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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (Inglés)


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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by writer Jules Verne. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax. 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 in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time and is a recognized expert in his field, is issued a last-minute invitation to join the expedition. The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the submarine, the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free of any land-based government. Captain Nemo's motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge on civilization.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 1.578 opiniones
156 de 160 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas READ REVIEW FOR ***CORRECT TRANSLATION*** 27 de junio de 2013
Por coolhand - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
There are three significant translations of this book, and amazon's lacklustre book-sorting system creates nothing but chaos when searching for the correct format / translation of this book. I'm here to help!

note: (find the version you are looking for with the ISBN numbers I've provided at the bottom of this review, you can just copy and paste them into the amazon search field and hit GO).

Here are excerpts from the three most common translations:

Paragraph one, translated by Mercier Lewis -
THE YEAR 1866 WAS signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumors which agitated the maritime population, and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.

Paragraph one, translated by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter (1996) -
THE YEAR 1866 was marked by a bizarre development, an unexplained and downright inexplicable phenomenon that surely no one has forgotten. Without getting into those rumors that upset civilians in the seaports and deranged the public mind even far inland, it must be said that professional seamen were especially alarmed. Traders, shipowners, captains of vessels, skippers, and master mariners from Europe and America, naval officers from every country, and at their heels the various national governments on these two continents, were all extremely disturbed by the business.

Paragraph one, translated by William Butcher -
The year 1866 was marked by a strange event, an unexplained and inexplicable occurrence that doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Without mentioning the rumours which agitated the denizens of the ports and whipped up the public's imagination on every continent, seafaring men felt particularly disturbed. The merchants, shipowners, sea-captains, skippers, and master-mariners of Europe and America, the naval officers of every country, and eventually the various nationals governments on both continents--all became extremely worried about this matter.

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WHAT a difference! And who to trust?

From wikipedia:
"Many of Mercier's errors were corrected in a from-the-ground-up re-examination of the sources and an entirely new translation by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter."

So, the modern translation to seek is either the Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter edition, or the William Butcher edition, depending on your preference for the above excerpts.

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And here is how to find them:

USA - amazon.com

Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter
kindle edition ASIN: B004DNWRPQ
paper edition ISBN:1440414262

William Butcher
kindle edition ASIN: (appears to be unavailable at the moment)
paper edition ISBN: 0199539278

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UK - amazon.co.uk

Walter James Miller / Frederick Paul Walter
kindle edition ASIN: B00BIFLLV8 or B00BSK24HI
paper edition ISBN: 1438446640

William Butcher
kindle edition ASIN: (appears to be unavailable at the moment)
paper edition ISBN: 0199539278
96 de 99 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
1.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas DREADFUL TRANSLATION, UNRELIABLE NOTES 10 de abril de 2005
Por F. P. Walter - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Libro de bolsillo Compra verificada
A sorry example of the laziness and irresponsibility of many trade editors today -- and it's especially shameful in a publication targeted to students and youngsters.

First, the basic text is dreadful: though unidentified, it's the long-discredited translation signed by "Mercier Lewis" and rushed into print in 1872 by the London firm of Sampson, Low. As modern scholars have documented on numerous occasions, Verne's original French was politically censored, drastically abridged, couched in stilted Victorian prose, and riddled with hundreds of inane translating errors. Its clunky, antiquated English is something no American student could possibly enjoy ("I own my heart beat," says the narrator, who actually means, "I admit my heart was pounding"). As for the translating blunders, some are asinine beyond belief -- Verne's characters start a fire with a lentil (Verne: lens) . . . loosen bolts with a key (Verne: wrench) . . . and claim iron is lighter than water (Verne: the opposite, of course).

Are these obscure facts? Anything but. Over the past four decades, this translation's inadequacy has been bemoaned repeatedly in basic reference works (Taves & Michaluk's JULES VERNE ENCYCLOPEDIA), online (the Jules Verne Forum at jv.gilead.org.il), and in readily available MODERN translations of this novel (e.g., the paperback editions from Signet, Oxford, and the U.S. Naval Institute). What's more, not only has Simon & Schuster's current editorial staff shirked the most rudimentary homework, they're apparently too lazy even to double-check their OWN publishing files: as long ago as 1966, S & S issued a revised edition of the Mercier Lewis translation; they hired NYU expert Walter James Miller to correct and reword Lewis's text -- which, in a specially written preface, Miller denounced as a "botched up translation . . . slashed and slapdash." Lewis's renderings, he said, "bristle with technical errors and omit whole passages vital to the technical integrity, the character development, even the humor of the story."

In short, Simon & Schuster could easily have reprinted their own 1966 version, not ideal but vastly better than Lewis's original. Or, alternatively, they could have reprinted either of the other two English translations in the public domain, both superior in accuracy and completeness. But, these days, indolence and ignorance apparently rule in the halls of S & S.

So, though this Enriched Classics series boasts on its back covers about its "practical scholarship," the said scholarship, not surprisingly, often works out to be dismally unreliable. The "helpful notes" and "insightful commentary" can range from the useless to the ridiculous. On p. 425, the explanatory notes can only tell us that such sea creatures as tubipores, gorgones, and spondyles are "various kinds of marine life." Big help. (They're corals, sea fans, and oysters, folks.) On the other hand, when the notes attempt more, they're often worse: on p. 426, for instance, I was amazed to learn that porphitae and asterophytons are "igneous outcrops." Nooo!!! These aren't rocks, people, they're animals! (Jellyfish and starfish, for Lord's sake.)

If you're as astonished as I am that such bluff and nonsense is being palmed off on our kids as "scholarship," write S & S this week.

