20,000 Leagues under the Sea (Bantam Classics Series)

( 10 )

Overview

An American frigate, tracking down a ship-sinking monster, faces not a living creature but an incredible invention -- a fantastic submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo.  Suddenly a devastating explosion leaves just three survivors, who find themselves prisoners inside Nemo's death ship on an underwater odyssey around the world from the pearl-laden waters of Ceylon to the icy dangers of the South Pole . . .as Captain Nemo, one of the greatest villians ever ...
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Bantam Classics Series)

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Overview

An American frigate, tracking down a ship-sinking monster, faces not a living creature but an incredible invention -- a fantastic submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo.  Suddenly a devastating explosion leaves just three survivors, who find themselves prisoners inside Nemo's death ship on an underwater odyssey around the world from the pearl-laden waters of Ceylon to the icy dangers of the South Pole . . .as Captain Nemo, one of the greatest villians ever created, takes his revenge on all society.

More than a marvelously thrilling drama, this classic novel, written in 1870, foretells with uncanny accuracy the inventions and advanced technology of the twentieth century and has become a literary stepping-stone for generations of science fiction writers.

A deadly and huge sea monster is sinking ships. Three men--a French scientist, his trusty sidekick, and a Canadian harpoonist are thrown from the deck of their American warship. A door opens on the side of the monster, and they are taken inside the greatest submarine in the world, the top-secret Nautilus commanded by a madman who will take them 20,000 leagues into the depths.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

A large sea monster, believed to resemble a narwhal, is roaming the seas and has destroyed over 200 ships that dared to cross its path. French Professor Pierre Aronnax, a distinguished marine biologist, has set his sights on killing this "gigantic cetacean." He and his faithful assistant, Conseil, accept an invitation to join an expedition aboard the Abraham Lincoln, an American frigate. The monster is finally sited and a battle ensues, resulting in Aronnax, Conseil, and a harpooner being tossed overboard and rescued by Nemo, captain of the Nautilus, a large submarine, which had been mistakenly thought to be a sea monster. For ten months, the three men sail with Nemo, a "terrible avenger, a perfect archangel of hatred." They are enthralled with the captivating scenery, discover new sea creatures and lost cities, and become trapped in a iceberg. Jules Verne's classic offers a perfect blend of suspense, adventure, and excitement that will entice even the most reluctant readers. This audiobook also contains a companion ebook-a 272-page printable PDF file complete with a full table of contents and index-and an interesting mini biography of Verne. Michael Prichard provides a stalwart narration; his rich, deep voice offers subtle changes for each character. An essential science fiction classic and a great choice for libraries in need of updating their collections.-Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553212525
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1985
  • Series: Bantam Classics Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 186,696
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Jules Verne (1828-1905) used a combination of scientific facts and his imagination to take readers on extraordinary imaginative journeys to fantastic places. In such books as " Around the World in Eighty Days, From the Earth to the Moon, " and " Journey to the Center of the Earth, " he predicted many technological advances of the twentieth century, including the invention of the automobile, telephone, and nuclear submarines, as well as atomic power and travel to the moon by rocket.

Narrator Michael Prichard is a Los Angeles-based actor who has recorded more than 350 audiobooks including novels by Clive Cussler and Tom Glancy. He recently was named one of Smart Money's Top Ten Golden Voices.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Shifting Reef

The year 1866 was marked by a strange event, an unexplainable occurrence which is undoubtedly still fresh in everyone's memory. Those living in coastal towns or in the interior of continents were aroused by all sorts of rumors; but it was seafaring people who were particularly excited. Merchants, shipowners, skippers and masters of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries and the various governments of both continents were deeply concerned over the matter.

Several ships had recently met at sea “an enormous thing,” a long slender object which was sometimes phosphorescent and which was infinitely larger and faster than a whale.

The facts concerning this apparition, entered in various logbooks, agreed closely with one another as to the structure of the object or creature in question, the incredible speed of its movements, the surprising power of its locomotion and the strange life with which it seemed endowed. If it was a member of the whale family, it was larger than any so far classified by scientists. Neither Cuvier, Lacépède, Dumeril nor Quatrefages would have admitted that such a monster could exist--unless they had seen it with their own scientists' eyes.

Taking an average of observations made at different times'and rejecting those timid evaluations which said the object was only two hundred feet long, and also putting aside those exaggerated opinions which said it was a mile wide and three miles long'one could nevertheless conclude that this phenomenal creature was considerably larger than anything at that time recognized by ichthyologists'if it existed at all.

But it didexist--there was no denying this fact any longer--and considering the natural inclination of the human brain toward objects of wonder, one can understand the excitement produced throughout the world by this supernatural apparition. In any case, the idea of putting it into the realm of fiction had to be abandoned.

On July 20, 1866, the steamer Governor Higginson of the Calcutta and Burnach Steam Navigation Company had encountered this moving mass five miles east of the Australian coast. Captain Baker first thought he had sighted an unknown reef; he was even getting ready to plot its exact position when two columns of water spurted out of the inexplicable object and rose with a loud whistling noise to a height of a hundred and fifty feet. So, unless the reef contained a geyser, the Governor Higginson was quite simply in the presence of an unknown aquatic mammal, spurting columns of water mixed with air and vapor out of its blowholes.

