Sci-Fi Month Review – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

An American frigate, tracking down a ship-sinking monster, faces not a living creature but an incredible invention — a fantastic submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo. Suddenly a devastating explosion leaves just three survivors, who find themselves prisoners inside Nemo’s death ship on an underwater odyssey around the world from the pearl-laden waters of Ceylon to the icy dangers of the South Pole . . .as Captain Nemo, one of the greatest villians ever created, takes his revenge on all society.
More than a marvelously thrilling drama, this classic novel, written in 1870, foretells with uncanny accuracy the inventions and advanced technology of the twentieth century and has become a literary stepping-stone for generations of science fiction writers

.20,000 Leagues Under the Sea20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you think of classic sci-fi a few names jump straight to mind, and Jules Vernes is to the fore of that group.Reading his books so long after they were written is very interesting as so much of what he describes came to pass in some form. So much of his Science Fiction moved to fact.

Not this Nemo the other one

Its years since I read this and its a nice easy read, while still having enough substance . Nemo is a fascinating character , constantly challenging those around him to think differently. His scientific , political and general genius bring such a interesting element to the story.

The author can be over descriptive in parts but at the same time these descriptions are so well done(some of this varies by translator).
Some have dismissed Verne as being more outdated than other classic scifi writers but the main reason for this is that he got so much right, . This should be to his credit and not his detriment.
Its not just the science to thats ahead of its time, but also his ecological conservationist ideas with warnings of the impact of species loss to the overall ecological system and a regret for the loss of Whales and other species, despite how casual the approach seems at the start of the book.
Overall the book sits as mainly a curiosity, not as fantastical as it once must have been due to the fact that electricity, submarines , air pressure guns and others of the technologies aren’t in the realms of the fiction anymore but its still worth a read to see how they might have been perceived by a 19th century mind.

View all my reviews


About Paul Walsh

I'm a big fan of fantasy and scifi, which would make up most of my reading but will branch out often enough. Favourite authors vary over time but generally include Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Conn Iggulden, Robert Harris, Karen Maitlan, Kate Mosse, Anne Rice, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury. John Scalzi, Mark Lawrence, Pat Rothfuss and a host of others. I'm not the harshest reviewer but will note down a few words on all books I read.
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4 Responses to Sci-Fi Month Review – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  1. I have to read this one!

  2. I’ve been meaning to re-read this; I read the book when I was much younger but I remember more of the adventurous aspects of the story than the science, ecology, and other themes. Verne’s novels may be really outdated but they are fun to read 😀

    • pipbookview says:

      I had read an abridged version when I was younger so it was great to read the full thing. Be aware that the quality varies between translations and a few are a bit rough

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