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Island of the Lost Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

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.

In 1864, Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave inspires his men to take action. With barely more than their bare hands, they build a cabin and, remarkably, a forge where they manufacture their tools.

Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island, the Invercauld wrecks during a horrible storm. Nineteen men stagger ashore. Unlike Captain Musgrave, the captain of the Invercauld falls apart given the same dismal circumstances. His men fight and split up; some die of starvation, others turn to cannibalism. Only three survive. Musgrave and all of his men not only endure for nearly two years, but they also plan their own astonishing escape, setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages in history.

©2007 Joan Druett (P)2016 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"The amount of detail Druett has amassed is truly impressive, resulting in an invaluable account of survival." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Tiffany
    10/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the Best Stories Ever Told!"

    This true story, in a perfect example of how fact is stranger than fiction, is a breathtaking journey of perseverance, leadership, strength, and camaraderie. Two parties of sailors are shipwrecked at practically the same time in the foreboding and hopelessly remote Auckland Islands. It is 1863. One group is led by a gifted ships captain and talented first mate; the other cast of wayward souls, just 20 miles away, is essentially abandoned by a weak minded, class-focused fool and his equally shiftless second in command. What unfolds is perhaps one of the greatest lessons ever told on the importance of leadership and teamwork. A master of mental imagery, Joan Druett allows the heroes and villains of this unbelievable story to tell their tales in their own words, using her own wonderful, poetic prose to transport the reader to this island chain of cold and hardship. This is a must read for anyone needing to check out of the modern rat race and feel, see, and hear what really matters most in the world--each other.

    85 of 89 people found this review helpful
  • Mere
    Napa, CA
    15/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The shipwreck in the Southern Hemisphere"

    What a detailed and fascinating recounting of deprivation and dispare, ingenuity and steadfast industry! The men of these shipwrecks displayed their mettle, their cowardice and ultimately their success in making their way by their own efforts to safety. Two shipwrecks, two different manners of coping. The narrator made me think that he was there in some eerie way. His ability to narrate was so helpful, getting the 'manly' emotions just right. Try it, it is a enthralling read.

    33 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • A. L. Blevins
    Melbourne, KY United States
    12/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not boring."

    I almost didn't listen to this because some reviews said that it was repetitive and boring.

    I thought it was very interesting.

    My only complaint was keeping track of the two different crews, which blurred together due to my flittering attention.

    By the last 3 chapters I was doing a lot of rewinding to keep track of what was going on as the subjects and their fates changed.

    Overall, great book. The issues that I had were totally my fault for not paying attention at times.

    48 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Robert McSpadden
    25/04/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Historical Bravery"

    The resourcefulness and leadership of one crew as measured by the end result of their ordeal is remarkable. Page turning.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Kelsey
    08/06/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating story"

    A wonderful story of survival and ingenuity. The narration performance was a little distracting at first and turned me off initially, but I gradually got used to the reader.

    25 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    07/01/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Spellbinding!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed island of the lost! It is an amazing story of survival and the human spirit. I highly recommend this audio version to anyone inclined!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    San Diego, CA, United States
    13/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book of the Lost"

    This is another book that I simply cannot bring myself to finish. I enjoy true life historical books and after reading all of the reviews I thought this would be one worth listening to. Oh boy, was I wrong.

    This book reads like a bullet pointed syllabus not a life and death struggle for survival. The writing and the narration are one-dimensional. While I assume the events are factual the storytelling is tedious. The author recounts similar incidents, with slight variation, over and over again; they hunted a seal, they killed a seal, they ate a seal. So on and so forth ad nauseam.

    Simply put, this book is just plain boring and I’m convinced it’s a combination of the writing style and the narration that makes me say this. I can’t say the narrator is “bad” based off just one book, but I can say he didn’t have anything to work with here regardless. Aside from learning about two shipwrecks on this remote island I’ve learned nothing else worth learning from this book.

    This book has not one scintilla of human character development, which is absolutely crucial in order to invest a listener/reader into the story and into the people in the story. I’m not suggesting the author should take a factual account and embellish it, but good writers can find a way to make the listener/reader “buy-in” emotionally by making the people human beings, not just names.

    I believe I gave this book a fair shot by listening to more than half of it, but I’ve reached the conclusion that this book is simply not good as I define it.

