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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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Author: Jules Verne
Published: 1870
Language: English
Wordcount: 99,566 / 260 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 62.1
LoC Category: PQ
Downloads: 212,815 7150

Sent to investigate mysterious encounters that are disrupting international shipping, Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and disgruntled harpooner Ned Land are captured when their frigate is sunk during an encounter with the "monster." The submarine Nautilus and its eccentric Captain Nemo afford the professor and his companions endless fascination and danger as they're swept along on a yearlong undersea voyage.

Show Excerpt

was warmly discussed, which procured it a high reputation. It rallied round it a certain number of partisans. The solution it proposed gave, at least, full liberty to the imagination. The human mind delights in grand conceptions of supernatural beings. And the sea is precisely their best vehicle, the only medium through which these giants (against which terrestrial animals, such as elephants or rhinoceroses, are as nothing) can be produced or developed.

The industrial and commercial papers treated the question chiefly from this point of view. The Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, the Lloyd's List, the Packet-Boat, and the Maritime and Colonial Review, all papers devoted to insurance companies which threatened to raise their rates of premium, were unanimous on this point. Public opinion had been pronounced. The United States were the first in the field; and in New York they made preparations for an expedition destined to pursue this narwhal. A frigate of great speed, the Abraham Lincoln, was put in comm

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.1 from 43 reviews: *****

Fantastic book!

Henry L. ratliff

(1870) Sci-fi (Invention) / Adventure (Undersea)

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • Professor Aronnax sets out with others, to discover the cause of several mysterious ship sinkings, that are at first attributed to a rogue whale.

  • He finds the true source of the occurrences, as he, his servant Conseil, and a master harpooner, Ned, find themselves in the ocean, clinging for their life to a strange ship.

  • The ship/submarine, The Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo, is a wonder of science and far in advance of the technology of that time..

  • The ship becomes a prison for the three men, as Nemo has his own agenda and a strong desire to separate himself from society. The men have free rein of the vessel, but can never return to their homes.

  • The professor is at first engrossed in the science of the incredible vessel, but over time realizes that he wants his freedom. Conseil is happy wherever his master is. Ned, from the first, plots for his freedom.

  • There is a long, mysterious and wonderful undersea voyage ahead of them, until the strong, self-made Nemo's interests and abilities are diminished by events and past, haunting memories.

  • The wonders of science and nature unfold as do the personalities and desires of these men. These men who would travel 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea'.

Republished in 1871 with the subtitle of 'An Underwater Tour of the World'.
A French league in Vern's time was about four kilometers, or about 2.5 miles per league.

Captain Nemo appears again in one of Vern's later works.
'The Mysterious Island', begins a new adventure and ties together three of Vern's stories, 'In Search of the Castaways', 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' and 'The Mysterious Island'. I suggest you read them in that order, although, each story provides a synopsis of previous events at critical points.''

Walt Disney movies were made of all three stories.


This is the best work on science fiction I've ever read... It is imaginative, descriptive, thrilling, yet calm... I'd say this is Verne's best work.


One of the first books I read when I was a kid; I do not know how many times I read it.


Once you have adapt youself to the old fashioned writing and the slow story progression it's really good!

traci moseley

the book was great and still is couse i have a few pages left but one thing i want to say is it needs some work. in chapter two when is shows what she put in the artical the quotation marks are at the frount of the paragraph but not at the end in all the paragraphs and as i read through im seeing double letters and misspelt words as well but over all im just saying it needs some correcting. but i have to ammitt this is such a fantastic book. think u for writing it. and think u for reading ;)


This book is the best book. I read it in one day. Plus, all of your haters, it was written in 1800s; there were no submarines back then, (there could be, but none like how he describes it) so he wrote a book about the FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Markus Hansson

Excellent book! A must-read.

Jakony Amnon

We should stick to classic novels, they offer more pleasure in reading. Thanks ManyBooks.Net for the good work.


Its a great books, keeps you reading and left you wandering what happened to captain Nemo, Hoping he would survive somehow.

Kvamsee krishna

It is nice


I really didnt like it much. I mean, it's always good to read a novel, but this style of writing totally changes the way you look at it. althoguh, i think that it could be easier to read.


Interesting but definitely not for the impatient ;)My hint to people who want to get through this fast is ask whoever is requiring you read this if you can skim quickly through the descriptions of animals.




I read this book when I was 12 or 13 and fell in love with it. Jules Verne's works introduced me to the idea of science fiction, and I've never regretted it once. This is more of an adventure novel by today's standards, and some people would probably think the writing style is hard to read, but I enjoy books written in the 1800s on a regular basis and rather like it, myself.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a wonderfully atmospheric story. You really feel like you're there with the Professor, Ned Land, and Conseil. If Captain Nemo doesn't capture your imagination, nobody will.


the books' simply superb takes you to the location itself


this book is awesome!!!!


telugu ;movie kante book bagundi

vijayan nair

Of course, the film was better. But, by habit, we always like to read a bookso that we can compare our imagination with the film.


