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The Mysterious Island (Extraordinary Voyages #12)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  25,625 ratings  ·  861 reviews
Five Union prisoners escape from the seige of Richmond in a balloon, are blown off course and crash on an uncharted island. They must learn to rebuild a society for themselves while awaiting rescue.
Paperback, 723 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Modern Library (first published 1874)
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Jan 08, 2015 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th-century "men against nature" literature
As with many of my pre-Goodreads books, the date read for this one is a best guess, but probably roughly accurate. Although I liked it overall, I didn't rate it as highly as my Goodreads friend Bruce recently did.

Simply put, the premise here is that in March 1865, five Unionists (one the black former slave of one of the white escapees, and another a 15-year-old boy) escape from Richmond by stealing a balloon that's been prepared and provisioned for a Confederate mission; but are quickly blown WA
Joe Valdez
If The Mysterious Island isn't the biggest novel undertaken by someone conditioned with what we today diagnose as Aspberger's Syndrome, it comes close. Published in 1875, Jules Verne's epic castaway tale is loaded with geography, meteorology, astronomy, hydrography, orography, chemistry, geology and by virtue of appearing first in serialized form (as "The Secret of the Island"), the saga runs 193,266 words. Verne doesn't so much stop as he runs out of natural sciences to explore.

The fanciful adv
Last year I participated with a group of friends in doing a Secret Santa. This was the book that my Santa gave me (as well as Gulliver's Travels). I think it was because of the fact I was moaning about the lack of any Verne on Maui. I am SOOOOO glad my santa chose this book for me. It was amazing. Yes there were some dry parts, unless you like painstaking detail about how to make Iron or Bricks, but even they were quickly dispatched, and could be skimmed without really mising anything.

Verne's Ch
Rob Kennedy
Finished it a few days ago. This book has restored my faith in reading. It's the second best book I've ever read. I've rarely read anything that has kept me spellbound from start to finish. I think I'd like to start reading it again.

For what is seen as an adventure book, it's mind blowingly in-depth, overly interesting and so well written, it has taught me many lessons in writing. I never new Jules Verne was so good. I already miss each character and even the animals. Poor Jup. Wow wow wow.
ايام نوجواني داشت به سر مي رسيد و با آن ميل به كتاب هاي جزيره هاي گنج و ماجراهاي دزدان دريايي هم كمتر ميشد
چندين داستان در اين مورد خوانده بودم و دوست داشتم با يك كتاب خيلي خوب خاتمه اي به اين دوران بدهم
در كتابخانه آن را پيدا نكردم ولي بعد از يك ماه ،دوستم بهم زنگ زد كه در خانه قديمي شان در روستا، تعدادي كتاب بي جلد و پاره پيدا كرده و براي من آورده بود
چهار پنج كتابی بود كه اين جزيره گنج هم بدون جلد در آنها خودش را پنهان كرده بود
آخه مثل اونموقع خودم، كمي خجالتي بود
اين همه سال كتاب گوشه اي منتظر من
James Field
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I can't remember the number of times I have re-read this Verne masterpiece and discovered something new every time I had. In fact, my book has become so frayed around the edges over the years that I fear I won't be able to open it anymore without being afraid of ruining the pages or the cover for good.
Trying to recollect my feelings when I read the book for the first time ever seems a bit of a humongous task. But I can't possibly forget the rush of adrenaline and intense emotions, joy and thril
B. Zedan
Jul 16, 2008 B. Zedan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Folks who want to read 500+ pages of self-important Industry of Man porno
Oh my God. Some dudes are castaway on this island and I cannot put real words together to explain why I wanted to kill this book. So here are some select Twitters from when I was reading it:

* I find it a little horrifying that the castaways in Verne's 'Mysterious Island' never use bone for anything. Too savage? [though they end up using some whale bone, but that's pretty white so it's okay]

* They didn't use bone to tip arrows! They waited until the dog found a porcupine! How are clothes mended?!
A little while ago, I picked up The Mysterious Island mainly because it was one of the only books by Jules Verne that I knew almost nothing about. I took great care not to learn in advance what made the island so mysterious or really, anything about the plot at all.

This book is at its heart a standard "shipwrecked" adventure. The main characters are not really shipwrecked per se, but may as well be. The majority of the story deals with their trials and tribulations surviving on the island.

Dec 26, 2007 ANDY rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure minded folks
I first read this book as a young boy and loved it! The adventure, the science, the making something out of practically nothing, the surviving the elements - as a young boy with a real desire for adventure and an interest in science I was hooked. I thought that Jules Verne was the greatest dude to have ever drawn breath. I quickly started a campaign to convince others how great this book was. My attempts to sway others was to no avail... no one else was interested.

