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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ REVIEW FOR ***CORRECT TRANSLATION***
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...
Published 14 months ago by coolhand

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Small Print
Some time ago I decided to purchase books which I had read or seen films of in my youth. Treasure Island and Moby Dick were examples of this. Both were Wordsworth Classics and both were quite readable. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this volume of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. I remembered the film ( with Kirk Douglas and James Mason) and wanted to...
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by J. D. Waters


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ REVIEW FOR ***CORRECT TRANSLATION***, 27 Jun 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.

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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

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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
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars too many fish, 27 Aug 2003
By 
F. Mckay "fungus2443" (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing stuff, 17 Mar 2010
By 
S. Clift - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Being new to the writings of Jules Verne, I had no idea what to expect, other than a fantasy story. Though I was greatly surprised. Set in the late 19th century, the story unfolds embracing the central characters both in relation to the time period and technological advances, as well as a heap of informative factual information. I couldn't put it down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verne the way he was meant to be read!, 10 May 2007
By 
Kara Ortiez (Hamilton, Canada) - See all my reviews
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for fans of this book, 16 Feb 1998
By A Customer
In English speaking countries, 20,000 is considered a classic boy's book, but in France, it is considered a work of literature. The two translators of this version have gone back to the original French, and made a new translation. Turns out, the common translation that we are used to is full of mistranslations and ommissions of anti-English sentiments. Frankly, I didn't think the new translation adds that much more to the story, but I really enjoyed the footnotes and annotations. The translators take a boyish glee when they find and error or ommission that, to me, added a bit to the story. I'd recommend this version over the older translation. If you've read this story before, I think you will enjoy the annotations most.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explore a new world with Verne, 3 Sep 2007
Jules Verne's chosen narrator writes passionately about the natural world, and his enthusiasm is easily communicated to the reader. Heading off originally on a mission to rid the ocean of a gigantic sea monster, the narrator Aronnax and his companions discover the redoubtable Captain Nemo and his submarine the Nautilus. On the subsequent voyage, Aronnax dwells with the most pleasure on the many varieties of marine life they encounter (and indeed, his manservant functions almost entirely to classify and name the different creatures, this being the majority of his conversation). Their fascination with everything they encounter is no less than inspiring, even with Ned Land as a homesick counterpoint to their delight. Their wonder and delight, throughout their adventures, is a joy to read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I am not what you would call a civilised man! I have done with society entirely... I do not therefore obey its laws.", 1 Oct 2009
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
In Jules Verne's classic adventure story, a large & incredibly fast sea monster is attacking ships in oceans all over the world. When a marine professor is sent to investigate, he & his companions discover that the 'monster' is in fact an amazing submarine, built & captained by the mysterious mariner Nemo. Amazed by the Nautilus' advanced technology & charmed by its captain, the professor finds it impossible not to admire the very man who has taken him prisoner.

I picked this up after being intrigued by Alan Moore's portrayal of Captain Nemo in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen & I was not disappointed. The original Nemo is every bit as deep & unfathomable as the oceans he commands. Because of this, 20,000 Leagues is still a satisfying read, despite being rather dated in places. Of course, submarines are something which we tend to take for granted nowadays but the atmosphere Verne weaves had me just as mesmerised as the professor, when he's shown around the Nautilus for the first time.

Verne tends to go overboard with the details, merrily cataloguing the dimensions of the vessel, how much water it displaces & the co-ordinates at which various events take place, and so on. But despite this, Nemo's charisma along with the rousing adventure story at its heart made this book difficult to put down.

Looking at the various editions available on Amazon, it seems that many are marketed towards children. Because of the large amounts of detail & dated terminology, I would recommend buying a suitably edited version for pre-teens & would recommend the original for adults, who will get more out of the complex central character, while enjoying a good adventure story.

So despite being a little dated, a timeless heart beats within this novel. The true sign of a classic. As such, I had no hesitation in ordering the sequel (after a fashion), The Mysterious Island (Forgotten Books).
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's a wonderful book!, 19 Mar 1999
By A Customer
I like the story and drama in it. Jules Verne has written one of the classic of all books. Captain Nemo is a man who takes life seriously. The professor and his assistant and harpooner try to escape after their ship sinks and wind up on Nemo's submarine. It shows how they learn about their ocean surroundings and learn to work together to overcome a lot of hardships and their life troubles. It's a great book! Get it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?, 2 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Adventure, high-tech, ego, personality conflicts: what's not to like? Aside from matching the qualities that fill much of modern fiction, Verne also predicted much of modern science. Some readers might find parts of the book boring, but the overall journey is one to take many times!
This book will never get old. It's no wonder it has inspired so many films and TV programs!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Small Print, 31 Aug 2010
By 
J. D. Waters (Cambridge. UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Some time ago I decided to purchase books which I had read or seen films of in my youth. Treasure Island and Moby Dick were examples of this. Both were Wordsworth Classics and both were quite readable. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this volume of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. I remembered the film ( with Kirk Douglas and James Mason) and wanted to read the book. But the print size is far too small for my eyesight. A disappointment. I'll stick to Wordsworth Classics in the future.
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Scholastic Classics)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Scholastic Classics) by Jules Verne (Mass Market Paperback - May 2003)
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