Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Book - 1908
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Publisher: London, England :, J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.,, 1908.
Characteristics: x, 288 pages ;,18 cm.
Alternative Title: 20,000 leagues under the sea.

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Porkbellytacos
Jan 13, 2016

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a book about an incredible Journey aboard the greatest subterranean vessel ever engineered (even by modern standards) – The Nautilus. Captained by the mysterious and ever elusive Captain Nemo, the Nautilus and author Jules Verne offers readers an opportunity to ride along and partake in an incredibly imaginative, descript, and well thought out underwater world. Descript being the operative word.

Author Verne is clearly a master of the written word. He might also be a scientific and historic genius as well, being able to rattle off everything from complex mathematical calculations to the entire history of every stop along the Nautilis’ journey. The problem is- I had no idea what he was talking about. If I looked everything up, I wouldn’t be a third of a way through the book by now. Thus, I read the entire book just accepting the world as Mr. Verne presented it; I am sure I am happier for it.

Beneath the complex world and language set in the novel, are some charming characters. Captain Nemo is all the same time a grand hero, villain, and enigma. Narrator and main character, Prof. Pierre Aronnax, is a prisoner only in name. His faithful companion Conseil, while eventually less excited than his master, is also along for the ride. Ned Land, the other prisoners’ foil, is an insatiable Canadian, with an aptitude for spear throwing. Yet, even with these characters, I was left wanting.

All credit given to the author, this book is clearly a masterpiece. In the beginning of the book I was 100% percent on board. However, by the middle, I was longing for some sort of identifiable conflict- of which Verne only gives the readers bits and pieces. In fact, it could be argued that no real conflict presents itself until the last 5% of the book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. However, it is easy to see how the complex language and lack of identifiable conflict can leave most readers in a slumber.

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taupe_llama_12
May 26, 2015

taupe_llama_12 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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