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Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea [Kindle Edition]

Jules Verne
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (438 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.

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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.


"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
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 70 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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26 of 27 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 6 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
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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