Oh, Jules Verne. You would never be published by today’s standards. For your time period, yes, you were brilliant, and ahead of your era, and I’m pretty sure any of your characters alone would dominate Survivor.
“The Mysterious Island,” seemed like Mr. Verne’s thoughts of how modern people would colonize if they had every resource available and few limitations. I’ll admit, I had the wrong expectations for the book. The closest information I had about the story line was the terrible adaptation of the movie, “Journey 2.” I dug through the book expecting to find twists and adventure similar to that of “Lost,” or a more magical “Lord of the Flies.”
Silly me, I was reading a Jules Verne book. The plot weighs wholly on the exploration of the island. Yes, they do compile a little list of “mysterious” events and findings, but I was able to figure out the basic source long before it was revealed. True, the specific character of the source was a good twist, though it almost felt like Mr. Verne’s sequel/redemption of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
Result: ***3 stars***. It’s a classic, and I could tell why, with its geographical, cultural, and intellectual explorations. It was intriguing to read, but will I plan on reading it again anytime soon? Not likely. Though I would suggest it if you’re a fan of Jules Verne, want a clean survival book that teaches you things while you read, and don’t mind characters with no arch.