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104 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in many senses of the word
Five men escape from imprisonment as POWs during the American Civil war by stealing a balloon designed for observation purposes. They are carried much further than expected and end up on a deserted island. Despite having nothing to work with at the start, they slowly begin to build themselves the facilities that they need. But in the background there is a disturbing...
Published on 29 Dec 2010 by Mole

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Education than Entertainment.
I found that this started extremely slowly, and probably would have given up on it if I hadn't enjoyed other work I've read by Verne so much. The castaways landed on a deserted island which provided them with an abundance of every resource that they needed. Between the five men they were furnished with every facet of human knowledge available at the time, which meant that...
Published 19 months ago by schwartz


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104 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in many senses of the word, 29 Dec 2010
By 
Mole "Mole" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mysterious Island (Kindle Edition)
Five men escape from imprisonment as POWs during the American Civil war by stealing a balloon designed for observation purposes. They are carried much further than expected and end up on a deserted island. Despite having nothing to work with at the start, they slowly begin to build themselves the facilities that they need. But in the background there is a disturbing thought; is the island really deserted?

This is a lengthy book, but I found that I couldn't put it down. The writing flows nicely and the descriptions are extensive without being overly long. The question would have to be raised if a group of men really could develop all of the technology from scratch as described, but with the right level of theoretical and practical education, it should be possible. The book illustrates the old adage "Necessity is the mother of invention".

This is a classic Jules Verne novel, although not one of the better known stories; this is a shame as it is a really good read. Certainly worth downloading to your Kindle.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long but good read, 30 Jan 2011
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Andrew Price (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mysterious Island (Kindle Edition)
This is quite a long read but also a very good one. Even though quite an old book the language and wording is easy to follow and does not feel old fashioned.

The story surrounds some POW's in the American Civil War who escape using a hot air balloon, but are then stranded on an island. The story follows them as they move from just surviving to colonizing the island. One of them is a scientist who knows how to make just about anything from the minerals, plants and other materials that they find.

All through the book strange mysterious things happen which make them wonder if they are alone on the island. Towards the end things start to take an unexpected turn (but to find out what you will have to read the book).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesser- known but interesting Jules Verne, 10 April 2013
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Mondoro (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a lesser known Jules Verne adventure I had not read before, and I feel it should be better known. It develops a sense of anticipation in the reader that grows as unexpected things happen to the American castaways on Lincoln Island, located 'somewhere near New Zealand'. Through the exercise of his scientific knowledge, their leader Cyrus Harding is able to create almost a mini-utopia for the castaways, helped by their willingness to work together and live in harmony with each other - a kind of optimistic antithesis to 'The Lord of the Flies'.

Verne being Verne, he supplies an abundance of detail on the flora, fauna, geography and climate of the island that may seem tiresome to the modern reader, but he was addressing a Victorian readership at a time when natural history was a popular subject, with new discoveries regularly made by those exploring the far corners of the earth. If it is to be faulted, it is for some inaccuracies, such as the extreme winter climate (snow on the ground for several months) with vegetation of warm temperate areas on the same latitude, e.g. New Zealand, and some improbabilities, such as jaguars and kangaroos occupying the same (desert) island.

This kindle version was a bargain. with only one or two technical/scientific terms that look as if they have been mistranscribed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Education than Entertainment., 10 Jan 2013
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I found that this started extremely slowly, and probably would have given up on it if I hadn't enjoyed other work I've read by Verne so much. The castaways landed on a deserted island which provided them with an abundance of every resource that they needed. Between the five men they were furnished with every facet of human knowledge available at the time, which meant that they easily overcame every obstacle in front of them.

Halfway through the book they had established thriving farms, metalworks, an abundance of tools, explosives and an ocean going vessel. All of this was achieved with little difficulty in about eighteen months. While it was impressive to see all that could be achieved with the right knowledge and industry, at times this read more like and instruction manual than a novel.

This all changed in the second half as some genuine threats to their lives emerged and they faced a struggle for survival, while seeking to identify the mysetrious benevolent entity that had supported them throughout. It was great to read once it got going, but for me, that took far too long.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Sequel to 20,000 League's Under The Sea, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: The Mysterious Island (Kindle Edition)
Featuring a plot similar to the later inspired T.V. Series "The Prisoner"? and "Lost"? The story starts with a group of American Civil War Prisoners escaping to freedom in a Observation Balloon and finding themselves stranded on the titlelature Mysterious Island.

Gripping read from one of the Great Grandfathers of Science Fiction.?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Back to basics..., 12 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Mysterious Island (Kindle Edition)
When five prisoners during the American civil war (and their dog) make a daring escape in a hot air balloon, they soon find themselves half way round the world, over the ocean, with that sinking feeling. What they really need is an island of some kind. What they get is a "mysterious" one.
The story mainly focuses on "the colonists" rise from having nothing but the shirts on their backs, to becoming fully self sufficient. Luckily the party consists of people who know pretty much all their is to know about engineering, and science. So they are soon making the place their own.
We are left in no doubt as to the type of guys they are, with lines like - "It must be said, however, that the settlers were "men" in the complete sense of the word".
They also enjoy shouting "hurrah" when something good happens. They really are real men. In every sense.
Anyway, after a shaky start its not long before mysterious occurrences begin to occur. And their self made new home comes under threat.
In terms of how exciting the story is, it's a bit of a slow burner. If you are looking for plenty of action, keep looking. But for a classic adventure story with a nice feel to it this is pretty good. Liked it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing basic layout, 28 April 2012
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R. Woodland (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mysterious Island (Kindle Edition)
Saw the film years ago as a youngster and because I've a Kindle link I thought it would be good to read the book.
I note this etext was originally prepared by Anthony Matonak, updated by David Widger with extensive proofing by Trevor Carlson. However, I've noted passages from other versions of this novel varying slightly in textual content so I do not know how acurate a translation this is. It's also unfortunate that the paragraphing and chapter starts are rather clumsy. If there is one thing this copy needs it's the map that shows the topography of the island. Apart from these points I'm enjoying the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering, 20 Aug 2014
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I can't believe this book is free, nor that I've never heard of it before.
The amount of depth that the book goes into regarding the characters' trials and adventures on the island is amazing, and throughout you find yourself sharing in their failures and successes. While some may view this book as slow to get going, the patience taken to take in every word and completely submerge yourself in the story is well rewarded.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!!, 15 Aug 2014
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At first I found it difficult to follow the language used but soon got used to it and became utterly intrigued with every event in the story, I have not enjoyed a book so much as this in a very long time. Don't be put off by anything and take the time to soak yourself in this amazing and clever book
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for 'An Explorer'., 15 July 2014
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One of the best science fiction novelists I've ever devoured upon! Jules Verne's detailed character sketch of the castaways intrigues you deeply. If you are an explorer, then you couldn't ask for more. If you are a of Nemo and Nautilus you couldn't miss this. Of course!! Can't deny the fact that 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea', 'Around the World in 80 Days' were a greater effort.
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