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Desperate journeys, abandoned souls : true stories of castaways and other… (original 1988; edition 1988)

by Edward E. Leslie

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156576,544 (3.81)3
Member:timspalding
Title:Desperate journeys, abandoned souls : true stories of castaways and other survivors
Authors:Edward E. Leslie
Info:Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:adventure

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Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors by Edward E. Leslie (1988)

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Showing 5 of 5
There are several ways that Leslie's book could appeal to a reader. There is a sort of fascination with people's experiences during disasters, whether it results from fascination with awful things happening to other people or schadenfreude. There is a historical angle, as the disasters start during the age of sail, then proceed to nearly the present day. There is also interest in what causes certain people to survive and others to succumb. The author wrote from the last perspective. I must say i found a morbid fascination with the material early on, but as I went through the book, especially as the disasters moved into the modern age, I enjoyed it less and less. The detailed, clinical description of injury and suffering started getting on my nerves, and I considered not finishing the book. Though I made it all the way through, I don't recommend this book for anyone who is likely to be bothered by the suffering of others. ( )
1 vote baobab | Feb 10, 2013 |
More a compendium rather than a real unified non-fiction book, but what a compendium! Gem-like anecdotes abound. ( )
  ben_a | Jun 28, 2012 |
This book was pretty much written for me. It is 500 pages of survival and frostbite and bear attacks and people eating each other. Leslie's writing style is occasionally over-the-top and seems to come from the 1930s instead of the 1990s, but anyone who uses W.S. Gilbert's poetry to make a point gets kudos from me. He inexplicably leaves out the Donner Party and the Franklin expedition; perhaps he thought they've been overdone, but how can you have an entire section on survival cannibalism and never even mention the Donners or Franklin?

This book has the distinction of being only the second in my Librarything collection that I have tagged with both "animals that will eat you" and "cannibalism nom nom". However, I also had to add to Desperate Journeys my least favorite tag - "dog fatality" - because people in these stories eat their dogs left and right. In one dreadful recounting, a couple trying to hike out of the Alaska wilderness had to leave their dog behind when they were forced to climb a 150-foot frozen waterfall. The next day, the dog rejoined them; she somehow made her way up 150 feet of sheer ice, because there is no greater force than canine love. So naturally about a week later they killed and ate her.

ARE YOU SERIOUS, I said. I am sorry to report that both people survived, but they will each be assigned, in the afterlife, the role of Cerberus' Chew Toy. (This is also what will happen to Michael Vick.)

All in all, what a great book to read curled on the couch with spicy hot chocolate while "wintry mix", that charming New England euphemism for "everything unpleasant falling from the sky at once", goes on outside. If you are me, and like that sort of thing. Because I have issues.
1 vote atheist_goat | Mar 2, 2012 |
I really disliked Edward Leslie's book "Desparate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True stories of castaways and other survivors." I liked some of the castaway stories... and I would have enjoyed the book if stuck to telling the those stories in a more straightforward manner. But Leslie launches into other random stuff -- poetry and philosophical discussions about cannibalism-- that dragged away the enjoyment the book had for me. I also found the individual stories difficult to follow... he starts to tell you about one survivor, then jumps into information about someone else, then goes back to the original person. It makes it very hard to follow the stories or keep the people straight. Sadly, this book takes an interesting topic and makes it tedious. ( )
  amerynth | Jan 8, 2012 |
2206 Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors, by Edward E. Leslie (read 16 Apr 1989) This book about maroons and castaways has 20 chapters about marooned people, people reduced to cannibalism, and astounding survivals. The 21st chapter has a large number of stories from 1942 to the present. Each account was fantastic once one got caught up in it--but it is like reading short stories: one is always starting over. One of the stories is of Lord Byron's grandfather. The stories run together and it is hard to keep them straight. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 27, 2008 |
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This book is dedicated with love and gratitude to Dr. James E. Carver of St. Andrews Presbyterian College. Although they have long since left his classroom, many of his students still struggle to live up to the extraordinary exampl he set.
This book is also dedicated to the memory of Steven Frederick Geisz 1946-1975. The certain knowledge that he was dying did not daunt or defeat him: instead it gave him a purpose and a resolve. To the last days of his life he worked on behalf of those whom society had discarded and forgotten, and he grew spirtually even as he declined physically. Rest in Peace.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395911508, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

From Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson to Alive! and Adrift, tales of survival have always captivated readers. This powerful collection chronicles the remarkable true stories of real-life maroons, castaways, and other survivors as they struggle to endure against insurmountable odds. From the 1500s to the present, in the most isolated and unforgiving terrains imaginable, they faced shipwrecks and plane crashes, crossed vast deserts and icy Poles, and struggled against avalanches, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Here are their moral dilemmas, their personalities, and their influence on society, literature, and art. Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls is an unforgettable exploration of a subject of perennial fascination.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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