y animal. Este último está ampliamente representado por los cuatro grupos de zoófitos, por tres clases de articulados, por cinco clases de moluscos, por tres clases de vertebrados, los mamíferos, los reptiles y las incontables legiones de peces, orden infinito de animales que cuenta con más de trece mil especies, de las que solo una décima parte son de agua dulce. El mar es la gran reserva de la naturaleza. El mundo, por así decirlo, comenzó en el mar, y quién sabe si no terminará en él. En él está la tranquilidad suprema. El mar no pertenece a los déspotas. En su superficie, aún pueden ejercer sus inicuos derechos, pelearse, devorarse y transportar todos los horrores terrestres, pero a treinta pies de profundidad, su poder cesa, su influencia se extingue y su imperio desaparece. ¡Ah, señor, viva usted en el seno de los mares! ¡Solo ahí existe la independencia! ¡Ahí no reconozco señor alguno! ¡Allí soy libre!
Profile Image for Julian Worker.
Author 35 books377 followers
June 28, 2022
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.
Profile Image for Heba.
1,093 reviews2,136 followers
January 27, 2021
على ما يبدو إنني قطعت عشرين ألف فرسخ تحت الماء ، في مغامرة ممتعة ومذهلة حول العالم على متن غواصة ، أنا التى تشعر بدوار البحر على السطح ، كنت متحمسة جداً و في غاية السعادة وأنا في الأعماق ...
ومع ذلك ، عجيب أمر الانسان ، لطالما يتوق إلى أن يتنفس عبق الحرية حتى وإن كان سجين لعالم ساحر ، ما هو إلا مزيجاً من الجمال والخيال ....
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books347 followers
October 15, 2021
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 in The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction 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 he makes the 'strange' into the familiar, the mundane, the european world of mid 1800s, so less threatening and somehow maintaining worlds comfortable to readers always explainable in applied science, in engineering, in spite of any fantastic devices or worlds...

031015 first review: this is another book i decide to reread that i once gave a five. when i rated that it was by memory, and of that an abridged version. this is a new read, a new translation, a new experience. thus sentiment plays less of a role, but i am unsure how much of this rating is the idea rather than execution...

this edition comes with a 60 page introduction, which sets it up well. the text itself is complete, around 430 pages, and of the same vintage as The Wretched (Les Miserables) by Victor Hugo. it is interesting to think of these books as contemporary, of how each works, how different, how similar. also how much of it is images of the disney movie, from which in reading it is hard to escape. this is the good: brass/steampunk visuals of the nautilus, james mason as captain nemo. the bad: kirk douglas as ned land the harpooner (singing!), peter lorre as conseil, the movie pacing and resolution...

there is not much to comment on, except to reiterate what critics if not everyone knows by now: the translations read as kids book are bad, abridging is radical, the ideas are beautiful. exact failings of the translations i do not know, as i do not read (perfect) french. of abridging, well there are many, many, long passages detailing such things as mechanics, science, engineering, then catalogues of fishes, sharks, and other marine life. there is great specificity of latitude, longitude, depth, type of seawater. there is some gesture to the power of electricity, other concepts such as walking undersea, on finding wreckage wealth, of drowned ruins, of pearls beyond measure, of all the ways nemo refuses the land, in food, in fuel, in everything from furniture to ink. these sections are shortened or omitted. at the time perhaps they were needed to give scientific plausibility to the magical experience, by now they are boring, now we read past them, but i enjoy them in an abstract, comic, way... particularly marine life as seen between scientific classification by conseil, and whether they are edible by ned land...

other comments: this is the genesis of science fiction as 'hard science' rather than speculative, rather than social science fiction, and the overriding attitude is that everything, however fantastic, has a scientific rationale- even if such is speculative, if such is imaginative license, it is the philosophical principle that science enables and explains everything. so be ready for a lot of science (of 1869). do not read this if you like say, genre romances...
Profile Image for Olivier Delaye.
Author 1 book221 followers
August 8, 2022
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.
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