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on 27 June 2013
There are three significant translations of this book, and amazon's lacklustre book-sorting system creates nothing but chaos when searching for the correct format / translation of this book. I'm here to help!

note: (find the version you are looking for with the ISBN numbers I've provided at the bottom of this review, you can just copy and paste them into the amazon search field and hit GO).

Here are excerpts from the three most common translations:

Paragraph one, translated by Mercier Lewis -
THE YEAR 1866 WAS signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumors which agitated the maritime population, and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.

Paragraph one, translated by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter (1996) -
THE YEAR 1866 was marked by a bizarre development, an unexplained and downright inexplicable phenomenon that surely no one has forgotten. Without getting into those rumors that upset civilians in the seaports and deranged the public mind even far inland, it must be said that professional seamen were especially alarmed. Traders, shipowners, captains of vessels, skippers, and master mariners from Europe and America, naval officers from every country, and at their heels the various national governments on these two continents, were all extremely disturbed by the business.

Paragraph one, translated by William Butcher -
The year 1866 was marked by a strange event, an unexplained and inexplicable occurrence that doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Without mentioning the rumours which agitated the denizens of the ports and whipped up the public's imagination on every continent, seafaring men felt particularly disturbed. The merchants, shipowners, sea-captains, skippers, and master-mariners of Europe and America, the naval officers of every country, and eventually the various nationals governments on both continents--all became extremely worried about this matter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT a difference! And who to trust?

From wikipedia:
"Many of Mercier's errors were corrected in a from-the-ground-up re-examination of the sources and an entirely new translation by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter."

So, the modern translation to seek is either the Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter edition, or the William Butcher edition, depending on your preference for the above excerpts.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here is how to find them:

USA - amazon.com

Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter
kindle edition ASIN: B004DNWRPQ
paper edition ISBN:1440414262

William Butcher
kindle edition ASIN: (appears to be unavailable at the moment)
paper edition ISBN: 0199539278

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UK - amazon.co.uk

Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter
kindle edition ASIN: B00BIFLLV8 or B00BSK24HI
paper edition ISBN: 1438446640

William Butcher
kindle edition ASIN: (appears to be unavailable at the moment)
paper edition ISBN: 0199539278
77 comments| 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2003
Science fiction in most cases has a naturally short shelf life, as science advances and leaves the ideas contained in such books behind, often looking ridiculous and quaint. Therefore credit is due to Jules Verne for his major achievement in creating a timeless tale that still delights, years after submarines have become fairly commonplace, thousands upon thousands of people scuba dive as an every day sport and those that don't have the opportunity to witness the wonders of the deep thanks to the submersibles that take TV cameras down for countless exploration documentaries.
The authors excellent prose reads poetically and easily even after translation from it's original language, the translation in this issue is brilliantly done, and the fact that the original story was serialised means that uniform length chapters - each describing its own adventure - make for a pleasantly easy going read.
However, this is also the downfall of the book and the reason for only awarding it four stars. The chapter formula is repeated again and again and again, each one being slowed down by scientific lists of the species of life (fish, molluscs, seaweed) both in laymans terms and scientifically categrosied that appear too frequently throughout the novel. Whilst Vernes obvious enthusiasm for nature and science carry the reader along for the first half of the book, the repetitiveness of these lists not only began to bore me in the second half but added unnecessary weight to a book that I was ready to finish.
I wouldn't like to be too harsh, as it was originally intended for serialisation and thus the format is designed to be that way, but, unless you are particularly interested in reading long lists of fish (and if so I know a good fishmonger you can pester) then an abridged version of this book may enthrall you slightly more.
The characters, conseil, Ned Land, the author himself and of course the fantastic anti hero - Nemo, posess all the ingredients for a great story, and the Nautilus itself is still awe inspiring even in these days of nuclear subs and raising of (bits of) the Titanic.
There's no denying that this is a tour de force, and I highly recommend it, but be warned about the fish.
11 comment| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 June 2013
There are three significant translations of this book, and amazon's lacklustre book-sorting system creates nothing but chaos when searching for the correct format / translation of this book. I'm here to help!

note: (find the version you are looking for with the ISBN numbers I've provided at the bottom of this review, you can just copy and paste them into the amazon search field and hit GO).

Here are excerpts from the three most common translations:

Paragraph one, translated by Mercier Lewis -
THE YEAR 1866 WAS signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumors which agitated the maritime population, and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.

Paragraph one, translated by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter (1996) -
THE YEAR 1866 was marked by a bizarre development, an unexplained and downright inexplicable phenomenon that surely no one has forgotten. Without getting into those rumors that upset civilians in the seaports and deranged the public mind even far inland, it must be said that professional seamen were especially alarmed. Traders, shipowners, captains of vessels, skippers, and master mariners from Europe and America, naval officers from every country, and at their heels the various national governments on these two continents, were all extremely disturbed by the business.

