K.'s Reviews > The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
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Jul 21, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: boy-s-bookshelf
Recommended for: sciency adventure lovers
Read in July, 2009

Didn't actually realize until looking at the book I read just this moment that mine was abridged. Apparently the real thing is something like 700 pages (mine was 300). Wow.

Anyway, it was great! I little more "sciency" than totally suits my fancy, but it was good for me. If I had a "lost on a desert island" 72-hour kit this book should be in it! They figured out their location by the sun, a watch, and by knowing the date. They figured out the height of things by calculating the shadow (took a page from Thales)--and these are detailed so you could do it with your kids.

When they found themselves on this island they had nothing but 2 watches and a notebook. They not only survived but flourished! And, as the author pointed out many times "nothing was easier than..." making nitroglycerin or smelting iron (of course they had to first make bricks, then make an oven, then make pottery then ..... it was pretty awesome. It helps that one of the castaways was a brilliant engineer! I wonder if the unabridged version goes into greater detail on these types of things.

I appreciated the mention of the fact that the castaways were "men." real men that is, who were brave and loyal and honest and hardworking--with great will to survive.

Liked it alot. Had fun reading it. Some days wish me & mine (plus a brilliant engineer) could be washed up on an island (that one had all the necessaries). Of course, I wouldn't like the blowing up by the volcano at the end, but I can still dream about the island.
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