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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on July 7, 2004
This is a fantastic book with enough adventure to keep you reading all night long! Jules has out done himself with this marvelous novel. It has great description and explanations for every flip of the page. I would recomend this book to anyone who is looking for a book filled with rich adventure and loving characters. Overall, this book deserves the 5 stars I gave it(maybe even 6!) and anyone who doesn't agree with me is out of their minds! AWESOME BOOK
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on February 16, 2004
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It was very well written, and was absolutely amazing the knowledge Verne had to have to be able to write something like this. All the men in that book do all these amazing things and seem to know everything about everything, which might make them seem to be living encyclopedias, but when you think about it, Jules Verne, had to have a ton of knowledge about what he was writing to be able to give so much detail about all the things they did. What was also cool about this book is that in most "surviving on an island" stories (e.g. Swiss family Robinson, and Robinson Crusoe) they have a whole ship to pull supplies from and build with, so when you read those books, you think "well, if I had an entire ship to work with, I could survive too". In "The Mysterious Island", they have nothing but a notebook, pen, and the collar from there dog. (later they do find the material from the balloon, but that was only after they had already made felt clothing. They basicly bring the island to civilization, with telegraph wires, and almost everything you could think of, in about 2 years. This is an inspiring book, and is hard to put down. If I could have one book while being on a deserted island, this would be the one to have!
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on August 16, 2002
For over a hundred years now most who know Jules Verne's MYSTERIOUS ISLAND in English have not been aware that they were not quite reading the book that Jules Verne wrote in French.There are numerous differences but two of them will give you an idea.The original French version is longer than most of the English translations and one of the main characters Cyrus Harding in the original is Cyrus Smith. Numerous other changes and omissions are rampant in the previously available English editions. Verne himself made a few minor errors in the original which the present translation keeps with a note indicating them.This fine new translation by Jordan Stump gives us the entire book as well as correcting the various other changes in prior translations. In the end though it is still Verne's grand story that will bring the reader back and for the first time they will be getting more when they do that. Numerous illustrations and a fine introduction by novelist Caleb Carr ("The Alienist")add to enjoyment of this classic.
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on April 23, 2002
Jules Verne is a literary monument, his books are still read and popular a century after his death, and it is not too difficult to predict that this state of affairs will prevail as long as books are read and civilization does not cut its roots off. Nowadays, whenever one hears that one book or another is labeled as science fiction, images immediately come to mind - space stations, aliens, whatever. More than one and a half a century ago, however, when the Western world experienced industrialization at an exponential rate, and when literature peacefully embraced a new form of expression, the novel - science entered the literary world, and widened its scope, to immediately possess the minds of creative individuals. It is a fact that come the second half of the XIX century, the fast pace of scientific discovery influenced writers, but what is even more important, is that the visionary concepts embedded in the science fiction literature of the time in turn influenced the men of science.
Verne initially embraced the idea of technological progress, and ventured into lands thus unknown with a long series of modern novels, which were both educational, and conceptually adventurous, not to mention the fact that the pure thrill of adventure emanating from his books arrested the hearts of his contemporaries, and generations to come. Later in his life, Verne again prophesied the future, having observed that the enormous technological leap can not only benefit the society, but also hamper the fast-growing civilization, causing dangers of utmost importance to be reckoned with. Accordingly, his novels of late became grim, destructive, and dangerous from the point of view of progress and its public relations, as we would say today. Despite the fact that he was the most popular novelist of his time on the Continent, he did experience problems with censorship, which was his constant source of frustration. Even his most revered literary achievement, "20.000 Leagues Under the Sea", was denied publication unless he removed the political context. Astonishingly, even a hundred years later the original text was not restored. Only in recent decades we had the opportunity to read his masterpieces of adventure as they were originally written.
"The Mysterious Island" was first translated into English still in the XIX century, and until last year, that was the only translation available. The morose fact is that the translation in question deviated substantially from the original. In this was the Anglo-Saxon readers were at a slight disadvantage compared to readers from the European Continent, where translations were faithful, and who could also read Verne in the unhampered original. Anno Domini 2001, as irony would have it, two new English translations appeared in print, both of which claim to restore the authoritative text of Jules Verne. What a treat! If you spent many an hour in your youth reading "The Mysterious Island", I heartily recommend this new, updated translation. If you have not had an opportunity to discover the hilarious world of adventure by Monsieur Verne, it's high time you started.
Depending on the edition, "The Mysterious Island" is published in several volumes, or in one thick hardbound volume. It might be interesting to note for the newcomer, though, that this novel is a part of interconnected set of masterpieces of adventure, which may be read independently with no harm on the part of the reader, but the best experience is to be achieved if the novels are read in the order Verne intended, that is, "20.000 Leagues Under the Sea" as a first entry, then "The Mysterious Island", and finally "The Children of Captain Grant".
"The Mysterious Island" would be a classic robinsonade, if not for its scientific bent of positivism, a trend strongly present in most works of fiction by Jules Verne. Several individuals are cast away on a lone island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Of course, they do not let themselves fall into despair, but instead they start building the society anew. Although full of technical elements, "The Mysterious Island" is primarily an exotic mystery, where the unprecedented flavor of adventure overwhelms the reader for days to come. I heartily recommend this novel to all young people of both sexes, the sooner they discover Jules Verne, the better, for they will never forget that experience, nor will they ever part with the exquisite fiction of Jules Verne.
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on February 5, 2002
This book showcases some of the best qualities of mankind. In a situation in which it would have been easy to give up hope, to lay down and die, this book's characters decided to struggle to survive. Faced with problems which seemed far too complicated to solve, they mustered the ingenuity to solve them. Composed of personalities from widely differing cultures, they dismissed these differences and formed a cohesive, harmonious team.
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on December 27, 2011
had this book in Czech originally. have been looking for it for a while. since I read and re-read it in Czech, wasn't sure if the English version would entertain me as much, ordered it more for other family members... alas, Jules Verne in any language is the master!
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