Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea [NOOK Book]

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Overview

Classic sea stories.

Introduction



"The deepest parts of the ocean are totally unknown to us,"
admits Professor Aronnax early in this novel. "What goes on in
those distant depths? What creatures inhabit, or could inhabit,
those regions twelve or fifteen miles beneath the surface of the water?
It's almost beyond conjecture."

Jules Verne (1828-1905) published the French equivalents of these words
in 1869, and little has changed since. 126 years later, a Time
cover story on deep-sea exploration made much the same admission:
"We know more about Mars than we know about the oceans."
This reality begins to explain the dark power and otherworldly
fascination of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas.

Born in the French river town of Nantes, Verne had a lifelong
passion for the sea. First as a Paris stockbroker, later as a
celebrated author and yachtsman, he went on frequent voyages--
to Britain, America, the Mediterranean. But the specific stimulus
for this novel was an 1865 fan letter from a fellow writer,
Madame George Sand. She praised Verne's two early novels Five Weeks
in a Balloon (1863) and Journey to the Center of the Earth
(1864), then added: "Soon I hope you'll take us into the ocean depths,
your characters traveling in diving equipment perfected by your
science and your imagination." Thus inspired, Verne created one
of literature's great rebels, a freedom fighter who plunged beneath
the waves to wage a unique form of guerilla warfare.

Initially, Verne's narrative was influenced by the 1863 uprising of
Poland against Tsarist Russia. The Poles were quashed with a violence
that appalled not only Verne but all Europe. As originally conceived,
Verne's Captain Nemo was a Polish nobleman whose entire family
had been slaughtered by Russian troops. Nemo builds a fabulous
futuristic submarine, the Nautilus, then conducts an underwater
campaign of vengeance against his imperialist oppressor.

But in the 1860s France had to treat the Tsar as an ally,
and Verne's publisher Pierre Hetzel pronounced the book unprintable.
Verne reworked its political content, devising new nationalities for
Nemo and his great enemy--information revealed only in a later novel,
The Mysterious Island (1875); in the present work Nemo's background
remains a dark secret. In all, the novel had a difficult gestation.
Verne and Hetzel were in constant conflict and the book went
through multiple drafts, struggles reflected in its several
working titles over the period 1865-69: early on, it was variously
called Voyage Under the Waters, Twenty-five Thousand Leagues Under
the Waters, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Waters,
and A Thousand Leagues Under the Oceans.

Verne is often dubbed, in Isaac Asimov's phrase, "the world's
first science-fiction writer." And it's true, many of his
sixty-odd books do anticipate future events and technologies:
From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and Hector Servadac (1877) deal
in space travel, while Journey to the Center

of the Earth features travel to the earth's core. But with Verne
the operative word is "travel," and some of his best-known titles
don't really qualify as sci-fi: Around the World in Eighty Days
(1872) and Michael Strogoff (1876) are closer to "travelogs"--
adventure yarns in far-away places.

These observations partly apply here. The subtitle of the present
book is An Underwater Tour of the World, so in good travelog style,
the Nautilus's exploits supply an episodic story line.
Shark attacks, giant squid, cannibals, hurricanes, whale hunts,
and other rip-roaring adventures erupt almost at random. Yet this loose
structure gives the novel an air of documentary realism. What's more,
Verne adds backbone to the action by developing three recurring motifs:
the deepening mystery of Nemo's past life and future intentions,
the mounting tension between Nemo and hot-tempered harpooner Ned Land,
and Ned's ongoing schemes to escape from the Nautilus. These unifying
threads tighten the narrative and accelerate its momentum.

