Professor Aronnax, his faithful servant, Conseil, and the Canadian harpooner, Ned Land, set out on a hazardous voyage to rid the seas of a little-known and terrifying sea monster. Discovering that the monster is in fact the giant submarine Nautilus, they are soon captured by its mysterious commander, Captain Nemo. One of the greatest adventure stories of all time, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is also the chronicle of a fantastic voyage from the lost continent of Atlantis to the South Pole.
© and (P)2005 Phoenix Books, Inc.
Ah, the classic undersea adventure of Captain Nemo and his Nautilus.
At the start of the book, ships are being sunk mysteriously, and an expedition to stop the attacks was assembled. After an accident, Prof. Arronax (the narrator), his servant Conseil and harpooner Ned Land are thrown overboard, only to be rescued by the Nautilus and Captain Nemo.
From here, the book is mostly a series of episodic adventures rather than a single narrative, but there are a few recurring themes (Ned's desire to escape, Conseil's duty to Arronax, Nemo's self-imposed exile from civilization).
Verne's 20,000 Leagues may seem like fantastic fiction for 1870, but, in reality, it would have been hard for the average reader to know where the science ended and the fiction began. Both sides of the US Civil War had employed submarines, electricity was being tamed, diving suits with air tanks were a recent invention...the electric-powered, enormous Nautilus and the self-contained underwater suits seemed more evolutionary than revolutionary developments. Some of the adventures were realistic (plundering real shipwrecks), others were pure imagination (Atlantis) and some were in-between (meeting giant octopus/squid).
Harlan Ellison is a well-known science fiction author; his reading is fun and lively; I don't think his narration adds a whole lot to the story, but it doesn't hurt it either.
Well let me preface with the fact that Jules Verne is one of my favorite authors. That said this audio book took my time away. I listened to it on a cross country trip across the United States and before I knew it I was sitting in Georgia! The book was a blast from start to finish and I was totally absorbed in the plot. It's one of those that grabs you right from the beginning and only releases it's grip reluctantly at the end. HIGHLY recommended.
I read this book; my son and daughter read it; now, I am buying it for the edification and enjoyment of my four grandsons. May they be as thrilled by it as my children and I were.
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