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Old 05-20-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
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Discussion: The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (spoilers)

Hi All...

Let's talk about "the island". What do you think. What did you think?

Personally, I am on chapter 9 of Part III... so I have a bit more to go. But, I am really enjoying it... believe it or not, I like all the info on how they make all the stuff they needed to survive.

BOb
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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It's a very cool book, even w/o ... well, I don't want to spoil it.

(mental note, must find occasion to purchase the nifty new translation of another Verne novel published by the Naval Institute Press)

Kind of feels a bit like Swiss Family Robinson at the beginning (one of the favourite books of my childhood).

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Old 05-20-2010, 01:15 PM   #3
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I've loved it ever since I was 13 though I was much older when I realized it was a sequel to more than one book.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:54 AM   #4
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I haven't even finished it.... I'm up to part II, but I found part one a bit hard to get through... although I loved all their inventions... I was also curious about the native Australian animals, they found on the island.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:57 AM   #5
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SPOILER ALERT!

I didn't enjoy Part I. Part II was slightly better, but Part III was a page-turner. I could see how it could have served as one of the inspirations for the "Lost" series on TV, although the engineer, Captain Cyrus Harding, put me more in mind of the Professor on Gilligan's Island or perhaps MacGyver. He seemed to be a jack of all trades as well as the castaways fount of all knowledge. Was there anything he couldn't do?

Knowing the title of another famous work of Verne's, I guessed the mystery of the Island early on, but it was still interesting to see how Verne arrived at the moment of truth. The one place I felt the book fell down was in the very last chapter, after Lincoln Island exploded. No way! To survive a volcanic explosion that sinks a whole island; then after all those years of not seeing anything but a pirate ship; to be rescued by the Dunbar at that very moment in time strains credulity.

I could understand if the Nautilus had been powered by an Improbability Drive.

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Old 05-21-2010, 03:22 AM   #6
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I read the spoiler alert
Spoiler:
(even though it didn't have tags )
. I'm still trying to finish it. Like I said before, this book is one I would like to have if I was stranded on a desert island (along with a field guide or two to help me identify flora and fauna).

Since you promise me that part III is so much better, I'll keep at it.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:39 AM   #7
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Maybe I am not far enough into it, but I am getting bored. That engineer seems to have all the answers (smartarse) and there are lots of Australian animals. Where's the mystery? I was looking for sleestacks or spaceships. It definitely put downable. I haven't been able to pick it up for 3 days. Maybe I should get all the spoilers to see if it is worth finishing.
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:38 AM   #8
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There are animals and plants from every continent. I think Cyrus Smith addresses this at one point - something about a Pacific continent that sunk beneath the sea.

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Old 05-21-2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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I enjoyed it, but the highly descriptive passages I could have done without. This is one of the few books I skimmed parts of (and didn't feel like I was missing much).
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
believe it or not, I like all the info on how they make all the stuff they needed to survive.

BOb
It's been way too long since I last read these, but back then I also enjoyed all those technical details.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:47 PM   #11
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Thoroughly Enjoyable!

This was my first ebook, which was read on a kindle. I felt the story was brilliant but a bit long winded, especially part 1. However, I did enjoy all the details on the chemistry that was needed to just make simple everyday items that we all take for granted. Just imagine being stuck on an island without a person like Cyrus Harding and his encyclopedic brain
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:41 PM   #12
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I enjoyed this book. I liked the reference to 'Robinson Crusoe' and others who got stranded with tools etc from ships and that this group had nothing. The technical descriptions were interesting because they were written in 1874(?). And although some of them were way over my head (at which stage I started skimming them) they were still interesting.

Part I was a bit lengthy and I had to force myself to read through but am very glad I persisted. The engineer was a bit of a smartarse with all the answers to all the problems. But you get that.

I figured fairly early who the 'mysterious' help was but was wondering how he would be introduced to the story.

I didn't like the ending as I don't think all (except for poor Jup [that made me unhappy]) could have survived the explosion of the island. The ending appeared to be very fast and rushed.

All in all I liked the book and will go back and re-read some of the others. Fascinating really, how a book that old can still entertain.

Or maybe I re-read the book and try and find all those weird animals and names he used on google. I was quite glad when he called a Koala a koala and didn't mess with the name for kangaroo or used the scientific name. Some of the others have me stumped but it didn't hurt the story that much.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartilas View Post
This was my first ebook, which was read on a kindle. I felt the story was brilliant but a bit long winded, especially part 1. However, I did enjoy all the details on the chemistry that was needed to just make simple everyday items that we all take for granted. Just imagine being stuck on an island without a person like Cyrus Harding and his encyclopedic brain
Yea! The first book read. I totally want Cyrus with me if I become stranded on a desert island -- brains are the most valuable in that situation.

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The technical descriptions were interesting because they were written in 1874(?). And although some of them were way over my head (at which stage I started skimming them) they were still interesting.
That's how I felt.

Quote:
I figured fairly early who the 'mysterious' help was but was wondering how he would be introduced to the story.
I'm STILL trying to finish the book. Now, I want to know what the "mysterious help" is.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #14
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I'm STILL trying to finish the book. Now, I want to know what the "mysterious help" is.
Well, you will just have to read it. That's why I didn't name names - I know, pretty mean of me
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:55 AM   #15
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Mysterious? More impossible. Too many mainland (& different mainlands) creatures for it to be natural, which spoiled it a bit for me. Even given when it was written, it didn't make sense in that way. (That islands were limited in the species was known.)

The building technology from the ground up was fun, but rather underestimated how hard it would be.

The ending seemed very rushed and improbable, even compared to the rest.

Spoiler:
It seems that the ending (island destroyed by sea water mixing with magma under the island) influenced the investigation of the 1883 destruction of Krakatoa, with early investigations concluding that it was just such a sea-water/magma mix that destroyed the island. This does not seem to have been the case, although the exact cause of the large explosions in 1883 is not certain.


On the whole, although it's impressive for its time, I didn't enjoy the book. Perhaps a better (or more modern) translation would have helped. There were at least a couple of occasions where a translation problem caught my eye - just from the poor quality of the English. But it may be that the impossibilities just distracted me too much from the story.
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