Meantime, what edition of 20,000 LEAGUES should you acquire? First, in addition to this Enriched Classics version, also avoid those other student editions (!) published by Scholastic, Tor, and Apple -- they don't identify it either, but they all blindly reprint this same hopeless 1872 Mercier Lewis translation. Fortunately, however, there are four sound paperback texts of 20,000 LEAGUES, all readily available, all immeasurably superior in accuracy, completeness, and readablility. For general readers the Bonner (Bantam) and Brunetti (Signet) translations are both worthwhile. For readers wanting an annotated edition, there are two good ones: Butcher's (Oxford), which is strong on the novel's genesis and manuscript record, and Miller's own illustrated retranslation (U.S. Naval Institute), which is strong on the marine biology -- and on which I myself collaborated. All are competitively priced, so there's no need to settle for something inferior.

By the way, the above-cited deficiencies may well be typical of this Enriched Classics collection as a whole -- I note that their edition of Dumas' MONTE CRISTO also features a seriously inadequate text. Students, parents, and teachers are warned to proceed with caution vis-à-vis the entire series.
518 de 567 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
1.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Don't buy this book! 10 de febrero de 2006
Por J. M. Margot - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Libro de bolsillo
If you're going to read one of the great classics of literature-and you should-don't pick up this edition. It is a reprint of a version that dates back to the 1870s and was exposed more than 40 years ago for cutting nearly one-quarter of Verne's story and mistranslating much of the remainder. Its reappearance in this edition is all the more amazing considering Tor's status as a leading science fiction publisher, and the company's willingness to perpetrate this fraud on is many readers is truly stunning. If you want to truly get to know Verne's novel, pick up the elegant Naval Institute Press edition, in a modern, complete, updated translation, with commentary by the leading American Verne expert today, Walter James Miller. That book also comes with many of the artistic engravings that illustrated the original French first edition (no illustrations are to be found in the B&N Mercier reprint). Less attractive but more academic is the Oxford Classics version of Twenty Thousand Leagues. This review is posted on behalf of the North American Jules Verne Society by Jean-Michel Margot, president NAJVS.
75 de 78 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas PUBLIC DOMAIN EDITION: Old vs. New Translation 2 de abril de 2012
Por Librarian - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Versión Kindle Compra verificada
[NOTE: This review pertains specifically to the free public domain ebook edition offered in the Kindle Store, though its remarks are relevant to any other edition to which it may (unintentionally and erroneously) be attached.]

This free, public domain edition is the "classic" old translation by Louis Mercier most of us have read and loved. It is a grand adventure and is very enjoyable in a quaint, old-fashioned way. There is nothing terrible with this popular translation, but (admittedly) chunks of the novel WERE left out, not so much that the overall story itself was greatly altered, but still leaving the finished work not as Verne wrote it and intended it to be. (What was omitted were essentially scientific details Mercier thought impeded the story, some possibly awkward political references, and sections presumably thought to be redundant.)

But you can decide for yourself the extent to which these omissions may have negatively impacted the story, because, fortunately, there is ANOTHER free, public domain version available which I would encourage you to ALSO download and read; that one is a modern translation by F. P. Walter and it is unabridged. It may be found in the Kindle store by typing: "Verne Vingt Mille English." The title is French but don't worry, the book is entirely in English with a very informative introduction by Walter. This great new translation is wordier than the old one, but it comes as close (in English) to what Verne actually wrote (in French) -- and it IS complete; in fact, it has about 100 more pages! I would strongly urge you to compare them (especially if you are a true Jules Verne fan). But quite frankly, EITHER version tells a great story.

FYI: Be aware of two other excellent, new, complete, modern translations of "20,000 Leagues" available in the Kindle Store, one by Anthony Bonner (Random) and another by Mendor Brunetti (Penguin). Both are very good, though I personally lean toward Brunetti's purely for stylistic reasons. You may wish to sample and compare both of them. Unlike Walter's translation, Bonner's and Brunetti's are not in the public domain and they are not free, but both are very reasonably priced (with Brunetti's being the cheaper of the two).
88 de 95 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
4.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Classic of science fiction, some minor flaws to a modern reader 9 de junio de 2010
Por T. Simons - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Versión Kindle Compra verificada
This is Jules Verne's classic tale of undersea adventure, as best I can tell based on the 1873 translation by Lewis Mercier. Since that's been the standard English translation for over a hundred years, it's probably the one you remember reading way back when, and the edition you'll be familiar with.

Re-reading this as an adult, and an adult who's spent twenty-plus years since then reading science fiction, I did have to remind myself more than once how amazing the then-future technologies Verne describes, like electric rifles, undersea diving suits, electric motors, etc., would have been to his contemporary readers; the book was first published in 1869, a mere five years after the Confederate submarine Hunley became the first submarine to sink an enemy warship (and sank itself in the process). At times I found myself mentally substituting "outer space" for "under sea," just to help me analogize the situation. Despite that, the plot and action were as riveting now as they were when I first read it twenty years ago. I did find myself, now as then, skimming over much of Verne's extensive scientific descriptions of undersea flora and fauna, etc., but that might be my own failing as a reader -- when I did take the time to read Verne's descriptions, I did sometimes catch the same sense of aquatic wonder I remember from watching films like _The Life Aquatic_.

From what I've read, the Mercier translation this is based on contains a number of translation errors, cuts out about 20% of the text, etc. Corrected, completed, updated ebook editions of this classic are available on Amazon, but they cost money -- I've been unable to find an out-of-copyright, corrected, complete, and free edition. For readers on a budget, though, this is probably the version you remember, and if read in the right way -- keeping in mind the era in which it was written, and skimming whenever the science gets too dry or detailed for you -- it's still quite entertaining.

Verne did write a sequel, _The Mysterious Island_, also available in the kindle free store; the better translation is available here: The Mysterious Island.