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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—rather than succumb to this dismal fate—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. Under Musgrave's leadership, they band together and remain civilized through even the darkest and most terrifying days.

Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island—twenty miles of impassable cliffs and chasms away—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, they also plan their own astonishing escape, setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages in history.

Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings this extraordinary untold story to life, a story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.

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Island of the Lost
Average rating
4.3 / 5
Island of the lost
March 29th, 2014
Interesting combination of practical science and adventure found in this book
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
If ever leadership could be personified, the importance of team work clarified this book shows clearly our dismal choice to work alone or with each other to merely survive. Colored with human distress that was overcome with working together and textured with challenges of adversity. I loved the adventure! Well rounded characters that I could cheer for, their relationships, hardships and desires and unimaginable desperation made it difficult to put the book down. I rooted for them all to survive.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Two stories,one of despair , hopelessness and lack of courage and the other of courage,hope and a unfaltering belief that things will get better.All this from two separate groups shipwrecked on different locations of the same small island.The difference,leadership and the willingness to take control of your own destiny.
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1 review
Great read
August 24th, 2013
Amazing stories of survival. Easy to read and fast paced, recommend it!
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1 review
Island of the lost
February 15th, 2013
A very interesting book, in part because it contrasts two very different groups of castaways, and how different their experiences were. It is fascinating to ponder on how various personalities react so differently to the same events, and how deeply (and tragically) differing attitudes can affect the outcome of those events.
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1 review

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