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The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island follows the adventures of a group of castaways who use their survivalist savvy to build a functional community on an uncharted island. A hot-air balloon carrying five passengers and a dog escapes from Richmond, Va., during the American Civil War. It is blown off course and deposited near an obscure island. One of the castaways nearly dies after a skirmish with pirates; he is saved by the unexplained appearance of medicine after the pirates are unexpectedly routed. The group later discovers that their secret helper is the reclusive Captain Nemo (first introduced in Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), who dies and is buried at sea in his submarine. The castaways are eventually saved by a passing ship.

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Recent Forum Posts on The Mysterious Island

Colonial themes

I always loved that book, but reading it anew, I found many shocking aspects and terms. Indigenous people are "savages", animals are "beasts", the "Lincoln Island" becomes "colony", and castaways are "colonists"; uprising for independence in India is called "mutiny" against "good and noble British fellows" who enslaved 1/3 of the globe in their "Drang nach... " in all possible directions. There are also some funny mistakes like monkeys, jaguars, kangaroos and coalas on the island as well as other species of fauna and flora, which are absent on Pacific islands. Or, Australian Aborigenes using bows and arrows. Of course, the book is a sort of s/f, but parallel to all that scientific knowledge and perfection, such inconstinences are simply shocking.

The Mysterious Island a great read after all these years

I first read this book at the age of 12 ,nearly 30 yrs ago, and was completely bowled over by it. For the the three weeks it took me to read it, I was in another world, entranced by the drama of a balloon with 5 eople and a dog in it caught in a violent storm and then crashing into the sea, the desparate search for a lost companion, scientific calculations used to establish the castaway's location, the descriptions of flora and fauna, the making of Granite House, the finding of Ayrton,the arrival of the pirates and so on. The detailed descriptions were what got me. It was like Verne had the island in front of him, it was like he'd done all these things himself. At the age of 42 I still have the book, having recently got it rebound as the book was falling apart. I am currently re-reading it for the umpteenth time, and I have to say, it is still an amazing ,riveting read. Some things , perhaps, seem a little unbeleivable, such as the making of tools from scratch, and also of clothes, and the telegraph. But ,nonetheless, the triumph of human spirit and knowledge, and the ability of a group (i.e the castaways), faced with great adversity, to work together for the good of all , makes The Mysterious Island a compelling read, even after all these years. It is a longstanding favourite book of mine, and one I would recommend to all. The version I have is the abridged version (312 pges)published by Scholastic book Services October 1974 with a forward by Mark Hillegas.


I think Captain Nemo is an Indian, I am not sure, I'll have to go check, by the way I am new here just saying hi to all

mysterious island

I had an old copy of MI. Way back in 1961 I read the book and was facinated. I had some doubts: What is Brqueral cell, what is the real motive power of Nautilus, how the islanders could survive the tremendous heat and other problems of the volcanic eruption and how the telegraphic messages were sent and recieved. The work is great! Iam amused that my grandchildren are reading the book without missing a sentence which I did 46 years ago!:yawnb:

old book I just found

I just came across a very old copy of "The Mysterious Island" and was hoping someone would know a bit more than I about old books. The green cover has the words "The New Columbus Series" and a graphic of Chris himself (I suppose). The title page has no copywrite date (which I find rather odd) and the pages are very brittle and brown with age. Does anyone have any idea how old this may be? please respond to [email protected]

TMI Religious?

When I was reading this book I came across something Jules Verne wrote that struck as odd. pg.490 "All their science and intelligence could avail them nothing in their present position. They were in the hand of God." Did Verne want to give this novel a religious theme?


Okay, I am in the part of the book where they create the mill for the "wheat" yet I do not ever remember them finding wheat seeds or something such as that. I remember that they have corn, now are they just calling the corn wheat? I am incredibly confused, 'cause all I can think of is they are making corn-bread but that isn't what they are calling it. Anyone help me with this? I don't know if I can continue without this being cleared up :bawling:

Latin sentence

Greetings. In the begging I would like to apologize for my poor english. Now I can move on to the meritum:
I am looking for a sentence that I saw in Mysterious Island TV series (1995 - with John Bach as Cpt. Nemo). I don't know, cause I haven't read MI (but I hopefully will), is this tv series based on Verne or is it not 100% accurate as the book. My point is: there was a sentece like: "Nobody is ruling my life" or smthg like that... And it was written somewhere or maybe Nemo said that - I can't remember now. If that is possible I would like to ask you could you give me the original sentence in latin ("Nemo........." <- can't remember that - only know that Nemo is nobody... I don't know if you can help me, but if you could I would be very happy, cause literally I can't sleep at night. I need to know the whole latin sentence about life and Nemo....)

PS. by the way - Capt. Nemo was Polish or maybe related?, cause I've heard something about it.... maybe I am wrong... I should get to the book and read it by myself, but I have to wait till some holidays... you know - no time.
Thank you very much, with best regards
([email protected])

No Subject

Interesting story line with a plot that folds out slowly. The details were cumbersome to read, however, perhaps it is the writing style rather than the depth of description that repels us youthies of America. Characters are honest and loveable, even with the blantant racism. I think Verne knew this and wrote in the Civil War theme of the "colonists" cheering for the Northern Home Team and embracing the ideals of equality.

No Subject

Just finished reading this book, and then read some of the comments on this website.
Good to see that it is still being enjoyed and that it still communicates to people beyond the actual plot line something about man, nature, the uses of intelligence, friendship, even rehabilitation of a pirate.
Yes some descriptions of chemical processing can seem overly detailed, but then that's what the genre is about - "science" fiction. Even Star Trek does the same thing - only it's is techno-babble about warp engines. You either like it or you dont - but it is the norm for SF author to explain 'how' things work.
That's one of the big differences between SF and fantasy/magic.
Amazingly I see noone has really complained about the charcters being 'too good to be true' - but then the author's focus wasnt an exploration of the negative dynamics of a human group as the triumph of human intelligence and civilisation even in a "start from zero" situation. In that respect it has a sort of naive charm.
It certainly highlights the contrast of optimism, of giving of self for the group that people had back then to the cynicism and selfishness so rampantly portrayed, if not glorified, in today's books and movies.

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