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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | [Jules Verne]

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

The year 1866 was marked by a unique incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, and rumors agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, especially seafaring men. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.
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Publisher's Summary

The year 1866 was marked by a unique incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, and rumors agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, especially seafaring men. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.

For some time past, vessels had been threatened by "an enormous thing": a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infinitely larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale. Then, Captain Nemo decided to allow his submarine, the Nautilus, to be drafted into service on a hunt ahead of its time.

(P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks

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Average Customer Rating

3.9 (96 )
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4.1 (59 )
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4.1 (57 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 09-02-08
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 09-02-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Lousy translation"

    (It should be noted, to begin with, that the narrator of this version is Frederick Davidson, NOT Alfred Molina.) It's not Frederick Davidson's fault, but the translation chosen here is the worst of many Victorian hatchet jobs that were done on Verne's prose. For example, in the second chapter, the narrator speaks of returning "from the disagreeable territory of Nebraska." What Verne really said was "from the Badlands of Nebraska." About 25% of the original novel is missing in this translation, sometimes suppressing Verne's politics; Verne's careful calculations are recalculated in slapdash fashion; and mistranslations abound. (In one chapter Captain Nemo refers to a small island which he "would have jumped over" if he could. In Verne's original, he says which he "would have blown up" if he could.) You will get a LITTLE something of Verne in this, and it may remain an entertaining story, but it's not the real thing. Unfortunately, all other unabridged recordings I'm aware of use the same translation.

    32 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemary Kramme 08-17-08 Listener Since 2005
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    "Not what I expected"

    I know the story, and had certain expectations. The heavy English was distracting, even though I know it is an English story. I was disappointed.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Walpole, MA, United States 09-26-12
    Kindle Customer Walpole, MA, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2011

    I'm a bear that likes honey, climbing trees, stealing picnic baskets and listening to audiobooks.

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    "A Classic Story But Maybe a Tad Outdated"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I wanted to listen to this book because it was something I always wanted to read. I think the concept is great, but the execution seems a little outdated now. There are long, long descriptive passages of sea flora and fauna that are hard to keep straight, and the entire tale is a little affected. So I'm glad I listened to it but not sure if it is for everyone.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect is the Nautilus itself. The workings of the ship, it's layout, and the idea of spending so much time traveling undersea. Verne does a great job of creating a tangible world beneath the waves.


    Have you listened to any of David Case and Frederick Davidson ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Were there two narrators? It was hard to tell them apart if so.


    Do you think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I think it does, though it's probably a century too late for that now. There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    It's an interesting book and an easy listen, but it is interesting to see how the reality of the text stacks up to the impressions of "20,000 Leagues" that I had from movies and pop culture in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Stone Palouse, WA, US 09-22-12
    Judy Stone Palouse, WA, US 09-22-12
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    "An oldie but not a goodie."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story is extremely tedious. I guess I remembered some action in it, but no. If you are an oceanographer, plant or animal biologist it may be interesting.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 12-02-05
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 12-02-05
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    "It's not Disney..."

    Great book but it can drag at times as Verne would go on for pages about the scientific classification of seaweed. Be prepared to fast forward at times.

    I originally got the book to read with my nine-year-old son, but it really wasn't fun for him.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
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