The Mysterious Island (Paperback)
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The plot focuses on the adventures of five Americans on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. During the American Civil War, five northern prisoners of war decide to escape, during the siege of Richmond, Virginia, by hijacking a balloon. The escapees are Cyrus Smith, a railroad engineer in the Union army (named Cyrus Harding in Kingston's version); his ex-slave and loyal follower Neb (short for Nebuchadnezzar); Bonadventure Pencroff, a sailor (who is addressed only by his surname. In Kingston's translation, he is named Pencroft); his protege and adopted son Harbert Brown (called Herbert in some translations); and the journalist Gedeon Spilett (Gideon Spilett in English versions).