Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: A Tour of the Underwater World (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers: Tour du monde sous-marin, "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: A Tour of the Underwater World") is a classic science fiction adventure novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870.
The book was highly acclaimed when it was released and still is; it is regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne's greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. The description of Nemo's ship, the Nautilus, was considered ahead of its time, as it accurately describes features on submarines, which at the time were very primitive vessels.
Verne's classic journey into the ocean follows professor Pierre Aronnax and his two companions as they are captured by Capt. Nemo and find themselves trapped aboard the Nautilus, a high-powered submarine that traverses about the world revealing the mysteries of the sea. James Frain provides clear and crisp narration. His intonation and tone are good, but not good enough to overcome the tedious cataloguing of every crustacean, fish, and shell that Verne includes. Equally problematic, Frain stumbles through some of his reading and has trouble maintaining the voices he provides for the different characters, particularly Nemo, whose voice is quite inconsistent. This, at times, can lead to listener confusion. While this audiobook is, on the whole, enjoyable, it doesn't stand up to other Listening Library productions.