This book is about Nantucket, one of the most wondeful places on this earth! If you are one of the people who could NOT get through Moby Dick by MelviThis book is about Nantucket, one of the most wondeful places on this earth! If you are one of the people who could NOT get through Moby Dick by Melville, here is the same story seen through the eyes of Ahab's wife. While Moby Dick is impossible to get through, this book you cannot put down! A wonderful story. The book is full of historical facts relevant to the 1800s, whaling and Nantucket. Yopu will fall in love with Nantucket, and the story is marvelous....more
On May 3, 1866, the American clipper ship Hornet caught fire. The 31 castaways were left with ten days' rations, 12 gallons of potable water and threeOn May 3, 1866, the American clipper ship Hornet caught fire. The 31 castaways were left with ten days' rations, 12 gallons of potable water and three small boats. 43 days later, having floated 4,300 miles some of them reached Hawaii. The burning itself occurred 1,000 miles due west of the Galapagos Islands. The book is about this trip, what the men went through both psychologically and physically. In addition it documents scientific and historical details of the time. It covers the construction of ships, the shipping industry, the political climate following the Civil War, Victorian mannerisms and what was known about the flora and fauna of the seas at this time. What happened to the survivors afterward? The book follows all of them until their deaths.
The author repeatedly increases suspense by first telling us of an imminent disaster and then filling out with historical details of other similar events in history. Only then do we return to what happens on the boats. Storm clouds approach and the text switches to a detailed analysis of storms and winds. The water runs out, and we are given an account of what happens to the body with dehydration. Food is gone and cannibalism threatens, the author explains what had happened in other comparable situations. This book is chock full of history and scientific information, it is not merely an exciting adventure story. It is that too, of course. I found the mix of fact and adventure very well done, but for those of you who just want an exciting adventure story, I would not recommend this book.
The book includes an index, a glossary of nautical terms, notes for every chapter and an extensive bibliography. There is a map of the voyage and photos of the ship, the captain, picture clips that appeared in the Harper's Weekly after the dramatic landing and diary drawings too.
Sam Clemens/Mark Twain was in Hawaii at the time, and he began to make his career with his recount of the Hornet's epic story. This too is interesting. What he chose to report is questionable, but read the book to judge for yourself!
I highly recommend The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon, but not to everyone. The title and the book descript I highly recommend The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon, but not to everyone. The title and the book description may give the impression that the central theme of the book is a love story. That is false. Part of the book is certainly a wonderful adventure story about a woman who travels practically alone through the Amazon basin to reach her husband stranded in French Guiana, but this portion of the boo takes up only the last seventy pages. The love story and the adventurous trip from Rioabamba (near Quito, Ecuador) down the eastern slopes of the Andes, through the tropical rain forests of the Amazon along the river to its mouth and then to Cayenne, French Guiana is not the central theme of the book. That is important to understand when you choose to read or not read this book. This portion is exciting, and it does put a wonderful end to the book.
What primarily is this book about? It is about a scientific and exploratory expedition carried out in the 1730s and 40s by the French. It is about the Spanish conquest of South America, conquistadors, Hernando Cortés and Francisco Pizarro. It is about the conquest of the Aztecs and the Incas. It is about the plants and animals and minerals and gems found around Quito and the upper stretches of the Amazon. In the pages of this book you will find a lot of history and information about both Spanish and native South American beliefs and practices. You are sure to be fascinated by the description of indigenous plants and animals.
It is important to note that the expedition took place during the Enlightenment. Although the expedition’s primary goal was to measure the distance of one degree of latitude, many other scientific areas were also to be studied, all in the spirit of the era. New scientific instruments were to be tested, to discover the shape of the earth, to discover more precise knowledge of the laws of gravity. Temperature's effect on metals was to be quantified. Botanical varieties were to be documented, in the hope of finding new products and medicines.
The expedition was also to spy. The French wanted to discover what the Spanish had hidden in its Viceroyalty of Peru, as Spain’s territory in South America was called. (Don’t think just Peru. The area extended over a huge chunk of South America up to the Caribbean coastline.) There were so many amazing stories: a city of gold (El Dorado), huge Amazon women warriors, men with feet that were put on backwards, and the women were beauties. What was true? What were imaginary tales? The French wanted to know.
This is a book about science, history, politics and the natural resources found in South America. It is informative. It is engaging, and the end does include an exciting adventure. There are numerous maps, depicting the rivers and tributaries in the Amazon basin. There are maps showing the travel routes followed. There are pictures in the book from museum and private collections illustrating tools, scenes, plants and animals. There is an index and a bibliography. There are direct quotes from sources. The subject matter is very well documented. I never found it boring.
I have two complaints. The first I have already pointed out – a deceptive title and book description. Secondly, the mathematical reasoning meant to explain the expedition’s scientific goals are confusing. Although the triangulation, base lines measured and tools employed are extensively described, I still feel I do not always understand why a given measurement would prove the truth or falsity of the scientific principle being questioned. Please note, these sections can be skimmed, but I tried to understand. I read them several times, and I only sort of understood, on a general level .
Despite my two complaints, I very much enjoyed reading this book. I have given it four stars. In my view it is very well written. ...more
Read this book. It is exciting and interesting from start to finish. It truly makes one understand the value of genetic multiplicity in the Amazon andRead this book. It is exciting and interesting from start to finish. It truly makes one understand the value of genetic multiplicity in the Amazon and in the entire world. We cannot/ should not loose the potential that this tropical area offers. In addition, Theodore Roosevelt becomes a real person to the reader. What a guy! There are few who compare to this marvelous person. ...more
Are you depressed? Are you sick of people? Have you just read a book that has put you in the dumps? Then you must read We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of EsAre you depressed? Are you sick of people? Have you just read a book that has put you in the dumps? Then you must read We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance. I am sure you will like it. It works like a tonic. People are not all creeps! People do help others. This book is non-fiction, it is true and I dare you to read this book and not feel happy at the end. G-o-o-d book!
