Swept off course by a raging storm, five Union prisoners escaping in a balloon from the siege of Richmond are set down on the shores of an uncharted island. Thus begins a classic fable of men face to face with nature in its most primitive state. With no tools but their own ingenuity and daring, the engineer, his faithful servant, a journalist, and sailor, and a lad of thirteen must undertake the extraordinary task of reconstructing the civilization that they have left behind. The Mysterious Island is based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, a man stranded alone for five years on an island off the coast of Chile (a story that also inspired such popular works as Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Johann Rudolf Wyss' The Swiss Family Robinson. Filled with action, danger and suspense, it exhibits Jules Verne's genius for incorporating science and history into fascinating fiction.
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