Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Mysterious Island (Modern Library Classics) Mass Market Paperback – April 27, 2004
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 67%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
A bunch of people fighting on the side of the abolisionists in the US Civil War escape a siege on a hot air balloon. They're blown off course and are shipwrecked on a deserted island on the Pacific. However, Verne takes an optimistic approach to the story (of course it helps that the 5 or so people are all quite good at one thing or another). Over the period of their stay, they "conquer" the island as they build what is literally a civilisation with their bare hands. What follows is a story of redemption, struggle and the amazing parts of the human spirit (ones most people never get to see outside of extreme circumstances), as well as the heroes' hunt for the secret of the island.
In many other books, Verne describes scenery or nature for pages and pages which can get tiresome. But never here, for here he is singing a sublime ode to inventiveness as our heroes' knowledge of everything from chemistry to astronomy to the humanities is turned to use. This is an adventure book but it's much more deep than most adventure books - you can really tell that Verne was writing in an era of the belief in progress (the modern reader will probably have a very different attitude to nature than the author) and this book is the immortal tale of the best human nature has to offer, all against a backdrop of action.
Imagine my shock and disappointment to find, in reading Caleb Carr's introduction, that he tells me the secret of the island! I could have reached through the pages and slapped him silly! My heart just sank. It was like reading a movie review of the Sixth Sense that flat out tells you the twist in the story! Thus, all through the book, I knew what the colonists did not. I felt cheated. Even in the short introductory piece on Jules Verne there is vital information given that is best avoided unless you have already read the book. My advice to you is to go straight to Chapter 1 and skip all the preliminaries until you have finished the book.
With that caveat, I just loved the book. Jordan Stump's translation is breezy reading, which makes this 600+ page book just glide by. The colonists, which is what they become after crash landing on the island, are all "upright, energetic, and bound by brotherly affection". These are not a bunch of modern hunky narcissists or brooding, introspective hand-wringers, my friends. These are men of good cheer who, with faith in one another and a healthy respect for the Almighty, turn this most fascinating (and surely improbable) island into a new land.
This takes place in a time when the world itself still held mystery and adventure, and there was a boundless optimism in what man could achieve when honest and civilized men pooled their efforts and added a little scientific knowledge to their endeavors (well, a lot, actually). Most certainly, because of the time in which it was written, it is not politically correct.Read more ›
Verne's genius for what we today call Science Fiction sometimes obscures his even greater gift, for pure narrative. And with the Mysterious Island in this new translation his talent is on full display. Verne creates with this island an entire new world, a sort of Eden, and within this landscape plays out an entirely breathtaking story. Lingering in the backdrop, Verne's embittered alter ego Nemo balances the one-sided idealism of the castaways. On a scale with the Count of Monte Cristo, and the literary culmination of the enlightenment/scientific shipwrecked theme,(versus the 'humans are animals Lord of the Flies alternative), the Mysterious Island builds steadily to a tremendous finish.
When we read 19th century fiction much of the time phrases and scenes are flat, stale; even the best writers, Dickens, or Trollope, Balzac or Hawthorne, have streches of writing that just doesn't read as anything but dated. But Verne's best books, and this certainly is one of them, are as remarkable for their uncluttered fine prose writing as they are for their famous plots and explorations.
If Verne was no great creator of character, he makes up for it by some of the most eminently readable works ever penned.
A wonderful book for reading during a cold long winter weekend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this a long, long time ago and remembered loving it… I was right. I still do.
This is an old-style adventure novel, with five Americans prisoners of war (from... Read more
Perhaps the greatest Verne.. Why oh why Modern Library did you put Caleb Carr's essay in the front of the book (with its spoiler references)?Published 29 days ago by Michael Shapiro
I found the book fourth in interest behind the other three Verne classics that I have read: "Around the World in 80 Days," "Twenty-thousand Leagues Under the Sea"... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Joseph Borden
The best book of Jules Verne - teach children how to survive - I loved it when I was about 10 years old. But this version is without pictures...Published 13 months ago by customer
It was good but after such a long and detailed the story the "big reveal" at the end was a bit rushed and disappointing. Read morePublished 14 months ago by John Bruning
This book was amazing. Nothing negative is to be said. It's full of adventure and survival, and even references to previous booksPublished 15 months ago by Justin Green
Great copy of the book. Am very pleased with the book I purchased. Thank you.Published 20 months ago by Maedhros