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The Mysterious Island (Anglais) Poche – décembre 1986

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"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. Towns were overthrown, forests uprooted, coasts devastated by the mountains of water which were precipitated on them, vessels cast on the shore, which the published accounts numbered by hundreds, whole districts leveled by waterspouts which destroyed everything they passed over, several thousand people crushed on land or drowned at sea; such were the traces of its fury, left by this devastating tempest. It surpassed in disasters those which so frightfully ravaged Havana and Guadalupe, one on the 25th of October, 1810, the other on the 26th of July, 1825. But while so many catastrophes were taking place on land and at sea, a drama not less exciting was being enacted in the agitated air. In fact, a balloon, as a ball might be carried on the summit of a waterspout, had been taken into the circling movement of a column of air and had traversed space at the rate of ninety miles an hour, turning round and round as if seized by some aerial maelstrom. Beneath the lower point of the balloon swung a car, containing five passengers, scarcely visible in the midst of the thick vapor mingled with spray which hung over the surface of the ocean. Whence, it may be asked, had come that plaything of the tempest? From what part of the world did it rise? It surely could not have started during the storm. But the storm had raged five days already, and the first symptoms were manifested on the 18th. It cannot be doubted that the balloon came from a great distance, for it could not have traveled less than two thousand miles in twenty-four hours. At any rate the passengers, destitute of all marks for their guidance, could not have possessed the means of reckoning the route traversed since their departure. It was a remarkable fact that, although in the very midst of the furious tempest, they did not suffer from it. They were thrown about and whirled round and round without feeling the rotation in the slightest degree, or being sensible that they were removed from a horizontal position. Their eyes could not pierce through the thick mist which had gathered beneath the car. Dark vapor was all around them. Such was the density of the atmosphere that they could not be certain whether it was day or night. No reflection of light, no sound from inhabited land, no roaring of the ocean could have reached them, through the obscurity, while suspended in those elevated zones. Their rapid descent alone had informed them of the dangers which they ran from the waves. However, the balloon, lightened of heavy articles, such as ammunition, arms, and provisions, had risen into the higher layers of the atmosphere, to a height of 4,500 feet. The voyagers, after having discovered that the sea extended beneath them, and thinking the dangers above less dreadful than those below, did not hesitate to throw overboard even their most useful articles, while they endeavored to lose no more of that fluid, the life of their enterprise, which sustained them above the abyss. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Amazon.com: 82 commentaires
120 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Is Mysterious Island Verne's best novel? 19 juin 2002
Par Joanna D. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Many of Verne's novels have become cultural icons for Americans though Verne was French and we read him in translation. Nevertheless, his philosophy that enlightened good will and scientific advancement would save society is so close to American idealism, he seems much more American than almost any of his contemporaries.

Everyone is familiar with Around the World in 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues. For some reason, The Mysterious Island is not read as widely. Yet, in my opinion, it is Verne's best and most rewarding novel.

The opening of Myserious Island reads a bit like a serious version of "Wizard of Oz." Cyrus, Pencroft, Herbert, Neb and Gideon, and a dog named Top make a daring escape from a Civil War prison in a balloon, but the balloon is blown way off course to an uncharted volcanic island. These men are worthy souls; Captain Cyrus is an inspiring leader, Pencroft, an earthy but hardworking sailor. Gideon is kind of a "everyman" -- observant, strong and resourceful and loving, and Herbert a young, knowlegeable naturalist. These men and their dog Top conquer the island's challenges and make the very best out of their isolation on the small island. But are they prepared for the surprises the island has for them--and the ultimate surprise in the second half of the book. The suspense keeps the reader turning the pages through a great deal of descriptive information about nature, chemistry, physics and engineering. This is classic Verne and what really put the Science in Science Fiction.

One reason Mysterious Island may not have developed the strong audience of the other Verne novels is that there is so much detail and scientific discussion. That is rough going if you have little interest in such subjects. There are abridged versions that cut a lot of the description, but frankly, the science is what I love best about the book. How Cyrus and company make nitroglycerin and use it to reshape their island home is one of my favorite chapters in sci-fi literature.

