I have recently finished reading 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. This literature masterpiece was written by Jules Verne, as a scientific fiction novel, of 371 pages. Although this book was written in 1870, making it, 145 years old, it is still read by millions around the world. Jules Verne was a French novelist from Nantes, France. Verne’s novels are extra extraordinaire due to their futuristic and technologically advanced creations. In his life Verne published 1 book a year for a 40 year span on multiple subjects. His writing has been adored by readers for over 150 years and will continued to amaze many generations to come. I chose to read this book because scientific fiction is a genre that I don’t commonly read, and needed books for the genre. Also, other classmates in the grade that have read the novel, would say it is a classic.
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is about a Marine Biology professor, named Monsieur Aronnax, and his encounter with a monster from underneath the water. While the french professor was in New York City along with his fellow companion Conseil, the two are invited onto The Abraham Lincoln, a battleship that was leaving from the New York Harbor to the deep oceans in search of the giant killer narwhal that had punctured holes in ships, been seen as over 160 feet long, and was traveling around the world at excessive speed. Their decision to accept the offer soon turns fatal. While aboard The Abraham Lincoln Monsieur and Conseil meet a Canadian Harpooner who had the best fisherman’s eye in the world, Ned Land. After three month asea crew members began to lose hope in finding the beast, and after the ship’s hope of finding the monster was at its most narrow, The Abraham Lincoln set its destination to land. While on its route home however, in a one in a million shot Ned Land had spotted the phenomenon underwater. Due to the monsters great speed it was almost impossible for the ship to keep up. After an intense chase The Abraham Lincoln had collided into the beast knocking it with great force but also sending Mr. Aronnax over board. Monsieur finds COnseil and Ned Land had been also thrown off of the deck, but that was not the only peculiar thing. Ned Land was also standing on the “monster”, which had turned out to be a full metal underwater submarine, and when a man appears at the entrance to the ship with the shock of seeing three live men, they realize their future lied inside this very ship.
I noticed how the author tends to name of many underwater specimens, their appearances, and their scientifics names. Adding these passages in the novel helps the reader understand the characters knowledge of underwater life, and also teaches the reader about it too. I liked the way the author hinted towards the future pages in the book. Verne for the most part described Captain Nemo as a welcoming, intelligent, but very confusing, and unexpecting man. These mixed characteristics make the reader question everything that Captain Nemo does throughout the book. If I were the author I would have shortened the middle of the book. The middle was fascinating for the most part, but was partially unimportant and was not crucial because it did not affect the ending part of the book.
A passage I was struck by was after the spotting of the beast when The Abraham Lincoln had come into reach of Ned Land’s harpoon, only to throw Monsieur, Ned Land, and Conseil into the sea.
“Scarcely twenty feet feet remained between him and the immobile animal.
Suddenly his arm snapped forward with a violent jerk, and the harpoon was thrown. I heard ringing noise as the weapon seemed to hit something hard.
The electric light suddenly went out, and two enormous streams of water broke over the deck of the frigate, rushing in a torrent from stem to stern, knocking over men and breaking the lashings of the spars.
Then there was a terrible crash. I did not even have time to reach for something to hold on to, but was hurled over the railing and into the sea. -Page 47”
What I like about this quoted passage is the description of the ship crash. This helped me to imagine in my head water coming over the railings and onto the boat. Also, the author writes that the harpoons collision made a sound that it had hit something hard. This piece of information formulates suspension to the reader, to see if this “beast” really is an animal.
This book was very fun, and interesting to read because of Verne’s ideas, and predictions of the future that have been true. I thought that this novel was much ahead of its time, and that only a mastermind with such a open, and imaginative mind could of thought of it. I would give this book a 9.5/10, and belive it definitely belongs a high spot in greatest literature.