Reviews

20000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne

emsir's review against another edition

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Started and ended strong- but the middle was a whole lot of interesting locations without interesting plot. A graphic novel adaption of this book could be really cool.

coupleofnotes's review against another edition

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adventurous funny slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

4.5

slferg's review against another edition

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4.0

I decided that I needed to read this after reading 'All the Light You Cannot See" where she is reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea aloud from her braille book. I had never read this, so I decided I needed to.
The story is interesting. It starts out with sightings of a mysterious creature in the sea. An expedition is put together to hunt down and kill the beast. French professor is invited to go along with his servant/assistant. The professor is an expert on sea and oceanic creatures and life. The ship sights the thing (a keen-sighted Canadian harpooner actually spots it). In the ensuing pursuit/battle, the professor, his friend and the Canadian are swept overboard. Surprisingly, they are rescued by a ship under the water and brought up to the surface, brought on board and isolated until the captain they are instructed to call Nemo decides what to do with them. He decides they can stay, but must never leave the ship. This is not a problem for the professor and his assistant, since they are given the chance to explore parts of the oceans they have never seen before and catalog types of fish and undersea life they have never seen. But, the Canadian, who is an active man without the interest in studying sea life, preferring to hunt it, is impatient to try to escape and leave the ship.

themindlessmess's review against another edition

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3.0

The book itself 3 stars.
The audiobook experience of it 3.5 stars. The narration was perfectly paced. Sped up during the “intense” parts and normal during passage of time.

A bit too informative and a little less adventure-ry than other of Verne’s Work (I’ve only read Around the world in 80 days as of when I’m writing this review). Still a great listen

chucklingberry's review against another edition

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adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

2.5

qwordyq's review against another edition

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3.0

Honestly I was so bored with this. It was only the ending that got interesting but the bulk of this book is just submarine science and dry dry prose but also the narrators for classic novels I find put no emotion into their words that I might have been better served reading it physically.

country_art's review against another edition

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1.0

This book is an enormous disappoint, it started out so strong. An expedition to track down a narwhal like beast that has been wrecking ships only to find that the narwhal is not a beast at all but a vessel called the Nautilus ran by a man by the name of Captain Nemo. A man who has given up on terra firma for a life aquatic. Their adventures start out grand with an underwater hunting expedition but from there it is all downhill.

It devolves into a racist plotline that I couldn't honestly finish. It was so blunt and offensively out of character. It's irredeemable, even H.P. Lovecraft's work provide insight to how the rabbit-hole of fear can lead to racism and madness. However, there is no reason for this plotline to exist in a seafaring book. Especially in one where the captain has given up life on land. It's completely out of character.

For now though I will wait on a retelling because I think the premise is something truly great but the execution is lamentable.

drunkandreading's review against another edition

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4.0

Enjoyable, quick read.

travelgirlut's review against another edition

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3.0

First of all, make sure you get a good translation of this book! I had one version and found out before reading it that it was missing whole chapters that were edited out because they were too "sciency." This is Verne, you can't edit out the science. This particular translation by William Butcher is considered one of the best, so that's what I chose to read.

I didn't enjoy this near as much as [b:Journey to the Center of the Earth|32829|Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3)|Jules Verne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389754903s/32829.jpg|1924715]. There was not as much humor and the plot was broken up more by the sciency stuff. And there's a lot of sciency stuff: lists of scientific fish names and descriptions, depths and measurements, etc. I would skim through these parts, because I really don't care about fish.

There are adventurous moments in the book, but they are spaced out between sequences of travel and more science, which makes it difficult to really get into the story and feel like it's a full-on adventure. The characters in the book occasionally complain about being bored on the submarine, and the reader will find they share the sentiment.

Captain Nemo is supposed to be this great enigma with a tortured past, but honestly, I figured that out more from the spoiler explanatory notes [see below] than from the book itself. Only the events in the second to last chapter give any clue to him being anything more than just an eccentric loner scientist.

It may be an artifact of the times, but as with Journey, I again didn't appreciate how the companions to the main character get shoved aside and treated as nobodies. Conseil is the faithful servant who would die for his master, and Ned Land is just a savage whale hunter. Neither of them are ever treated as equals. They don't get to spend time reading and studying in the library. It seemed like they spent most of their time in their shared cabin. No wonder Ned was going crazy! Even at the very end of the book, as Arronax is looking back over their trip, he ends by quoting scripture and saying, "'[H]ast thou walked in search of the depth?', two men, amongst all men, now have the right to reply. Captain Nemo and I." What arrogance! Like Conseil and Ned and all the rest of the crew weren't there too.

As for this particular edition, I had gone into this book not knowing much of the plot, and I was disappointed after reading a few of the explanatory notes in the back of the book to find that the translator had no problems giving away all sorts of major plot points long before they happen in the book. I also found that I didn't agree with many of the translator's analyses of the personalities and motives of the characters. He would interpret things definitively one way when I could clearly see how it could be interpreted another. So if you choose to read this version, I would advise avoiding the explanatory notes until you are done (though the extra large asterisks spread liberally throughout the text make them really hard to ignore).

powers's review against another edition

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4.0

It had been many years since I read this book and thought I would revisit it. Just as I had remembered, the story held my attention and clearly demonstrated why it is considered to be a classic work of literature. Very enjoyable!