If you liked Swiss Family Robinson as a child, you would surely enjoy Mysterious Island. It's one of Verne's best works and deserves to be read.
36 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Probably my favorite book... 27 décembre 2000
Par Nickolay Stanev - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I bet nobody would care about whatever I have to say about this book, but I just had to share my opinion. Around the age of 10 I started reading a lot - mostly adventure books. My grandparents had a huge library and I just loved digging in there and reading whatever looked interesting to me at the time. One day my grandfather came up to me with a smile, his hands behind his back, and just stood there, looking expectantly at me. So I asked "What?" He said, "Guess what I found?" Of course, I had no clue. "That Jules Verne book I was telling you about." And he pulled out a rather beat up copy of "The Mysterious Island" that he had thought long lost. I dumped whatever I was reading at the time and dove right into it. I believe I finished it in two or three days... It is definitely one of the most interesting books ever written. I reread it a couple of times since then and every time it was as interesting. Well, almost... It is just one of those books that hit you on the head like a ton of bricks the first time you read them. You want to get to the next page as fast as possible, eager to reach the end and see what happens to the characters and at the same time afraid that the book might, to your greatest distress, end. All in all, this is one of my favorite books of all time. It belongs to that category of adventure (I'm using the term somewhat loosely here) books that should be read by every teenager and all those adults who didn't read them as teenagers - Alexandre Dumas' "The Three Musketeers", Karl May's "Winnetou", Capt. Mayne Reid's "The Headless Horseman", Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe", Rafael Sabatini's "The Sea Hawk", Henryk Sienkiewicz's "In Desert & Wilderness", Rafaelo Giovagnoli's "Spartacus", Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan of the Apes", James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last Of The Mohicans", Liselotte Wellskopf-Henrich's "The Sons Of The Great Bear" (never seen this one in English and I'm not sure about the spelling of the author's name or the translation in English that the book would get...) - all of the above books that I have felt compelled to read between 3 and 15 (yep, count me crazy) times.
So, I have read about 10-15 Jules Verne books and this one is by far the best. By the way, those who haven't yet should check out "Captain Grant's Children" - one of the sort-of prequels to this book. I never see it mentioned among his works, but it is another gripping adventure. I have only seen a Russian edition of this book, though. Might not have been translated in English...
Anyway, I think I should read "The Mysterious Island" again these days...
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent 29 juin 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I think this is the best book Verne has ever written. It has adventure, mystery, suspense, survival, and science fiction all mixed up into one book. It is about Cyrus harding, the engineer, Neb, his loyal servant, Gidion Spilett, the reporter, Jack Pencroft, the spontaneous sailor, Herbert, a 13 year old boy, and the faithful dog Top, who get dropped in a hot air ballon on a remote island. The soon begin forming there own "mini-america" on the island. But strange things start happening - like when top is almost killed my a strange animal, but the animal suddenly dies from a knife wound, and when Pencroft finds a bullet in a wild pig. Who did these things appear on a uninhabited island? Hint- Read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea first
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Textbook on How to Start A Civilization from Scratch! 28 juin 2000
Par Henry R. Kujawa - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
A very difficult yet satisfying book to read, this build slowly from utter bleakness to an enthralling sense of wonder. Having seen the 1961 movie, I was astonished at how LITTLE of the book actually made it to the screen-- and there were NO monsters here! Ironically, the trained orangutan-butler that would have been at home in a Disney film was one of the things left out of the film version. Having been surprised that the book 20,000 LEAGUES actually left Captain Nemo's background a total mystery right to the end, Verne finally reveals his true identity here-- and one can tell nobody in Hollywood's been reading this book. While it basically stands on its own, Verne's MYSTERIOUS ISLAND is actually a sequel to 2 previous books: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, and the more obscure CAPTAIN GRANT'S CHILDREN, the latter of which I believe served as the inspiration for the Disney film IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS! With Verne's interest in minute detail, I came away feeling this book could serve as not only a rousing adventure story, but as a wonderful manual for anyone wanting to start a new civilization completely from scratch.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Remember MacGyver? 16 août 2002
Par phantomfan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
How he used to make an engine run with duct tape and a shoe string, or make a bomb from bleach and a rusty nail?
He kept coming to mind as I was reading this incredible book, as the characters, stranded on an island with absolutely nothing, accomplished such amazing feats as draining a lake, making a home, building a ship, making an elevator, and a great many other things. There is excitement, suspense (what IS going on on this mysterious island??), and wonderful, likeable characters. Not a real well-known Verne book, but fortunately still in print, and one of his best and most entertaining.
(Incidentally, if you want a children's version of the same story, try to find "A Long Vacation" by Jules Verne, which is extremely similar in plot, but with younger characters and for a younger audience - very charming!)
By the way, please do read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea first, if you have not already done so. Evidently, Verne assumed that everyone had when he wrote this novel.
Great reading!
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