Paragraph one, translated by William Butcher -
The year 1866 was marked by a strange event, an unexplained and inexplicable occurrence that doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Without mentioning the rumours which agitated the denizens of the ports and whipped up the public's imagination on every continent, seafaring men felt particularly disturbed. The merchants, shipowners, sea-captains, skippers, and master-mariners of Europe and America, the naval officers of every country, and eventually the various nationals governments on both continents--all became extremely worried about this matter.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT a difference! And who to trust?

From wikipedia:
"Many of Mercier's errors were corrected in a from-the-ground-up re-examination of the sources and an entirely new translation by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter."

So, the modern translation to seek is either the Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter edition, or the William Butcher edition, depending on your preference for the above excerpts.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here is how to find them:

USA - amazon.com

Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter
kindle edition ASIN: B004DNWRPQ
paper edition ISBN:1440414262

William Butcher
kindle edition ASIN: (appears to be unavailable at the moment)
paper edition ISBN: 0199539278

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UK - amazon.co.uk

Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter
kindle edition ASIN: B00BIFLLV8 or B00BSK24HI
paper edition ISBN: 1438446640

William Butcher
kindle edition ASIN: (appears to be unavailable at the moment)
paper edition ISBN: 0199539278
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 March 2013
I've seen countless versions of this on film and television over the years., but it's the first time I've sat down and read the original book.!!
What a read.!! With an imagination and creativity way ahead of his time, it's a riveting story with an eclectic mix of characters and personalities which often led me to wonder the outcome of the next page, yet alone the final chaper.
Only one critisim, and I'll probably get shot for this, Mr Verne paid too much detail,at times, to listing and describing flora and fauna, page after page often distracting me from the unravelling adventure.
All in all fantastic, but still preferred The Mysterious Island !
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on 21 February 2014
IT'S Jules Verne that's the first reason to get this book and read it. Read this book when I was about 11 or 12 years old,that's a long while ago. Saw this book on free books for kindle, so decided to 're read it. Glad I did. As an adult can see that captain Nemo is or has become the thing he hates. And the three people rescued by captain Nemo ,change their views as the voyage progresses. Whilst as a youngster it was a boys own type of story. Showing Verne's amazing gift of insight ie nuclear powered submarine, scuba gear and a electric weapon that could be said to be a kind taser.The book is far better than the 1950s film. A good read for young and old in my humble opinion.
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on 10 May 2007
When I was a child I loved reading the stories of Julio Verne. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days were my favorites. This new translation based on the original French texts is amazing, it moves quickly and I discovered things that I had never read in other English versions. You get more of Verne's politics here than in earlier translations including such memeorable phrases as: "The world needs no new continents, it needs new people."

The characters are well developed and you can indentify with all of them and how they view their effective captivity aboard the Nautilus. Captain Nemo is a wonderful character and Verne gives the reader just enough information about him to keep you enthralled but not enough to remove the mystery. The intro relates that Nemo was supposed to be a Polish aristocrat, getting back at the world for the the atrocities the Russians had commited against his family. But when Hetzel his publisher balked at the idea because of the new Franco Russian alliance Verne decided to remove any trace of nationality.

What else can be said? The English is not archaic!! This restored and annotated version, 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. The wealth of background information also makes this one of the best English translations of this adventure I have ever read.
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on 14 February 2016
Was really keen to read this... and hoped it would be an exciting adventure. Sadly, time has not treated this story very well.
Little plot development - they travel around spending most of the time listing fish seen! A few intermissions and interesting sight-seeing tours break the monotony of pages and pages of fish.

Little character development - nobody really changes. We don't REALLY learn much about Nemo - except that his family were (probably) killed by an Imperialistic Country sometime in the past. There was so much potential here. I hear we see him again in a later book, but I'm not going to bother...

Basically...
Prof. Arrarax keeps saying, "Shame we're prisoners - but look at all these amazing fish!"
Conseil keeps saying, "Yes, Master, whatever you say!"
Ned Land keeps saying, "I hate being locked up, let's escape. (And let's kill some seals / whales / squid too!)

That's it folks!
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on 1 February 2014
I bought this book being an admirer of the things I've heard of Vernes work but never actually reading it. I decided that enough was enough and I had to read a classic.

I wasn't disappointed. He is clearly a fantastic writer.

If you want a book that doesn't dwell on the details this isn't for you. He can elongate any story which now days would take only a few paragraphs to explain but somehow that doesn't matter because the way clarity in which he describes just makes it worth it.

A book I will read again, and again.
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on 9 December 2013
I loved this book as a kid, so when I came accross it I had to reread again, at this point they have the nice deluxe binding from Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection, so I would recommend that one as it just looks nicer on the outside.

But the story is a classic, from start to end, and you dont feel that it is over 100 years ago that it was written it still reads well.
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on 20 June 2015
A book written in the mid 19th Century, imagines a trip around the globe in a submarine.
Jules Verne created one of the best known character s in literature when he wrote of Captain Nemo and his futuristic submersible The Nautilus. A great adventure, which can drag a little as the narrator ( a naturalist specializing in the oceans) lists every form of fauna that passes the viewing ports of the vessel. This is none-the-less a cracking yarn that is full of imagination and takes us around the Victorian globe by sea.
Worth reading if you love H.G. Wells, John Wyndam or any classic Science fiction.
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