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Search tags: Jules-Verne
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review 2018-03-29 03:45
Childhood favorite which came with me to the adulthood
The Mysterious Island - Caleb Carr,Jordan Stump,Jules Verne

Five Union prisoners escape from the siege of Richmond in a balloon, are blown off course and crash on an uncharted island. They must learn to rebuild a society for themselves while awaiting rescue.

Review:

Dear readers,

Even after living in the US for two decades, I cannot quite figure out whether Jules Vern is a popular writer here (or in any other country, really). I mean I do see his books occasionally when I walk in the Barnes and Noble, but none of my book buds seem to have him amongst their favorites. So I have no idea, but Jules Verne was quite popular in the Soviet Union when I was growing up. I first read a lot of his stories when I was very young and same as many of my favorite books that I read at that age, “Mysterious Island” traveled with me to my adulthood and I love it today as much as ever.

I love it because my heart went out to all the five men (well four men, and fifteen year old boy – when our story begins) who wanted to escape siege of Richmond and who were ready to risk anything for that and possibly even their lives. And they escaped all right – to the island where nobody else was living, they had to throw in the ocean their meager possessions they managed to take with them before they run, so when they crashed they had nothing with them. They only had their strength, bravery, intelligence and their quickly formed friendship to survive together.

Of course the writer helped them out a lot by making sure the island had a lot of natural resources. A lot of them! However, they literally had to build so many things from scratch and their hard work (and engineering knowledge of the man who became their leader) was a big part of their success.

I have read some answers to the questions and some reviews of the book at Goodreads, because I really was interested in the opinions of those who actually read the book.

First and foremost there are two books that have some characters in common with this book. “In Search of the Castaways” and “Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea” should be read *before* this book regardless of when Verne wrote those two.  These three books connected very loosely, they do not tell you the same continuous story as the normal trilogy would, however, the story of one character from “Search of Castaways” and the story of one character from “Twenty Thousands Leagues” gets satisfying conclusion ( for me) in “Mysterious Island”.

 Some reviews compared the story with “Robinson Cruzo”.  I agree that comparison works – if for no other reason then only because it is also a story of survival at the uninhabited island.  However, I also liked this book so much better than Robinson. I read Robinson but never had any desire to reread it and I think the main reason was because these men had each other, they supported each other, sacrificed for each other and worked together to make the island where they crashed good place to live in.  They had no reason to think that they would ever leave it after all.

Another review of the book I have read basically stated it was boring because there was not much plot. I do not agree with it, however I think I can *see* how somebody else can view this book as boring, because a lot of the plot describes the work men did , be it building the place for the animals they tamed, or making clothing for themselves, or gardening. The work together occupies a lot of page space for sure.

But this is not all our colonists did, not at all! They got to save a life, they had to battle pirates, they kept saving each other from various dangers and they got to discover the secret that their Island had.

I always love a redemption story too and for one of the characters the book told such a story.

I have almost a sentimental attachment to this book. Not all childhood favorites survived the rereads, but this one did and I remember reading this book to my brother before bed when he was four and I was eight, so please understand that even though I am giving it the highest grade, I am aware of the issues the book may have for other readers.

First and foremost there are no women in this story. I was not bothered by that, because it made sense to me, but if you do not want to read the book with only male characters, this is not a book for you.

I also read that Jules Verne did not do a very good job describing the Richmond of 1865, but I would not know one way or another, just something to keep in mind.

Also, one of the characters is a Black guy who was initially a slave. The former owner freed Nab long time ago, but Nab decided to stay and be a free servant because he loved this guy so much. I do not feel qualified to decide if his portrayal was problematic. I do think that Nab is portrayed in the same very sympathetic way as other main characters, but if it bothers you that he chose to stay with his former owner, one more time, just beware.

Grade: A

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review 2017-10-01 15:28
Paris Au XXe Siecle (Broché) - Jules Verne

Le mur murant Paris rend Paris murmurant.

Il y avait un journal arabe, La Sentinelle du Sahara, que les plaisants du jour appelaient un journal hebdromadaire!

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review 2017-08-24 19:15
Around the World in Eighty Days
Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne, Brian W. Aldiss,Michael Glencross

What I learned from this book: travelling by train is far more dangerous and troubling than travelling by boat. What happens to Phileas Fogg and his group during their train travels is insane.

