Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

Years ago, I read Jules Verne's novel, 20,0000 Leagues Under The Sea, for the very first time. I enjoyed reading, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, so much that I reread it again a few years later. 

Jules Verne's writing is so vivid, very detailed, and realistic. I felt like I was reading someone's travelogue/personal diary when I read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I could easily imagine myself at the scene of events. If you love classics and the science fiction genre, then you have to read a Jules Verne novel at least once in your life!!

My goal had always been to read another novel written by Jules Verne after reading, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. But that didn't happen until this year when I finally decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne and narrated by Berny Clark. Listening time for The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne is 19 hours, 35 minutes.

What initially attracted me to, The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, was that Captain Nemo (a character from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) makes a small appearance in The Mysterious Island. Also, the plot for The Mysterious Island sounded intriguing, so I couldn't resist listening to the unabridged audio version of this novel.  

The Mysterious Island is divided into three parts. Essentially, this novel is about a group of five American men, who are prisoners escaping the civil war in a hot air balloon and become castaways on an uncharted island. They must colonize the island in order to survive, which is the main focus of the novel. As readers, we learn about their lives colonizing the island where mysterious events occur that the main characters cannot easily explain away. Each character has their own unique skill set that helps them survive as a team for four years on an island not inhabited by a nation of other people. 

As far as The Mysterious Island goes, it is another vividly detailed novel written by Jules Verne. It's amazing how much detail Jules Verne includes in his novels!! While reading, The Mysterious Island, I felt like I was right there with the main characters as they became familiar with their new surroundings and making a new life from scratch. At various times though, I felt like Jules Verne overly described events in way too much detail in this particular novel. I definitely felt like some of the details and events could have been watered down a bit at times for a better overall reading experience.

I also felt like the start of The Mysterious Island, which set up the main characters, and the end of the novel, which describes the main characters leaving the island, did not contain as much detail as the middle section of this novel. Additionally, I felt like the ending was wrapped up too conveniently as to how the main characters escaped the island and returned to the United States. However, that aside, I did like the main characters in The Mysterious Island, as they were all well developed and likable.

I also thought that some of Jules Verne's viewpoints/attitudes expressed through the characters were outdated, which I'm sure is due to the time period in which this novel was written. Otherwise, The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne was a really good read. I also enjoyed Berny Clark's narration of The Mysterious Island.

The following is a plot summary for The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne from Amazon:
Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne’s masterpiece. “Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump” (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive as they uncover the island’s secret.
I am giving The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is one of those books I've always meant to read but I always forget about it and I never put it on my TBR (like Oliver Twist, apparently!). Not this time! I'm glad you liked The Mysterious Island too! It sounds right up my alley (and I think I can deal with a convenient ending :)) so hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as you did. Lovely review!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thank you for stopping by as usual and leaving me a comment! Glad you liked my review of The Mysterious Island.

  2. I have not read Jules Verne. Perhaps I should, him being an originator of sci fi and all.

    1. I highly recommend his writing!

      I've always thought of Jules Verne as the father of science fiction too, but have recently read some controversy... There are those, that feel that H. G. Wells is the originator of the science fiction genre.