Monday, August 05, 2013

Book Report of Jules Verne's MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

You know generally that Classics are good.  Why would  classics be good?   (picture me swatting your head with a rolled up Classic Comicbook and saying) Because they withstood the test of time, that is their definition (and another swat).

And if you have an electronic reading device they are good for another reason:   Classic books are mostly free.   I just finished reading MYSTERIOUS ISLAND by Jules Verne.

I thought it was a very good read.  The book starts out in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War.  Richmond was under siege by the Yankees.

One night five men that were not really involved in the war, one was a captured Yankee officer, who was an engineer; his man servant;  a war correspondent; a student studying biology; and a  sailor, not the military kind, but  the merchant marine kind; and the engineer's dog Top were fooling around with a hot air balloon that was inflated, with hot air and somehow they got loose and the balloon was caught in a hurricane and carried them  out of the country to the south seas and tossed them on a uncharted Island, which was probably about two or three times bigger than Manhattan.

They had nothing but the clothes on their backs to survive.  With the engineer's knowledge they were very resourceful and  innovative in making their island very comfortable.  Think of Robinson Crusoe and all he did.

The five men were a teem with no conflicts within them..  Which I think would be highly unusual.

I thought it was interesting that the makeup of the men was much like the makeup of the captured men in the book, also by Jules Verne, 20,000 THOUSANDS LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA...  In each book you had a very highly intelligent educated person, his man servant, and a sea man.

Speaking of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, the MYSTERIOUS ISLAND book is intertwined with its story and Captain Nemo also.

In the beginning I had trouble keeping up with all the people   I had no problem with Top the Dog, but the others, wore several hats with names... such as the engineer was a Captain in the Army;   sometimes  his rank was used, sometimes his occupation of engineer was used, and sometimes his name was used.  Each person had the same, which made about 20 names/nicknames and occupations to keep up with.

The man servant was black.  And you can tell by the writings the Jules Verne reserved all the manual labor for him, like cleaning and cooking and lifting heavy things, and one time when they slept in a cave he slept outside, he said he preferred it.    It was racism without saying so.  Although, to give credit, when they voted on something or had a discussion about something, the servant's vote and opinion was valued as much as every one else..

They spent three years on the island.  They all agreed they would be very happy to spend the rest of their lives there.  No women in their lives?   I think there were no women in 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA either

These novels  by the same person with no women reminds me of  Tubby in the LITTLE LULU comics.    Tubby  belonged to a club that had painted crudely on their club house:  NO GIRLS ALLOWED! 

Speaking of LITTLE LULU, that was a classic.


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