 

About halfway through the book I switched to the audiobook, narrated by Jim Dale, and this choice has been perfect for me. I struggled with Verne´s descriptions of the cities, the countrys, the ships and so on and they worked better for me while listening to them. And Jim Dale is a great narrator, giving distinct voices to the characters and some of the voices (the mormon priest and Colonel Procter in particular) made me chuckle. 

 

Around the World in Eighty Days is such a fun book to listen to. In fact so much fun that I went walking through town today, earplugs in my ears, listening to the last hour of this novel with a constant smile on my lips. People must have thought me a nut job.

 

My favorite things about the ending has been

 

Mrs Auoda proposing to Phileas Fogg. You go, girl! And of course the satisfaction that I figured out that Phileas Fogg had in fact one more day than he thought he had. Another thing I learned from this book: Always travel from west to east if you want to go around to world. 

(spoiler show)

 

And to be honest I still don´t get the weird 19th century obsession with the Mormons. Loved Passepourte in this scene, though:

 

"And this," added William Hitch, "is why the Congress felt such envy towards us! This is why the soldiers of the Union invaded the soil of Utah! This is hy our leader, the prophet Brigham Young, was imprisioned in violation of the basic principles of justice. Will we give in to force? Never! We have been driven out of Vermont, driven out of Illinois, driven out of Ohio, driven out of Missouri and driven out of Utah, but we will still find an independent territory where we will pitch out tents. And you who are one of the faithful," added the elder, staring at his only remaining listener with eyes that blazed with anger, "will you pitch your tent in the shade of our banner?"

"No," replied Passepartout courageously, fleeing in turn and leaving the fanatic to preach in the wilderness.

 

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text 2017-08-15 22:53
Reading progress update: I've read 9 out of 230 pages.
Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne, Brian W. Aldiss,Michael Glencross

He had worked in ten different households. In every one the people had been temperamental or unpredictable, eager to seek out adventure or explore other countries, something that no longer suited Passepartout. [...] He discovered in the meanwhile that Phileas Fogg, Esq., was looking for a servant. He made some enquiries about this gentleman. Someone whose daily life was so well ordered, someone who never spent the night away from home and didn´t travel or even go away for a day, was bound to suit him.

 

I wonder what Passepartout is going to say about Phileas Fogg´s upcoming travel plans...

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-07-31 22:36
Booklikes-Opoly - BrokenTune's Final Game Wrap Up
Making History - Stephen Fry
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf
A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood
Die So Geliebte. Roman Um Annemarie Schwarzenbach - Melania G. Mazzucco
The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
Howards End - E.M. Forster
Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum - Richard Fortey
Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry - Jules Verne
The Day Of The Jackal - Frederick Forsyth
Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne, Brian W. Aldiss,Michael Glencross

July 31st:

 

Bank account: $215

 

Many thanks to Obsidian Blue and Moonlight reader for hosting this game. It was so much fun! Both playing and watching everyone else's updates - a special shout out to Magnetic Monkey and Penni, who have been quite the entertaining duo.

 

My personal goal for this game was to tackle my TBR shelves, both physical and electronic, and try and read as many books that I already own as I could. 

 

In that, I think it has been a resounding success. I managed to read 

 

40 books. Which added up to an amazing 12205 pages! And I loved many of them. Even ones that were outside of my normal reading comfort zone - Hello Sci-fi! and time travel. 

 

In fact, I managed to re-connect with one of my favourite childhood authors - Jules Verne. Not that Verne is a children's author. I just happen to have had my first encounter with Verne when I was a child. Now I want to read more of his works. They are just amazing!

 

Overall, not all of the books I have read over the game have been impressive. There have been 3 DNFs, and all the books together averaged a 3.36 rating.

 

However, there were some honourable mentions which I have linked above.

 

The Thorn Birds, Howards End, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth were re-reads, so the most surprising or best discoveries of the last three months have been Making History by Stephen Fry and The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulff.

 

Again, many thanks to OB and MR and to all the other BLikers who have taken part or cheered from the sidelines. You all rock!

 

 

Below (after the page break) are all my game updates.

 

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