20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Cover



This was my first time, just now, reading this book. My first impression is that it is impossible to read this and receive the same impact as the original audience. Technology and the availability of knowledge has come so far since its inception that the intended shock of reading about these wonders does not exist.

At times the main character was quiet pedantic, and his two companions served mainly as foils setting up the main character's expositions on the wonders of rudimental technologies, such as electricity and navigational devices. I felt like I was in junior high school classes listening to a teacher describe some concept of science or geography or biology.

I think I will read this to my child when she is so young, in order to sneak in some scientific learning. I am afraid that the slower pace of writing may bore her, though. And even when the action gets going, it pales in excitement to any Pixar film or modern equivalent of children's entertainment. Fun to read, but hard to experience as anything but anachronistic due to the century and a half since its publication.