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Captain Nemo

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  463 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Most readers know Captain Nemo only as the enigmatic protagonist of Jules Verne’s classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But what if Nemo was a real man, whose actual life was more fantastic and adventurous than all the fictions it inspired?

Here is the tale of Andre Nemo, the man behind the myth. The free-spirited and inventive son of a French shipbuilder, Nemo goes
Hardcover, Pocket, 357 pages
Published January 2nd 2002 by Simon Schuster (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  463 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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A rousing, well-told, thumping good yarn full of excitement-filled rollicking...and one I am fairly astonished to have enjoyed as much as I did. This is a page-turning, popcorn adventure with real heart and a few more brains in its noggin than I initially provided for. Within no time, it has sat on my expectations and made them cry uncle.

Let me explain...

Going in, I thought there was little hope for more than a single star and some rage clouds in this book’s narrative sky. I was already
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Titan Books are re-releasing this book, which takes both Jules Verne, the writer, and his fictional character Andre Nemo (of 20 000 Leagues Beneath the Sea, amongst others) and mixes them up.
In this novel Andre Nemo, friend of the young Jules, is a real person, although one which Jules used in his writing. The key conceit here is that the adventures that Nemo has forms the basis for Jules’ prodigious writing later in life.

We begin the tale with both boys attempting to stowaway to sea.
Ross Armstrong
Not a good experience with this. I am a big Jules Verne fan and this is a really disappointing read.

This is supposed to be a biography of Verne's fictional Captain of the Nautilus from "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea." Instead we get a mash up of a fictional Jules Verne and Nemo being best friends as children and also both in love with the same woman. It starts with the myth of Verne never travelling anywhere and living and writing vicariously through Nemo. While Verne did not travel extensively,
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, sf
Kevin J. Anderson writes consistently entertaining science fiction. He includes a lot of adventure, and has a clean style that is accessible. Not the most experimental of authors, he is unlikely to win many awards nor further the genre, but he can be counted on for a good story and a good read.

Sounds a bit like Alan Dean Foster (and coincidentally, both authors write a lot of media-related titles also). Neither writes high literature, but you can enjoy their SF adventures without keeping it as a
 Reading Divergence
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reading Divergence by: Hearts on Fire Reviews
Shelves: june-2012-reads
A delightfully engrossing novel by an extremely talented author, Kevin J. Anderson, “Captain Nemo” can be classified in several categories; fantasy, historical fantasy, science fiction, science fantasy, adventure, thriller, coming-of-age, friendship memoir, and much more. It’s simply a breathtaking fictional view of the writings of Jules Verne, as if Verne were the amanuensis who recorded the true-life adventures of his best friend, rather than only a writer of science fiction. For readers who ...more
Oct 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Interesting book if a little uninspired at times. Jules Verne always dreamed of travelling and seeing the world but his strict father wouldn't let him. By the time Verne grows up he is set in his ways and can't bring himself to leave France. But his old friend Nemo returns now and again to tell him of his adventures. There is also an invented character involved, a woman(whose name escapes me) who forma part of a tentative romantic triangle of childhood companions. Basically Jules is living ...more
Timothy Boyd
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book blending a fantasy "biography" of Jules Verne and Captain Nemo. Anderson does an excellent job blending the historical facts of Verne's life into the fictional life of Nemo. I liked how the "true" history of the amazing stories of Jules Verne were revealed. Good, entertaining and nicely done read. This is the first book by Anderson that I have read that he has not co-authored with someone. I will be seeking out more of his work. Very recommended
Clay Davis
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like the interweaving of real and fictional characters.
Noran Miss Pumkin
I read this book, along with others-when "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". I got books on each of the characters to read. Sean Connery Makes most any movie better.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, fiction
A great fantasy distraction, highly recommend for an afternoon escape.
Matthew Kresal
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are few authors whose works have stood the test of time more than Jules Verne. With a handful of classic novels and characters, he created timeless tales of adventure and science fiction. Suppose though that those tales and some of his most iconic characters had a basis in fact? That is the basis of Captain Nemo, Kevin J. Anderson's 2002 novel subtitled The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius (or alternatively “The Fantastic Adventures” depending on which edition you have). The result is a ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun book. I wasn't sure what to expect as I picked it at random going only by the fact that this is the person that co-wrote the Clockwork Angels books. To be honest I have never read any of Jules Vern's books so there may have been some things that I didn't catch that someone who is familiar with his works might. That being said, it was a enjoyable book.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad. Not bad. This tale is a fun ride for any Jules Verne fan. A new back story is revealed as you come across familiar ships and captain names. Very well thought out by someone who obviously loves Verne's writings.
Natalie Williams
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
KJ Anderson rarely disappoints and he most definitely delighted me by tying all the Verne stories together in the character of Andre Nemo. Hear, Hear Mr. Anderson! More Fantastic Voyages, please!
John Stinebaugh
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kevin J Anderson has a unique voice for retelling or adding to the stories of others. This delightful steampunk Forrest Gump is a delightful romp through the 1800s and the works of Jules Verne.
Pascal Van Bommel
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read it like a 100times
Willem van den Oever
Jules Verne is often considered to be one of the forefathers of science fiction. By combining interesting discoveries and fantastical possibilities in science and technology with exciting adventures and brave heroes, he captivated readers around the world with his works.
What many don’t know, though, is that Jules relied heavily on a childhood friend of his; one who explored much of the world during various expeditions in the mid-1800’s. Providing Verne with extensive notes and anecdotes of each
Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)
Captain Nemo is a swashbuckling tale about Jules Verne and his most delightful and adventurous character, André Nemo. The novel actually has a very interesting concept in that the two men are friends, one inspiring the other with his exploits. I could tell that it was decently researched, but the writing and overall presentation of the plot left me feeling very bored at times and mildly frustrated with repetitive character traits.

