''The Mysterious Island'' (or ''L'Île Mystérieuse'', if you want to use the original French title) is a novel by Creator/JulesVerne. Originally published in 1874, the book is essentially a castaway story. During the American Civil War, five prisoners, and their dog companion escape a Confederate prison in a balloon. Unfortunately, a storm blows them off course and they end up on a deserted island, which they are forced to make their new home. This being a Verne story, our heroes are far too industrious to merely ''survive''. Over the course of the book, they tame the island and reconstruct the civilization they left behind. They become quite content in their new home, but never enough to abandon their ultimate quest to re-establish contact with the rest of the world.

If this sounds familiar, it's because it's based on Alexander Selkirk, whose life-story had already served as the basis for ''Literature/RobinsonCrusoe'' and ''TheSwissFamilyRobinson''. Possibly as a way to distinguish itself from the other two books, Verne's yarn adds a mystery sub-plot. Someone or something is watching over the castaways; apparently aiding them at times, but whether their ultimate objective in doing so is for good or ill remains unclear for much of the book.

It was adapted into film as ''Film/MysteriousIsland'' in 1961, and featured Herbert Lom (Chief Inspector Dreyfus from the ''PinkPanther'' films) as Captain Nemo. While (mostly) faithful, there was a lot of AdaptationExpansion with the addition of numerous gigantic creatures on the island, brought to life courtesy of special effects maestro Creator/RayHarryhausen.

Fun fact: While this isn't the most famous of Verne's works, it has the distinction of having inspired two major franchises: ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' and ''Series/{{Lost}}''. It was also loosely adapted into the sequel to the 2008 film version of ''JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'', as ''Journey 2 The Mysterious Island''.

Copyright has expired on this book, and it's available on Project Gutenberg [[http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1268 here]]. If you own a Kindle, it's also available as a free download from Amazon.
!!This book contains examples of:

* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:Ayrton]]
* BackForTheFinale: [[spoiler: According to a brief line at the end, the surviving characters of ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' and ''Literature/InSearchOfTheCastaways'' all become regular guests at the castaway's colony.]]
* BadAss: [[WorldOfBadass Everyone.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Nemo, near the end.]]
* BigGood: [[spoiler:Captain Nemo.]]
* CanonWelding: Places Verne's earlier books [[spoiler: ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' and ''Literature/InSearchOfTheCastaways'']] in the same continuity, although that leads to a SeriesContinuityError in both. Together, the three books form the "[[FanNickname Sea Trilogy]]".
* DarkestHour: [[spoiler:the pirates are in the island, Ayrton is missing, and most of the castaways are isolated in the main farm after Herbert was shot.]]
* DesertedIsland : Played straight with Lincoln Island and subverted by the isle of Tabor.
** [[spoiler: Lincoln Island is actually a subversion too, Captain Nemo lives underneath it]]
* TheDeterminator: Everyone, although Pencroff is probably the most extreme case. If you were ever trapped on a deserted island in real life with these guys, not only would you be fine, but your morale would be at an all-time high.
* DeusExMachina: The whole plot is basically a sequence of those. In a surprisingly TropesAreNotBad way, they almost always create ''more'' suspense than they resolve, until the very end.
* DiabolusExMachina: The eruption of the supposedly extinct volcano combined with underlying geology that makes an [[EarthShatteringKaboom island-destroying explosion]] extremely likely.
* DubNameChange: Some of the character names are changed in the earlier translations into English, e. g. Cyrus Smith being turned into Cyrus Harding, and Pencroff becoming Pencroft. Pretty much all translations changed Harbert to Herbert.
* EagleLand: Definitely a Flavor 1 example, although Verne's not nearly as overt here as he was with ''From the Earth To The Moon''.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Jup, the orangutan butler.
* FlippingHelpless: It was done by the protagonists to a giant sea turtle, who then left for some reason. While they were away, the turtle was carried away by a high tide.
* GoMadFromTheIsolation : [[spoiler:Ayrton.]] He's in a pretty bad state when they find him, to say the least...
* [[spoiler:HappyEnding: Verne originally wanted a BittersweetEnding where the castaways are somewhat depressed at having lost the Island. His editor had him change it to an upbeat one where they buy some territory in the state of Iowa and create a replica of the island to serve as a colony and a tourist attraction.]]
* IslandOfMystery: possibly the Ur-example.
* IsItSomethingYouEat: Pencroff. Surrounded by the wonders of nature, his interests are still primarily culinary.
* LargeHam: Pencroff.
* MeaningfulName: The reporter is named Gideon ''Spilett'' (i.e. "spill it," as in break the news).
* MisplacedVegetation / MisplacedWildlife: Lincoln Island has almost implausible levels of biodiversity and has species that couldn't realistically exist in the latitude it's supposed to lie in. This was something that even Verne's ''contemporaries'' noticed. His answer? A wink, followed by a 19th-century version of the MST3KMantra slash RuleOfCool argument.
* NoteFromEd: Verne's creative solution to the SeriesContinuityError mentioned above (see the "Canon Welding" entry) was to [[LampshadeHanging call attention to it]] in a couple of footnotes supposedly added by the publisher. [[FootnoteFever Each of which simply refers the reader to the other footnote!]]
* TheRemnant: [[spoiler:Nemo]]'s origin reveals that he is an exiled Indian prince [[ShellShockedVeteran still fighting]] the Sepoy Rebellion and hating the British.
* TheReveal
* {{Robinsonade}}: This is played straight with the colonists, but deconstructed with [[spoiler:Ayrton]]. Apparently his loneliness is to blame for the state in which they find him.
* ScienceHero: Cyrus Smith. He's stated to be an "engineer", but seems to be equally at home with physics, botany, chemistry and metallurgy. Between his knowledge and the whole group's determination, they build a plantation, an explosives plant, a smeltery, and a telegraph system out of little more than raw materials (plus a little help from a mysterious benefactor).
* SolarPoweredMagnifyingGlass: Cyrus Smith McGyvered a water-filled lens from two watch glasses as the castaways initially had no other means of starting the fire.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: [[spoiler:The animal characters are all quickly killed off in the finale.]]