Author: Jules Verne
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
For whatever reason, I found myself in an ocean mood towards the end of the year and decided to try out the classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This book was original published in 1870. 1870! One hundred and forty-six years later, it still makes for an interesting read.
We find ourselves fixed under the narrative of Dr. Aronnax, a French marine biologist that boards a vessel with his man-servant, Conseil, in search of the notorious whale that has been roaming the seas. The gigantic narwhal was said to single handedly (or fin-ly should I say?) destroy ships and constantly evade any captors.
While on the hot pursuit of this mysterious being, Aronnax and Conseil are thrown overboard and find themselves in the middle of the ocean and distraught. But to their great surprise, they encounter another passenger that had been aboard, a harpooner named Ned Land, that had taken safety atop the very whale itself. And that whale just happened to be made of steel.
They are let into this strange vessel after some time and become acquainted with the strange yet eloquent Captain Nemo who then holds them prisoner in order to preserve the secrecy of his prized ship. This submarine that has technology and advances far beyond the current society is called the Nautilus.
As the novel continues, the crew explores sections of the ocean never before seen by the human eye. Transcending into a world that could almost be called unearthly, they experience a once in a lifetime journey beneath the known living.
While I find some of Verne’s description a bit much, the overall plot and characters of this novel are quite extraordinary. And when you consider the time period in which Verne was articulating such an expedition it makes it even more impressive.
If you’re in the mood for exploring the ocean blue, this book is for you.