The Mysterious Island

Read by Mark F. Smith

(4.7 stars; 1464 reviews)

A story of castaways, similar to Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson, this book details the escape from Civil War-era Richmond, Virginia, of five Northern men who dared to go aloft in a balloon in the midst of a hurricane. Deposited on a lonely island in the Pacific, they make do with Yankee ingenuity where Chance has left them nothing. Only later do they find they have a hidden benefactor: Captain Nemo, of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, who resides, alone, secretly on the island. In time, the tiny colony becomes so prosperous that it is able to rescue another castaway from an island a hundred miles away. But all their work will come to naught - their island's volcano is about to awake!(Summary by Mark)

(21 hr 58 min)


1-01 The Storm of 1865. Voices in the Air. 15:45 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-02 An Incident in the War of Secession 21:58 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-03 Five O'Clock in the Evening 17:37 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-04 Lithodomes. The River's Mouth. The Chimneys. 20:21 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-05 Arranging the Chimneys. How to Procure Fire. 18:06 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-06 The Inventory of the Castaways. Expedition to the Forest. 19:01 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-07 Neb Has Not Yet Returned. A Threatening Night. 19:39 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-08 Is Cyrus Harding Living? Neb's Recital. 19:24 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-09 Cyrus is Here. Pencroft's Attempts. 21:47 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-10 The Engineer's Invention. Volcanic Soil. 21:16 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-11 At the Summit of the Cone 24:01 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-12 Regulating the Watches. Pencroft is Satisfied. 21:27 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-13 What is Found Upon Top 24:21 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-14 Measuring the Cliff. Latitude of the Island. 20:42 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-15 It Is Decided to Winter on the Island 18:46 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-16 The Question of a Dwelling is Again Discussed. 18:58 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-17 Visit to the Lake. The Indicating Current. 21:55 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-18 Pencroft Now Doubts Nothing 18:54 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-19 Cyrus Harding's Project. The Rope Ladder. 19:58 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-20 The Rainy Season. The Question of Clothes. 17:43 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-21 Some Degrees Below Zero. 20:43 Read by Mark F. Smith
1-22 Traps. Foxes. Peccaries. 26:54 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-01 Conversation on the Subject of the Bullet 20:05 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-02 First Trial of the Canoe. A Wreck on the Coast. 20:17 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-03 The Start. The Rising Tide. 21:55 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-04 Journey to the Coast. Troops of Monkeys. 18:23 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-05 Proposal to Return By the Southern Shore 21:52 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-06 Pencroft's Halloos. A Night in the Chimneys. 20:12 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-07 Plans. A Bridge Over the Mercy. 20:59 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-08 Linen. Shoes of Seal-Leather. 20:56 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-09 Bad Weather. The Hydraulic Lift. 19:18 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-10 Boat-Building. Second Crop of Corn. 19:20 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-11 Winter. Felling Wood. The Mill. 24:13 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-12 The Rigging of the Vessel 27:40 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-13 Departure Decided Upon. Conjectures. 20:34 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-14 The Inventory. Night. A Few Letters. 23:06 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-15 The Return. Discussion. 18:40 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-16 A Mystery to be Cleared Up. 25:33 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-17 Still Alone. The Stranger's Request. 25:15 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-18 Conversation. Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett. 22:50 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-19 Recollections of Their Native Land 20:30 Read by Mark F. Smith
2-20 A Night at Sea. Shark Gulf. Confidences. 23:40 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-01 Lost or Saved? Ayrton Summoned. 24:25 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-02 Discussions. Presentiments. 22:04 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-03 The Mist Rises. The Engineer's Preparations. 26:01 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-04 The Colonists on the Beach. 24:17 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-05 The Engineer's Declaration. 19:50 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-06 Expeditions Planned. Ayrton at the Corral. 21:13 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-07 The Reporter and Pencroft in the Corral 18:15 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-08 The Convicts in the Neighborhood of the Corral 10:13 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-09 No news of Neb. A Proposal. 20:20 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-10 Herbert Carried to Granite House 17:23 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-11 Inexplicable Mystery. Herbert's Convalescence. 20:56 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-12 Exploration on the Serpentine Peninsula. 20:45 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-13 Ayrton's Story. A Subterranean Volcano. 24:37 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-14 Three Years Have Passed. The New Vessel. 22:25 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-15 The Awakening of the Volcano. The Fine Season. 27:17 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-16 Captain Nemo. His First Words. 22:28 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-17 Last Moments of Captain Nemo 19:34 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-18 Reflections of the Colonists 31:01 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-19 Cyrus Harding's Account of His Exploration 27:50 Read by Mark F. Smith
3-20 An Isolated Rock in the Pacific 12:35 Read by Mark F. Smith


