Outposts [NOOK Book]

Overview

Simon Winchester, struck by a sudden need to discover exactly what was left of the British Empire, set out across the globe to visit the far-flung islands that are all that remain of what once made Britain great. He traveled 100,000 miles back and forth, from Antarctica to the Caribbean, from the Mediterranean to the Far East, to capture a last glint of imperial glory.

His adventures in these distant and forgotten ends of the earth make compelling, often funny reading and tell a...

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Outposts

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Overview

Simon Winchester, struck by a sudden need to discover exactly what was left of the British Empire, set out across the globe to visit the far-flung islands that are all that remain of what once made Britain great. He traveled 100,000 miles back and forth, from Antarctica to the Caribbean, from the Mediterranean to the Far East, to capture a last glint of imperial glory.

His adventures in these distant and forgotten ends of the earth make compelling, often funny reading and tell a story most of us had thought was over: a tale of the last outposts in Britain's imperial career and those who keep the flag flying.

With a new introduction, this updated edition tells us what has happened to these extraordinary places while the author's been away.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061978326
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 393,215
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, Atlantic, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa. In 2006, Mr. Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He lives in western Massachusetts.

Biography

One of the leading practitioners of the offbeat, narrative nonfiction genre The New York Times affectionately calls "cocktail-party science," Simon Winchester studied geology at Oxford, worked on offshore oil rigs, and traveled extensively before settling into a writing career. For twenty years, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian, augmenting his income by writing articles and well-written but little-read travel books. Then, an obscure footnote in a book he was reading for sheer recreation sparked the idea of a lifetime.

The book in question was Jonathon Green's Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries They Made, and the footnote read, "Readers will of course be familiar with the story of W.C. Minor, the convicted, deranged, American lunatic murderer, contributor to the OED." Immediately, Winchester knew he had stumbled on a real story, one filled with drama, intrigue, and human interest. Published in 1998, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Oxford English Dictionary was an overnight success, garnering rave reviews on both sides of the pond, and remained on The New York Times hardcover bestseller list for more than a year.

Fueled by curiosity, passion, and a journalist's instinct for what makes "good copy," Winchester has gone on to explore the obscure, arcane, and idiosyncratic in blockbusters like The Map that Changed the World, Krakatoa, and The Man Who Loved China. Coincidentally, his subjects have placed him squarely in the forefront of the new wave of nonfiction so popular at the start of the 21st century. In an interview with Atlantic Monthly, Winchester explained the phenomenon thusly: ""It shows, I think, that there is deep, deep down -- but underserved for a long time -- an eagerness for real stories, real narratives, about rich and interesting things. We -- writers, editors -- just ignored this, by passed this. Now we are tapping into it again."

Good To Know

Winchester once spent three months looking at whirlpools on assignment for Smithsonian magazine.

He once wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Times to correct a factual error in an article about where the millennium would first hit land on the morning of Jan. 1, 2000. (It was the island of Tafahi, not the coral atoll Kirabati.)

He reportedly loves the words "butterfly" and "dawn."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York; Massachusetts; Scotland
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 28, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      M.A., St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, 1966
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Good but....

    Anything by this author is certainly entertaining and well done. I have read all of his books and enjoyed them thoroughly, BUT in this one his anti-american slant is very evident. Good old England's empirical history isn't exactly something to rave about. Sorry I put money in your pocket on this one, Mr. Winchester.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    You Have to be British

    There is a slight anti-American position in the initial writings. you have to admire a man who traveled as much as he did to get the information for this book but for the most part, the adventure is lost.
    I bought the book because of the cover. The phone booth is actually a fresh water shower cruisers can use in the British Virgin Islands. Unfortunately little is learned from his seemingly short time in those islands.
    Winchester is normally a five-star author....not this time.

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  • Posted January 15, 2014

    I purchased this book for two reasons; (1) Simon Winchester is

    I purchased this book for two reasons; (1) Simon Winchester is one of the best authors I have read. His book on Krakatoa out-classed any other book I've read to date. (2) The photo on the cover is not where you think it may be. In fact, I have showered inside the phone booth in the British Virgin Islands and yet, it's not even mentioned in the book.
    As with other viewers, there is a definite anti-American slant to this book even though he now resides in the United States. The book is no comical and really, especially toward the end gets downright boring. I kept in mind that this was written in the 80's and early 90's but things have changed a much of what was written then is old news now and actually is no longer pertinent. I am a huge fan of Simon Winchester, but this book does not do his brilliance any justice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Flowing

    This book has a terrific flow. Of all the travel books I have read, this book gave me the most incentive to continue reading after the completion of a chapter, etc. I honestly didn't think a load of far-flung islands could be this intriguing, but honestly, Winchester makes them. Historical context, humor, its all there.

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    Posted September 10, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted March 27, 2011

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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