Tuesday, April 15, 2003

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

by Jules Verne

Hoo boy, talk about a philosophical adventure! A major chunk of this book is the narrator describing the geography, flora and fauna of the world's oceans. A yawner right? Well, no, not really. The story of this book is that in the late 1860's there are reports of ships encountering a mysterious creature. A couple of ships are actually attacked by this beast, so a U.S. naval ship is dispatched to hunt it down. In the course of the hunt, the narrator, an assistant professor at the Paris Museum of Natural History, and two companions are knocked overboard and discover that this leviathan is actually a submarine captained by a mysterious man known as Nemo. Nemo takes the three men aboard, refusing to release them lest they reveal his secrets, yet in all other ways treating them as passengers. As the story progresses, the sub, the Nautilus, travels about and the characters encounter the wonders and dangers of the world's oceans. Between the biology lectures, the mystery of Captain Nemo is also slowly revealed. The climax is somewhat tame, compared to late 20th century fare, but all in all it's a satisfying and well written. Y'all should check it out.

LibraryThing link

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