20,000 Characters Under the Sea


I was on a business trip, stuck on the runway because my destination airport (aka home) was temporarily closed for weather. While we waited, I pulled out my work-issued tablet, hoping it would have some preloaded book on it. Success! There was a selection of free (aka copyright free) books. I started Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but didn’t get past the intro. I was stuck in a metal tube with no way out: I was too fidgety for strategy. Next on the list was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a book about some guys stuck in metal tube with no way out. Perfect.

Except it wasn’t. 20,000 Leagues is a classic. I respect that. Great imagination, Jules Verne had. Character development, he did not.

I thought it would be fun to live tweet my reading. Because what goes better with classic literature than modern 140 character critiques?

They weren’t critweets so much as they were questions that I usually yell at books when they annoy me.

I started with #livetweetbooks and then moved to #livetweetclassics.

Here are some of my, uh, astute, tweets:

Reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. There's hella lot of telling so far and the narrator's a pretentious ass. #livetweetbooks

Conseil is the most interesting character so far (and I just met Nemo). You're smart, why are you this guy's man-servant? #livetweetbooks

Conseil is just biding his time, right? He's totally going to mutiny the Nautilus. #livetweetbooks

"Slimy mud which the Americans call 'ooze'" oddly proud to know we coined the term ooze. #livetweetbooks #livetweetclassics

"And could you tell me what everyone knows about it?" [Nemo] inquired, ironically -- Nemo is a hipster! #livetweetclassics20,000 Leagues mentions corvettes (sadly not little nor red) ... Had no idea they were originally ships. #livetweetclassics

Oh Conseil, I had hopes for you but you're turning into an idiot. #livetweetclassicsI fat thumbed #livetweetclassics as #licetweetclassics  I suppose that would be era appropriate.

Wait, wait, wait. I could buy that the harpoonist and sailor loved dry land more than anyone else #livetweetclassics 1/3

I looked the other way when he didn't want to see the wonders of the ocean #livetweetclassics 2/3

But you expect me to believe that a sailor doesn't know what a pearl is? I call bullshit #livetweetclassics 3/3

Much of the characters' actions (or inactions) can only be explained by a class system, not their personalities #livetweetclassics

For a supposedly curious person, Aronax is surprisingly incurious about why Nemo did all this #livetweetclassics

Also annoyed Aronax talks about crew's strange language and wonders where they're from BUT NEVER BOTHERS TO ASK #livetweetclassics

I'm back with more #livetweetclassics  75% thru 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Sperm whales are regular whales are battling it out.


That was supposed to read “Sperm whales AND regular whales are battling it out.”

Apparently sperm whales hiss and snort #livetweetclassics

So the guy who just massacred a bunch of whales wo blinking is upset at whalers for "rage of destruction" toward seals #livetweetclassics

#spoiler Ctpn Nemo swore he'd never walk on land again but is still keen to be the first man to walk on the South Pole?#livetweetclasics

I really want a clue as to Nemo's motivation. I'm with Ned at this point: this us bullshit #livetweetclassics

Nemo keeps you prisoner and always disappears, and you, M. narrator, never get upset or worried? #livetweetclassics

Hunting a sea animal to almost extinction as the cause for yellow fever. Surprising conservation messag #livetweetclassics

Perhaps this is only fascinating to me.

I’ve seen a lot of people live tweet movies or tv shows, but never a book. Good idea? Bad?