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More Education than Entertainment.
on 10 January 2013
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.