A similar thing was observed on July 23 of the same year in Pacific waters, by the Christopher Columbus of the West India and Pacific Steam Navigation Company. This extraordinary creature could therefore move from one place to another with surprising speed, since within a space of only three days, the Governor Higginson and the Christopher Columbus had sighted it at two points on the globe separated by more than 2100 nautical miles.

Two weeks later and six thousand miles from this last spot, the Helvetia of the Compagnie Nationale and the Shannon of the Royal Mail Steamship Company, passing on opposite courses in that part of the Atlantic lying between the United States and Europe, signaled one another that they had sighted the monster at 42° 15' N. Lat. and 60° 35' W. Long. In this simultaneous observation they felt able to judge the creature's minimum length at more than 350 feet, since it was larger than both ships each of which measured 330 feet over-all. But the largest whales, the Kulammak and Umgullick that live in the waters around the Aleutian Islands, never exceed 180 feet in length, if that much.

These reports arriving one after the other, with fresh observations made on board the liner Le Pereire, a collision between the Etna of the Inman Line and the monster, an official report drawn up by the officers of the French frigate Normandie, and a very reliable sighting made by Commodore Fitz-James' staff on board the Lord Clyde, greatly stirred public opinion. In lighthearted countries, people made jokes about it, but in serious practical-minded countries, such as England, America and Germany, it was a matter of grave concern.

In every big city the monster became the fashion: it was sung in cafés, derided in newspapers and discussed on the stage. Scandal sheets had a marvelous opportunity to print all kinds of wild stories. Even ordinary newspapers--always short of copy--printed articles about every huge, imaginary monster one could think of, from the white whale, the terrible “Moby Dick” of the far north, to the legendary Norse kraken whose tentacles could entwine a five-hundred-ton ship and drag it to the bottom. Reports of ancient times were mentioned, the opinions of Aristotle and Pliny who admitted to the existence of such monsters, along with those of the Norwegian bishop, Pontoppidan, Paul Heggede and finally Mr. Harrington, whose good faith no one can question when he claims to have seen, while on board the Castillan in 1857, that enormous serpent which until then had been seen in no waters but those of the old Paris newspaper, the Constitutionnel.

It was then that in scientific societies and journals an interminable argument broke out between those who believed in the monster and those who did not. The “question of the monster” had everyone aroused. Newspapermen, who always pretend to be on the side of scientists and against those who live by their imagination, spilled gallons of ink during this memorable campaign; and some even spilled two or three drops of blood, after arguments that had started over sea serpents and ended in the most violent personal insults.

For six months this war was waged with varying fortune. Serious, weighty articles were published by the Brazilian Geographical Institute, the Royal Scientific Academy of Berlin, the British Association and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington; others appeared in the Indian Archipelago, in Abbé Moigno's Cosmos, in Petermann's Mittheilungen and in the science sections of all the important newspapers of France and other countries.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Copyright © by Jules Verne. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Sam

    Sam haunts these halls.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Awesome.

    Cool book! P.s. any one want to be nook friends:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    20,000 Leages Under the Sea

    A really nice book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    The book that will blow you away

    The dark, ship-sinking monster lurks about in several areas. Could your ship be the next victim of this monster? Join Captain Nemo, and Jules Verne on an adventure that will knock your socks off! 20,000 Leagues may seem to start out as an ordinary book, but just wait and see.
     
                 Jules Verne loved the sea, and its surroundings in every way. Pick up 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and find yourself on an adventure you will never forget. Starting with the introduction all the way to the last page of the book, you will be on Captain Nemo's ship. You will be the first one to know about Captain Nemo's plotting against society. Will you take the risk of being one of Nemo's victims?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2005

    An excellent piece of literature

    Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the sea is a book that is truly amazing in many facts: when you consider how detailed Jules is in describing the Nautilus itself, and the that more then 90 percent of his predictions of future inventions for submarines, and undersea exploration, is astoundingly prophetic, over a century before the first modern submarine took to the seas. Not only does the amazing educational content of undersea exploration, marine life, and geography pack this book the story line is pure classic adventure, from The Japan Sea, to Under the Great Ice Barrier, to the lost continent of Atlantis, this book is action and thrill in every sense of the word. Also Jules' amazing story telling abilities really brings the characters personalties to life, with vid emotion. Filling the book with action, suspense, education, and humor, this book is one of my favorite's of all time, and in my opinion one of the great classics. Note, I also found it quite a benefit to have a world globe or map along side the entire length of the book, for it was much more enjoyable to see where the coarse of the story was going, while traversing the globe beneath the waves, in the far depths of the ocean.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2005

    The King of Bling Bling

    The book was a great read. There are numerous scenes that made it impossible to put it down. The only bad thing about the book was that it was too educational. Besides that, the book is excellent.

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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