Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.9 681
by Jules Verne

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble…  See more details below


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Widely regarded as the father of modern science fiction, Jules Verne wrote more than seventy books and created hundreds of memorable characters. His most popular novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, is not only a brilliant piece of scientific prophecy, but also a thrilling story with superb, subtle characterizations.

The year is 1866 and the Pacific Ocean is being terrorized by a deadly sea monster. The U.S. government dispatches marine-life specialist Pierre Aronnax to investigate aboard the warship Abraham Lincoln. When the ship is sunk by the mysterious creature, he and two other survivors discover that the monster is in fact a marvelous submarine—the Nautilus—commanded by the brilliant but bitter Captain Nemo. Nemo refuses to let his guests return to land, but instead taking them on a series of fantastic adventures in which they encounter underwater forests, giant clams, monster storms, huge squid, treacherous polar ice and—most spectacular of all—the magnificent lost city of Atlantis!

Victoria Blake is a freelance writer. She has worked at the Paris Review and contributed to the Boulder Daily Camera, small literary presses in the United States, and English-language publications in Bangkok, Thailand. She currently lives and works in San Diego, California.

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From Victoria Blake’s Introduction to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

“There can never be another Jules Verne,” wrote Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and a dedicated reader of Verne, “for he was born at a unique moment in time” (quoted in Teeters, p. 112). Verne was present at the birth of phosphorus matches, detachable collars, double cuffs, letterheads, and postage stamps. He saw the introduction of Loire river steamboats, railroads, trams, electricity, the telegraph, the telephone, and the phonograph. He was born into the age of Alexander Graham Bell, the Industrial Revolution, Karl Marx, Darwin, the colonization of Africa, and wars of independence around the world. In his lifetime the Suez Canal opened, the Hyatt brothers invented celluloid film, an electric generator was built in the Alps, the electromagnetic theory of light was proven, and scientists for the first time ordered elements by the number of their electrons, which paved the way for the modern periodic table.

Science was, for Verne, humankind’s greatest hope. At his best, he approached science with awe and naivete, making grandiose statements like, “When Science speaks, it behooves one to remain silent” (quoted in Evans, p. 48). Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not consider the unknown aspects of the natural world beyond human understanding. “Let’s reason this out,” he wrote in The Mysterious Island (Evans, p. 52), displaying his faith in science as the great, organizing force. Verne was an optimist; he believed in the ability of the human mind to perceive and to eventually gain mastery over earth’s untamable mysteries through the discoveries of science.

His books accurately predicted many modern-day inventions, including the fax machine, the automobile, pollution, and even chain bookstores. In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, he predicted batteries, searchlights, and the tazzers used by America’s police force. He foresaw the importance of electricity as a source of energy and suggested methods for air travel that later helped the first pilots get their feet off the ground. He anticipated the discovery of Darwin’s “missing link” between humans and apes. He even provided the technical details of the first manned trip to the moon. When the Apollo 8 mission returned from its voyage, one of the astronauts wrote Verne’s great-grandson a letter that praised the author’s predictive abilities in From the Earth to the Moon: “Our space vehicle was launched from Florida, like Barbican’s; it had the same weight and the same height, and it splashed down in the Pacific a mere two and a half miles from the point mentioned in the novel” (quoted in Teeters, p. 62).

In the more than 150 years since Verne’s first novel came off the press, seven generations of scientists and explorers have read his books. “It is Jules Verne who guides me,” wrote Antarctic explorer Richard E. Byrd (Teeters, p. 50).Jean Cocteau re-created Phileas Fogg’s round-the-world journey, completing his itinerary in eighty-two days. Walt Disney was a Verne reader. So was Robert Goddard, the American physicist known as the father of rocketry, who stated in 1919 that humans would one day put a man on the moon. Auguste Piccard, the Swiss physicist who in 1932 ascended 55,500 feet into the stratosphere in a balloon, and his son Jacques, who in 1960 descended to the deepest depression in the Pacific Ocean in a diving bell, read Verne. “Everybody read Jules Verne and felt that tremendous power to dream, which was part of his erudite and naïve genius,” wrote the author Ray Bradbury. “I consider myself as the illegitimate son of Jules Verne. We are very closely related” (quoted in Lynch, p. 113).

Though the accolades come in waves—and millions of readers worldwide have dreamed, traveled, and soared alongside Verne’s pen—it would be a mistake to close the book on Verne so quickly. Verne was more than a talented writer, a crafter of adventure plots, and a master of the scientific imagination. Like his noble and tragic Nemo, Verne cannot be defined so easily.

After his death, Verne willed a half-ton bronze safe to his son. The safe stayed in the family from generation to generation, until his great-grandson, Jean Verne, discovered it in a dusty corner of a storage shed. In all that time, the safe had never been opened. When Jean Verne opened it, he discovered one of Verne’s lost manuscripts. Paris in the Twentieth Century was published for the first time in 1994; it sold 100,000 copies and rose to the top of the French best-seller list.

True to style, the last of Verne’s published books accurately forecast twentieth-century life. But instead of Verne’s characteristic optimism—“All that’s within the limits of the possible must and will be accomplished” (quoted in Evans, p. 48). Paris au XXe siècle (Paris in the Twentieth Century) presents the future as tragic instead of hopeful, and science as the great destroyer instead of the great hope. In the book, Verne’s hero—this time a poet, not a scientist—wanders the streets of Paris looking for a publisher. But the citizens of Paris have forgotten the humanities and turned instead to the sterile comforts of life lived through science. Jobless and homeless, Verne’s hero walks the perfect streets of the city destitute and alone. He spends his last penny buying a flower for his beloved, but when he delivers it he finds the house empty, the family gone. The book concludes with the hero lost in a winter graveyard amid tombs of forgotten novelists before he collapses and dies on the frozen, snowy ground.

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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&rsquo;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