This 19th-century adventure novel will delight Verne fans. As in other works by Verne the characters are ideal and the plot seems convenient rather than organic. Verne was not a scientist, but he was obsessed by all the scientific disciplines. Verne’s novels are full of magical inventions and pseudo-scientific rhetoric. In The Mysterious Island, five men and a pooch land their balloon on an exotic island. They undertake to learn the secret of the place. Narrator Berny Clark’s lively voice sings out the animated dialogue. His excited yet genteel tone makes the densely descriptive text sound lighter and less mannered. His voice sustains an energetic lilt throughout his performance of this lengthy and exhaustively sketched fiction.
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.
Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I was excited to see an audiobook of The Mysterious Island, one of my favorite novels by Jules Verne. Berny Clark does a good job narrating the book. I'd love to give it five stars, but unfortunately the producers decided to use a mediocre 19th-century translation that renames three of the characters and cuts some of the main points from a certain life story that forms the climax of the novel. (If you haven't read it before, I won't say anything more than that; just remember, when you get to this point, that Verne's original text is far more radical politically than what you're listening to.)
At least it's a mediocre translation and not a completely bungled one, unlike the "standard" version of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea or the "Hardwigg" version of Journey to the Center of the Earth. The story (apart from some of the political shading) is intact, and the story of this resolute band of escapees and their skin-of-their-teeth survival on the island has always been, for me, a compelling and gripping one. My three stars for the story are directed at the translation, not the original. I wish a different translation were used, but I'm glad to have it.
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
When you read something written in 1874, then you have to keep in mind, when it was written, the culture at the time and if Science Fiction, the knowledge at that time. There is no doubt in my mind that at the time this was written it was one of the best if not the best story you could obtain. Even reading it today as a 54 year old man, it brought back the wonder and the adventure I felt as a boy, going out and playing in the woods and pretending to be on a mysterious island. As a young boy the movie Mysterious Island was my favorite next to The Wizard of Oz.
The 60's movie and the book have very little in common. There are no giant birds, no girls, etc. If you buy the book, then you need to be ready for long sections, where they tell you step by step how to make gun powder, bricks, ovens, etc.
There is a lot that can be criticized about the book, which is fairly common for novels of the time period. The engineer is a perfect man, his knowledge is total, he is calm at all times, he is a great leader, etc. So many things just fall into place, such as one of them just happens to find a corn seed in the lining of his coat, one of them mentions they could really use a beast of burden and the next day two show up at there doorstep, everything they make or attempt comes out perfect, never a mistake. The ending is a super cop out of a miracle. It also bothers me that there are no women, that of these five men, none are married, don't seem to have families and never once miss anyone from home. Anytime someone is given up for dead, you can expect some miracle to bring them back to life. I believe this to be typical of 19th century adventure novels.
The book has a whole is very interesting, there are some really good parts, some intense parts and as long as you don't expect it to compete with modern writing then it is an enjoyable read.
The narrator was good for this type of book, I am not sure I would want him to read something which involved lots of emotion.
I have always enjoyed the novels of Jules Verne. While not a scientist by training, his writing includes enough technical detail (perhaps too much, at times) to make the story very believable. What I enjoy is being able to listen or read stories from this era. I feel it is important to keep the story in context. Although published nearly 20 years after the U.S. Civil War, Verne does a good job of portraying the public face of civil behavior at the time. The caring yet always appropriate relationship between the main characters does not fit well in a RAP society where caring has lost its meaning to many.
Having said all that, Verne's story lines can become tedious when he does into detail on botanicals and phylogenetic classifications. Even so, that is his style and his work influenced many scientist.
As for Mr. Clark, the narrator, I felt he did an admirable job considering that Verne's writing (originally in French), is a struggle in translated works.
I read this book several times in the past and was curious how it would work as an audio book. I enjoyed it -- more than I thought I would.
If the narrator is good then the audio edition is pretty much always better. In this case, the narrator was very good and I liked it.
I finally read/listened to this book last month and enjoyed every chapter. It shows how they managed to survive on the island by making tools and items in their cave. This book is by far one of the best "stranded on an island" books you could hope for. It is probably one of Jules Verne's best. The inhabitants of an island are banded together and when they get into a tight spot, there is a mysterious force that always helps out. This force is not revealed until nearly the end. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
Like all of Verne's works. The dialog shows it's age, I find that charming rather than bothersome. Verne was a visionary, and I rate 'Mysterious Island' among his best. If classic literature is your thing, you will love this.
Berney Clark's performance was right on the mark. I would definitely listen to him in the future.
The characters are thrown together during a hurricane and there begins their journey. They are creative, intelligent and men of integrity. Survival and daily needs must be conquered. They have an unseen benefactor who watches over them. It is such a great read, pick it up and see for your self
"Listening with my other ear"
Yes, it was soooo good. Jules Verne has always been and is continuing to be one of my favorite authors.
The whole book was so consistent that is hard to pick a singular moment. Maybe it was when they found their mysterious benefactor and watching how Verne ties his books together.
Creating Granite House
Nothing, I loved it!
We have read a lot of Jules Verne in our home school class. Everything from Journey to the Center Of The Earth to 20,000 Leagues. But for some reason this one was my sons favorite and now mine too. WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL!
An avid, omnivorous but critical reader.
Perhaps I'm not quite as perceptive as other listeners but I was quite satisfied with the resolution of the mystery of the island. The glimpse into the behaviours found acceptable and the black and white (pun intended) view of the values of the age was fascinating at first but grew old as the novel progressed.
This was my first audible Jules Verne but I have read all of the others. This one seemed to me to be slower moving than the others.
I haven't heard him before but I would certainly choose him again as a narrator.
For sure. Bruce Willis would have to be the sailor and I'd love to see Morgan Freeman as the captain. Given the values of the era, this would mix things up nicely in a modern version of the tale !
An interesting book, well narrated with a satisfactory mystery but perhaps an ideal candidate for an abridged version.
I read most of Jules Verne's fictions when I was young (a long, long time ago). I particularly remembered that I had enjoyed Mysterious Island though I remembered little about the plot. I came across this in Audible and it was on sale so I took the plunge. It was a lot of fun, not too deep or complex, just a good story about a group that get stranded and use their wits and their absolute commitment to one another to survive, and survive well. If you've read any of his stories, you know they can get bogged down in details now and then and the language is stilted at times, but the story is very well done. And most important, for me anyways, is that I love how it ends. The trails they face are believable, complex, and make the last couple of hours very suspenseful. For those that remember the movie (which was ridiculous in my opinion) and have not read the book, it is nothing like the movie, which is a good thing.
The narration was good, not great, but good. Nice job with the various characters on the whole.
Not the best book I've listened to, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Great for young adults...
Live in Cocoa Beach Florida. Am a videographer and photographer.
I would recommend Mysterious Island to anyone who likes adventure stories. This book has mystery and excitement seldom found.
This is a fast moving story continuously presenting the unexpected.
I very much enjoyed the scenes when the characters discovered and built their dwelling in side of the mountain.
Really good book couldn’t stop listening to it, it would keep me up all night
Narrator really makes the book come alive
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