The Mysterious Island

  • by Jules Verne
  • Narrated by Berny Clark
  • 19 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful novel, mediocre translation

I was excited to see an audiobook of The Mysterious Island, one of my favorite novels by Jules Verne. Berny Clark does a good job narrating the book. I'd love to give it five stars, but unfortunately the producers decided to use a mediocre 19th-century translation that renames three of the characters and cuts some of the main points from a certain life story that forms the climax of the novel. (If you haven't read it before, I won't say anything more than that; just remember, when you get to this point, that Verne's original text is far more radical politically than what you're listening to.)

At least it's a mediocre translation and not a completely bungled one, unlike the "standard" version of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea or the "Hardwigg" version of Journey to the Center of the Earth. The story (apart from some of the political shading) is intact, and the story of this resolute band of escapees and their skin-of-their-teeth survival on the island has always been, for me, a compelling and gripping one. My three stars for the story are directed at the translation, not the original. I wish a different translation were used, but I'm glad to have it.
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- Tad Davis

Everything from nothing!

It isn't very often that I finish an audiobook and walk around with a grin from ear to ear, chuckling. This book really grew on me and it was so much fun. I really enjoyed the characters and miss them now that the book is finished.

First, what this book isn't. Do not expect a-thrill-a-minute pace, do not expect sea monsters, vampires, or zombies. Do not expect political correctness--think of where we were in the 70's, 1970's, that is.

What this book is. It is a very well-done, old-fashioned survival tale. It is an all-male adventure that includes and all-knowing engineer and his African manservant, a seaman, a reporter, and a young teen boy. In addition, there is the indispensable dog, Top, and the orangutan, Joop, who wears a dinner jacket in his role as servant. The guys are stranded on a Pacific island after escaping imprisonment of sorts by the Confederates during the Civil War by stealing a hot air balloon and blowing away in a hurricane. They crash land with nothing but the shirts on their backs, but no matter, they have an engineer with them! This book is not a comedy, by any means, but is genuinely funny and I wonder how the excellent narrator could keep from laughing. Somehow he did keep from laughing and turned out the best possible narration for this book, narrating with total seriousness.

This book is a gem that takes a little patience to get a feel of where it's going. Once you do, just sit back, take it easy, and enjoy it. And just when you think you have figured it out, you will be hit with a twist that will make it ever more enjoyable. That is assuming you have not read EVERY review and particularly the one by the person who just has to, oh-so-innocently, include spoilers in their reviews.

You got nothing to loose and a lot of listening fun if you get this book!
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- Kathy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-21-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios