Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

3.9 681
by Jules Verne, Bill Ratner

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Follow along on this fantastic voyage as Professor Arronax, Ned, and Beth set out to capture a terrifying sea monster--before it captures them.  See more details below


Follow along on this fantastic voyage as Professor Arronax, Ned, and Beth set out to capture a terrifying sea monster--before it captures them.

Editorial Reviews

A mysterious creature is roaming the oceans, wreaking havoc on ships. Professor Aronnax, a professor of natural history, joins the crew of the American frigate American Lincoln. Its mission: destroy the sea-beast. Unfortunately the professor, his servant and the ship's harpooner are washed overboard during an encounter with the beastie. They take refuge on its back, which turns out to be a submarine, and become the reluctant guests of Captain Nemo, the master of the Nautilus. Thus begins a journey across the Seven Seas, in the course of which they reach the South Pole, rediscover the sunken continent of Atlantis and engage in a number of sea battles. In the end the Professor and his companions escape; the Nautilus sinks into the Maelstrom, its final fate unknown. This is a fine adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Whigham's b/w art is action-oriented and very busy; it does a good job of enlivening Verne's novel, which at time resembles an underwater travel video. The visualization of Captain Nemo, the book's most intriguing character, is particularly good; he is both noble and tormented. Contains comic book violence (most notably a battle with a giant squid); recommended for all readers. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2006, Penguin, Puffin, 176p. illus., Ages 12 to adult.
—George Galuschak
From the Publisher
"Unbearably thrilling and romantic... full of Verne's gentle humour."
—Daily Mail

"Among the deep-sea vocanoes, shoals of swirling fish, giant squid and sharks, Captain Nemo steers the Nautilus. Nemo is the renegade scientist par excellence, a man madly inventive in his quest for revenge."
—Sunday Telegraph

"A tale of terror, suspense and wonder."

Matt Travers
The appearance of this sumptuously produced twenty-first century edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea will delight the countless admirers of Jules Verne.

—Matt Travers

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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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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 681 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only 11 Iove it this is my favorite book of all time!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This version contains foot and end notes that are easy to navigate and well formatted. Great ebook!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A greatbook if you like classics. It has good end notes at in the back. It loaded quickly, too.
Nautilus More than 1 year ago
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.
Nazire More than 1 year ago
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.
CJM42 More than 1 year ago
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.
Mysidia More than 1 year ago
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.
RMak More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ToddToups1 More than 1 year ago
Great part of the Leather Bound Classics Collection. Looks great with the other books keeping with the border and star theme as the other books. It's really a must have if your getting the entire series or just one to read or have on the shelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome. It is one of my favourite jules verne's books. I only read the first part, and Iam crazy to read the second one. The first time I read it I was just nine years old, and now I am twelve and read it again. I am a fan of jules verne, though he was such a smart person, and besides he described a lot of thibgs in his books that were done in a future: the submarine in this book. Besides, I love how this book is narrated, though it contains a large quantity of descriptions. My favourite character in this story is ned land. The character I hate the most in the whole book is captain nemo. He is so mean with ned land!!! The only thing I would have changed was the servant of aronax; I would have put a woman so she could stay with ned land, like in one of this book's movies. You need to read this awesome narrative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome you really feel like your there. One for my favortive books. I love this book!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite classic books. Jules Vern was definitely ahead of his time. The plot was outstanding which made you feel you were one of the main characters, who by the way, were delightful. If u read this, read Mysterious Island next! I highly recommend this book. Vallie
bg_63 More than 1 year ago
If you think about when this was written it boggles the mind. This classic tale predicts so many technologies that would be developed decades later. The story is excellent, I've re-read the book so many times that I've lost count. The only downside of the Nook edition is the unfortunate layout. So many quotes and a biography of Mr. Verne would have been better as an addenda.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is above awsome and I didn't finish the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am glad l finally got around to reading this great novel. I am looking forward to reading more of Verne's novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recomended this to my dad and told him its an excellent read. If you love classics by Jules verne you won't be dissapointed. Even though it has its occassional monotony it kept me on the edge of my seat. If you enjoyed this book try reading the lord of the rings saga its slighting more tedious not that it is tedious but you understand. Woo hoo for the Hobbit im watching it in theater
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this an abridged version?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shut up about ur stupid cat books or games!!! I have seen many books that u nerds were talking about stupid games like pokemon n how to battle other pokemon!!! The auther would like to see what people thought about their books not what u nerds have to say about ur games n entierly different books!!! Shut up already!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is such a great book! I think everyone should read this. It id also useful for science projects
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this is a great book for middle schoolers and up. It can be a little hard to follow at times, because it is language that I am not used to. It all starts in the begining, when there is a monster roaming the seas. It crashes in to the sides of ships and causes great damage. Then a ship goes out to hunt it, bringing a french scientist who claims that it is a giant narwhale that uses its horn to crash ships. But when the "narwhale" hits there ship, it throws of the scientist, his assistant, and a harpooner, and they relise how wrong there guesses were.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked the book and see no reason to criticize it