20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  • by Jules Verne
  • Narrated by Norman Dietz
  • 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Professor Pierre Aronnax and his faithful servant, Conseil, embark on an amazing journey in Captain Nemo's Nautilus in Jules Verne's classic novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. While a hostile, relentless band of civilians pursue Nemo, Aronnax is astounded by the secret world of undersea life that surrounds Nautilus' massive observation windows. As they descend further beneath the polar icecap, toward the ocean's farthest depths, the crew encounters drowned cities, giant squids, and more mystery than they ever fathomed. First published in 1870, Verne's masterpiece remains one of literature's great adventures, as well as a seminal work of science fiction.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Jules Verne's classic gets a stirring performance by audiobook veteran Norman Dietz. Dietz takes listeners on a wild ride as an expedition of scientists begins a journey to discover what ripped a hole in the hull of the Cunard ship Scotia. As they travel to the polar regions where an alleged sea monster is decimating ships, Dietz keeps the pace upbeat. Dietz's voice creates clear portraits of the members of the expedition and paints vivid pictures of their encounter with the mad genius Captain Nemo, his incredible vessel, the Nautilus, and the beauties of the world beneath the sea.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Famous, but not necessarily Verne's best book

Mild spoilers if you don't know the first thing about the story.



A classic, certainly. It is also one of a few of Verne's books that feel like some token narration sprinkled on passages taken from an atlas, a survival guide, or an engineering manual. 20,000 Leagues in particular often seems like a fish spotter's log where the narrator, a professor of marine biology, meticulously takes note of each fish he encounters, complete with longitude, latitude, and latin name, while traveling aboard the famous Nautilus submarine. This may make sense within the story, but does not necessarily make for great reading unless one generally gets very excited about fish. The first time reader is also advised that Captain Nemo largely remains mysterious throughout this novel; to learn more about him, reading the Mysterious Island afterwards is required. (That, or Wikipedia. As that goes, this is a "cork-jacket" translation, see ibid.) The other characters remain equally undefined - the professor, who likes to watch fish and is in no hurry to leave the Nautilus; harpoonist Ned Land who likes fish (with a nice sauce) and is considerably less excited about the involuntary trip; Conseil, Verne's stock character of the faithful assistant / manservant; and lastly, the crew of the Nautilus, which has neither name nor face. It follows that with its lack of female characters, the novel fails the Bechdel Test utterly.



From the samples, I prefer this voice talent to Audible's other offer, and I don't regret my decision. It's worth noting however that in two places, the audible warbles as if transferred from an old tape, but aside from those relatively brief hard to understand spots, it seems acceptable.



Of the Verne novels I read as a kid, this is the only one I gave up on, and having finished it now, I can forgive myself. For all its wordiness, it doesn't give us a lot of story, nor characterization, nor, surprisingly, a lot of detail about the fabled nautilus.

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- Tatiana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-04-2001
  • Publisher: Recorded Books