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The Curse of Oak Island: The Story of the World's Longest Treasure Hunt

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  74 reviews
In 1795, a teenager discovered a mysterious circular depression in the ground on Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and ignited rumors of buried treasure. Early excavators uncovered a clay-lined shaft containing layers of soil interspersed with wooden platforms, but when they reached a depth of ninety feet, water poured into the shaft and made further digging impossible.

Hardcover, 410 pages
Published December 11th 2018 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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Xaleah It is about Oak Island and based on all the information they have about the actual treasure hunts that have been going on there for years and years.…moreIt is about Oak Island and based on all the information they have about the actual treasure hunts that have been going on there for years and years. It talks about all the stories you hear on the show about when the money pit was initially found and it talks about all the different ideas about who buried a treasure there. M11 year old son and I watch the show every week and I am enjoying the book so far. (less)
Xaleah There is a section mid book that shows various photographs, some are pictures of the various people who may or may not have buried the treasure and…moreThere is a section mid book that shows various photographs, some are pictures of the various people who may or may not have buried the treasure and some of are the people who have tried to locate the treasure over the years. There are some maps, and some other info as well.(less)

Community Reviews

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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  318 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Bob Milne
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
As much a book of mythology and storytelling as one of history and mystery, The Curse of Oak Island is the perfect companion piece for those of us who watch the show and wonder at the details beneath the narrative. There's a reason the show is one of the highest rated original programs on cable TV, but there's only so much they can cover in a season, and the recaps (often of previous recaps) add to the challenge.

There's a reason Randall Sullivan subtitled his book The Story of the World’s Longes
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Meticulously-written, thoroughly-researched, including first person accounts, of the search for treasure (Possibly? Supposedly?) buried under Oak Island, located off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Since the late 1700's, when three young men found a decaying block-and-tackle hanging from the branch of an oak tree, with underneath it a depression which might have indicated some kind of subsidence - something buried there? - men, and a few women, have dug and tunneled and dug and tunneled some mo
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: miscellaneous
If you like the show, this book documents the history of the search including all of the wild theories. I wish there was more time spent on the Laginas and less on the previous searchers, but it is a must read for those following the show.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is so much information in this book I don’t even know where to start!

The story of Oak Island is something I have grown up with. It was taught to us in our history classes, there were books on it in the school libraries and everyone knew what you were talking about if you mentioned “that place with the booby-trapped treasure”. I’m from Nova Scotia so the Island is common knowledge and I still love learning more about it. Oak Island is the mystery that doesn’t get old.

As soon as I started r
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Oak Island Fans
I love Oak Island! If you know me, you know how much I love this show! I have not missed an episode in all the seasons it has been on the History channel.

Personally, I don't think we're going to find the Ark of the Covenant or Crown Jewels or Templar Treasure buried on the island; I'm leaning more toward pirate booty as it seems more historical. However, I would not mind being proved wrong.

I hope they find something, I really do.

So - the book! So excited to get it. I have read a few other older
3.5 stars

I was excited to receive a Kindle ARC of The Curse of Oak Island from NetGalley.

I've never seen The Curse of Oak Island show on the History Channel because I abhor reality shows and I'd rather read than watch filler banter go on for 40 minutes and 1 minute of another unsuccessful attempt to recover the treasure.

Mr. Sullivan's book is an in-depth, well researched historical account of Oak Island and the many, many various theories, conspiracies, personal and professional dramas surroun
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure, I was sent this book by the publisher to review.

From time to time I get sent books to review. The last one I did was the Lost History of Ancient America, and wow. So when the publishers of Randall Sullivan’s new book, The Curse of Oak Island: The Story of the World’s Longest-Treasure Hunt, reached out to me I warned them. Sure, I’d love to review it, but I’m a debunker, and I know a bit about the whacky-ness that is Oak Island. I might not be the best person to review a book on
Diane Hernandez
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Six people have died and multiple fortunes squandered on the world’s most famous treasure hunt. The Curse of Oak Island is a comprehensive history of each attempt.

