THE UN-DISCOVERED ISLANDS

AN ARCHIPELAGO OF MYTHS AND MYSTERIES, PHANTOMS AND FAKES

Travel writing about places no one can travel.

Traveling through the islands of myth and fantasy with a guide who does his best to unravel the mysteries surrounding them.

What Tallack (Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home, 2016, etc.) calls “the line between myth and map” is a fine one, occasionally blurry and indistinct. The author, who lives in Glasgow but is originally from the remote island of Shetland, does his best to track these islands to their origins in tall tales sold by sailors, allegories of paradise, and even outright deception. Part of the trickiness is that many of these islands have appeared on maps, as if they were real, from a time when “people understood that the world was big and that their part of it was small, but they knew little of what lay beyond.” Charting that world of what lay beyond was an inexact science, and some of those islands might now be known under a different name, while some were simply a product of myth or imagination. The best-known of these remains Atlantis, the sunken continent, which, writes Tallack, “is a fictional island, invented by Plato for allegorical purposes.” He continues, “you can discover almost anything you want to discover about Atlantis, and pretty much every word of it is nonsense.” Many of these islands seem to exist in the spiritual realm, as places inhabited by the dead or as a heavenly paradise on Earth, a different realm from the world the rest of us experience. Of one, he writes, once one has seen it, his words become unintelligible to others. Hence the lack of documentation. Yet the tales long persisted, because “the idea of a drowned island is somehow both irresistible and unbelievable.” Scott’s illustrations simply conjure the imaginative visions, while the prose tends toward the matter-of-fact (or matter-of-myth) and encyclopedic.

Travel writing about places no one can travel.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-14844-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Picador

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

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

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • 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

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

Close Quickview