Other subtleties occur inside each episode, the textures sparkling
with wit, information, and insight. Verne regards the sea from
many angles: in the domain of marine biology, he gives us thumbnail
sketches of fish, seashells, coral, sometimes in great catalogs
that swirl past like musical cascades; in the realm of geology,
he studies volcanoes literally inside and out; in the world of commerce,
he celebrates the high-energy entrepreneurs who lay the Atlantic Cable
or dig the Suez Canal. And Verne's marine engineering proves
especially authoritative. His specifications for an open-sea submarine
and a self-contained diving suit
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012560391
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 1/15/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 338 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 673 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(327)

4 Star

(141)

3 Star

(91)

2 Star

(42)

1 Star

(72)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 675 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2006

    Don't buy this book!

    If you're going to read one of the great classics of literature¿and you should¿don't pick up this edition. It is a reprint of a version that dates back to the 1870s and was exposed more than 40 years ago for cutting nearly one-quarter of Verne's story and mistranslating much of the remainder. Lewis Mercier was the man responsible for this travesty, yet the publisher tries to conceal what they've done by claiming the translation is by an anonymous hand. An attempt is made to give the volume respectability by adding an introduction and notes by Victoria Blake¿who has no particular credentials for the task. And that leads to goofs¿for instance, she claims Verne never wrote a novel about invisibility, so she mustn't know about the author's Secret of Wilhelm Storitz. In fact, Blake's simply used the better editions that readers are advised to consult. If you want to read Verne's novel, pick up the elegant Naval Institute Press edition, in a modern, complete, updated translation, with commentary by the leading American Verne expert today, Walter James Miller. That book also comes with many of the artistic engravings that illustrated the original French first edition (no illustrations are to be found in the B&N Mercier reprint). Less attractive but more academic is the Oxford Classics version of Twenty Thousand Leagues. Either way, pick one of these to discover this novel, and don't be fooled by the appearance of respectability this book provides. This review is posted on behalf of the North American Jules Verne Society by Jean-Michel Margot, president NAJVS.

    75 out of 89 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A TRUE CLASSIC

    I truly thought that the book had one of the best plot lines I've ever seen, reguardless of the fact that there is only slight building up to the climax. The only thing that I didn't think was that good about the book was that about every other page, Jules Verne would go into a paragraph description of the animals. For example, he would say something like: "I just saw a tuna. But not the normal tuna, it was yellow-bellied, had dorsal fins that went at a downward angle, etc." Otherwise, I thought it was a great read and well worth the money. I will be purchasing more of Jules Verne's books very soon. I highly suggest for you to read this book. Another thing, if you enjoyed watching the 1954 "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Film," I highly suggest the book because the movie only gives a small picture of what actually occurred during their submarine venture and the book tells you everything, and the occurrences are just amazing.<BR/>The novel basically tells the story of Professor Arronax, Ned Land and Conseil who get taken aboard the Nautilus and experiences many adverntures, such as going to Atlantis, an underwater hunt, getting trapped in an ice block and much more. This book is and, IMO, always will be a true classic.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Lovve it

    I am only 11 Iove it this is my favorite book of all time!!!!!!!!

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    Perfect format

    This version contains foot and end notes that are easy to navigate and well formatted. Great ebook!

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Anonymous

    A greatbook if you like classics. It has good end notes at in the back. It loaded quickly, too.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    More than 20,000 wonders under the sea.

    The book, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne, follows the travels of Professor Pierre Aronnax and the mysterious Captain Nemo through the only frontier on Earth that though sailed by man for thousands of years, but yet unknown to us to this day, the sea. The wonders that Professor Aronnax witnesses on this under sea voyage may only be found in the realm of our imaginations, but still may for a good story that will endure for generations to come.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Great

    Its freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2011

    MUST READ!

