The Mysterious Island (Illustrated First Edition): 100th Anniversary Collection

by Jules Verne

Other authorsN. C. Wyeth (Illustrator), Jules-Descartes Ferat (Illustrator), W.H.G. Kingston (Translator)
Paperback, 2019





SeaWolf Press (2019), 572 pages


Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML: Although The Mysterious Island is technically a sequel to Vernes' enormously popular Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, this novel offers a vastly different take on similar thematic motifs. As with all of Verne's best-known works, The Mysterious Island is a masterpiece of the action-adventure genre, with a heaping dash of science fiction influence thrown in for good measure..


Original language


Original publication date

1874-1875 (French serial)
1874-04 (English serial)
1875-09 (English book)

Physical description

572 p.; 9 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member jasongibbs
This book is the not as well known sequel to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" but in my opinion it's a better story. As a kid this was probably the first book I can remember not being able to put down. A Great adventure story.
LibraryThing member TRHummer
I'm reading this one to my seven year old daughter at bedtime; it's great for her, and for me as well, as when I was young I read this book again and again. It's still my favorite Verne.
LibraryThing member bzedan
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
Show More
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?!* Nor have they tanned hide yet—and left several seals to rot on a beach, taking the fat (for 'splosions & candles, no soap) ['splosions being nitro-glycerine, the better for shaping the world to human desires]* My God, they're doing everything backwards. The Mysterious Island castaways finally tan some leather, but not the rabbits. No. Koalas.* Yeah, I don't see how reading the "prequels" of Mysterious Island would help any. Pretty vaguely interwoven, there.* Mysterious Island, has not made me want to expand my Verne reading. I mean, thanks for summarising '20,000 Leagues' and all so now I don't have to read it—but still. This book is on my sh*t list. My book sh*t list also names 'Little House on the Prairie', which I couldn't even finish at the age of nine. Good company for it, I think.* The Terror and Unpredictability of Nature overwhelms Industry, okay. Whatever, Verne.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jesssika
This was my first tread into Jules Verne. I was rewarded with a good read. The only complaint was that there was a lot of detail put into all the different mechanisms they had to make. However, it was still interesting to learn such things from the way to build many things from raw resources to how
Show More
to create makeshift items to help with survival.

The story begins with 5 prisoners; an engineer, a sailor, a reporter, a servant, and a young man along with a very bright dog; traveling in a hot air balloon to escape imprisonment during the Civil War. They are thrown onto an island that isn't listed on any maps and well out of the way for any ships in the Pacific to go by. They even go on a short trip to a close but un-useful island to help a castaway. For four long years these escapees have to start from nothing to make themselves a civilized dwelling. They create everything from a house in granite rock and a garden and an animal farm to any mechanism they might need to create something to survive with. They spend their days working and building and creating all the necessities as well as some wants. They build two ships and at the last second when they fear death, they are saved. There are references to 20,000 leagues under the seas and captain Nemo as well as historical things.