It is about events that occurred in Norway during the German occupation of WW2. The story begins in March 1943. Here is a survival story and a war story that will make you be happy to be alive. Have you been in Norway? Then you will also appreciate it, the book I mean. You will recognize the people, the food, hear about the Lapps and of course be swallowed up by the dark nights in the winter and recognize how glorious it is when the spring comes and it never gets dark....but this is scary if you are hiding. This book takes place in northern Norway, near Tromsö and the Bardufoss Airstation and Kilpisärvi Lake.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Stuart Langton. The narration was OK, but the pronunciation of Norwegian names kind of threw me off at times. Other than that I have no complaints. Maybe he showed a bit too much engagement; I prefer neutral narrators but heck he never wrecked the story, and I was completely glued to it once I had stated it.
Exciting? Yes! This is the quintessential survival story, and it is true!
In 1985 Joe Simpson and Simon Yates decide to climb the west face of Siula GraExciting? Yes! This is the quintessential survival story, and it is true!
In 1985 Joe Simpson and Simon Yates decide to climb the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. I am no mountaineer, but even I could spot some of their errors. The book focuses on moral issues too. (view spoiler)[A prime one being that Simon cuts the rope between him and Joe, remember Joe is the author, causing Joe to fall into a deep crevasse. Simon takes Joe for dead and returns to base camp, where Richard has remained to watch over their possessions. Simon didn't look down that crevasse to check and see if Joe really was dead. Was it right to cut that rope? Do you sacrifice one person's life to save another, or must both die? I can understand cutting that rope....given the conditions. What I find inexcusable is that when Simon returned to camp he did not immediately get help and search parties in to look for Joe. THAT is beyond my comprehension. (hide spoiler)]
Most of the time I could picture the glacial landscape. There are crevasses and ice bridges and morasses and fissures and glacial expanses, sparkling light and snow storms and it is cold and wet, freezing. I could NOT exactly picture what it was like in the crevasse as the author described it. So maybe the movie is better than the book? The author took part in the filming later in 2002.
Joe's fear, his physical pain and exhaustion, his terror, THAT I definitely felt. His hallucinations became my hallucinations. Simon corroborated with Joe in the writing of this book. Nevertheless, I did NOT feel that his words rang as true as Joe's. Simon's voice in the audiobook is narrated by Andrew Wincott. It was too slick, too quiet. No, he didn't even sound like a mountaineer. Joe's narration by Daniel Weyman was spot-on.
My gut reaction to the audiobook was that I liked it. I certainly was not going to stop in the middle, although I had to take breathers. I am a coward and couldn't sit still, it gripped me so! I liked that not many lines were spent on the medical treatments required after this escapade. I liked that there is a short epilogue covering Joe's philosophical approach to his experiences. Yes, he continued to climb mountains.
I need a break. I absolutely cannot continue listening to Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival. It is so terrible......what happens, I mean. I cannot, cannot continue listening. Does that make it good? The two guys are (view spoiler)[crazy and stupid and not admirable (hide spoiler)]and this is just too much. I also dislike movies where I want to but cannot leave at bad sections. How does everybody read this stuff and just keep their mouths shut? Why do I get so upset?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Too long ; needs better editing. For example, the time spent on the raft is just too long and drawn out.
I have a very hard time believing some of theToo long ; needs better editing. For example, the time spent on the raft is just too long and drawn out.
I have a very hard time believing some of the events: (view spoiler)[the numerous Japanese bullets missed Allan Phillips and Max on the raft and fixing the bullet holes in the raft while they remained in it is implausible! (hide spoiler)] The sharks’ behavior seems unbelievable too…. The crews on the airplanes were given fleece clothing when they left for their first air assignment. Did there really exist fleece clothing back in the forties?! OK, the old woolen fleece garments is what is being referred to. I just cannot believe many statements made in this book! Louis’ behavior as a child seems very much “exaggerated”.
Neither does the religious message professed in this book work for me. That Louis falls under the spell of Billy Graham put me off.
This was exciting! I recommend this book to those who want to throw themselves into another world, albeit a world cold, wet, icy and filled with fear,This was exciting! I recommend this book to those who want to throw themselves into another world, albeit a world cold, wet, icy and filled with fear, exhaustion and hunger.
Ernest Shackleton set out in 1914 to cross the Antarctic from west to east. Yes, WW1 had broken out and he had Churchill’s go-ahead Why? For the glory of Britain and for his own glory too. The race for polar discovery was in full-swing. On December 14, 1911, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen led the first successful expedition to arrive at the South Pole, five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott. Robert Edwin Peary, an American explorer, is credited with having been the first to reach the geographic North Pole. There has been some debate as to whether Frederick Cook, also an American, got there a year earlier.
The audiobook narration by Simon Prebble is excellent.
When the expedition began there were twenty-nine men aboard the Endurance; there was one stowaway! (view spoiler)[All twenty-nine survived. (hide spoiler)]This book lets you live the experiences of these men and shows how this amazing feat was accomplished. I have a shelf for books concerning “bad-trip” expeditions. To date, this is my favorite.