Classic book and classic sci-fi. Most of its premises now seem a little ridiculous but Verne's writing compensates for that. Along with his great contemporary, Wells, they were the pioneers of early science fiction.


Great book for those of you who like to read the classics. I have to say that to those of you who do not like the book due to the storyline you are either not a fan of science fiction novels or you are one of the many unfortunate products of a society that no longer takes into consideration that there was good reads prior to 2005. Sad.


Amazing classic "science fiction" / adventure read. Great story, excellent characters. Perhaps Nemo is the worlds first environmental activist in his over the top possessiveness of the worlds oceans.

For those of you giving this book such low marks and bad reviews: Maybe you should put down the Harry Potters and Twilights and pick up an actual book every now and then.


I personally did not like this book at all, i had to read it for my science class and then do a fuve page book report on it. Its hard to write such a long book report on a book that was not interesting at all. It has to be one of the worst books ive ever read.

connor welsh

an excellent book would I recomend it to any one


This book had to be one of the worst books i ever read hands down for all of you that like it... what were u thinking??


this is one of the best books ever. to those who dont like it, DID YOU EVEN READ IT!!!

peng ting

i personaly didnt like it but if i tried i propbly would have found it interesting it was really hard


just awesome............


i loved this book i dont know how anyone can say it was horrible it is your own opinion. but in all i absolutly loved it!!!!!

Ng Dean Wern

An excellent book. It is said to be Jules Verne's masterpiece.

To find out more about Captain Nemo, please read the book "The Mysterious Island"

todd markham

this story was horrible i wanted to die after the first 14 chapters i hate this book there was no point the book

ruth mae

the very first novel that i borrowed in library when i was in high school...a superb novel...


My favourite novel. Thanks


This story is my favourite! Yahoo!



So, I read this book for a book report on a classic book. I had already tried Les Miserables and just couldn't get the hang of it. This book totally saved me.

This book is for those people who can think back to the 1800's when submarines weren't around, and we didn't know what was out there.

PS. Hey, Bonnie, Peirre Aronnax is FRENCH.

Aseel Goro

I thought it to be better, I can't complain its a good book, but sometimes I just wished he stops talkin about food.

Its really worth reading on a full stomach.


I studied this book when i was at school.
It is very amazing one by Jules Verne.


I was fascinated when reading this book. I think that Verne was so full of imagination that he could depict the undersea world as if he had seen it with his eyes! This book, though not a detective novel, holds readers' breath.

R Stephan

Although a classic, this book has lengths and lacks a good plot. Some paragraphs are missing (better try the 2nd version) - not the usual Gutenberg quality. Aquarians and ichthyologists will love it.


I've read this book when I was a youngster and i loved. It was the first big book (meaning more than 50 pagest that is) that i've ever read, and i still love it, and i am happy that i can read it again. for the ones who didn't read it...well, maybe they should. It's an amazing book about Nautilus and all it can do, in a time when those things were only in the imagination of Jules Verne. Great book!

Jarred Schneider

20,000 Leagues under the sea is a good adventure story for those who like action and adventure stories. It starts out with a creature that is causing trouble all over the globe and some people think that it is a gaint narwhal but they are wrong. The book is a awesome read for people in the teens and for adults to.


"Why Read a Book About a Mid-19th Century Sea Expedition?"

Oh the possibilities! The Civil War in the US had employed two submarines, the 1861 Confederate Merrimac was the first iron-clad ship, and was followed by the Monitor for the North, which was built in an amazing 100 days.

Can it be that the telling of the story of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea writen in 1873 be anything more than genius?

The story itself is set in 1866, and the Nautilus, built to resemble a whale, but much more intended for one man's war on crime. Captain Nemo, and unbeknownest to the world at large, is the commander of this mystery animal-or-mineral... but dare one suggest that such a colossal ship could be built in secret without the knowledge of any navy, any country, any of the world's richest men or kings for folly?

The book is written as the journal of an American. This in itself is interesting, when one considers that Jules Verne was French!

Another interesting bit of trivia is that when the Abraham Lincoln, the ship which Aronnax has boarded at the last minute because he agreed to join the expedition at the last minute, leaves its dock, the American flag is raised three times, waving proudly its 39 stars!

In case the first time you saw the name Nemo was in a Pixar animae, look again!

Forget the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction at Disneyland, based on the loosely adapted Disney Movie of Jules Verne's masterpiece. Get this book and read it for yourself - it's a real trip :o)

Sidney Hobbs

Hard To Read. Film was better and that was a bit Blah.



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