One of the key aspects of this story is that André Nemo, a
An Odd1
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
1840 Nantes France, inventive darkly exotic André Nemo hires on as cabin boy after his ship-builder father accidentally drowns. Cautious pal pale red-head Jules Verne tags along. Beautiful blonde courageous upper-class Caroline, gives each a ribbon, but secretly exchanges promises with Nemo. Middle-class lawyer Pierre Verne fetches back and beats his dreamy son. Verne scratches away, successful only when he records Nemo's exploits.

The easy flowing style has sparks of fierce fighting, hint of
Cécile C.
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Okay. This was endearing and entertaining enough, so I'll give it a 3. There's still not much to say about it. It's a mash-up of Verne's novels as lived by a reimagined version of Captain Nemo, who is portrayed as a childhood friend of the writer. It's not extremely well-written, but I enjoyed the condensed version of Verne's most famous novels and a few not-so-famous ones.

I don't think I get the choice to make Nemo French, honestly. In the original version, he's an Indian prince fighting
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I've always been a huge fan of Jules Verne, and especially "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," so this book had immediate appeal to me. That being said, the best part about this book was the way Anderson tied in all of Verne's novels and stories and wove them together, as if Verne's books were inspired from his real life experiences. The story is fast paced and exciting and will certainly be enjoyed by anyone, even if your knowledge of Verne ...more
Sue Smith
This book took me a lot longer to read than I thought it would. I kept getting hung up on ...or pissed off about ... how the characters were portrayed. It's a really hard thing for me to pin point actually. I think the book had huge potential and was quite excited to read it, but once it started, I found myself thinking - 'oh please'. It's almost too comically black and white - and the characters stayed too cardboard thin and predictable for the duration of the story. I'm not exactly painting ...more
Maggie Walsh
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love any book that makes me want to read other books. In this case, I want to reread all of the Jules Verne books I own and go buy several that I don't.

In some ways, this book fits into the "back story" genre. That's what I call books like "Wicked" or "The Phantom" that try to explain why an antagonist turns out the way they do. In the original story, we often only have glimpses of their past. In the case of Captain Nemo, he seemed to be a tragic figure. But why did he feel that his only
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
A long time fan of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and all things Jules Verne, this is a good Vernian read and inspirational adventure.

This story starts with a young Jules Verne and André Nemo exploring their home city of Nantes. In a wonderful story twist, Anderson weaves a adventurous yarn of two young boys from different steps of society but best friends in a world filled with dreams of science and adventure. Together they experience life, adventures small and large, mature, and both triumph
Matt Bille
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Anderson's "biography" of Nemo is terrific fun for those of us who are fans of Jules Verne. While Anderson takes some liberty in making Nemo a Frenchman and Nemo his true name, his character is true to the image we all have in our minds. Making Andre Nemo the lifelong friend of author Verne allows Anderson to roam the globe with the inspiration for Verne's novels. It turns out that some of the Verne novels directly describe Nemo's adventures, while others are inspired by stories Nemo tells his ...more
Axel Howerton
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Kevin J. Anderson is an author who’s used to creating new works from existing worlds and characters. He’s written books in the existing mythos of everything from Star Wars to Frankenstein, from Dune to DC Comics’ Superman. Obviously, with 40-some bestsellers and more than 20,000,000 books in print worldwide (that is a lot of zeroes); Anderson kind of knows what he’s doing.

Originally published in 2002, Anderson’s novel Captain Nemo: The Fantastic Adventures of a Dark Genius, was unceremoniously
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
This book has been a real struggle to rate and for the first 100 pages I almost didn't think I would finish it.

Strangely for an Anderson novel the book starts poorly. Part one which details the principle characters childhoods is plodding and you are left caring very little for Jules Verne. This is a theme that seems to flows through the book which left me wondering if perhaps Kevin J Anderson loathed writing it. I understand why Verne has been presented the way he has, to act as a counterpoint
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a fun fanfic biography of best friends Jules Verne and fictional Andre Nemo, and Caroline Arronax - the woman they both adore. Nemo is the "doer" who gets into one rollicking adventuer after another, while Verne is an armchair traveler, wishing he could share Nemo's adventures but instead only using them to fuel his writing career. The author speculates on the inspirations for dozens of Verne's most popular classics including "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "The Mysterious Island," "From ...more
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I've enjoyed Anderson's books in the past, I regard him as a solid writer, but this one just struck me as lazy. The basic premise is that Jules Verne was just a mediocre writer, but when his childhood friend tells him stories of his adventures, Verne turns them into books. Sorry, that just doesn't work for me, Verne was obviously not a lazy, mediocre writer! It was a decent enough action tale I suppose, but I just didn't see any imagination on Anderson's part. For a much better alternate take on ...more
Jake Hartnett
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you love Jules Verne half as much as I do, then you'll love this!

It's wonderfully written with vivid descriptions and clear painted pictures throughout, making it very easy to imagine the whole story, as if you're actually seeing happen on the big screen. Great storyline in general, including all of the great works of Verne subtly touched upon, as well as good character development, especially that of Andre Nemo.

This one definitely does the Verne adventures justice in a modern spin on the
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