The story is long but with all the details you learn not only to feel like you know the islanders but also enough to see their surroundings and feel their anxieties. There is adventure, camaraderie, pirates, survival, and many other things all wrapped up in this amazing classic.
Show Less
LibraryThing member stpnwlf
Imagine "Lost" written by a much better author.
LibraryThing member endersreads
Mr. Verne did a wonderous job with this adventure (given some slight date discrepancies between this book and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea")! Dealing with a party of 5 lead by first-class engineer Captain Harding (english translation), they make a hasty escape from their fate as American Civil War
Show More
POW's to the siege in 1865 upon Richmond, Virginia, in a balloon, which soon finds itself lost and in a tempest. The 5 come to find themselves marooned on an island in the South Pacific. Awesomeness ensues. The highly inventive engineer soon sets his party to work upon making the desolate island somewhat technologically evolved. This inventiveness manifests itself in various machine makings and the such, and along with the strange happenings on the island and the soon to be found-out Captain Nemo, well, this makes this book quite unforgettable and a delightful read!
Show Less
LibraryThing member Heptonj
This is a great book and still very readable after all these years. It's totally unbelievable but good fun and adventurous anyway. 5 men and a dog are stranded on an unknown island and proceed to colonise it in, quite frankly, ingenious ways. There is also a 'mystery helper' who aids them in their
Show More
times of strife. For those 'PC' people, I suppose the fact that there was a master and a 'slave' (who, incidentally loved and admired his 'master') didn't sit too well but this book is not to be taken seriously. In those days there were 'masters' and 'slaves' and the good old Brits didn't show up in a very good light either. It's a fantasy and an adventure, full stop.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Kateingilo
Sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I think I liked it even better, but its been a long time. Must read again
LibraryThing member srboone
Verne's second Nemo novel isn't as satisfying as the first, mostly due to it's pacing, but it's a grand adventure in it's own right: exciting, supense, with a large does of humor.
LibraryThing member Schmerguls
This is a 2001 translation of the book published first in 1874. To the extent that the book is science fiction or fantasy the book disappoints. But much of the book tells of the stranded group on the island working out their existence, a la Robinson Crusoe, and that part of the book is fairly fun
Show More
reading. Most of the time things work out very well, and most of the efforts of the group dropped on the Pacific island succeed and when they are really up against it a deus ex machina comes to their aid. This is the fifth Jules Verne book I have read and I think I have read as much of his work as I need to.
Show Less
LibraryThing member michaeldwebb
Great fun, although it's really more of a mildy curious than a mysterious island. Still, really readable. A group of balloonists land on an island miles from anywhere, and through superiour engineer knowledge build the best island ever from scratch, like characters in the computer game
Show More
Civilisation. Mildly unexplainable events happen.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bcjunior13
The adventure novel written by Jules Verne depicting the survival techniques employed by ordinary men who beat back nature and held themselves in semblances of civilization reminiscent of a world they had lost. However climatic and enticing, this page-turner’s plot was woefully boring unlike many
Show More
of Verne’s other books.
The exploits of Cyrus Harding and the other men on Lincoln Island were sheer, unadulterated adventure yet achievable by any other men placed on the same island with naught but companions. That was perhaps the underlying intrigue of the book to me as I have spent many an hour contemplating the means I would need to accomplish to survive in the wilderness.
Ultimately, I was dismayed by the lack of wit and mental acuity that Verne often imparts to her other characters. I found the verbal bantering and conversations dull and lacking in even the most simple of intellect. If I was to survive among such fellows whose chief concerns where often superfluous goods like tobacco, I would almost undoubtedly go insane just for sheer want of solitude. Perhaps that is where Harding succeeded and I would not.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the book was the end. Not wishing to discourage those who are yet reading from finishing rather warning them of impending disappoint. I thought there was some higher purpose to the almost magical happenings of the Mysterious Island, yet the climax’s lack of substance enraged me to the point that I was ready to fly in balloon to my own island intent in providing a better explanation of the mysteries of the island than Verne’s advertising campaign that filled the last pages of a disappointing work of literature.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jastbrown
What a fascinating story. As attractive now as when I read it as a teenager. This doesn't read as an old story, but rather as a modern story about an old subject.
LibraryThing member hgcslibrary
Summary: Five passengers in a balloon are caught in a hurricane over the Pacific in 1865 and trown onto the coast of an unknown island. This is the story of their adventures.
LibraryThing member la2bkk
I was quite disappointed in this work.

First of all, the book is too long. Verne may be many things, but "concise" is surely not one of them, at least as far as this work goes. Next, while the basic story line is excellent (castaways on an unknown island), Verne's characters are incredibly formulaic
Show More
and shallow. So to with their various adventures on the island and their inevitable escapes from peril. While some aspects of the book show Verne's effort at displaying his wide ranging scientific knowledge of the day, many aspects of the ending are simply ridiculous.

