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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 October 2009
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 October 2009
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 The Mysterious Island (Forgotten Books).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2014
Fantastic read, better than the film but with a very different ending. Movie logic aside the pace and action of the Disney movie is superb and flows better than the book, but as in most things the origional is the best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2012
We bought this for an 8 year-old, but he's not getting it until I've finished. This series are an excellent way to introduce the book, helping you choose which ones you may like to read "properly"
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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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2012
I bought this for my young nephew, as I thought it would be a good way to introduce him to "the classics".
I couldn't put it down when it arrived, very colourful and very good dialogue.
Of course my nephew was the same.
I have since ordered "war of the worlds" from the same series, and thats a winner too.
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on 16 February 2014
I'm currently reading this book to my 2 boys aged 10 and 7; they both love it and are totally engrossed in the adventure. Both boys are amazed at how a book so old can be so 'relevant' today. That's the magic of Jules Verne!

My only criticism (if you can call it that) is that there is a tad too much detail for youngsters, for example, where Conseil persistently runs through the taxonomy of seemingly all living creatures!

Fabulous book, totally captivating, wonderful adjectives and very thought provoking.
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on 22 July 2015
Very well done graphic novel adaptation for young people. Indeed an enjoyable read! As someone quite familiar with the original I found this a good representation of the story. Of course, the themes were not covered to any depth but all the main plot points were covered and we come away from it feeling the wonder of the ocean world and a certain sadness for Captain Nemo himself. The illustration is excellent and this will make a perfect introduction to the novel as well as a must for the school library.
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