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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
1010 Comments| 96 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
22 Comments| 20 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| 23 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| 35 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 !
11 Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 March 2017
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

I completely and utterly fell in love with this book. To me this is exactly what an adventure book should be like. There are pirates and mystery and hidden caves.

I have to disagree with the synopsis stating that Captain Nemo is one of the most horrible villains as I have to say I really related to him and I'm certainly not a villain! Yes he has killed people, usually only when they are attacking him and his ship. To be able to go so completely off the grid and survive off the land, or in this case the sea and to find hidden wonders that no one else has ever seen sounds absolutely wonderful! To be so intelligent and continue your learning indefinitely within your own personal library, I'd imagine that quite a few people would enjoy this.

Professor Aronnax and his personal servant Conseil have an extremely strong bond and have a mutual respect that is good to see. Ned Land though to me is another far more interesting character as he is a rugged adventurer from Canada who has seen the world and needs to be out there to really live. He struggles with captivity and suffers from cabin fever which you can feel through the excellent writing.

There is a lot of scientific, nautical and geographical language used throughout the book and a lot of classification of sea life is done, but this did not take away any enjoyment for me as I enjoyed searching online what things meant when I didn't understand and learning, I enjoyed the learning.

Hopefully I will have time in the future to come back and re read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea so I can revisit Captain Nemo and enter his exciting underwater world.
0Comment| 2 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| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 February 1998
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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 21 April 2016
William Butcher's translation of Jules Verne's classic is excellent, as are his thorough explanatory notes at the end of the text. The story is, more or less, well known, but as others here have said, the original book itself is both more elaborate and involving than earlier versions, including simplified texts for young people, earlier and now frankly rather old-fashioned translations, various other adaptations and the Walt Disney movie from way back when. Thoroughly recommended in this edition from Oxford World Classics.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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