Jules Verne’s stories of science fiction adventure have acquired an almost legendary status. I was aware of his reputation as an author with an uncanny knack for predicting the future, yet I’d never got round to reading a single one of his books until I tried The Mysterious Island.
Rather than being introduced to Verne through one of his best-loved works such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Centre of the Earth, I must confess that I chose to download this one because it was a free ebook. It also happened to tie in nicely with the escapism theme which I keep returning to recently: the idea of retreating to a peaceful spot in the middle of nowhere appealed to me.
In The Mysterious Island, the five main characters (and their dog) find themselves stranded on a small, undiscovered island in the South Pacific. They are thousands of miles from civilisation and all other human contact, and they have no way of sending or going for help. So the group set about making the best of what they have and embark on civilising the island.