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19 of 20 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 22 months ago by coolhand

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a long way to go
In general I turn my nose up at abridged versions so that is why I went for this edition. My mistake. The tale featuring Captain Nemo was already sort of familiar to me thanks to the film version with Vincent Price. I think it fair to say that this translation is OK but it keeps all of the original long-windedness. Get an abridged version if you intend making it bedtime...
Published on 15 Mar. 2013 by Kangerew


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19 of 20 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.

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

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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3 of 3 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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30 of 34 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing stuff, 17 Mar. 2010
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 20,000 Leagues., 21 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explore a new world with Verne, 3 Sept. 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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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.

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

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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Nemo went away, 23 Jun. 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Submarines as we know them didn't exist in 1869. But Jules Verne had an almost eerily prophetic knack for knowing what technology would be used in the future -- and he put it to work in "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea," a slow-moving adventure tale with plenty of proto-steampunk and almost fantastical undersea life.

Ships in the middle of the ocean are suddenly seeing -- and being attacked by -- "a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infinitely larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale."

Eventually the US government sends out a ship to capture the object, and during a sea battle Professor Aronnax, his manservant Conseil and harpooner Ned Land go overboard. Soon they're picked up by the Nautilus, the vast submarine that has been causing all this trouble, and introduced to Captain Nemo -- an intelligent, charismatic man who belongs to no nation.

Aronnax becomes fascinated by Nemo, his ship and his library -- as well as the amazing underwater adventures that Nemo introduces them to, like pearl-hunting and fighting a giant squid. But the captain's free, lawless life has its dark side, and the three men begin to realize that they must get away from the Nautilus no matter what.

It's actually rather amazing that Jules Verne not only dreamed up the idea of a semi-modern submarine long before they existed, but thought out the applications, the stealth, and the vast size. And since nothing like the Nautilus existed at the time, there's a slightly fantastical, steampunk flavor to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

And as usual, Verne painstakingly studies everything about his imagined world, filling it with science (although he obviously didn't know about water/air pressure) and lovely descriptions of the Nautilus and the eerie underwater world (giant oysters, forests, Atlantis). The only flaw is that he tends to ramble on about exact measurements and travel details; there are boring patches here and there.

But Captain Nemo is probably one of Verne's most fascinating characters -- a charismatic, embittered man who is a sort of noble sea pirate. He does some stuff that is totally unacceptable (sinking a random warship), but he also has little spurts of kindness and generosity towards poor and powerless peoples of the world. He's scary but fascinating.

Giant submarines, charismatic pirates and an undersea world just waiting to be explored -- "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" is a fascinating sci-fi classic, if you can get past the dull patches.
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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)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Book, 1 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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