In 1795, a young man finds a mysterious depression on Oak Island, a small island off Nova Scotia. With two of his friends, they dig down hoping to find the lost treasure of notorious pirate, Captain Kidd. Digging down 10 feet, they find a barrier of logs. They find another barrier at 20 feet. Realizing the danger of cave-in, they stop
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
It took me several weeks to read this one in many twenty-thirty minute increments. It’s one that a history buff would definitely enjoy, but at times the writing seemed more like a research paper than an amusing story of a treasure hunt. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some great stuff in the book: namely, the conflicts of the current hunt, the conspiracy theories, and the different angles groups have taken over the years to excavate the pit’s secrets. Dive into the pit for a deep look into the Oak I ...more
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I was VERY excited to read this book because I'd wanted to watch the TV series based on Oak Island for a little while now. I think I'll just check out the TV series instead, because the writing in this book is really plodding and dry. I only have a casual interest in the mystery surrounding Oak Island, but this book is really more geared towards avid enthusiasts and researchers; people who want something very comprehensive and detail-heavy.

This is well-researched and carefully done and I won't k
Stacie C
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
The first time I ever heard of Oak Island was during an episode of "Ancient Aliens." This had been years ago. But the idea of this island with a buried treasure no one had ever been able to reach stuck with me. I googled it a time or two after first hearing about it but didnt search too much into it. I didn’t even know it now had a reality show so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out about this book discussing the history of the island and the latest developments.

It’s a really interesti
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
Thank you to NetGalley, Atlantic Monthly Press and Randall Sullivan for an ARC ebook copy to review. Sorry for the bit of a late review. I was out of power for 3 days due to a winter storm and am a little late on my book reviews. As always, an honest review from me.

The intrigue is definitely there for a lot of people. The book made me see why so many people get caught up in searching for a treasure they’re not even sure exists. The book goes into great detail about the history of the island and
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: random-stuff
This is the rather tragic story of a mysterious ‘pit’ that has wrecked friendships, fortunes, and lives. It tantalizes us with the offer of un-imaginable wealth or knowledge, but so far has yielded little more than scraps in exchange for lifetimes devoted to prying out its secrets. So who dug a pit, then protected it with a series of flood channels, layers of metal, clay, and logs, and then just abandoned the sight? Did they leave a treasure there? Why can’t we find it in the historical record? ...more
Derrick Good
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book read....mystery not solved....can there be more?
It’s a good read because it’s close to home and I enjoyed series on History. It does amaze me the commitment made by many personally and financially.

If u like Maritime History this is for you

Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This seems to be for fans of the t.v. show and not for people just learning about it like me. Fascinating story though.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
The real curse of Oak Island is that it seems to suck IQ points from everyone who goes looking for treasure there. The idea that someone buried something incredibly valuable in a brilliantly booby-trapped pit 200 feet underground on an island in Nova Scotia sometime between the 14th and 17th centuries seems very unlikely. But to the Oak Island faithful, the absence of evidence is further proof that the truth is down there, diabolically hidden away by the Knights Templar or English pirates or Spa ...more
Jerry Smith
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, 2019-read
I rarely watch TV - don't have live TV in the house and my main reason is the rise of reality TV which I find vacuous and vapid. However, I had vaguely heard of Oak Island in the past (although never seen the reality TV show obviously) and was interested to read more about it when I saw this book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

I really shouldn't read these books as the title gave away the line that was going to be taken here. This is not a criticism of Randall Sullivan as much as the topic
3 no 7
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The Curse of Oak Island” by Randall Sullivan is the ultimate fan guide to the entire “Oak Island phenomena. It begins with the writer’s individual journey “Thirteen years ago, I began an article for Rolling Stone magazine with these lines: Can what’s buried beneath the ground on Oak Island possibly be worth what the search for it has already cost?”

He, like us all, soon became hooked by what many consider the greatest unsolved mystery in the world. This book covers everything “Oak Island,” the r
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it

Ah, the old buried treasure mystery. I had no idea about OAK ISLAND and its story dating back to the 1700s until the boy became glued to the TV reality show. Now, I did not watch this show but was intrigued by the history of the "Money Pit" and since it was in Canada I thought I would delve into it.