I think this book was a Christ
This book was recommended by the 2012 Book Lover's Page-A-Day Calendar. Entry was for January 2, 2012.


Let me start by saying that I'm already pretty familiar with the work of Jules Verne, having gotten pretty well addicted to an abridged children's version of Around The World in 80 Days back when I was eight or nine years old. Since then, I've read the actual unabridged version and have read both 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and A Journey To The Center of The Earth more times than I can coun
my favorite among 40+ books I've read by Jules Verne. read count = 4 (although not recently) . An example of how scientific knowledge dramatically increases the chances of survival on a deserted island. Probably one of the reasons I've chosen a career as an engineer, I like to take things apart to see how they work, and i also love the satisfaction of fixing something that is broken. The four stranded technology wizards recreate the industrial revolution from scatch among the pristine tropical p ...more
Mi ha divertito scoprire che nel 1895, quando Edmondo De Amicis si recò ad Amiens per intervistare Jules Verne, molti italiani dubitavano che l'autore dei "viaggi straordinari" esistesse realmente. È un'impressione frequente, quando si pensa ai più prolifici e popolari romanzieri francesi dell'ottocento, ma nel caso di Verne sembra ancora più suggestiva: come credere all'esistenza di un uomo capace di immaginare tanto, e di legare un ciclo di oltre cinquanta romanzi al progresso scientifico e in ...more
May 28, 2015 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like adventure stories, stories about castaways, and stories about mysterious islands
It seems strange that I've never read a Jules Verne book before this one. I'm not sure why I waited so long. I guess I thought that knowing the main ideas of his books were enough? It's not.

5 men and a dog escape from the enemy during the U.S. Civil war in a hot air balloon. They land on a volcanic island about 1600 miles from New Zealand, and they make quite a life for themselves. The island, which they name Lincoln Island in honor of Abraham Lincoln, provides everything they could possibly ne
Nils Jeppe
Don't get me wrong, I liked The Mysterious Island. However, it objectively did not age well.

First of all, it was one of Verne's "educational" novels, and that shows with lots and lots of exposition that doesn't add anything to the actual story - and much of it isn't even relevant anymore (the theories for the formation of continents, or the nature of the moon are beyond dated).

The second problem is that the story is just choke full of "coincidences", which do not even all make sense if you consi
Crosly Anderson
While I was reading 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, I noticed the small footnote in one of the last pages. It said, "If you want to find out what happened to Captain Nemo and his ship, read: The Mysterious Island." Immeditatly, I dashed towards Chapters to find this mysterious enigma of a book. I asked my father about it and he shrugged and said: "I read 20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea, but I never read the sequel. I never even KNEW there was a sequel."

So therefore, I found the book in the Adult Fi
Dec 07, 2007 Silvana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: classics, sci-fi, own, top-20
Jules Verne is a god! If I can be a writer, I want to be like him. No one else. I've read five of his books and they all blew me away.

The Mysterious Island is the ultimate Jules Verne's masterpiece. It tells about five castaways in an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, driven by a storm after they fled from the then raging Civil War in the US (1860s). For survival, they learn to be farmers, hunters, masons, sailors, potters, chemists, physicists, and various of professions you could ima
Jan 10, 2013 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to know how to survive a deserted island.
Jules Verne is a writing god! I had previously read some of his more popular works like "Around the World in 80 Days," and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and I loved them. I read those at my local library, and I had recently saved enough money for a nice copy of my own, so I went to the bookstore, but they didn't have any of the books I was looking for. All they had was, "The Mysterious Island," which I had never heard of before, but hey, it was Jules Verne, so I bought it where it laid on my b ...more
Mysteries abound: After reading The Mysterious Island, I wonder how much Jules Verne's current reputation is based on 1950s and '60s movies loosely--very loosely--adapted from his novels. In this book, there are no giant crabs or bees, or aliens, or even women. There are five men and a dog seeking to escape besieged Richmond during the Civil War who are carried off in a balloon by hurricane winds to an uncharted island in the Pacific, where they find and make what they need to survive.

