Island of the Lost continues to inspire interest, perhaps because the question of bad and good leadership is so critical in these shaky and uncertain times. It has been described as a classic in the genre, and so many seem to agree with this, that Algonquin is issuing a new edition, due to appear in stores, both internet and brick-and-mortar, in August.
Here is the blurb:
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 at its worst.
It is 1864, and Captain Thomas Musgrave’s schooner, Grafton, has just wrecked on Auckland Island, a forbidding piece of land 285 miles south of New Zealand. Battered by year-round freezing rain and constant winds, it is one of the most inhospitable places on earth. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.
Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island, another ship runs aground during a storm. Separated by only twenty miles and the island’s treacherous, impassable cliffs, the crews of the Grafton and the Invercauld face the same fate. And yet where the Invercauld’s crew turns inward on itself, fighting, starving, and even turning to cannibalism, Musgrave’s crew bands together to build a cabin and a forge—and eventually, to find a way to escape.
Using the survivors’ journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings to life this extraordinary untold story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.
“[A] study of the extremes of human nature and the effects of good (and bad) leadership . . . If the southern part of Auckland Island is all Robinson Crusoe, the northern part is more Lord of the Flies . . . Druett is an able and thorough guide to the minutiae of castaway life . . . [She] shows that real leadership is rare and powerful.”
—New York Times Book Review
Front interior pages
“This story goes reality TV a few steps better . . . A clear morality tale about the pitfalls of rigidity and the benefits of adaptability and cooperation . . . Druett, who has written other works of nautical history and a maritime mystery series, wisely lets the details make the point, resisting the temptation to oversell. Her writing style is clear and detached, her touch just right . . . The power of the crews' divergent stories . . . propels the narrative like a trade wind.”—Los Angeles Times
“An amazing saga . . . Rarely are the two opposing sides of human nature captured in such stark and illuminating relief."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“One of the finest survival stories I've read . . . [Druett's] tale is backed up by a solid knowledge of sailing ships and of the flora, fauna and weather of Auckland Island, an inhospitable terrain that has defied attempts at human settlement and is now a wildlife preserve.”—Seattle Times
“A riveting study of the extremes of human nature and the effects of good (and bad) leadership . . . If the southern part of Auckland Island is all Robinson Crusoe, the northern part is more Lord of the Flies . . . Druett is an able and thorough guide to the minutiae of castaway life . . . [She] shows that real leadership is rare and powerful.”—New York Times Book Review
“Captivating . . . Druett has a talent for storytelling . . . Those yearning for a classic man vs. nature, triumph-over-terrible-odds story, get ready to set sail.”—Paste
“Fascinating . . .a surprisingly gripping tale that will leave readers amazed. Grade: A”—Rocky Mountain News
“The kind of courage and resourcefulness that would do Crusoe proud . . . Druett’s well-researched account earns its place in any good collection of survival literature.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Using diaries, ship logs, and newspaper accounts, Druett re-creates the different experiences of the survivors of two wrecked vessels . . . Viewers of television’s Survivor and readers of survival novels will enjoy Island.”—School Library Journal
“Swashbuckling maritime history reanimated by a noted naval enthusiast . . . Druett excels at recreating the men’s struggles and desperation (tempered by boundless hope) . . . Depicted with consistent brio, stormy seas become epic events.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This is a fine addition to the genre of survival tales like Endurance or In the Heart of the Sea.”—Publishers Weekly
“The amount of detail the author has amassed is truly impressive, resulting in an invaluable account of survival.”—Booklist
“[Druett] writes with a confidence and clarity that makes this account an exciting read and an important addition to our history.” –Northern Advocate
“Island of the Lost is one of the greatest yarns I’ve ever read, surpassing even Shackleton and Robinson Crusoe.”— South Coast Register
“Survival stories from earlier ages remain favorite fare, as is underscored by this amazing saga by an award-winning New Zealand maritime historian.—The Berkshire Eagle
“It is felicitous that Joan Druett should have found this story. She is one of our most readable historians. Her knowledge of maritime events is encyclopedic. And she can write: vividly, lucidly, accurately … Each of the plot’s two threads is absorbing in itself. Combined and contrasted, their motif … makes this book more powerful still.”—Weekend New Zealand Herald