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Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea [Kindle Edition]

Jules Verne
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (375 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


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.

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 392 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1605899593
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (March 17, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RKSZJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old vs. New Translation April 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
[NOTE: This review pertains specifically to the free public domain ebook edition offered in the Kindle Store, though its remarks are relevant to any other edition to which it may (unintentionally and erroneously) be attached.]

This is the "classic" old translation by Louis Mercier most of us read and loved. But a good bit of the novel was left out, not so much that the story was greatly altered, but still not as Verne wrote it and intended it to be. Fortunately, there is another free public domain version available which I would encourage you to also download and read; this is a modern translation by F. P. Walter and it is unabridged. It may be found in the Kindle store by typing: Verne Vingt Mille English. The title is French but don't worry, the book is entirely in English with an informative introduction by Walter. This great new translation is wordier than the old one, but it comes as close, in English, to what Verne actually wrote in French--and it is complete. I would strongly urge you to compare them--especially if you are a true Jules Verne fan.

FYI: Be aware of two other excellent, new, modern transltions of "20,000 Leagues" available in the Kindle Store, one by Anthony Bonner (Random) and another by Mendor Brunetti (Penguin). Both are pretty good, though I lean toward Bonner's. You may wish to sample and compare those to the two public domain translations by Mercier and Miller (mentioned above). Have fun deciding.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jules Verne wrote this book in 1870. It has startling technological references (even in the concept of the submarine) but even more stunning was the Nuclear Reactor on board.

I feel that some episodes of Star Trek (the original series) are models on Jules Verne, because behind the backdrop of the technology and adventure, there exists the social evils of slavery, colonialism and nihilism as well as genocide.

The story is about Captain Nemo who is epic, driven and something good that is so strongly polar he is actually lead into a path of destruction - and his crew. The story is told through the eyes of Professor Aronnax. The usage of an observant intellectual to explain the dark pathos of a main character was rather popular in that era (think Watson and Holmes).

In this instance it is important because Nemo destroys a vessel with all hands and then bows before a picture of his wife and children. The implication is that his family where kidnapped (or killed) as slaves.

At anyrate, if you love steampunk culture, Star Trek social complexity, and classical literature you will love 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Science Fiction February 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Classic adventure story. I've read it 3 times now and it never gets old. If you like science fiction or exploration you'll like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read March 30, 2013
By Barb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Son gave my husband a Kindle for Christmas. I was looking for free things for him to read and he's enjoying this very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Science Fiction Classic November 22, 2011
By H. Pace
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My exposure to science fiction is embarrassingly limited, so who better to remedy it than Verne? Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was a groundbreaking work. It particularly established hard science fiction at a time when technology could not help but change the way we looked at the world.

And therein lies much of my criticism. With its frequent calculations of the size of the submarine and what not, it sometimes reads like a math textbook. Sadly, I do not take the same interest in the science as Verne so obviously did and other readers may. The descriptions of life at the bottom of the sea, on the other hand, make me want to visit an aquarium post-haste. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is very much the type of science fiction that revels in the `science' part.

That is not to say that Verne does take advantage of speculative fiction to use the "speculative" portion to explore human nature. Captain Nemo is as fertile ground as Captain Ahab for this. And our narrator has even less to say about his captain--he is consistently naïve, to the point that the subtleties of Nemo can be at first lost. However, over the course of the novel it becomes apparent that all is not well. We are never told what great sin civilization has done Nemo, rather we must wrestle over whether any sin could justify his actions. The action is quite light and the plot slow-placed. Most of the book is devoted to a tour of the wonders of the deep, with Nemo's gradual, swirling decline in the background.

The titular "twenty thousand leagues" refers to the distance covered by the Nautilus over the course of the book--well over twice the circumference of the earth--not the depth to which it sinks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars About 40 pages of story here.. another 260 ...
About 40 pages of story here..another 260 pages of what I can figure out was Mr. Verne ( or one of his go workers) sitting in a libery looking at nautical maps and guiding a... Read more
Published 20 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An original science fiction novel.
Verne's descriptions of the science of underwater survival for the people of the 19th century is still relevant today. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Marilee Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Smooth transaction
Published 2 days ago by Jeff Portlance
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book
Published 3 days ago by Susmita Kata
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 3 days ago by Edwin Wessel
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the trip
A crazy man guiding the ship who has given up on mankind and who refuses to stand on dry land. A coral cemetery. Passing through the Suez. Atlantis. An iceberg. The South Pole. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Debnance at Readerbuzz
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!
Of course, LOVED IT!!!
Published 4 days ago by Pat Longstreath
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good book for children to think about
Published 5 days ago by jesse espinoza
5.0 out of 5 stars How can you review the writings of a literary-master like Jules Verne
How can you review the writings of a literary-master like Jules Verne? The answer is, "You can't. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Benny G Bryan Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Son Loved It
On his ninth birthday, my son got a Kindle from his aunt and uncle. Over the six months since then, he's tripled his reading and about half of the books he reads are on his... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Michael D. Aparicio
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