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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Paperback – March 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Wilder Publications (March 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160459649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604596496
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,075,720 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

389 of 422 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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50 of 52 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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94 of 103 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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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you want to read the novel itself rather than a "version" based upon it, I recommend the relatively inexpensive 'Bantam Classic' edition of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. Although the foreword by Ray Bradbury is negligible, the Anthony Bonner translation is a graceful compromise between the 1870 French and modern American English, catching the flavor of the period without burying the reader in pseudo-Victorian turns of phrase.
That said, readers who come to LEAGUES from either text, audio, or film adaptations of the novel are likely in for a shock, for the original novel is quite different. Some basics, however, remain the same: Professor Arronax, his valet Conseil, and harpooner Ned Land are coaxed into assisting the United States in a search for a sea monster said to be terrorizing shipping lanes--but the monster is not flesh and blood. The three soon find themselves in the hands of the mysterious Captain Nemo, who has created a machine that glides beneath the surface of the ocean: a submarine named Nautilus.
But there the similarity ends. While there are very clear similarities between the novel and the various adaptations it has spawned, the Verne novel is less concerned with story, characters, and adventures than it is in creating a plausible vision of something that simply did not exist at the time Verne wrote: a fully functional submarine capable of navigating even the most treacherous waters. Consequently, the bulk of Verne's text is concerned with detailed descriptions of the Nautilus and the sealife it encounters.
Many modern readers may find it uphill work, particularly when Professor Arronax determinedly notes the sealife he sees to the point of scientific classification.
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