    If you have not been fortunate enough to have read Jules Verne in school, you MUST do so now. I have read this book several times, and I enjoy it each time I do so. The brilliance of Jules Verne comes through in his writing of the future. It's hard to imagine the vision necessary to portray future technology so accurately.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2010

    A True Classic, and Pleasure to Read

    This was the first Jules Verne book I've ever read, and I eagerly look forward to tackling his other works. My imagination was whisked away from the moment the hypothesized narwhale began its assaults through the final conclusions of Professor Aronnax. Certainly on more than one occasion, I was so immersed in Verne's world pictured so exquisitely, I found myself staying up late at night just so I could complete my push through events and circumstances from which I wouldn't simply walk away for the night. Honestly, while I understand the purpose of its inclusion, I could have gone for less of the scientifically-focused classification of the various fauna and flora: these passages seemed a bit tedious for my liking, and I found myself moving hastily through them. That said, the predominant bulk of this novel captured all senses as though I, too, found myself a fortunate captive of the Nautilus.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Book

    I LOVE THIS BOOK ! DON'T LISTEN TO THE INSULTS OF THIS BOOK BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO IMAGINE THINGS WHILE READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Twenty Thousand Leagues A Must Read at All Ages

    The one regret I have in reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is that I did not read it sooner. I turned to it later in life, not having read it during my school years and have found it to be exceeding well written, inspiring, informative, and entertaining.

    Captain Nemo is a character not soon forgotten as it his submarine craft, the Nautilus. The descriptions of the ship, its inner cabins, and its mechanics is quite remarkable even today. The ability to generate electricity from the sea is something worth exploring more fully even in today’s world of natural gas, oil, wind, and solar power. The entire concept was way ahead of its time. I image that is why it is a classic.

    I not only recommend this selection as a must read, I advocate its being required reading at the high school or middle school level. It will spark the imagination of those who read and think about it and quite possibly motivate young people to explore their natural world through the studies of math and science. Overall, this is a wonderfully exciting book that is an excellent foundation for writers, thinkers, and would be scientists and adventures.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Good book for a free classic

    A very good book, suprisingly. Does not have spelling and grammar issues, and the plot is good and not very boring. Lots of scientific facts make this book very detailed and realistic. I would recommend this book to anyone who is an adept reader with an expanded vocabulary and who loves classics. As an eleven-year-old, I feel comfortable in saying that most kids in seventh grade and up would enjoy this classic.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Story, check other editions

    I usually love the B&N collections. The introductions included are great many of the times (not always), the annotations are a great saver for the modern reader to be able to decipher most of the "dense" paragraphs that without a background knowledge cannot understand. The questions, inspired by and such sections are usually a great addition as well. And finding all of this in one neat little package is great that my library at home is filled with them. Now with that out of my chest, It's really not worth to read this version of such a great story.
    Jules Verne is known as one of the fathers of science fiction genre and justice was not done to such a great master of words in this edition.

    The story is creative, innovative and breathtaking. There are extremely long descriptions but which really allows the writer to imagine what is on the paper into a reality very clearly. The plot is interesting and the characters develops nicely, always amply supplied by mystery and intrigue. The ending is open-ended which leads to the writing of another novel, which is a must read for any science fiction lovers.

    Invest your money in buying a proper edition of this book without any omitted chapters, scenes, paragraphs and a better translation which will serve you better both personally and academically.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Does it get better?

    Good so far and btw whats up with all this clan crap?

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You speak rubbish!!!

    A classic never has flaws and deserves 5 starts. ALWAYS!

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Not the best

    If you like classic read this. If you don't like classics don't read it read Little Women by Louisa May Allcot that is better.
    Try it

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Awsome :)

    Awsome you really feel like your there. One for my favortive books. I love this book!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    Anonymous

    I read this three years ago. Love it! Most of my friends have read it also. I'm recommending this book to everyone out there who hasn't read it. If you want to read a book, read this one. The first chapter might be boring, but the rest makes you never want to put it down. Read it, you'll love it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Well this was a great adventure story

    I really liked this story i found it stimulating to the imagination and didnt know what to think till the end of the book. Its a great book to read for those interested in a good adventure story. At some points it makes you think when facts are stated. The characters are understanable and kinda relateable in their situation. I think this is a book any one can enjoy. I really would recommend reading this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Is this good?

    I bet this is gonna b good!!!

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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