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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Paperback – January 1, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0553212525 ISBN-10: 0553212524

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (January 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553212524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553212525
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 4.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (829 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-Performed in radio theatre style, this audio version is a fine retelling of the Jules Verne classic. The St. Charles Players, composed of four actors, play a variety of roles with hammy gusto, although the dialogue is a bit rushed in the opening sections. This adaptation by Jeff Rack does a good job of capturing the feel of Verne's sprawling epic tale. The story is told by Professor Aronnax, who agrees to investigate a series of attacks by a mysterious sea monster. He joins the crew of the ship Abraham Lincoln. The men encounter what they believe is the monster, but turns out to be a large, state-of-the-art submarine, the Nautilus. Aronnax and a hot tempered harpoonist, Ned Land, are imprisoned on this vessel, captained by the misanthropic recluse, Nemo. Nemo takes them around the world. Verne's descriptions of the underwater world, with its exotic creatures and sunken ships, shine thanks to clear narration and evocative sound effects. As the journey continues, becoming monotonous, the program's midsection sags a bit. It picks up steam again with sequences involving a monstrous octopus and a storm. While not an essential purchase, this is an impressive attempt to adapt a classic.

Brian E. Wilson, Oak Lawn Public Library, IL

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

"Unbearably thrilling and romantic...full of Verne's gentle humour" Daily Mail "Among the deep-sea volcanoes, shoals of swirling fish, giant squid and sharks, Captain Nemo steers the Nautilus. Nemo is the renegade scientist par excellence, a man madly inventive in his quest for revenge" Sunday Telegraph "A tale of terror, suspense and wonder" Guardian "Fabulous...the pace is sharp and the story as dramatic and engaging as ever" Daily Express "Verne's imagination has given us some of the greatest adventure stories of all time" Daily Mail

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Customer Reviews

This was a very interesting book.
jordan
The translation from the French in this edition reads well and the paperback quality is good enough.
Ranakabuto
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is a great book by Jules Verne.
Cheryl Chapman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

402 of 438 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Margot on February 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're going to read one of the great classics of literature-and you should-don't pick up this edition. It is a reprint of a version that dates back to the 1870s and was exposed more than 40 years ago for cutting nearly one-quarter of Verne's story and mistranslating much of the remainder. Its reappearance in this edition is all the more amazing considering Tor's status as a leading science fiction publisher, and the company's willingness to perpetrate this fraud on is many readers is truly stunning. If you want to truly get to know Verne's novel, pick up the elegant Naval Institute Press edition, in a modern, complete, updated translation, with commentary by the leading American Verne expert today, Walter James Miller. That book also comes with many of the artistic engravings that illustrated the original French first edition (no illustrations are to be found in the B&N Mercier reprint). Less attractive but more academic is the Oxford Classics version of Twenty Thousand Leagues. This review is posted on behalf of the North American Jules Verne Society by Jean-Michel Margot, president NAJVS.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By T. S. VINE VOICE on June 8, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Jules Verne's classic tale of undersea adventure, as best I can tell based on the 1873 translation by Lewis Mercier. Since that's been the standard English translation for over a hundred years, it's probably the one you remember reading way back when, and the edition you'll be familiar with.

Re-reading this as an adult, and an adult who's spent twenty-plus years since then reading science fiction, I did have to remind myself more than once how amazing the then-future technologies Verne describes, like electric rifles, undersea diving suits, electric motors, etc., would have been to his contemporary readers; the book was first published in 1869, a mere five years after the Confederate submarine Hunley became the first submarine to sink an enemy warship (and sank itself in the process). At times I found myself mentally substituting "outer space" for "under sea," just to help me analogize the situation. Despite that, the plot and action were as riveting now as they were when I first read it twenty years ago. I did find myself, now as then, skimming over much of Verne's extensive scientific descriptions of undersea flora and fauna, etc., but that might be my own failing as a reader -- when I did take the time to read Verne's descriptions, I did sometimes catch the same sense of aquatic wonder I remember from watching films like _The Life Aquatic_.

From what I've read, the Mercier translation this is based on contains a number of translation errors, cuts out about 20% of the text, etc. Corrected, completed, updated ebook editions of this classic are available on Amazon, but they cost money -- I've been unable to find an out-of-copyright, corrected, complete, and free edition.
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97 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on June 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is without a doubt the best translation of Jules Verne's 1870 science fiction classic "Vingt mille lieues sous les mers" ("20,000 Leagues under the Sea"). This translation by two Verne scholars, Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter, takes all the knowledge available on the book and its author to not only make an accurate and readable complete text (early versions often omit a full quarter of the French original) that fixes the many errors of earlier translators, but also purges the text of many mistakes that were made by the original French compositors. The research and work that went into this translations is really quite stunning, and the result is a text that really lets Verne's genius shine: "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" is not only a brilliant piece of scientific prophecy, but also a thrilling story with superb, subtle characterizations.
The plot is familiar: Captain Nemo, an enigmatic figure who has withdrawn himself from the world, tours the oceans in his submarine called the Nautilus. We see this journey of 20,000 leagues (approx. 43,200 miles) through the eyes of Professor Pierre Aronnax, a scientist who is both Nemo's guest and prisoner. Also aboard with Aronnax are his manservant Conseil and a gruff ship's harpooner, Ned Land. The Nautilus encounters many wonders and obstacles on its long voyage: underwater forests, giant clams, attacks by huge squid, imprisonment in ice at the South Pole, monster storms, a war with a pack of sperm whales, and the discovery of the lost continent of Atlantis. But as something deep and destructive gnaws away at Captain Nemo, his prisoners seek a way to escape from the miracle ship.
In the English-speaking world Jules Verne has rarely received in the praise he truly deserves as a writer.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pollock on July 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Most of Jules Verne's works were hastily translated, with many "improvements" made in the process, such as deletion of scientific exposition, as well as deletion of many moments deemed by the translator as dull.
This, the Restored and Annotated version of 20,000 leagues, is a VAST improvement over previous English editions. The translation is very well done, and the annotations explain what has been changed and what previous translations accomplished.
Highly recommended!
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