20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Where to start?
First off let me just say that even though my review might seem like I’m being a bit cynical-I love this little gem,I shall clarify at the end of this little rant.
So upon selecting this age old classic from a huge selection of classics (I tend to spend a lot of time in that section of my local bookstore ) I was excited by the idea of finally reading about the oh so marvellous Captain Nemo and his magnificent Nautilus submarine,a feeling which faded away rapidly after narrowly escaping the first chapter. Jules lost me in the first few paragraphs as his style of writing resembles Dofoe, (which coincidentally was one of the novelists who inspired Verne ) from describing the smallest of details about a subject matter that has no correlation to the plot what so ever;like rambling on about how and why the tyre noise is greater inside the cabin of your car whilst the world is about to end;and that is why this novel was such a hard pill to swallow. I shall give credit where credit is due though,his narrative style and descriptive tones are somewhat beautiful at times and the scene where Nemo takes Professor Pierre Aronnax and the rest of his ‘captives’ to the burial grounds where all his fallen crew get discarded was one of my favourite scenes of all time.
The story starts off with Professor Pierre Aronnax being selected for an expedition to hunt a so called sea monster that has been sighted on numerous occasions across the globe,he is accompanied by his aid Conseil,and a Canadian whaler by the name of Ned Land. They soon run down this obscure creature which has globes of light surrounding it and tremendous speed and agility in the water,upon engaging this unknown creature it manages to capsize the ship which in turn plays a part in Arronax,Conseil and Ned washing out onto this beast;which they soon come to discover is in actual fact an Submarine. The pilot of the submarine is one Captain Nemo,a strange and silent man-intact the whole crew of the Nautilis communicate in a strange language;upon entering the submarine the castaways are given an ultimatum-stay on the submarine forever or ‘sleep with the fishes’. The captives soon realise Nemo despises the outside world-thus he does not want the world to know of him or even his precious submarine.
And so the journey begins.
Not long into the underwater exploration Ned and the other captives devise a plan to escape the underwater prison….
And that is where I shall cut this review,even though it was such a tedious novel and my brain felt like candy floss most of the time-spend some time and give it a try,you might look past the imperfections and notice the pure genius in the novel.
So to conclude-it’s a classic not only for the genius that was Jules Verne,the man who had revolutionary notions a few decades ahead of his time,but for the fact that he takes one into the Nautilis;he puts you in Aronnax’s shoes and brings the mother of all pearls right into your hands,smell it,touch it…that is Jules Verne for you.