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Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  5,228 ratings  ·  530 reviews
Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.

Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings the ext
Hardcover, First Edition, 284 pages
Published 2007 by Algonquin Books
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Sandra Noel Yes, strangely enough truth is stranger than fiction. It's a good read.

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3.98  · 
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 ·  5,228 ratings  ·  530 reviews

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The whole book revolved around two shipwrecks on different parts of Auckland Island, a deserted, barren and really nasty place to find yourself alone and without help. Neither of the shipwrecked crews knew about the other. One set, inspired by their captain, built a community and eventually a ship to sail out on. The other set became murderous and turned to cannibalism.

Sounds thrilling right? And it should have been. It should have been such an amazing story it would snapped up to be filmed as s
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love non fiction survival stories and Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the Worldreally floated my boat(pardon the pun).

Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. It's climate is extreme and harsh with year round freezing rain and howling winds so when in 1864 Captian Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the Island they are faced with uncertain death if they d
G.L. Tysk
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I checked this book out from the library today, started reading it after dinner, and could not put it down or go to bed until I finished it! I read a fair number of sailing non-fiction books and am no stranger to accounts of shipwrecks, but Druett's talented writing and immediate ability to turn the journals of the shipwrecked sailors into an ongoing account of real human beings enthralled me. I felt like I was reading a novel, all the more exciting because everything that happened was true.

Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A well researched and well written account of what men who "Because of conscientious leadership, resourceful technology, unstinting hard work, and an outstanding spirit of camaraderie, had survived unimaginable privations." They found something in themselves that allowed them to work together, for the better good, to stay together and support each other, regardless of their own individual suffering.

The author's notes and the follow up accounts of the people that had parts in the story was very
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Apart from drowning being Shipwrecked is a sailor's worst fear.
The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea.

The storm
The Grafton wallowed there for perhaps an hour, and then, with an awful lurch, the anchor wrenched free.
Precisely at midnight on January 3, 1864, she struck on the rocks. “A shock more terrible than any of its predecessors made the vessel shiver from stem to stern,” wrote Raynal; “a frightful crash fell upon our ears—the disaster so much dreaded had come
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like history or survival stories, this book will float your boat.

Island of the Lost is a true account of two ill fainted voyages into the Antarctic ocean. With a particular focus on one, it follows 5 men as they seek their fortune in the Aukland Islands, south of New Zealand. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say things don't go as planned. Soon their boat is smashed to pieces and they are left marooned with slim of chance of rescue.

The ingenious methods these guys use to survive,
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history, 2010
"Below the 40th latitude there is no law; below the 50th no God; below the 60th no common sense and below the 70th no intelligence whatsoever."

Traveling in the subantarctic is fraught with danger. The ocean is almost uninterrupted by land, which allows storms form quickly, circle the globe, and grow (with little land to slow them down). This climate, along with an unreliable food supply and harsh geography, makes survival difficult, and survival from shipwreck hopeless. Islands of the Lost desc
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nf-history, nf-other
The gripping story of a company of men shipwrecked on a cold and isolated place in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This tale of adventure and resourcefulness is remarkable, as it is a true story and the book is based on the extracts from the survivals’ journals and the papers of the time (late 1800s).
Chad Sayban
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
“Hundreds of miles from civilization, two ships wreck on opposite ends of the same deserted island in this true story of human nature at its best – and its worst.

Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.”

So begins Joan Druett’s book, Island of the Lost – Shipwrecked at the Edg
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I struggled to complete Island of the Lost. The story of two simultaneously shipwrecked crews, unknown to each othed, on the same remote island south of New Zealand in 1864, makes for interesting fodder as one group endures and the other group resorts to cannibalism. But alas the prose is not particularly well written.

The book extensively relies on the journals kept by Captain Musgrave and quite frankly he was not much of a writer either.

I think the story has enough compelling material for a fi
Michele Harrod
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me, and I can honestly say, it was utterly gripping. Based on the true story of 5 sailors who were shipwrecked on the Auckland Islands in 1864. Approximately 235 miles south of New Zealand - a place truly desolate, cold and cruel. I am not sure what amazed me the most - their own incredible ability to break down traditional 'class' structures and retain total care and loyalty to each other, alongside their incredible ingenuity that allowed them to survive for well ov ...more

