The Mysterious Island, Paperback Book

The Mysterious Island Paperback

Part of the Wordsworth Classics series

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


With an Introduction by Alex Dolby. Translation by W.H.G. Kingston.Jules Verne (1828-1905) is internationally famous as the author of a distinctive series of adventure stories describing new travel technologies which opened up the world and provided means to escape from it.

The collective enthusiasm of generations of readers of his 'extraordinary voyages' was a key factor in the rise of modern science fiction. In The Mysterious Island a group of men escape imprisonment during the American Civil War by stealing a balloon.

Blown across the world, they are air-wrecked on a remote desert island.

In a manner reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe, the men apply their scientific knowledge and technical skill to exploit the island's bountiful resources, eventually constructing a sophisticated society in miniature.

The book is also an intriguing mystery story, for the island has a secret.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic science fiction
  • ISBN: 9781840226249

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

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, 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.

Review by

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 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.

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