Desclian's Reviews > Phantom Islands of the Atlantic: The Legends of Seven Lands That Never Were

Phantom Islands of the Atlantic by Donald S. Johnson
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Dec 15, 08

bookshelves: studies-cultural-historical
Read in December, 2008

A perplexing book, not because of the content, but because of the author. Johnson seems at once both enamored and disgusted with his subject matter, respecting some tales and looking down at others with derision. At one point he even calls a legend "preposterous." How any author could do this is beyond me, and weakened any reading of the tales Johnson presented. Further, all but one of the maps are reproductions, the reasoning being that Johnson wanted to simplify them so as to remove any unnecessary details. One wonders, though, with his views on tales and legends, whether Johnson's ability to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary is all that good. Finally, the writing was uninteresting and usually muddled, and the author even at times even mixes together stories told hundreds of years apart for no apparent reason. The only reason this book received more than a single star for me is that, when I could get past Johnson's editorializing, some of the stories were interesting. I'd rather get them from somewhere else, though, as Johnson's book made me feel bored at one of my favorite topics.
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