    70 of 92 people found this review helpful
  • M.Daddii
    Seattle
    06/02/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic story of survival, well told"

    learned a lot about a piece of the world you don't hear about and a point in time where men and women overcame amazing odds to survive. The Grafton story is well told and I couldn't stop listening

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Mel
    USA
    02/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mmmmm...seal meat"


    In the spirit of being fair, or was it trying to convince myself I liked this book...I've done the due diligence and read about this author. I've at least Wiki'ed Captain Thomas Musgrave, and the Grafton, the Invercauld, and the Auckland Islands. In just minutes, I was able to read in a condensed format, much of the same substantive information Druett draws on for this novel. That's never a good sign to me; it's the equivalent of a book summary that tells the whole story, leaving little reason to endure hours of what becomes repetition and randomness. My conclusions after a little web-surfing were that Druett's research included a few interesting details not found in my quick skim, she emphasizes the importance good leadership, and she primarily relies on repeating a list of activities:
    *escaping death, we pulled ourselves out of the sea;
    we saw a seal, killed it and ate it;
    with teamwork, we built a cozy cabin;
    we bludgeoned to death a cumbersome pregnant seal and ate her;
    today we rationed the last of our ship-bread and found edible herbs on the island;
    seal pups have soft skulls and easy to kill with a single cudgel blow between the eyes;
    the potatoes we planted won't grow in this thick peat;
    after listening to the mournful cries of a mama seal (whose newborn pup we snatched up and boiled with a few herbs last week) we finally had to club the noisy cow to death and dry the meat;
    the stormy ocean is loud and the winds ceaseless;
    seal pups are easy to catch and are tender and delicious, fat from nursing on their mother's rich milk *... [not quotes]
    A nauseating focus on the seal slaughter. The author only alludes to the cannibalism that occurred with the Invercauld crew that had crashed and washed ashore only miles away, yet seems gruesomely obsessed with the details of killing and eating the seals.

    I'm not oblivious to the fact that this is survival, folks, but what purpose does this focus on the cruelties serve in a tale of supposed endurance and heroism? Are the details, down to the lingering taste of oil in a *seal-burp,* crucial to the history? Did the survivors actually fill diaries with their callous observations on killing seals, writing (as she notes) in seal blood once the ink ran out? In one account, with the rafters full of drying seal meat and their bellies full, the hunters resort to poking out the eyes of the seals, the resulting blindness making it difficult for the seals to escape back into the ocean the next time the hunters come to pick them off the beaches (where they come to give birth). I just couldn't chalk this practice up to ingenuity. You know you don't like the characters, or even the admire the supposed *hero,* when the seals finally stop showing up on the island and you start cheering for the men to hurry up and starve.

    Initially, I felt unjust focusing on Druett focusing on the killing of the seals, admitting that I'm soft hearted. But reading Moby Dick, The North Water, Alone on the Ice and countless other books where animals didn't fare well matched against the survival of man, I've never encountered anything so relentless, and so confusing. Maybe Ahab.

    Though gruesome and gratuitous, the slaughter of the seals wasn't the lone reason for me limiting my awarded stars. The two I gave were justified by the accounts of resourceful strategies, adding tar to stripped mast threads, the making of lye for soap, fashioning tools for different necessary trades, the bravery involved with discovering which plants were edible. These accounts, told by the men through their journals, were impressive. Additionally, the spirit of stewardship that made survival possible in the harsh conditions were moments of mankind at its best. But, this is not historical nonfiction retold in the entertaining and meticulously researched style of a David McCullough or Erik Larson. This story doesn't feel dimensional, just reported, and therefore lacks the heft of a time and place in history. The Auckland Islands, the unhospitable *Edge of the World* and one of the enticements in the book's summary, seemed minimized. The characters felt confined not only to the island, but by the author's lack of developing their individual stories, reduced themselves to characteristics rather than human beings. Everything about this book seemed eclipsed by the graphic kills and butchering of seals.

    I'll be in the minority on this one. It's possible I'm tough on Druett, and history buffs might appreciate that the facts weren't embellished to the point of fictionalizing this piece of history. I never got the feeling of being enveloped in history, experiencing an epic struggle between mankind and nature, never felt buoyed by one man's accomplishment in rallying his troops to soldier on, or even felt threatened by the severity of the island. Though the men began to unravel, the darkest possibilities that other histories warn us reside deep in mankind, opportunely surfacing in the worst of times to cast shame on our species, felt like sluggish threats -- nothing a good meal of warm greasy seal pup meat couldn't keep at bay for a few more days.

    Island of the Lost felt like an uninspiring, unimportant blip on the radar of History. I suppose it would be a very bad pun to close with...this left a bad taste in my mouth.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • drew estrem
    01/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "looong"

    the most incredibly boring story I've ever read.. it was very in depth. probably too much detail. a struggle to finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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