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Customer Review

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
This review is from: 20,000 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Paperback)
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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