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The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
By: (1828-1905)

The book tells the adventures of five Americans on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. The story begins in the American Civil War, during the siege of Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America. As famine and death ravage the city, five northern prisoners of war decide to escape by the unusual means of hijacking a balloon. The five are Cyrus Smith, a railroad engineer in the Union army (named Cyrus Harding in some English translations); his black manservant Neb (short for Nebuchadnezzar), who Verne repeatedly states is not a slave but an ex-slave who had been freed by Smith; the sailor Bonadventure Pencroff (who is addressed only by his surname, but his "Christian name", Bonadventure, is given to their boat; in other translations, he is also known as Pencroft); his protégé Harbert Brown (called Herbert in some translations), a young boy whom Pencroff raises as his own after the death of his father (Pencroff's former captain); and the journalist Gedéon Spilett (Gideon Spilett in English versions). The company is completed by Cyrus' dog 'Top'.

After flying in stormy weather for several days, the group crash-lands on a cliff-bound, volcanic, unknown (and fictitious) island. They name it "Lincoln Island" in honor of American President Abraham Lincoln. With the knowledge of the brilliant engineer Smith, the five are able to sustain themselves on the island, hoping that they will one day escape. (Summary by Wikipedia)

First Page:


by Jules Verne



Chapter 1

"Are we rising again?" "No. On the contrary." "Are we descending?" "Worse than that, captain! we are falling!" "For Heaven's sake heave out the ballast!" "There! the last sack is empty!" "Does the balloon rise?" "No!" "I hear a noise like the dashing of waves. The sea is below the car! It cannot be more than 500 feet from us!" "Overboard with every weight! ... everything!"

Such were the loud and startling words which resounded through the air, above the vast watery desert of the Pacific, about four o'clock in the evening of the 23rd of March, 1865.

Few can possibly have forgotten the terrible storm from the northeast, in the middle of the equinox of that year. The tempest raged without intermission from the 18th to the 26th of March. Its ravages were terrible in America, Europe, and Asia, covering a distance of eighteen hundred miles, and extending obliquely to the equator from the thirty fifth north parallel to the fortieth south parallel... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 10 reviews)

Reviewer: - June 3, 2014
Subject: Terrible sound
Try to get through the first 4 chapters of terrible sound quality...
Reviewer: - April 7, 2014
Totally awesome all the thought the story
Reviewer: - April 3, 2014
Subject: John T Koos
Classic story, completely ruined by John T Koos who's emphasis on the wrong words, pausing that makes you think the reading is being read by Captain James T Kirk and impressions of an English man, Irish man and Scots man should be left in jokes makes some of the chapters almost impossible to follow along to! A big thank you to all those other readers for their time and excellent work.
Reviewer: - April 3, 2014
As good as, if not better than, Robinson Crusoe
Reviewer: - November 6, 2013
Subject: S
Slow start, but overall great story that I will remember forever and well read!
Reviewer: - November 4, 2013
Great book nearly ruined by the reading of John T Kooz who seems to delight in not only placing strange emphasis on words, but talking in ridiculous voices that mock the characters.
October 9, 2013
Pretty poor quality recording before chapter 4.
Reviewer: - July 23, 2013
Subject: John T. Coos
Please tell this reader to avoid placing strange emphasis on words. He also randomly switches accents and seems to put so much effort in this that he runs out of air.
Reviewer: - April 27, 2013
Subject: The Mysterious Island
The guy who reads chapters 12-18 has a really annoying voice and switches accents very distractingly. He also put strange emphasis on words and seems like he's basically trying to annoy the listener as much as possible. Other than that, great audiobook!
Reviewer: - April 22, 2013
The quality of the recording made me stop after 30mins. Need a better recording to make it enjoyable.

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