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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Scholastic…
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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Scholastic Classics) (udgave 2003)

af Jules Verne (Forfatter)

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668835,426 (3.7)Ingen
Retells the adventures of a French professor and his two companions as they sail above and below the world's oceans as prisoners on the fabulous electric submarine of the deranged Captain Nemo.
Medlem:along0517
Titel:20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Scholastic Classics)
Forfattere:Jules Verne (Forfatter)
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2003), 448 pages
Samlinger:Skal læses
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Scholastic Classics) af Jules Verne

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is one of my favorite classics.

There’s a bit of nostalgia to it – I remember the first time I picked up the book at my local library as a child. It was a library-bound illustrated classic. It was probably my first true classic and immediately I fell in love with Jules Verne’s science fiction. A couple decades later, I still enjoy it.

That said, it’s a bit difficult for me to explain why I like it so much. Compared to modern books, it’s dense and lacks compelling descriptions. If you hate info dumping, you’ll really dislike Twenty Thousand Leagues. If you really like fish, you may like Twenty Thousand Leagues. Whether it’s a transition issue (the original is in French) or simply the stylistic product of the nineteenth century, there’s not much I can defend about Verne’s writing style. It’s palatable, but it’s flat.

No, for me, I think it’s the adventure.

Verne predicted so many scientific advances in his science fiction, including our flight to the moon and deep into the earth. While submarines aren’t particularly impressive to us in the twenty-first century, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was written as a serialized tale between 1869 and 1870. In the 1860s and 1870s, submarines did exist, but they were not commonplace. Captain Nemo’s mighty Nautilus is almost certainly inspired by the vessel of the same name designed by Robert Fulton in 1800 while in France. Submarines existed, but to built one in such a way that it could withstand so much pressure so deep in the water… those didn’t exist. They still don’t exist to the extend Verne describes. But oh! Jules Verne makes it seem perfectly logical that the Nautilus could do all these things. When reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, you forget the book was written so long ago and are able to immerse yourself in the story. The research is so well done that it still feels real, more than a century later.

Unfortunately, like any classic, this book isn’t perfect. It’s so close to withstanding the test f time except for one chapter. Somewhere along the lines, the Nautilus stops at an island and M. Arronax, Conseil, and Ned Land enjoy the respite. And, on this island, we meet the indigenous people of that area. They are described with most of the tame but still completely atrocious and inappropriate stereotypes of the time, all of which are racist and inappropriate. Whether those words used are in the same spirit as Verne wrote them or if their crudeness is part of the translation, I don’t know. The unfortunate chapter is, nevertheless, there. The book would be fine without it and this is one of those situations where I feel a perfectly good book could be salvaged by cutting a chapter.

All this time later, I think Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea remains a shining example of really good science fiction. Even read today, it holds true as a piece of science fiction, but Verne’s research was so good as to make the whole thing believable. There’s science and mystery and the ever-compelling enigma that is Captain Nemo. I know it’s not for everyone, but I adore Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and am happy to have it in my collection. ( )
  Morteana | Nov 17, 2021 |
I have listened to this classic adventures book as an audiobook and I have enjoyed less than when I read it for the first time. Although it includes some interesting descriptions of the seas and oceans of the world, it contains a bit too much of it and not enough 'action'. However, it is quite a good read. ( )
  alalba | May 23, 2013 |
Long winded but good. ( )
  Anguirus | Mar 12, 2009 |
If you don't know the story, it's about a naturalist, Professor Arronax, and his assistant on a quest to find the giant sea creature that's been menacing the seas. But the sea creature turns out to be a submarine, the Nautilus, and they're joined by the harpooner Ned Land in being rescued/captured by its crew when their attack on it fails.

I definitely encountered this book far too late to fully enjoy it. Like when I tried re-reading Tolkein a couple of years ago, I found I lacked the patience to read through pages and pages of interminable description. There were several times when I just couldn't stand it any longer and I'd put the book down and go do something else. Only sheer stubbornness made me finish it.

The story itself was interesting, though the style of the times was a bit of an obstacle. The enigmatic Captain Nemo is never fully explained, nor are the professor and his two companions. It's left up to the reader to fill in the blanks. The professor's unconcern about his imprisonment on the submarine is partially explained by his fascination with the undersea worlds he encounters; the complacence of his assistant and Ned Land are less understandable. Ned Land does try to escape occasionally, but he's portrayed as narrow-mindedly violent because of that, which I found peculiar.

I do see why films were made from this--condensing those descriptive passages into scenery would make the action and adventure parts of the story stand out more. I've never seen one, but I'm thinking of adding one to the Netflix queue. Any suggestions of which version to try?

In short, I'm giving this 4 stars for the story, but 2 stars for the pain of reading it. ( )
  Darla | Nov 22, 2008 |
I don't know why this disappreciation of Verne's language has happened, but I was not struck by the idea of a great writer as I read this for the umpteenth time. Maybe it was the translation, as French is axed when brought under the umblat reign of English. Having said that, the journey of Ned Land with Captain Nemo throuigh the perils of deep sea caverns, giant squids, and the monomaniaical purpose of the Captain, is always a pleasure. ( )
  andyray | Jun 14, 2008 |
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Retells the adventures of a French professor and his two companions as they sail above and below the world's oceans as prisoners on the fabulous electric submarine of the deranged Captain Nemo.

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