In this spirited novel by master storyteller Jules Verne, five Civil War prisoners escape their Confederate jail by hijacking a hot-air balloon. Blown halfway across the world and stranded on a remote island, the fugitives' survival depends upon their ability to build a sustainable environment while withstanding pirate attacks, volcanic eruptions, and other challenges. Engineer Cyrus Harding takes charge of the crew, consisting of his servant, Neb; journalist Gideon Spilett; sailor Bonadventure Pencroft and his adopted son, naturalist Herbert Brown; and Harding's faithful dog, Top. Starting with the development of fire, pottery, and bricks, the castaways gradually achieve one technological advance after another by combining their skills - and with some surreptitious help from an unknown benefactor, whose identity adds to their island's mystery. First published in 1874, The Mysterious Island remains an exuberant story of survival and an adventure classic.