The "colo
I re-read this book thanks to my Amazon Kindle, and I found it as fascinating and charming as I did when I first read it, in an almost full version, at the age of eight (I was surprised to find how little the editors of that children's version had suppressed- the book was almost exactly the same). I'm more conscious now of some details of this book, as the lack of female characters (a "sin" often commited by authors of Verne's time) or the idealization of characters, which are all strong and goo ...more
Five Union prisoners of war escape their Confederate captors via hot air balloon. They embark from Richmond, Virginia, are blown out to sea and set down (miraculously, geographically speaking) on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific. The balloonwrecked are: Cyrus Harding, engineer; his "black manservant" (Verne's words, not mine) Nebuchadnezzar—Neb for short; Bonadventure Pencroft, sailor; Herbert Brown, precocious youngster; and Gideon Spillet, journalist. For a shipwrecked fivesome, they ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Charity rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Charity by: Lori
Shelves: france, big-uns, 2015, faves
Jules Verne weaves a masterful, thrilling tale that keeps you guessing until the end. The perfect example of getting lost in a book and quite an adventure ride that I won't soon forget!
Emma Iadanza
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars, but I just couldn't do it, because for more than half of it I kept thinking, It's only 4 stars. I would not put it on my top 10, and it's not at all the best book I've read by Mr. Jules Verne. But I did greatly enjoy it! It was not what I expected.

The story begins with 5 men and a dog getting stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. It's not on any maps, it's nowhere near anything, these men are simply Americans who were escaping Richmond, VA, wh
So five men and a dog are in a balloon during a hurricane....

If I were stranded on a desert island and could only have ONE book, I think I'd want The Mysterious Island. Not because it's my favorite book, or because it's about being stranded on an island, but because it's an extraordinary survival manual for BEING stranded on a desert island. Verne once said he writes SCIENTIFIC fiction, not SCIENCE fiction, and it's in his writing that one can really grasp the difference. I think a lot of people
David Sarkies
Aug 04, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who enjoy adventure stories
Recommended to David by: My Dad
Shelves: adventure
An interesting exploration of colonialism
12 May 2012

While this is a book written by the man who has earned himself the title of 'the Father of Science-fiction' many of his stories are more like adventure stories than pure science-fiction. I have written elsewhere about how it is actually difficult to describe a book as being science-fiction simply because the genre seems to overlap with a lot of other styles meaning that science-fiction is more of a setting than a genre (in a very lose sense si
Jacques le fataliste et son maître
«– Avevate una lente, signore? – domandò Herbert a Cyrus Smith.
– No, ragazzo mio, – rispose questi, – ma ne ho fatta una.»
Ne ha fatta una… Non sarà l’unica cosa che i naufraghi del cielo si costruiranno: dalla lente per accendere il fuoco all’esplosivo, al telegrafo. Fra i romanzi di Verne più famosi, L’Isola misteriosa è quello che contiene le invenzioni più “modeste” (una lente, delle candele, del vetro…) ma, in compenso, meglio rappresenta il processo inventivo nella sua essenza. E nel suo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In this slightly less famous of Jules’ Verne’s novels, we meet five brave men who have been stranded on an unmapped island in the middle of the ocean. They boarded the balloon as a means of escaping their imprisonment by Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. By the fluke of the century’s worst storm, their balloon is carried nearly 1,000 miles and they barely make it alive onto an undiscovered island. Realizing there is little hope of rescue, Cyrus Smith, Pencroff, Spilett, Neb, an ...more
I know this is a classic but I couldn't stand reading this. I would seriously rather go to the dentist! My 14 year old son is reading this and is loving every word that is there but there are just some things that I can't wrap my brain around. In this instance I believe there is a difference between boy and girl brains. He loves reading about how they are exploring and building things on the island. He loves how they are measuring things to find out where they are and get the latitude and longit ...more
Wow, this was a great one.

I actually picked this up after I had told myself that I was done with Verne. Not that didn't enjoy the others (perhaps "Center of the Earth" was a bit taxing...), but I had read 6-7 of his books in a row, so I was done. But then, everywhere I looked, I saw this title. So, alas, I dicided that I would go ahead and do one more. I qucikly regretted my desision when I realized that it was longer than any other of his works that I had gotten through.

But then, I changed my
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The Mysterious Island By Jules Verne In Depth Book Review 1 13 Feb 25, 2015 12:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Merging two editions 2 14 Jan 27, 2015 01:52PM  
Goodreads Librari...: cover for ASIN B000JMLBHU 4 18 May 19, 2013 08:51AM  
Read by Theme: The Mysterious Island 7 50 Nov 02, 2012 09:33PM  
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Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the genre of science-fiction. He is best known for his novels "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864), "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870), and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873).

Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of spa
More about Jules Verne...

Other Books in the Series

Extraordinary Voyages (1 - 10 of 68 books)
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon (Extraordinary Voyages, #1)
  • The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (Extraordinary Voyages, #2)
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3)
  • From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4)
  • In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6)
  • Round the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #7)
  • A Floating City
  • The Blockade Runners
  • Measuring a Meridian: The Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa
Around the World in Eighty Days Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6) Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3) From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4) Five Weeks in a Balloon (Extraordinary Voyages, #1)

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“It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason.” 59 likes
“Before all masters, necessity is the one most listened to, and who teaches the best.” 45 likes
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