- Captain Nemo isn't the main character. At least, he's not the narrator of the book. That would be Professor Aronnax, a professor of underwater plant and animal life.
- It starts out as a mystery. At the beginning, nobody knows what is causing all the havoc with ships traveling the oceans.
- Professor Aronnax and his two buddies are essentially kidnapped by Captain Nemo and told they can never leave the submarine (the Nautilus).
- Captain Nemo is rather moody and isn't always a nice guy. He's also apparently out for revenge against somebody for some unknown reason.
- A league is a measure of distance, not depth. I kind of knew that already, but I always thought the title meant that they were 20,000 leagues underneath the surface of the ocean. Turns out that it actually means they traveled for a distance of 20,000 leagues. Incidentally, they were under water when they did it.
- This book is not really as action-packed as all of that premise makes it sound like. There were even sections where I was (gasp!) bored reading.
- Mostly those sections were the ones that described the underwater plants and animals they were seeing. Using scientific names of many syllables. The vast majority of which I had never heard of before. For paragraphs and paragraphs.
- This book would have been better with pictures of the underwater life.
This is a book that has entered our culture to a certain extent, so I was surprised how little I knew about it when I started reading it. I knew the main character was named Nemo, and I knew it took place on a submarine. Here's a list of all the things I learned as I read:
I really did enjoy this book, but it was a much slower read than expected. I think this is one of the rare cases where I would have enjoyed the book more if I knew more about it going in. Either way, I'm glad I took this trip under the sea with Captain Nemo.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.