I really recommend reading this book. It starts off slowly, and there were times in the middle of the book that I began to get overwhelmed by the complex descriptions that Verne offers about how this band of Civil War escapees manage their life on a strange island. Verne goes into such depth that the reader can actually tell that Verne probably spent many hours in his own contemplation about what he would do if he were stranded on an island. And let me be the first to say that if I were stranded on an island I would want Jules Verne right beside me.
His knowledge of the subject went further than you would expect it to and considering that the book was written in the 1870s. The type of information that was possessed by the characters given by Verne surpasses what most people would know today. It wasnt too far after being stranded that the band of men were making pottery, iron and planning to make guns. At one point they even knew to take small whale bones and hunt with them. These are things that are lost in todays world of luxury.
I think the beauty of the story lies in its ability to transport you to this other place and time. As I read the book I felt as if I was back in the 1800s trying to survive and thinking as I read, what would I do? It is an excellent book that could be read by young and old alike.