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LEFT FOR DEAD

SHIPWRECK, TREACHERY, AND SURVIVAL AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

An entertaining castaway tale.

The bestselling author of Rebels at Sea, A Furious Sky, and Leviathan returns with another adventure at sea.

In his latest maritime narrative, Dolin chronicles an early-19th-century calamity featuring the usual privation and acts of heroism but more than the usual bad behavior. In early 1812, the American brig Nanina sailed for the then-uninhabited Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, where its crew hoped to find an abundant supply of seals. Later that year, the Isabella left New South Wales for Britain carrying a mixture of pardoned convicts, soldiers, and their wives. The ship’s incompetent captain barely avoided early disaster but later hit a reef in the Falklands; the crew managed to escape to a deserted island. When supplies ran low, a few men sailed the 17-foot ship’s boat across 1,000 miles of stormy ocean to Brazil, where a British admiral dispatched a ship that reached the castaways, as well as the Nanina, which had just discovered them. With the War of 1812 in progress, the British captain announced that the Nanina was a prize of war. He sailed off with both ships, aware that he was abandoning five members of the Nanina crew who were off hunting seals. When they returned, they were mystified to find their base deserted. Though readers already know that they survived, Dolin maintains an interesting narrative of their 18 months alone on the barren subarctic Falklands. Despite the absence of firearms, food was rarely lacking on islands dense with seals, penguins, and feral hogs and the services of a large, aggressive dog. The sailors’ mastery of sewing, carving, and carpentry proved invaluable. Personality clashes instigated much of the drama, with episodes of cooperation and mutual suffering alternating with selfishness, betrayal, and abandonment. Eventually, ships arrived to take them home, after which “most disappeared from the historical record.”

An entertaining castaway tale.

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781324093084

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Liveright/Norton

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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