20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne, read by James Frain. Listening Library, unabridged, 12 CDs, 15 hrs., $30 ISBN 978-0-307-74793-8
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. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 08/01/2011
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-21188-7
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MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5849-2
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Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7408-2202-5
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