The Mysterious Island
Publication Date: December 18, 2001
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Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, a man who survived by himself for almost five years on an uninhabited Pacific island off the coast of Chile, Jules Verne’s page-turner The Mysterious Island is a tale of five men and a dog who escape Civil War Richmond in a balloon during a storm and land on a faraway and uncharted island where they must overcome nature’s harsh elements to create from scratch a civilization for themselves.
Currently available only in an abridged 1970s translation and, in full, only in a dated nineteenth-century translation that is stuffy and limp, turning the muscular, breathless tone of the original into something overwrought and melodramatic, The Mysterious Island is restored here to its original robustness in Jordan Stump’s striking new rendition. This major re-presentation also features an Introduction by Caleb Carr, and over eighty illustrations reprinted from the original 1875 French edition.
Jordan Stump is an associate professor of French at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the translator of more than half a dozen French novels. Two of his translations have been nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the largest and most international prize of its kind.
Caleb Carr is the author of The Alienist and, most recently, Killing Time. He lives in New York.
"The reason Verne is still read by millions today is simply that he was one of the best storytellers who ever lived.”
-Arthur C. Clarke
“[Verne’s] masterpiece . . . In many ways this ‘scientific Robinsonade’ was the epitome of Verne’s life work.”