Description: Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.
Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings the extraordinary untold story of two shipwrecks on the same island at the same time to life, a story about leadership
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x07-july-2017
It's not just one amazing story, it's two. Two shipwrecks at the same time in the middle of 19th century-freaking-nowhere. A lot of stuff about the positive and negative power of personal character and a whole bunch of luck thrown in to muddy the ocean. I read mostly fiction. This did not feel like a novel to me. There was too much historical, nautical and scientific information for it to feel like a novel. All that research was great though. It never felt like it dragged on the pace or got in t ...more
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves survival stories
I loved this book. One of the most well written true shipwreck stories I've ever read. Facinating and inspiring.
It gets a bit bogged down into much detail at parts, but it is a very interesting story, in particular why one group survives and the other doesn't.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Right up there with Endurance. This book is unique in that there are two drastically different shipwreck stories being told. It's amazing how leadership played a major role in the devastation of one and the success of the other. Great life and leadership lessons throughout.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the true account of two ships, in 1864, shipwrecked on Auckland Island, near Antarctica. The survivors made it to shore four months and only 20 miles apart and never knew the others were there. The five men who had been aboard the Grafton, survived their miserable twenty month ordeal by living democratically, instead of maintaining shipboard rank. They were resourceful and made the best of their situation. Days were spent building a shelter and primarily hunting sea lions for food. At ni ...more
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Incredible, amazing account of how a group of shipwrecked sailors managed to survive almost two years on a desolate island southeast (I believe) of New Zealand in the mid-1800s. They dealt with terrible winds, biting bugs that had evolved to survive in both summer and subzero winter, and a diet that consisted of seal, seal, and more seal. Despite their circumstances, they managed to salvage parts of their original ship and use them to build an airtight house with a fireplace/chimney, a forge for ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

The author of several works on nautical history and a maritime mystery series, Joan Druett is a knowledgeable, entertaining tour guide through the seafaring life of the 19th century and the hardships of "castaway life" (New York Times Book Review). Druett illustrates how each group coped with the hostile conditions and why their respective strategies (or lack thereof) succeeded or failed by allowing the details of each story to drive the narrative. Some critics found those details too graphic

Alice Lippart
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. The best part was reading about the camraderie that in many ways saved Captain Musgrave and his team, and how another shipwreck on the other side of the island perished, lacking leadership and friendship. I also though Auckland Island was described well, and overall it was very enjoyable and easy to read.
Angus McKeogh
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Just a little too much monotony, but I guess that’s to be expected with a group of guys marooned on the Auckland Islands. Their survival story is fairly fascinating, but again not the greatest nonfiction survival story I’ve ever read. Just middle of the road.
Adam Solorio
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. Two groups of men shipwrecked on Auckland Island at the same time, neither knowing the other is there. That’s amazing enough. What’s more incredible is how staggeringly different the two groups of men behaved and how it affected their outcomes. Amazing story.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Unexpectedly good.

This is a fairly easy/quick read that doesn't get too bogged down in laborious detail, but fleshes history out nicely. She does a great job of creating a sense of being at sea and the gloom of the wintery, rainy Auckland Island.

The story of Musgrave and his group of castaways is very much "Robinson Crusoe." It became unintentionally comical as it went on and the Frenchman Raynal created more and more necessities. Need a cabin? I can design that! Got soap? I'll make that! Leathe
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf-history
An absolute page-turner. Two crews shipwreck on the same desolate island four months and 20 miles apart. The stories of their survival (or lack thereof) are compelling.

Druett first introduces the five-member crew of the Grafton. Through unity of purpose, specialized know-how, and hard work they are able to eke out a bearable existance. It’s amazing to witness the extent to which they are able to overcome their surroundings. They build a sturdy shelter complete with mortared fireplace, they perf
Joan Druett hit upon a gold mine of material for her book "Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World." Two different boats shipwrecked on tiny, inhospitable Auckland Island, miles off the coast of New Zealand. Completely unknown to each other, the two crews really illustrate the difference between men who are driven to survive and men who have given up. One crew worked together (and admittedly had a gun that made a big difference for its food supply) while the other crew fell apar ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, Informative Read

This books was well-researched. It reads, most often, like an action/adventure novel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it fascinating to learn a tremendous amount from it.
Aug 21, 2007 added it
Remarkable. A story of the vital importance of leadership, as well as a great tale of survival.

The author has a remarkable talent for converting historical accounts, journals, and biographies into a narrative.
Oct 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in stories of survival under harsh conditions
Another account of shipwreck surviors with a twist: two groups marooned on opposite ends of a remote island but unaware that the other was there. One group survives quiet well, the other loses most of their party before being rescued.

The ingenuity showed by the smaller group is amazing.
Karen Johnston
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I love survival stories and this one is truly amazing. Two groups shipwrecked on the same island at the same time with very different results. A fast amazing read...
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