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20000 Leagues Under the Sea (Modern Library) Hardcover – January 1, 2001


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Hardcover, January 1, 2001
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (T) (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679602534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679602538
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (655 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,731,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The story of Nemo's life at the end of the book explains many of his behaviors.
A. A Slezak
Jules Verne's, "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" is one of the best books I have ever read, possibly the best.
Rick Donaldson
I've read this book many times over the years and it was wonderful to be able to get it for free on my Kindle!
Julesrn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

369 of 399 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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91 of 99 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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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons 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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45 of 47 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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