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The Mysterious Island

(Captain Nemo #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  43,722 ratings  ·  1,676 reviews
After hijacking a balloon from a Confederate camp, a band of five northern prisoners escapes the American Civil War. Seven thousand miles later, they drop from the clouds onto an uncharted volcanic island in the Pacific. Through teamwork, scientific knowledge, engineering, and perseverance, they endeavour to build a colony from scratch. But this island of abundant resource ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 723 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Modern Library (first published 1865)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Start your review of The Mysterious Island (Extraordinary Voyages, #12)
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
Joe Valdez
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-general
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
Mar 21, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Stinky Girl
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed all of this author's work. I would recommend you start with this book if you haven't read any of his things.
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
James Field
Dec 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Kennedy
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
260913: i had to take a break on page 346, as the extensive description of application, recapitulation, celebration, of all industrial engineering resulting in 19th century European technology, by five men, from nothing, on an island which just happens to contain all desired resources, began to make me wonder if this is satire- really have to clarify this: i was not beginning to sense this in his writing, i was beginning to read it myself too much like satire, not taking it seriously- but no, th ...more
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jules Verne fuels the imagination! Verne had a vision of a Hollow Earth. Fascinating topic. Lots of esoteric knowledge out there in the public domain, if one knows where to look. Great books. Tolkien also had Middle Earth in his books and of course Alice went down the rabbit hole. Maybe that is where the elves and dwarves live! Lol!🐯👍
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
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
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Verne's style is a bit stoic and geek but I fully enjoyed the novel. It has all the elements to be a sci-fi classic, the characters are a monument to human rectitude and inteligence, it makes the reader passively navigate with the plot and has that beautiful plot twist and ending. This author is the description of if you like a topic, you can't stop talking about it. Damn that man loved nature.

"Ya has vuelto a ser un hombre, puesto que lloras. Las lagrimas te han redimido"

¡Vaya! Que crea
Jul 15, 2008 rated it liked it
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.

B. Zedan
Jul 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
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?!
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
I am now discouraged to read anymore Verne. I enjoy a hefty tome, however, this was about 500 pages too long. I fell asleep several times whilst reading this because it was so boring. I felt like it was a highly technical survival manual.

As a story, it just seemed too ridiculous to be believed. Yes, it's a work of fantasy, but still. Some guys try to escape Richmond via balloon and end up somewhere in the South Pacific. Ridiculous, but I'll still buy it. One guy is so learned, that he knows how
J.M. Hushour
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Gilligan! Drop those coconuts!"

I can see I'm in a very slim minority here, but I'm not afraid to come right out and say it: this book is terrible.

*Spoilers follow*

The five luckiest fuckers alive end up on a "deserted" Pacific island after their balloon crashes after escaping Confederate Richmond. Yes, you read that right. Not only are they lucky-as-hell, but even better the island happens to basically have every single natural resource that humanity could ever exploit. Even even better, one of
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
This book is so racist and boring. I couldn't even finish it. I stopped around page 150, so I definitely gave it a chance.

First of all, it's a typical Robinson Crusoe castaways-on-a-desert-island story; and while I normally enjoy all those little survival details, this one bored me to tears. The descriptions of each tiny little promontory, hill, river, stream, and divot in the ground go on and on until I want to scream. Then those stupid details are repeated! Actually repeated again, as if I was
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
DNF @ 25%

Five random guys and a dog steal a hot air balloon during a storm to escape the Confederate Army. From Virginia. And somehow end up 7000 miles away on an island in the Pacific. Because hurricanes totally work that way. They all get along swell. They all have skills perfectly suited to complement each other so they can make steel and iron and do whatever the hell they want and create whatever the hell they need - which is all described in excruciating detail. None of them worry about any
Michael Adamchuk
At the time of the Civil War, five Yankee prisoners escape and steal a confederate balloon. After floating for miles, they descend onto a Pacific Island. The group must now try to survive using their wits and the resources of the island. Along the way, the encounter many obstacles, some very strange.
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book...I can't wait to read the rest of his work. He was a great author.
Robin Hobb
If you love steampunk, you owe it to yourself to read Jules Verne. A very resourceful group of men escape in a hot air balloon, only to be swept off course and land on a mysterious island, where they must supply all their own needs using only what they have on them. Excellent read.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What do you get when you have a cyclone, a hot air balloon, five men, and a dog? Lost castaways on... The Mysterious Island!

What a great amount of imagination was poured into this story! -- While many elements of the plot may seem fantastical, it all comes out rather quite natural... With a giant wave of creative thinking splashed upon it, that is.

And... What remarkable feats of engineering these men concoct with limited tools and resources! -- Their ingenuity quite reminds me The Swiss Family R
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
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
David Sarkies
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. I really enjoyed reading this. It is such a nice story, and even though it is about an exciting topic, the telling is very calm and easy but never boring. Some people might be annoyed that everything falls in place so easily, like yeah nobody could be this lucky, but for me this was really relaxing. I was always wondering and hoping with the main characters, but never really worried. Most of all I liked the ending.
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Well, this was my first exploration of Jules Verne. He seemed right up my alley, I mean honestly: Journey to the Center of the Earth? 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? One of the first science fiction writers. I felt I had to make homage to the greats. But yet do not ask me why I decided to pick up the "obscure" Jules Verne book. The one that apparently everyone doesn't like. And thus the mistake. Although...interesting...Verne apparently forgot an important (nay I say critical?) aspect of writing i ...more
A Critical Reader
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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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

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Captain Nemo (2 books)
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