John's Reviews > The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
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Jun 12, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from June 08 to 11, 2012

Despite criticisms I’ve read of this book for being overly simplistic and for lacking any realistic conflict between the main protagonists I enjoyed reading it. Keep in mind that this book was written at a time when science and men of science were perceived as being able to overcome all obstacles. I can just imagine children reading this when it was first published and then telling their parents that they wanted to be engineers. Previous to Verne’s time, children possibly read tales of the New World and wanted to be explorers. Much later children possibly read the fiction of Clarke and Asimov and wanted to be astronauts. (Children today watch TV and want to be “celebrities”).

I could criticise Verne for his use of archaic and overly scientific language (some of his words were already out of use when he wrote this story). I could criticize how easily and how quickly every obstacle was overcome. I could criticize his lumping together of flora and fauna from so many geographical regions on one small island. I could criticize so many other aspects of this story. I won’t though. I chose to suspend my disbelief for the short time it took me to read this story and I enjoyed every minute of reading it. It is pure escapism; a feel-good book with a happy ending; sometimes that’s just what’s needed. There are plenty of other authors to choose from when I want realism and stories of human conflict. Verne had his faults but he had some good stories, and although they may not have aged well they're still worth a read.
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