Adam's Reviews > Atlas of Remote Islands

Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky
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May 01, 11

Read from April 27 to May 01, 2011

This book received the unusual honour of being the most beautiful German book of the year. The young author did indeed produce the whole text herself including typesetting, design, layout etc. Whilst you should not judge a book by its cover this book is an exception.

Essentially non-fiction in nature, the author manages to create a mesmerising story out of geographical, historical, socio-historical and maritime information that in each case relates to one of 'fifty islands I have not visited and never will'.

The book begins with the ominous statement that "Paradise is an island. So is hell". Concepts of exploration, discovery, isolation (both physical and mental) are delved into in a way that creates a narrative over each of the fifty individual stories. Ms Schalansky skillfully chooses each fact - an exercise in restrained but faultless use of words.

Given that my last read The Empty Family, dealt with isolation and being alone this book was a strange follow up. Atlas of Remote Islands however left me yearning for more exploration and warm to a world of unknown possibilities.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Andrew (last edited Jun 11, 2011 07:18AM) (new)

Andrew Thanks, a good introduction... I've appropriated your review for a post on my blog. The piece accompanies an image of (presumably) the islands themselves.


Adam Great, love the blog! The pictures are in themselves amazing, hauntingly barren..A


message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Excellent... I also have my eyes on the wave quote by Colm Toibín.


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