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Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 811 customer reviews

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Length: 214 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 687 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (October 4, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 17, 2006
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RKSZJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
[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 free, public domain edition is the "classic" old translation by Louis Mercier most of us have read and loved. It is a grand adventure and is very enjoyable in a quaint, old-fashioned way. There is nothing terrible with this popular translation, but (admittedly) chunks of the novel WERE left out, not so much that the overall story itself was greatly altered, but still leaving the finished work not as Verne wrote it and intended it to be. (What was omitted were essentially scientific details Mercier thought impeded the story, some possibly awkward political references, and sections presumably thought to be redundant.)

But you can decide for yourself the extent to which these omissions may have negatively impacted the story, because, fortunately, there is ANOTHER free, public domain version available which I would encourage you to ALSO download and read; that one 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 a very 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; in fact, it has about 100 more pages! I would strongly urge you to compare them (especially if you are a true Jules Verne fan). But quite frankly, EITHER version tells a great story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this Kindle edition as one of the monthly free Whispersync deals, and my kids and I are following along while listening to the fabulous audio recording. As one of the other reviewers mentioned, the Kindle version has omitted portions of the text that add dimension to the story. While some readers might appreciate a more streamlined presentation of the story---and might give this edition five stars because it's easier to read---I'm giving this edition two stars because it cheats the author out of the artistry he intended. Thankfully, the audio that came with the Kindle edition has kept all that descriptive and rich language. Because the Kindle edition does not contain the same text that the Audible version uses, we are unable to look up some of the vocabulary. Bummer! Part of the beauty of Kindle is its use as a tool by which we can learn vocabulary.

If you want to read the book just to get the gist of the story, this is a good edition to use. If you are using it to enjoy the writing style of Jules Verne, you should try a different edition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How can you review the writings of a literary-master like Jules Verne? The answer is, "You can't." All you can do is read and wonder at how richly he narrates his incredible stories. "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" should be required reading for everyone, especially older teens. Every high school literature class should have every student read this book so that they can understand what really good writing is. This is not to say that this is a childish book. It's not written for children. No, not at all. It is written for the older-reader. For someone who's mind can comprehend the intricacies and scientific-basis of all the wonders relayed within this text. If you have a personal library, this book should be in it. If you are home-schooling and older child, this book should be read. If you are an adult with an inquisitive and intuitive mind, this is the book for you!
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