An excellent book for children or young adults. However, if you are looking for depth of character or any degree of sophistication, better go elsewhere.
Show Less
LibraryThing member
Jules Verne was my favourite author for a long time, mainly because my dad introduced me to him at an early age and transferred his enthusiasm to me. I remember this books as a more modern and cool version of Robinson Crusoe, but I would probably not agree with that if I reread both today.
LibraryThing member mccin68
in 1865 5 men and a dog attempt a desparate escape during the american civil war by balloon. they become stranded on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific. Their incredible resourcefulness, ingenuity and teamwork help them to colonize what they later rename as Lincoln Island. Verne can be
Show More
tedious in his description of the engineering and metallurgic techinques but they are interesting all the same. Ending was quite far fetched and disappointing.
Show Less
LibraryThing member missbecki
This book starts out with Verne's usual endearing absurdity (the men have crashlanded after stealing a hot air balloon to escape the American Civil War), but quickly becomes pretty boring. It took me a long time to plow through this, mostly because the plot moves so slowly. The mystery of the
Show More
island is pretty disappointing, although I did like the final scene very much.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Choccy
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
Show More
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 imagine.

Yes, this might sounds like Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Doyle's The Lost World and other similar stories, but Verne's description is more....complete, adventurous, imaginative, rich with interesting details (hell, he can even make the process of making pottery and iron tools sounds rather fascinating). Plus, Verne's books are classic science fictions with amazing grand visions. Yeah yeah, there's that HG Wells guy, but he's nothing compared with Verne, believe me.

The ending (which explains why the island is mysterious) is superb and kinda shocking to me. If you're an avid Jules Verne's reader, you'll know what I mean. Hint: character cross-over.
Show Less
LibraryThing member elviomedeiros
Most of the time you are not aware that this book was first published in 1874. That is how well it was written. In the end you kind of miss having the characters around. Nonetheless it is quite interesting how a small island, midway between South America and Australia, is so rich in plants, animals
Show More
and minerals. The “colonizers” are able to make nitroglycerin (remembering we are in a deserted island in 1800´s), iron-wires and a telegraph. They find all sorts of plants, medicinal herbs and even tobacco. Not to mention the fauna, jaguars, kangaroos, orangutans (one is tamed!), and even a freshwater dugong. How did it get there? Mystery. Leaving that aside, this book made me wonder how dependent we are on technology and how ignorant we are about it. Most engineers today would not be able to construct what Cyrus Smith was able, only with bare hands and with the knowledge in his head (without books, internet or specialized tools).
Show Less
LibraryThing member kslade
I won a copy of this from a spelling bee in 7th grade English class. It's a continuation of Capt. Nemo's story. There is a cheesy movie too with some nice Ray Harryhausen special effects.
LibraryThing member buffalogr
A sequel to "20,000 Leagues..." the book postulates a long balloon ride from Libby Prison in Richmond (1865) to a south seas island. One character, an engineer, dominates/leads the others and they all create an idyllic life on a the island. Originally published in 1874, republished many times over,
Show More
the amount of research to create pottery, nitroglycerine, build a boat, domesticate animals, etc., was amazing. The writing style also reflects the times as does the attitude toward slavery and class. As I missed the opportunity in high school, I'll read some more Jules Verne.
Show Less
LibraryThing member TrgLlyLibrarian
The first half is REALLY slow, but then it gets more and more exciting. It's one of Verne's lesser-known works, worth investigating.
LibraryThing member Shookie
Whlle not as well known as some of his other novels (20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days) this is thought by many to be Jules' Verne's masterpiece. It is the story of five northern prisoners during the civil war who plot their escape by hijacking a hot air balloon, which
Show More
they crash land on an island. They are a diverse group of men - a sailor, a former slave, a journalist and an engineer with his protégé. It is this diversity which provides the meat of the tale. It is not a book for those who want the action to move quickly nor those who dislike detail. Verne described in minute detail every engineering feat of the group, from several tries at a safe abode to utensils used in their everyday lives. Each event in the men's story is similarly narrated. It is a fascinating tale and one that should be included on everyone's reading list. Just make sure you have a good chunk of time to devote to it!
Show Less
LibraryThing member donblanco
I read this around the age of 10. It was transporting! A seminal work by one of the world's sci-fi pioneers.




½ (756 ratings; 3.9)
Page: 0.8489 seconds