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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Written by: Jules Verne
Narrated by: Peter Husmann
Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jules Verne’s classic underwater tale.

A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.

After much fruitless searching, the monster is found, and the ship charges into battle. During the fight, the ship's steering is damaged, and the three men are thrown overboard. They find themselves stranded on the "hide" of the creature, only to discover to their surprise that it is a large metal construct. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo.

Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media

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    5 out of 5 stars

Listen to this one

A great story that was a fabulous listen. Something I never got the chance to read and as a classic it was really entertaining. #Audible1

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  • John S
  • 2013-07-18

A classic that everyone should read.

This book was $2, and well worth it. I read the book 20 years ago, but decided to listen to it again. Buy the book and don't use the credit though. It will be the best $2 you spend on audible.

Written over 100 years ago it accurately predicts submarines, deep sea diving and other technologies. The narration by Peter Hausmann is great and the story can't be beat. I could write more, but at $2 try it for yourself.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Tad Davis
  • 2013-11-11

Great translation, so-so narration

I tried very hard to like this audiobook, because it uses the best public domain translation of Verne's masterpiece currently available: the first version of F. P. Walter's translation, which is available on Gutenberg and elsewhere. (Walter has since re-translated the book in a copyrighted anthology called "Amazing Journeys: Five Visionary Classics." This anthology is THE place to start if you're just getting interested in Verne. It's available from Amazon in both paper and Kindle versions and includes many illustrations from the original French editions.) Walter's translation is clear, accurate, and idiomatic.

Unfortunately, Peter Husmann's narration falls short on a couple of key points. First - and I admit this may be subjective - he sounds like he's outside the novel looking in, rather than "inhabiting" it. His tone is slightly condescending, as if he's talking down to the listener. He's reading the book out loud, not telling the story. It may be that this was a conscious choice aimed at making the book more accessible to younger readers, but I didn't enjoy it. (Playing it with Audible's 1.25x or even 1.5x option did help this a bit.)

He also mispronounces some of the names, Aronnax in particular. It's "Aaron-ax" - Husmann pronounces it "Aaron-no", as if it were spelled Aronnaux. I found this distracting. "Conseil" is also mispronounced - it should be con-SAY, not con-SAIL. (Understand that these are my American approximations of the French.)

I would love to see a different reader tackle Walter's translation - or, alternatively, to see Husmann have another try at this one: he's got a good, strong voice; can clearly distinguish between the different characters; and would benefit greatly from a more natural delivery. (Come to think of it, maybe what he was missing was a good director.) Doing this book is clearly a labor of love for Husmann: at the time I wrote this, the "list price" was less than $2.00.

Actually what I would REALLY love to see is someone tackling all five of the novels in the anthology: this one, "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Around the World in 80 Days," "From the Earth to the Moon" and its sequel "Around the Moon." Verne is a wonderful writer, and so far the audio versions of his work have been kind of piecemeal.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Brandon
  • 2015-07-11

A difficult story plagued by a terrible reader

This experience probably would have been much more enjoyable with a different reader. Verne can already be a little dull especially once he starts going off on his lists of every creature that swims, floats, or crawls through the ocean, or the average salinity of any given body of water, but Husmann's monotone almost metallic reading made it almost unbearable. I questioned several times if it was a robot reading but the occasional wheezing assured me there was in fact a human behind the mic. The pauses between chapters were also incredibly long, so much so, that I would check to see if my player had stopped every time.

The story is a classic but not my favorite. If you must read a Verne book I suggest "The Mysterious Island".If you must read this book I suggest any other recording.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Katrina
  • 2013-03-28

Feel like I went on the voyage

If you could sum up Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in three words, what would they be?

Breathtaking unforgettable voyage

What did you like best about this story?

When they went for their first walk underwater to the forest. The way the reader brought excitement in his voice when talking about the wanders the professor was seeing piked your interest so much that you had to stop the book and go look up pictures of what the book was describing. And that caused the book to come even more to life. And the walk through the sunken city of Atlantis. The description of the volcanic active lightening up the city. It made me want to take the time to wonder among the ruins described.

Which character – as performed by Peter Hussman – was your favorite?

The Canadian harpooner - Peter's voice inflections brought alive the surliness, frustration and anger. You didn't just hear the words you felt like the real person was there and you were witnessing the actual scene.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Most definitely. And I will listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

I knew that movies aren't as good as the book and that Disney basically rewrote most of the stories they made. But they left so much of the best stuff out of the movie that it was a real surprise to actually listen to the book. I hated to stop to go into work each day. And I would take the country way home so I could drive slower to be able to listen longer. While the Nautilus was going through the Mediterranean, I was driving though the ice and snow. The story became so involving that when I parked, it was like going into a dream world instead of reality when I got out to face the walk through the cold parking lot to work.

10 people found this helpful

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  • The Kindler
  • 2016-02-27

The Sea and Everything In It.

What did you like best about this story?
I thought that the character were the best part because they seemed to each be so unique. their interactions with each other is unparalleled and enjoyable in most instances.

Any additional comments?
This book is a must have but it does have lots of details concerning things that are not necessarily relevant.

3 people found this helpful

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  • J. Close
  • 2016-10-06

40% adventure 60% exhaustive descriptions of fish

40% adventure on the high seas, 60% an autistic man describing every fish he sees in in exhaustive detail. while on a submarine. for months.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Love
  • 2016-05-16

So Much Fun, So Well Written, Such An Adventure

I've started re-reading many of the classics that I haven't read in 20+ years. This one I had actually never read and might be the reason for my adolescent disdain for reading. Had I read this, I probably would've read everything instead of being forced to read "classics" via the public school system.

Other classics have been thoroughly disappointing (e.g., The Time Machine), but this one is timeless. Although a modern day youth might mock some of the science, much of it is still relevant (especially as we seem to know more about space than our own oceans). How could Professor Aronnax not accept Captain Nemo's invitation aboard the Nautilus. The alternative death sentence aside, I would jump at the opportunity, even knowing the circumstances put forth by the Captain.

2 people found this helpful

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  • tony
  • 2013-03-04

wow really enjoyed this

loved this very very interesting. great fun. have been meaning to read this for years well worth it and better to listen!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary EstherWest
  • 2018-07-31

loved it.. always wanted to read it...

this was a great book ... got a little wonky at times with Descriptions of details of fish and such but I got used to it on realize that this book was written at a time when almost nothing was known of the sea...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Russell Bernard
  • 2018-04-26

Different narrator

I have this book by a different narrator, sometimes the narration can make all the difference

1 person found this helpful