This is not Verne's best book, but it is certainly an interesting story, exciting at times. I do understand why some reviewers of the book thought there is too much description of fish. I think if I were reading it and not having it read to me by a very good narrator, who succeeded in reading those lists of fish with some animation and enthusiasm, I, too, would have wanted to get on with the plot. The book would not have suffered if there were fewer fish named. I would find an annotated edition of this book interesting - which of the "scientific facts" are still considered to be fact, based on our much better scientific tools, and which turned out to be incorrect? Captain Nemo is an interesting complex character - not all evil, but certainly not a saint. The book contains some important conservationist messages (usually channeled through Captain Nemo): overfishing, extinction of species, the harms of whaling, etc. That is quite progressive, but these messages are not consistent. Why is one type of whale considered worth protecting and another, that attacks sperm whales, considered "evil", deserving of destruction? In the wild, not counting what humans do, one species won't make another extinct by hunting it. You can't blame a tiger for being a predator. So the conservationist message, though valuable, is not quite mature, but I think considering that even today many people do not yet realize that poaching for ivory tusks is wrong, I have to give Verne a lot of credit. These matters are not the main plot line, but are certainly valuable points of discussion about the book, making it worthwhile reading (or listening) today. The narrator was very good, as I said, making even the rather padded fish descriptions pleasant to listen to. The quality of the recording was not particularly good - too many times I could hear "cut&paste" segments - the quality of the same character's voice changed. It was not terribly distracting, but it could be improved. However, when I listened to the samples of the narrators available (and investigated which translations are used), I am not sorry at all that I chose this one. BTW, this is considered one of the better translations (Anthony Bonner), if not the best, but it certainly seemed quite adequate.
There's no way I'll retain all the nautical references in this book. I found myself tuning out during the categorizing of all the ocean life. The story was very interesting in spite of all that.
It was a solid book but it was written for people back in the times the classification of various marine fauna was entertainment. There was entire sections that was classifying various marine wildlife in Genus, Classic, Sub-Class, Family, etc. Other than that the book was great.
The story itself is compelling in a very unusual way that cannot be defined easily if at all. Verne is a master storyteller and "20,000 Leagues" is no exception.
In addition, James Frain did a most superb job of reading! I would have enjoyed listening to anything by him. His inflection, tone, and cadence are everything I want in an audiobook. While it seems he doesn't have much else on Audible (only one book, I believe), I feel inclined to listen just to hear his reading of it.
Most enjoyable experience all around!
This is an amazing book, and the narrator does a superb job. I think anyone would enjoy this book, with a little patience for the many scientific descriptions. The narrator does a great job of hiding the drama
To think how far in the past this was written is amazing! The narrator was spectacular. I found Verne to be incredibly entertaining, and I learned a thing or two. Absolutely a worthwhile read. Take a trip around the world with the Professor and Captain Nemo.