Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors

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Here are the most remarkable stories imaginable of maroons, castaways, and other survivors from the 1500s to the present - their moral dilemmas, their personalities, and their influence on society, literature, and art.

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Overview

Here are the most remarkable stories imaginable of maroons, castaways, and other survivors from the 1500s to the present - their moral dilemmas, their personalities, and their influence on society, literature, and art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With painstaking research, riveting detail and elegant prose, freelance writer Leslie here creates a keen psychological study as well as a paean to the courage, resourcefulness and perseverance of the human body and mind. This is a hefty chronicle of true stories, from the 1500s to the present day, about survivors of shipwrecks, maroonings and plane crashes, lost in every sort of climate and environment, struggling against animals, humanssavage and civilizedand the forces of nature. There is Peter Carder, who sailed in the 16th century with Drake, was castaway once and twice marooned, ingratiated himself with Brazilian cannibals and outwitted his Portuguese enemies. Leslie insightfully describes the real ``Robinson Crusoe,'' Alexander Selkirk, a sailing master who quarreled with his captain and was stranded for four years on an island paradise off the coast of Chile in the early 1700s. The account of Marguerite de la Roque, a 16th century French woman who was betrayed as an adulterer by her adventurer cousin on an Atlantic voyage and then left to die, pregnant, on an island off the coast of Canada with her servant and her lover, is affecting. But for sheer thrills and inspiration, readers will be fascinated by the tale of the ill-planned and ill-fated Stefansson Polar expedition of 1913. Illustrated. August
Library Journal
Desperate Journeys, a collection of survival stories from Western culture ranging from 16th-century shipwrecks to 20th-century plane crashes, presents a hodgepodge of data about the human condition. Some are fascinating like the true tale of Selkirk, a shipwrecked Scot, which formed the basis for Robinson Caruso. But John Knowles's story about "survival" in the north woods killing game with his bare hands, detailed in serialized tabloid accounts, have a huckster quality. Yet his fame inspired Edgar Rice Burroughs to create Tarzan. The author lacks the ability to endow his collection with the meaningful insight into human nature. The recording's most outstanding section consists of quotes from Antoine de Saint-Exupery's own classic account of his Libyan plane crash. Reader Patrick Cullen, like the author, turns in a competent if uninspired performance. Only buy if your patrons like disasters.--James Dudley, Westhampton Beach, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Surviving against insurmountable odds is the theme of these two disparate booksone a mass market paperback, the other a trade publication. Adams's book is a freewheeling, believe-it-or-not litany of death-defying feats of survivorship taken largely from the 20th century. Most of these mishaps involve aircraftcrashes, in-air collisions, and exiting disabled craft. Natural disaster survival stories cover avalanches, lighting, tornadoes, and earthquakes. A lack of editorial supervision has resulted in a lack of organization and cohesiveness. This journalistic effort could have been entitled ``Best Disaster Stories from the National Enquirer.'' From Alexander Selkirk (the real-life model for Robinson Crusoe) to Antoine St.-Exupery, Leslie tells the stories of 20 men and women involved in shipwrecks, deliberate maroonings, and aircraft crashes. Each chapter covers one person's story, carefully footnoted and fleshed out with primary source materialoften from diaries. The bibliography is extensive; the footnotes annotated. A scholarly but highly readable treatment of a subject holding an inordinate fascination for many people. Adams's book will probably have more circulation, but buy both: Leslie's for the adult collection, Adams's for YA. Paula M. Zieselman, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395478646
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/1/1988
  • Pages: 448

Meet the Author

Edward E. Leslie is the author of The Devil Knows How to Ride, a biography of the Civil War raider William Quantrill. He lives in Massillion, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    Excellent work and research, with the stories told in an engagin

    Excellent work and research, with the stories told in an engaging and vivid way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    I think that Library Journal should learn to spell Crusoe

    I think that Library Journal should learn to spell Crusoe

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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