Great Story and Voice

(5 stars)

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and the voice of the narrator. He really draws you into the story. I wish he had also recorded 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea because that recording is of bad quality and actually sounds as if the narrator is in a submarine about 20,000 leagues under the sea...

My humble opinion of the genius writer

(5 stars)

The curious castaway-story in the "Life of Pi" made me very nostalgic about the best castaway, and probably the best adventure book I've ever read - Mysterious Island. The plot in short: five Americans, escaping from the southerns during the civil war, had an air-balloon crash on an uninhabited island in the pacific ocean. The book is the story of their struggle against nature, or rather cooperation with nature, to survive. I recall reading this book when I was very young, probably 30 years ago. It had a *profound* effect on me, undoubtedly. The engineer (Cyrus Smith in the Russian translation, Cyrus Harding in the English translation... I wonder how the original French is...) immediately became my childhood hero, The engineer is super-human, he knows everything, he is skillful, inventive and smart. With his help, the castaways established a great colony on the island. It can be easily seen how fond Jules Verne is of his characters, he doesn't cease praising them, convincing the reader that these are good, honorable people who deserve the best of this life. His derogative account of the pirates provides a useful comparison point. This book also ties together two others of Verne's popular books - 20,000 leagues and children of captain Grant, which is a curious connection that somehow completes a cycle in a trilogy. I think that anyone with a scientific mind owes to himself to read this book. Give it to your children, it's a great listening or reading experience. Mark as usual does a fantastic job in narrating this book, Thank you for providing a truly memorable experience.

wonderful story, really well read

(5 stars)

Loved this book. I am a late starter when it comes to jules Verne, but this story is brilliant. Allegorical, philosophical, and a great adventure yarn. Mark smith is an excellent voice to listen to on the way to work. Can't fault the book or the reading of it. Well done jules, the translator, and Mark!!

(3.5 stars)

This book presents a fascinating historical view of science and culture the mid 19th century. It was hard for me to make it through the mid part of the book. I expected the action to move faster. Tastes have certainly changed in 150 years. It includes an interested discussion about the halt of progress when the supplies of coal would run out which was apparently a worry back then. Current worries about peak oil are put in a different perspective and can be seen as possibly a recurring cycle in history. They are not unworthy to discuss but need not be accompanied with frantic alarms.

Meeting with the science and science-fiction of Jules Verne

(5 stars)

Very enjoyable meeting with the classical writing of Jules Verne in an adventure where all the elements of a good story are mixed. It was a time when people enjoyed going into details and were not in too much of a hurry to get to the end of the story. The reading voice was of the highest quality, with very clear pronunciation and wonderful dramatic rendering.

Wasn't sure what to expect, but it was very good

(5 stars)

Thank you for reading, Mark Smith. As always you have done a fantastic job. The book itself is quite interesting. The first part is essentially minecraft, which I thought was amusing. The characters are good and as the story develops and the mysteries surrounding the island increase, it gets better and better. Definitely worth a listen

wonderful jules verne adventure. excellent narrator

(5 stars)

all the elements of Jules Verne gripping stories. an adventure of grand scale in beautifully crafted environments; which bring to life a band of disparate characters for whom we become affectionate. a good length for several sittings and excellent narration by mark smith had me enthralled as a child at bedtime stories. the cream of librivox experience

Glenda Harper

(5 stars)

It was my constant companion for days! Mark Smith's presentation brought every character to life so that I could see each one in my mind's eye. The telling was articulate, never monotonous, and always right on the mark with the story. Thank you for a wonderful week with unforgettable people on the Mysterious Island. A grand adventure by Jules Verne!