Read The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey Free Online
Book Title: The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime|
The author of the book: Miles Harvey
Edition: Random House
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 814 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: January 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780965004053
Loaded: 1217 times
Reader ratings: 7.7
Read full description of the books:
Nothing ruins a good book more than an author confusing his quest to find the story with "the story."
This book is best when Harvey is relating actual events. He includes several true stories about map thefts or about cartographers that I found interesting because 1. their effect on historical events is obvious, and 2. the stories are generally unknown to the average reader. There are some great stories in the first half of this book.
But there is far too much philosophizing in this book, especially toward the end when there is really nothing left to tell about Gilbert Bland or the maps he stole. Harvey admits there was nothing left to tell. In light of this, it would seem that the book should have come to an end. But that is not what happens. Instead, the plot shifts to Harvey's journey to *find* more to tell. And so we are left to read about all the parallels he draws between: himself and Gilbert Bland; his quest and that of another early explorer or cartographer(and another; and then another; and then probably a few more;) his quest and that of Gilbert Bland; the psychological profiles of past thieves and Gilbert Bland; the results of his mother's childhood trauma and that of Gilbert Bland (really?) - (do I need to keep going?)
It seems, in the second half of the book, that Harvey found meaning in everything. He needed to tell us about his unplanned 100 miles-out-of-the-way trek to a town called Eldorado. The map told him to go. (I don't get it either...) And even though the trek failed to garner any new information about the story he was researching, it had some sort of romantic meaning to him, so we get to read about it in the book. (Snoooooooore.)
In relating all of these events, Harvey kept taking this circuitous route, whereby he interrupted the current flow of the text to go off and describe the meaning he found from the [fill in the blank.] I'm all for some of that. But it was overdone and often fruitless because it rarely advanced the story.
I didn't even know what he was talking about by the end. Birds had meaning. Rockets had meaning. Satellites had meaning. I just couldn't stomach it anymore. The book was suddenly about everything. I just wanted it to end.
You might think that the moral of this book would be: don't steal maps. But the real moral of the story is this: a story that doesn't end the way you want won't become any more interesting by inserting yourself as the main character.
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Read information about the authorHarvey is an American journalist and author who writes for Outside Magazine, and whose national and international bestseller, The Island of Lost Maps, was named one of the top ten books of 2000 by USA Today and the Chicago Sun-Times.
An adventure-seeker with a passion for exploration and discovery, Harvey won a 2004-2005 Illinois Arts Council Award for prose and a 2007-2008 Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan. In the fall of 2009, he will begin teaching creative writing at DePaul University in Chicago.
Publishers Weekly says his latest book, Painter In A Savage Land, "hits the sweet spot for both adventure buffs and history fans."