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The Mysterious Island (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – March 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Wordsworth Classics
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd. (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840226242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226249
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Adventure novel by Jules Verne, published in French in three volumes as L'Ile mysterieuse in 1874 and included in his popular science-fiction series Voyages extraordinaires (1863-1910). The Mysterious Island follows the adventures of a group of castaways who use their survivalist savvy to build a functional community on an uncharted island. A hot-air balloon carrying five passengers and a dog escapes from Richmond, Va., during the American Civil War. It is blown off course and deposited near an obscure island. One of the castaways nearly dies after a skirmish with pirates; he is saved by the unexplained appearance of medicine after the pirates are unexpectedly routed. The group later discovers that their secret helper is the reclusive Captain Nemo (first introduced in Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), who dies and is buried at sea in his submarine. The castaways are eventually saved by a passing ship. --Wordsworth Editions

About the Author

Jordan Stump is an associate professor of French at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the translator of more than half a dozen French novels. Two of his translations have been nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the largest and most international prize of its kind.

Caleb Carr is the author of The Alienist and, most recently, Killing Time. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed reading it from start to finish.
Mama7
I kept turning the pages to see what happened next and it kept me interested to see what the men came up with next.
Sharon
Will be reading other Jules Vernes books as I get them.
Patrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons VINE VOICE on June 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Jules Verne's attempt at writing a Robinson Crusoe / Swiss Family Robinson castaway story, with the twist that the five castaways crash-land a balloon and thus come to the island with almost nothing -- unlike Crusoe or the Swiss Family, the castaways here don't have a boat-full of resources, tools, etc., to fall back on, and have to make *everything* themselves, from the ground up, armed only with their knowledge of science and engineering. Since it always seemed to me that Crusoe and the Swiss Family cheated a bit by bringing so many tools and so forth along with themselves, I really enjoyed the more scientific focus, and this has now replaced Swiss Family as my answer to the "what one book would you want with you on a desert island?" question.

Parts of the novel drag a bit, but it's a Jules Verne novel so there's a good story here -- the Island has a mysterious unseen inhabitant, also, there are pirates, which is always awesome.

This translation is also the better of the two available for free in the Kindle store -- unlike the Kingston translation, this one (I believe based on the 1875 White translation) preserves Verne's character names, cuts less of Verne's text, and retains Captain Nemo's anti-English and anti-imperialist rhetoric, often cut from other period translations.

Oh, yeah, Captain Nemo. This book is in some ways a sequel to Verne's _Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas_, as well as to his _In Search of the Castaways_. The sequence isn't direct -- really more a case of cameo characters than a direct plot sequel to either book -- but you might want to read those two books first before picking this one up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dragon Lady on July 6, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
I very much enjoyed this Jules Verne book. It kept my interest most of the time. I did think that some of the descriptions of the castaways' creations were lengthy. I also thought that a lot of what he wrote, he had never actually experienced any of these things, so was a bit naive. But this book definitely makes one think what they would do in such circumstances.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lazza on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Mysterious Island" is a curious adventure novel about several Americans who launch themselves in a balloon and find themselves marooned on a deserted Pacific island, circa 1865. The book is mostly about how they manage to not only survive but thrive for years on the island. Sure, there are mishaps and curious happenings. But essentially the author uses the book to idealize on how an island with a supernatural fauna and flora, plus ingenious castaways, plus utterly unbelievable twists of science can develop modern (for then) conveniences for these stranded men. Yes, it is all ridiculous. However the author has such an infectious enthusiasm that the faux science can be forgiven. It's actually a fun read.

Bottom line: a silly yet endearing adventure story saved by the hopelessly optimistic Jules Verne. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terttu Ahtonen on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Mysterious Island is one of my favourite books from Verne.

It is strange that a book with no female characters is able to hold my interest; usually I like the book as much as I like the heroine. But presense of a female might have destroyed the spirit of the book.

The Mysterious Island is a perfect conclusion for two other stories; the stories of Captain Nemo and Captain Grant. In a natural way it brings together new characters and those from the other two stories. The way Nemo and Ayrton make up the mistakes of their past is simply beautiful.

The story of Lincoln Island and its inhabitants makes you to believe in miracles. And the greatest miracle is friendship.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CharlieTX on April 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a Robinson Crusoe type novel. I read this when I was in high school 50-years ago and always remembered it, especially the manufacture of gun cotton. Out of curiosity, I've re-read it. While I commend author Verne on his prophetical future devices, especially the Nautilus, his scant knowledge of geology and sailing left the reader feeling the story was preposterous and unbelievable. That said, it would be a great survival adventure story, with an interwoven tale of redemption, for juniors. Some less critical adults may enjoy it, also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa W. Earnest on June 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting read if you can get into it. Later someone mentioned the parallels between this book and the TV series "Lost". I may need to reread it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ayslin on June 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
classic literature. books are not written like this any longer. a must read for anyone that is adventurous plus loves some science fiction and fantasy...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patsy Richard on September 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of those "can't put it down" books. Even though some of the things were far fetched, stimulates the imagination, and think, it could happen. Man has shown how inventive they can be, and starting over from the beginning, possible. I also liked the piece about Nemo, and Mr. Verne's ingeration of one story over the other. I would recommend this for all genders and ages.
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