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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Narrated by: Bill Homewood
Length: 18 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The most exciting underwater adventure ever!

In 1866 a mysterious giant whale savagely attacks ships in international seas. A famous French marine biologist, Pierre Aronnax, joins the hunt to track down and incapacitate the creature. With him are his loyal servant, Conseil, and redoubtable Canadian harpooner Ned Land. They soon find that their enemy is no sea beast but a brilliantly designed submarine. They are captured and imprisoned by its master, the sinister Captain Nemo. The story is relentlessly thrilling while containing beautifully written observations of underwater life.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been hugely influential on popular culture, having inspired several stage and film adaptations, including a Walt Disney film with Kirk Douglas. Captain Nemo also appears as a main character in the graphic novel and film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Bill Homewood's distinctive voice is perfect for the French classics: He has previously read The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Three Musketeers for Naxos AudioBooks and is "...a narrator so perfectly matched to his material that you can't help but smile" (The Times).

Public Domain (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A good one

A good reading of this complex masterpiece. It starts with a complete translation, which only a handful of Verne audiobooks do: the ones narrated by James Frain and Norman Dietz are among this handful. Most Americans are unaware of just how hacked up most translations of Verne are; this is one of the better ones. (If the book starts with the sentence "The year 1866 was signalised by..." put it back on the shelf: it's a notoriously bad and butchered translation.)

Bill Homewood has a formal style of narration, complete with trilled Rs, but it lends itself well to some of the lyrical descriptions of nature that appear here. I wouldn't mind hearing a few more Verne books narrated by him.

LATER NOTE: the translation Naxos used for this — an excellent one — is by FP Walter, and though recent, it’s in the public domain. Should you want to carry your interest in Verne further, note that Walter re-translated the book as part of his “Amazing Journeys” anthology (SUNY Press, 2010), which also includes new translations of Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Circling the Moon, and Around the World In 80 Days. That volume reflects his latest understanding of the novel. Other excellent translations include those by William Butcher (Oxford), Anthony Bonner (Bantam), and David Coward (Penguin).

20 people found this helpful

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Passion for the seas

I read this classic as a child and was drawn into the plot by the detail of the world under the seas. Now listening to Bill Homewood narrating the story of the enigma that is Captain Nemo, I realize how much man knows about the marine world and how little the average man cares to study and learn from.

The story is still as riveting as I found it as a child but ending in an anticlimax. The superb narration buffs up the quality of the experience nevertheless. Great for a casual listen particularly when traveling around coastal territories.

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Great narration but meh story

Hope you really want to learn about oceanic life. Cuz you will. Overall story is decent but far too much time is taken by classifying and explaining the nuances of marine life. Glad I did this by audio book... never would have made it through. All in all worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

the story is a bit slow, not Lord of the rings slow, but the list of fish seen gets a bit tiresome at points. otherwise, this book, a true classic, is amazing.

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A Little Flat

This was well-written (well, it *is* a classic, after all) if a little description-heavy, and the reader's voice made for very pleasant listening. However, the reader's voice was so calm and mellow, it made the more exciting bits...not very. There was also very little of the more violent emotion shown in the reading - which might be fairly accurate as this is a first-person narrative and the more violent emotions come from other people. All-in-all, I enjoyed this but found it more soothing and interesting than exciting. I feel that Jules Verne was probably going for exciting so judge for yourself whether this is positive or negative.

1 person found this helpful

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A whale of a tale!

This is the world's best story. l know that everyone says that about their favorite book, but I will never forget this tale.

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Best Science fiction of all time

this is so often forgotten in the genre of science fiction, but it is, in my opinion, one of the first, and best.

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No giant squid?! Good book though

Guuuuvvvv hyuu yuu hhcgh hhjv hhh h h j h h h h h h

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  • Coralie
  • 04-14-17

Pure adventure!

This is an outstanding piece of sci-fi. It is mind blowing to think Verne wrote it before a lot of the science and technology he describes in the book was invented. The guy came from the future. The story is great and entertaining. You also learn so much about science, philosophy, history and marine biology: it's an encyclopaedia inside a novel. I wanted to listen to it in French (in the language it was originally written) but the French narrator was just awful and I just couldn't see myself listening to this guy massacre this book for 17hrs. So I opted for this English version and it is definitively a good choice.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ugo Abate
  • 08-15-19

A classic that never stops to amaze

An amazing journey, an incredible adventure that keeps making people dream today. Another great performance by Bill Homewood.

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  • Kaiomurz
  • 06-18-19

very unsatisfying ending

the premise of the book is fascinating and the imagination gone into writing it, vivid. however, the author raises several questions about Captain Nemo throughout the book but fails to resolve them in a satisfactory manner.
another annoying aspect of the book is the inclusion of dozens of very long passages that simply inventory sea life or provide lessons in geography. because of that, the actual plot is very thin.
very well read by Bill Homewood, though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul Ford
  • 03-11-19

Fantastic narrator and fantastic story

The story is fantastic however the details can become tedious at times. Very enjoyable though

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  • AWE
  • 07-17-19

Not the most exciting story

There was way too much detail about fish and position. It seemed like whole chapters were about the fish they were seeing. There were some exciting parts but these were too few in number. I started listening to this because I really couldn't finish reading it. Had I put it down when I thought I should then that would have been fine and I could have used my credit on something better.

Also the ending was a bit lackluster... Hey, maybe it was just me. Many people before me have really enjoyed this book and I'm sure many people after me will too enjoy this book.

"Around the world in 80 days" is more fun. Or perhaps read "the lost world" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Both of these were good fun.