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Captain Nemo Paperback – September 6, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

rolific bestseller Anderson (Hopscotch; the original Star Wars anthologies) pays dashing homage here to Jules Verne (1828-1905), one of the genre's founding fathers and creator of the brooding captain of the Nautilus, hero of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In this fictionalized biography of Verne, Anderson postulates a "real" Andre Nemo, Verne's boyhood friend who lived the life and then some that Verne wanted but didn't dare to follow. After young Nemo's father dies in a shipbuilding accident in Nantes, Verne runs off to sea with Nemo, only to be jerked back by his dry-as-dust father to the caning of his life, then law school. Both Nemo and Verne love the luscious Caroline Arronax, but her heart belongs to Nemo alone. She patiently waits through his exotic adventures, which Verne eventually shapes into his Voyages Extraordinaires (Five Weeks in a Balloon, etc.), wildly popular whales-of-tales that made the French author wealthy and famous. Anderson's rollicking whopper of a novel glides along smoothly in a style deliberately modeled on Verne's own, yet unvexed by the scientific detail that often bogged down Verne's prose and muddied his narrative waters. Anderson's Nemo, whose stories alternate here with Verne's, is a sympathetically drawn Byronic hero, playing off the pedestrian Verne, a multitude of flamboyant pirates, Turkish caliphs, raging sea monsters and the incomparable Caroline, a proto-feminist shipping executive and composer. No one would miss the boat by signing on this fantastic journey. (Jan. 2)Forecast: This title could get a boost from the publication of Verne's last novel, Invasion of the Sea, in its first English edition (reviewed above), plus the reissue of two new editions of The Mysterious Island (one of which is noted below).

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

As young men, Jules Verne and Andre Nemo pledged to experience a world of adventures together but fate set them on two different paths. Nemo becomes an adventurer, traveling to fantastic places and encountering hidden civilizations and mythical creatures, while Verne builds a reputation chronicling his friend's exploits. The author of Dune: House Corrino (with Brian Herbert) pays tribute to one of the genre's founding fathers in a fast-paced sf fantasy reminiscent of the early pulp stories. Romance, adventure, and a new look at Verne's classic novels make this a strong addition to most sf collections.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085768342X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857683427
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Captain Nemo is a novel in the tradition of Farmer's The Other Log of Phileas Fogg and other tributes to science fiction pioneers. Andre Nemo is the son of a carpenter in the shipyards of Nantes. His friend Jules Verne is the son of a local lawyer. Together they dream of exploration and experiment with diving suits.
When Andre's father is killed in a ship fire, he becomes a cabin boy on the Coralie and sails on an exploratory mission. Jules tries to join Andre but is intercepted by his father and taken back to Nantes. After a long voyage, the Coralie is attacked by pirates and Andre is stranded on a mysterious island. He escapes underground, finds dinosaurs, and travels through the center of the earth. Later, he travels across Africa in a huge balloon and is involved in the building of a great undersea vessel by Robur, a Turkish general.
Meanwhile, Jules completes his training as a lawyer and dabbles in writing plays, with little success. As he receives news of Andre's exploits, Jules incorporates them into fictious adventures which become wildly successful. Eventually, Jules is reunited briefly with Andre aboard the Nautilus and gets an underwater tour.
Caroline Aronnax, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is the friend and sweetheart of both boys, but is more attracted to Andre. After Andre goes to sea, Caroline is married to Captain Hatteras, who sails away to the Arctic Sea, never to return. In his absence, Caroline manages the Hatteras household and finances and, when her father dies, the family business as well. Although still loving Andre, she is determined to be true to her husband until he has been legally presumed dead. Andre can't stand the wait and goes off to the Crimean War.
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Format: Paperback
In Captain Nemo, Kevin J. Anderson conveys a fictional biography of one of the founding fathers of science fiction. The story follows Jules Verne and his two friends Andre Nemo and Caroline Arronax. Jules and Andre both love adventure, but Jules would rather dream about far off places while Andre experiences them. As Jules pursues his love of writing, he chooses to write about his friend's numerous, adventurous exploits. And Nemo's hard life begins to change his heart, turning him into one of the most feared sea captains in the Atlantic.

Jules Verne has a heart for the arts, in spite of his father's pressures to follow him into law. While somewhat rebellious, he doesn't share the same courage that Andre does. Both young men love Caroline, causing an awkward love triangle - as Caroline only has feelings for Andre.

While Andre Nemo's adventures delve into the realms of fantasy and science fiction (at least for the time period), the emotional drama is realistic. Nemo's travels are of course the driving force of the story and the inspiration for Jules Verne - from a mysterious island with dinosaurs that takes him deep within the earth, to an amazing hot air balloon ride, and finally to the legendary Nautilus. Full of drama, adventure, war, and heartbreak - Captain Nemo is a satisfying read. Fans of classic science fiction will enjoy this homage to Jules Verne.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anderson's "biography" of Nemo is terrific fun for those of us who are fans of Jules Verne. While Anderson takes some liberty in making Nemo a Frenchman and Nemo his true name, his character is true to the image we all have in our minds. Making Andre Nemo the lifelong friend of author Verne allows Anderson to roam the globe with the inspiration for Verne's novels. It turns out that some of the Verne novels directly describe Nemo's adventures, while others are inspired by stories Nemo tells his old friend of the strange things he has seen - like a mad Turk's giant cannon meant to shoot men to the moon, which is rewritten by Verne into a proper scientific effort based in Florida. Pirates, balloons, dinosaurs, caverns beneath the Earth, giant mushrooms, and many other touchstones from the Verne canon are here, and many of Verne's other characters make appearances. Most importantly, Anderson sets his Verne to building and sailing the Nautilus, and makes us believe in both ship and mission (He fudges the question of propulsion: modern audiences know Nemo's perpetual batteries wouldn't work, and nothing else available in that century would have worked either, but the Nautilus is, after all, powered by imagination). Anderson keeps the level of violence, sex (all offstage), etc. close to what we expect from Verne: some readers may find this old-fashioned, but it helps the novel stand out from more modern fantasies (including some using Nemo). A love triangle connecting the two male leads is a little contrived, but that's a minor issue. Verne lovers will not be disappointed!
- Matt Bille, author, The Dolmen (Wolfsinger, 2014)
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Format: Hardcover
What a fun book! Enjoyed it thoroughly, and admire the author's meticulous research. His love for Verne and his characters is evident. Anderson pulls off perhaps the advenure novel of the year.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not going to mince words, this book is horrible...
It's a pastiche of Verne's life, intercut with the adventures of "Andre Nemo" who wanders around the world, involving himself with incident after incident drawn from the pages of Verne's novels, and minor character, after minor character named after Verne's characters
My biggest gripe however is the vision of Nemo presented, this is not the mysterious stranger of the 20,000 leagues under the sea, or the technocratic Indian Prince, driven from his home after a failed rebellion against colonial masters as presented in Mysterious Island. Having all the works of Verne to draw from, and KJ Anderson, instead chose to draw his Nemo from the wide screen, he has drawn his "Dark Genius" from the vision of Walt Disney, and Harper Goff
The result is what you expect, a poor adaptation of an adaptation, true neither to the original, or the film.
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