Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls is an unforgettable exploration of a subject of perennial fascination.
©1988 Edward E. Leslie; (P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks
"The ultimate book of ordeals....Fascinating, entertaining, and horrifying. I heartily recommend it." (Paul Theroux)
I believe this was written in 1988 but the tone and style seems more like an 1800's text book. It contains quite a bit of information, but I didn't find it at all "Fascinating, entertaining, and horrifying" as the review by Paul Theroux states. Nor can "I heartily recommend it". If you're interested in a study of the psychology and history of marooned people, go for it, if you're looking for facinatition and entertainment, pass on this one.
I'm a big fan of survivor stories such as those on the Discovery channel, so I thought this book would be enthralling. However, I found it hard to get into and hard to follow (possibly because my mind kept wandering), at least for the first third of the book. If you're looking for entertaining survivor stories and you want to give this one a try, I'd skip part 1 and start with part 2. Even then, it's still a little dry.
Other survivor stories I'd recommend include Life of Pi (fiction) and Over the Edge (non-fiction).
Enjoyable book, enjoyable narration. Like many folks who enjoy historical survival stories, I have favourite sub-genres (e.g., I favour old marooning and shipwreck stories rather than more modern plane-goes-down-in-the-desert/mountains). This book spans a range of survival stories, so depending on the mood I'm in when I replay this book, I skip around to different chapters. That doesn't make me want to reduce my rating for this book, though, because I haven't lost interest in it - years after buying it, I still occasionally listen to parts of it. It's good therapy for when I get tired of crowds and dealing with people - I listen to the book and reflect on what it would be like to be isolated and forced to survive on my wits alone.
This book is far more than a collection of tales of the macabre for the armchair adventurer; it is filled with fascinating information of historic interest that allows the reader to regard the subject matter in a more enlightened manner. The only reason I can image for the low accounting of stars from some of the reviewers is that they were expecting perhaps a more 'Disney' like rendering of these tales – full of excitement but with very little depth.
I bought this book in 1992 and have always held it in high esteem ever since. Then I found it as an audio – and am very happy to have purchased and listened to it. The only fault I can find, is in the reading, which, to my ear sometimes sounds as if the reader is bored. This is not so bad that it distracts any from the book, but in me anyway, leaves a touch of regret, for this book is very far from dull.
I thought that this book would be more short stories but it really is more of a reference book. The information is interesting but definitely not put in story form.
I didn't enjoy this book but if you are someone who enjoys just the facts this book would be for you. The information is robust and well researched.
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