The incredible story of Oak Island, off Nova Scotia, involves hundreds of years of people spending their life savings and years of their life seeking the possibility that treasure was buried on the is
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ever since my childhood, I've been fascinated by Oak Island. Over the years, I've read many a story, read the theories, etc. When the TV series The Curse of Oak Island debuted a few years ago, I was thrilled to be able to continue to dive deeper into the mystery. No matter how much I'd read or seen over the years, Randall Sullivan was able to unearth new tidbits of information and views of things.

The book is a great overview of the 200+ years of searching for the "treasure". Starting with the e
J.L. Slipak
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

My husband and I have been following the History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island story on television for a few years now and have enjoyed it immensely.

This book takes the show a step further with a very detailed and well-researched journey into the darkest depths of the unfortunate history behind the “money pit” and multitudes secrets surrounding Oak Island.

I love all the intrigue and mysteries of who actually went to Oak Island
Vince Ciaramella
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Just like the actual treasure on Oak Island this book's treasure was elusive. I really thought I was going to like this book and it turned out to be just okay.

I found this book a tad boring. I really wanted a book that summed up what is going on and the many theories. What I got was a history of dig after dig after dig. I felt like there wasn't enough interesting material to create a compelling narrative so the author added and bogged down the book with accounts of ever two inch hole dug on the
S. Niehart
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Absolutely loved it! Having all the history of the search in a readable format is so wonderful. As a faithful fan of the series I thought I knew a lot but I knew nowhere near as much as I though (whuch is true in all life lol).

There were moments I though Ohh, that is what they were talking about! For example this year finding the large hinge and somebody mentioned a gate, I had no idea about the theory of closing the floodgates and that is just one example.

I personally loved hearing more about D
Cecil Lawson
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
As a regular viewer of the show on which this book is based, I was curious about many of the references to the previous history of Oak Island treasure hunters, and Sullivan collects them all in this single volume.
It is a history of obsession, and as he pointed out in his 2003 Rolling Stone article, on which this book builds, Sullivan notes that the real "curse" of Oak Island are all of the broken lives, families, friendships, and business partnerships associated with "the world's longest treasu
Sarah Z
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge fan of the show The Curse of Oak Island, and this book was a great companion to it. It very factually presents all the theories, the people involved, and the history of the island; it manages to put everything into context very concisely. What I found most interesting were the people, the key players so to speak, and their relationships with other people involved. The bits about Fred Nol
Julian Walker
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing I like more than a good mystery, is a treasure hunt - and this is the story of both, combined around a mysterious island with strange, archaeological structures and an abundance of symbols all pointing to some hidden thing. But what is it?

Told with a passion and engagement, this book charts over 200 years of searches, finds and theories about what is hidden there - from the original works of Shakespeare, to pirate treasure, and lost crown jewels, to privateer supplies.

The book als
The Curse of Oak Island is a definitive read for fans of the History Channel television show. Sullivan delves deeper into the history, personalities, and theories presented only briefly on the show. His approach is mostly unbiased, though he does tell the reader his thoughts on some of the theories and the theorists that he thoroughly researches and debunks. The book is incredibly well researched and the presentation, though occasionally dry, is very readable.

If you've watched The Curse of Oak
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review featured at

4.25 Hearts Have you watched the series? What? You haven’t? You are missing something.

So here is the deal. The series on tv has been hard at work looking for treasure. Have they found any? I guess you need to watch or read to find out….

The book followed really well what has happened on the series and I will be honest and say that I have not read the last few chapters as I haven’t seen the show and didn’t want to ruin the show but I have caught up the re
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Curse of Oak Island by Randall Sullivan is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late November.

A hidden pirate’s treasure luring in seekers from in and outside of Nova Scotia for hundreds of years. Sullivan cross-examines myth, lore, historic records, interviews, and biological/archaeological findings from modern-day excavation projects, but it's all mishmashed together somewhat frustratingly in a chronological way as the author finds it, to the point that, as a reader, I felt like I was fum
Sandra Severson
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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“Can what's buried beneath the ground on Oak Island possibly be worth what the search for it has already cost? Six lives, scores of personal fortunes, piles of wrecked equipment, and tens of thousands of man-hours have been spent so far, and that's not to mention the blown minds and broken spirits that lie in the wake of what is at once the world's most famous and frustrating treasure hunt.” 1 likes
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