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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne- Review

Monday, February 24, 2014

I really enjoyed this classic book.  I have been meaning to read a Jules Verne book for a long time but never have.  Then my most recent Project Disney - Atlantis came up and I had to read this book for that.  I am really glad!  Even though honestly there was hardly any story in this book about Atlantis.  Captain Nemo visits it briefly.  Here is the goodreads description:

Jules Verne was one of the earliest science fiction writers. He based his stories on the inventions of the day and made educated projections of future technologies. Like the best science fiction writers he did not let technology overtake his story or his characters. In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Verne created the character of Captain Nemo and his submarine vessel the Nautilus. An entire ecosystem under the sea was shown by Verne and he showed how men could live in this environment. After reading this book, you will never forget Captain Nemo and his crew battling the giant squid and feel a certain degree of sadness when above water civilization finds them.  

Of course I had heard of Verne's most famous books. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, I just had never read them before. I knew of Captain Nemo but not really who this person is in literature.  Just what movies and pop culture have told me. I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the book being written in 1869 is still reads really well.  Sometimes when I read old books they are dated but this one stands the test of time. 

The story is a great adventure story. You get to go on this great adventure in the ocean inside a submarine that is piloted by Captain Nemo.  There is A LOT of scientific information in this book though.  Lots of descriptions of fish fish fish.  Did I mention fish???  And Plants!!! It is like reading a researchers journal at some parts. The Professor Arronax who ends up on board with Captain Nemo loves this and collects as many plants and shells and whatever else he can.  Towards the last chapters of the book I did start to skim these paragraphs. Just way way too much.  I don't even know if have the creatures mentioned were real or not?  Well of course the big monster at the end of the book isn't.


Jules Verne just has a way of writing that captures the imagination.  I could feel myself on the ship The Nautilus, as if I was apart of the adventure. There is one character, Ned Land, who starts to get panicky and wants off the ship.  While reading I started to feel like him and just wanted to get back to land.  I also thought before reading the book that 20,000 Leagues was how deep the Nautilus goes in the water.. but it is actually how far the distance Professor Arronax travels in it.  I have no idea if I read a good copy of the book?  I read that over the years the translations have cut more and more and even words and character names have been changed. 

I have been trying to read more classic books lately and this one is great for those who like science fiction.  I am glad that I ended picking it up and can't wait to read more Verne. 

The Crystal Ball says:

Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!
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20 comments:

  1. I really enjoy Jules Verne, he's my favorite author among "the classics". The things that he was thinking up and writing about were so far ahead of what the technology of the day was, it's amazing. My only complaint is that sometimes he goes really deep into the science side of things, and not having a science brain that can be a little much for me!

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  2. Jules Verne!! I devoured his books in middle school. So I'm really happy to hear that you enjoyed your first Verne :) Haha yes, he liked to describe everything in DETAIL :DD I actually liked that. Even the fish.

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  3. I love Verne.. well of course I have only read one book so far... but I really want to venture in more. I am going to check out the Disney movie from the library 20000 Leagues, and I am going to check out the comic books with Captain Nemo in them (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). I am really excited about that comic now.

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  4. YEESH... the birds, plants... shells, fish, whales, I read most of it until the last like 2 or 3 chapters. Then I was ready to find out what happens to everyone and I finally started to just skim it. I didn't do that throughout the book though because I did want to experience the book how it should be. I love Verne's book!

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  5. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie and comic book are so different, but I liked both of them. I forgot that Disney made a movie too.

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  6. I have not read this one shamefully yet despite it being a classic and I do own the book. I wish there was more books featuring Atlantis thought, it always fascinated me.

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  7. I really need to read this one - one of those that has been on my TBR forever!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  8. I am glad I squeezed it in!! Really it was worth the read. Plus this edition has great questions in the back of the book to get you thinking more about the characters.

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  9. I have really been trying to get more classics read and this one did not disappoint!!

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  10. I read this one when I was younger so I don't remember too much - maybe I skimmed over all the science descriptions, but I remember enjoying this book. I don't think I've read another Verne novel though so I should change that! I'm glad this has encouraged you to read more Classics!

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  11. I loved reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. In fact, I've read it twice! I loved all the descriptions given in this novel!

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  12. I have always wanted to read around the World in 80 Days. I didn't realize that one was by Verne until I started researching this book. This classic reads really well, sometimes I read them and the language terms used can be confusing. I didn't find that in this book... well except the animal and plant names. But I knew what they were referencing.

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  13. That is what I really liked about it I think... an older SF book. The technology in the book was still some technology we don't have today so I thought that was kind of neat.

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  14. I would for sure read this twice. Also ... the edition that I read was really well translated too!!

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  15. I skimmed lot of those paragraphs.

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  16. SNORE! I don't know why there was soooo much description needed. YIKES. I did like the story itself though and that it was neat and fun. Do you think Captain Nemo is a good guy?? Or a villain??

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  17. I need to read this, I have the same version with the cover shown above- love that cover with the people looking out! I like the whole concept of the Nautilus and Nemo just living beneath the waves. Amazing he could imagine something like the Nautilus years before submarines.


    I remember enjoying the Disney movie version too, although it's been a while. Might have to track that down on DVD... I like the old Disney Journey to the Center of the Earth movie too, although it's silly by today's standards. The whole underground sea thing, they find Atlantis... very imaginative for it's time.

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  18. I really love this cover too. I didn't know much about the story so the cover really intrigued me, how neat to see the people looking out a tiny window. I will look for the Disney version of the movie at my library.

    The Nautilus is very interesting to me too. I like how there is a mini museum on it, and charts and bedrooms. Luxury liner before the Titanic. This book really brought out my imagination. I felt like I was on the submarine and was excited when the crew was, scared when they were. Really an excellent novel!!

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  19. I don't always get on with classics, but Jules Verne's writing is just great and a real page-turner. I remember read it in Germany some stage during my childhood/teenage years (so it must have been translated into German as well).

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  20. That is great that there are other translations of it. I think it's also neat that you read a classic when you were young. I feel that a lot of times teens don't like classics. I really want to read more of his work!

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