Saturday, May 19, 2012

20,000 Leagues, 200,000 attempts to Finish

A very cool "Steam Punked" version of the Nautilus. I know
the spike is virtually gone but it's still I great rendering.
I finally finished it. I started reading this decades ago when I was 10 or 11 and for some reason never finished. Maybe it was the Disney movie or even the ADHD, but somehow I never completed this classic. Being a submariner I'm surprised it never dawned on me to start reading this again. Anyway I decided to start again. This time I'd complete the journey with the Captain and his prisoners. 
The USS Nautilus. SSN 571 the worlds first nuclear
powered submarine.
The original sci/fi master Jules Verne produced this back in 1870 as "Vingt mille lieues sous les mers". Some have confused leagues as meaning under the sea and I'll admit I was a bit puzzled as well. Leagues, as I understand is a measurement of length not depth which is fathoms (1.8 meters or 5 ' 10"). Until I read the first few chapters of the book I never really grasped that its meant as the distance around the globe they traveled and it hit me harder than the Nautilus' spike. The tech Jules Verne describes borderlines realism. To have that imagination back in the late 1800's must have been pretty incredible for readers to wrap their heads around. Besides the sci/fi I really enjoyed reading this. From the conflicts of interest of Pierre Aronnax to his final insane attempt to leave. I was "submerged" from start to finish. 
I was able to download this to my Kindle Fire from Amazon for free. I never knew some (a lot really) of the best classic books are free for download from Amazon. I love this book and can't wait to give it to my sons when they're old enough. I've started a search for a good hard cover copy.

Next up. I'm re-reading The Hobbit. 

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