Friday, March 05, 2010

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

I'm done with my second book for the year - "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea," by Jules Verne which was published in 1869.

This book chronicles the adventure of Captain Nemo and his submarine - Nautilus as told by Professor Pierre Aronnax.

The novel started when people got alarmed by sightings of a narwhal. This mysterious sea creature had been seen by different ships and has damaged an ocean liner.

The United States has led an expedition to hunt this huge sea monster. Professor Aronnax being a noted marine biologist has been invited to search this sea creature along with his aid - Conseil and the Canadian harpoonist Ned Land aboard the Abraham Lincoln US Naval Ship.

The US Naval Ship was damaged by the supposed narwhal on its encounter; with Professor Aronnax, Conseil and Ned Land being thrown overboard and landing on the hide of the sea creature.

It turned out that the narwhal was in reality an advanced submarine. When the three protagonist landed on the Nautilus, its Captain by the name of Nemo rescued them and made them his prisoners.

Captain Nemo's vessel was constructed in secrecy, he is not a citizen of any country and roamed the seas endlessly. He couldn't released Aronnax, Land and Conseil because he fears that the three will reveal his existance to the world. The three protagonists were treated well and were free to roam the entire submarine and made use of its facilities.

Professor Aronnax marvelled at this advance marine vessel which was powered by electricity. He was likewise amazed by the large collection of preserved different species in its own museum as well as the huge book collection in its own library.

For ten months, traveling a distance of 20,000 leagues; Aronnax, Land and Conseil embarked on an extraordinary sea adventure that brought them to different ports,shown them where the North Pole was and being trapped in an iceberg, made them see all the wonderful sea creations, fought with giant octopus and even went to the mythical Atlantis.

Their journey ended when Captain Nemo, overcame by grief when he destroyed and sank a mysterious vessel with all its crew to the sea after it attacked the Nautilus; allowed his submarine to wander off to the maelstrom and be suck in by the whirlpool in the seas of Norway.

Luckily, Professor Aronnax, Conseil and Ned Land were able to escape the Nautilus before it was dragged by the maelstrom.

No one knew what have become of Captain Nemo, his crew and his Nautilus; Professor Aronnax cannot tell whether they survived the maelstrom and continued their journey under the sea.

I enjoyed reading this science fiction by Jules Verne. I'm just amazed with how well verse he was with the different sea creatures as well as the different ports and places in the world. He must have been a well traveled person.

The middle part of the novel tends to be boring because it became just an endless adventure after another adventure. I felt like what Ned Land feels being fed-up with the sea and longing for land.

But the end part of the book became exciting again because you just want to know if the protagonists will ever be able to see land and you hope that there will be an explanation on what had happened to Captain Nemo that made him and his companions turn their backs against humanity.

Sadly, the question about Captain Nemo was unanswered because the manuscript that contains his biography went down with the Nautilus.

It was a good read and very entertaining.

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