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The Mysterious Island | [Jules Verne]

The Mysterious Island

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....
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Audible Editor Reviews

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.

Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (483 )
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4.3 (433 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 09-03-14
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 09-03-14 Member Since 2013

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

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    "…..Do You Like All Your Glasses to be Half Full?.."

    Reminiscent of ROBINSON CRUSOE this is a buoyant tale of adventure that appeals to the young at heart. Set in the time of the American Civil War this is a fine example of 19th century fiction. Despite perilous circumstances—of first imprisonment and then castaway on a desert island, tossed by storm and threatened by pirates—our intrepid, if unwitting, colonists always look on the bright side of life, having boundless energy and unchained optimism. This feature somewhat dates this story before the turn of the previous century. The manner in which the characters take on each new challenge from a scientific posture lends me to categorize this as a Science Fiction story. It is entirely akin to early Sci-Fi tales where the reader could well expect lengthy explanations of imaginary technological advances interspersed throughout. Another element that would not be found in contemporary fiction is the unapologetic male perspective. None of the characters are female, and in fact, there is scant mention of the fairer sex anywhere in the book. I found this to be a story told in a straight-forward fashion that makes it easy to follow. You may let is wash over you like the waves on the beach of Lincoln Island. This novel is a worthy addition to Verne’s earlier work 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. It hearkens back to a more noble age, and gave me a taste of the sense of wonder I had reading as a child when simple exploration was sufficient to enthrall me.

    Benard Citero Clark gives a fine reading delivering this matter-of-fact story in a straight-forward fashion. He is capable of delivering unique character voices that add much to the enjoyment of this book. This novel is written from the perspective of a third-person omniscient narrator. Berny Clark has a voice that became transparent and allowed me to fully engage with the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hopkins California 07-25-14
    Hopkins California 07-25-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating, wonderful adventure novel"

    This is one of the best books I've listened to on Audible. The first couple of hours were a little slow but once the castaways began to build their civilization the book just took off. It's 19 hours long but don't let that put you off --- it's packed with action, mystery and humor. I found some of the later parts of the book quite touching and even a little sad.

    The length of the book and its 19th century language will mean it's not for everyone but since it's only $1 to buy it's definitely worth a try. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorin 07-18-14
    Lorin 07-18-14
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    "Swiss family Robinson on steroids."
    Where does The Mysterious Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a great story by Jules Verne, but one that I was not aware of. It's like Swiss family Robinson on steroids.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The young boy, who was somewhat of a naturalist and curious about everything, and soaking up the experience of their misfortune.


    What about Berny Clark’s performance did you like?

    He did a superb job at defining each character and his voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I'm not that sort of a reader. I prefer to listen to it in installments it is very easy to pick up on it again and continue with the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie D 06-04-14
    Natalie D 06-04-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Similar to 20,000 leagues"

    This book is very similar to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Personalities from that previous book can be found in here, as well as many of the interpersonal dynamics. It is interesting to see the descriptions of what the characters were able to accomplish on the Island. All in all, I prefer this book to 20,000 Leagues. I found 20,000 much more tedious although that book probably would have delighted me if I had lived in an earlier age without easy access to nature documentaries. The narrator does a good job and he is very clear in his diction. I was able to listen to this book at 3X speed with no issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Hill 06-03-14
    Scott Hill 06-03-14

    I give every book and author a chance. I like books that grab you and evoke an emotional response.

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    "Liked it better that 20K Leagues..."
    What did you love best about The Mysterious Island?

    The mystery made you want to get to the end of the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jup... Just joking... Proffessor Harding


    What does Berny Clark bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He was a better than average reader.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not necessarily...


    Any additional comments?

    I did figure out the mystery before the reveal at the end of the book, but did not ruin the experience. If you liked 20K Leagues Under the Sea, you may like this better...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LifetimeRoad 05-24-14
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    "One of the most boring classics I've read."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. It definitely drags.


    Has The Mysterious Island turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Berny Clark?

    Depends on the book.


    Did The Mysterious Island inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Few classics move slower than this one for me. Narrator Benny Clark's portrayal of the various charcters was poor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elias G. Castro Guadalajara, Mexico 03-29-14
    Elias G. Castro Guadalajara, Mexico 03-29-14

    Elias G.

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    "Imagination excellency from the master Verne"
    Where does The Mysterious Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the second best audiobook I've listened to.


    What other book might you compare The Mysterious Island to and why?

    Comparing it to Ender's Game, this book also makes the mind imagine ramifications of the story as it conserves a real athmosphere. The carachters are really great, they are full of carachteristics, they are smart, innocent and inventive.


    Any additional comments?

    With Verne you cannot go wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 03-04-14
    Scott Moss Beach, CA, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2009

    Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.

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    "Dry Rendition"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book could have benefitted from a better producer, who would have caught mispronunciations.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jules Verne? Why or why not?

    Yes, Verne has a way of making science seem miraculous.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Berny Clark’s performances?

    No. I hate to criticize a narrator, as I could certainly do no better, but this book had more characters than Clark could easily differentiate. Also, he mispronounced a number of words, which immediately took me out of the narrative. For instance, instead of pronouncing "draught" as "draft," he says "drot."


    What character would you cut from The Mysterious Island?

    The boy, Herbert, is extraneous.


    Any additional comments?

    There are probably better translations, and a narrator adept at many voices would make this a better listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 02-02-14
    George 02-02-14
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    "Wow! Great Sci Fi"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookoholics Anon 01-19-14 Listener Since 2009

    No Pink Ponies

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    "My favorite Jules Verne novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Mysterious Island to be better than the print version?

    The print version is very long. But some translations are better than others. This one is mediocre.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mysterious Island?

    The meeting of the colonists with the mysterious benefactor in the caverns of Lincoln Island. One of science fiction's great moments with one of science fiction's great characters.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was good, except I disliked the reader's voice for Pencroft the sailor. It was annoying--the gruffness was a good idea, but the voicing was forced and positively irritating.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This was one of my favorite books as a child. For some reason, however, the characters came alive more in the written version, especially Herbert, who seems less important in the spoken version. The end does make you cry a bit--it is bittersweet.


    Any additional comments?

    I still think this is one of Verne's best novels. In a way, it's a sequel to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" which is perhaps a greater novel than this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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