Thursday, January 15, 2015

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

20 000 Leagues Under the Sea and other Classic Novels

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is a book I've always wanted to read. I grew up fascinated with the Nautilus, the great submarine with a library and windows that look out upon the undersea world. The idea of Captain Nemo, a man who forsook the surface world with its petty jealousies and endless conflicts to pursue solitude and peace was a romantic one as well. I have several versions and enjoy seeing it on my bookshelf, but I had never actually read the book.

20,000 Leagues is the story of Professor Arronax and his companions who find themselves captured by Captain Nemo and taken aboard the Nautilus. Thus begins a journey around the world and through a fabulous undersea realm, a journey that will take the Nautilus and its crew to the lost continent of Atlantis and even the south polar icecap. Throughout all this Arronax tries to understand his host, to glean what motivates him

This book is a classic early work of science fiction. The Nautilus is fascinating, and more so for the fact that submarine technology was in its infancy at this time. However I have to say that I was not enthralled by this novel. The pace and the story  just didn't grab me, and Arronax is largely a passive spectator. There are pages of descriptions of marine life, and I found myself necessarily skimming these to stay in the story. The descriptions are more scientific classification than anything else, so that was a bit tedious, at least for me. Nemo also disappears for days at a time, but in a submarine, it's never clear where exactly he goes. The crew is not often seen, either. There were some minor details like this that affected my enjoyment of the story, unfortunately. I thought I would like this more than I did.

In spite of these flaws I'm glad I finally read it. So even though I didn't love the book I still enjoy the story, and the Nautilus remains as fascinating to me now as it ever has.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

10 comments:

  1. I've always meant to pick this back up. I tried reading it years ago, when I was in the fifth grade (so like 2000) and I was not quite ready for that level of detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a TOO detailed, I love the concept of it but the details and classifications were a bit too much. It is a classic story I have to say.

      Delete
  2. Oooo, I loved this novel and have read it 2 to 3 times!! Yes, 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea has a lot of detail, but that made it feel more real to me... It felt like I was actually reading someone's true account verses a work of fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved the idea od this novel! The concept definitely appeals to me. :) I do agree it did seem like a true account.

      Delete
  3. I do want to read this though given the time period it was written I'm not surprised by the heavy description. I'll expect some slow going when I get around to this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's worth a read in a lot of ways, and I was surprised I didn't like it more. But it's an older book too, and I like the concept a lot. The descriptions were very detailed.

      Delete
  4. I read this many years ago and don't remember being enthralled! I didn't remember some of these details--disappearing on a submarine for days. lol. I do think Jules Verne was an amazing pioneer of science fiction, however.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't enthralled at all, in fact I had t oslog my way through it. And I was surprised too at Nemo's disappearance- those details probably shouldn't have hun gme up. I am a big fan of Journey to the Center of the Earth. :)

      Delete
  5. Oh, wow, I read this one AGES ago, when I was a kid (in Slovenian translation, of course). I remember being repulsed by some kind of food that consisted of baby squid. Did I get that right or did I mix it up with something else? It's a classic, alright! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember that part, but it's very possible! This is a classic, and I kinda felt bad i didn't love it more- I'm glad I read it, and I love the cocnept, so there is that. :)

      Delete