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17+ Obras 14,849 Miembros 732 Reseñas 9 Preferidas

Sobre El Autor

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He graduated from Connecticut College in 1989, and earned a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a master's degree from Boston College in creative writing. He has written for The New York Times mostrar más Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. His stories have been published in numerous anthologies of American writing. His books include The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon which won the Indies Choice award for the best nonfiction book of 2009, and Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

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Créditos de la imagen: Journalist David Grann at the 2018 Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, United States. By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Obras de David Grann

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"Killers of the Flower Moon" was picked out by our Book Palaver member; it's not a book I would normally read.

It details the scores (if not hundreds) of murders that took place in the early 20th Century of Osage Indians. Because the Osage had been forced to live on this land (before it was known it had copious amounts of oil below it), they were awarded huge sums of money annually from the federal government once the oil was discovered. But because there was a belief that the Indians didn't have the capacity to manage that kind of money, white leaders and/or relatives were given the right to control that money. Upon death, the guardians then owned that money so the motive was clearly there.

I felt like the writing was just OK. I much better book along these lines is "The Devil in the White City."
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Jarratt | 315 reseñas más. | Jul 7, 2024 |
The Wager was a ramshackle ship in a British naval squadron that had set out on August 27, 1740 to capture a Spanish treasure vessel off the coast of Chile. While rounding the southern point of South America, it was badly damaged in a series of storms and became wrecked on the shore of an unnamed island that was christen after the ship. Assumed lost with all hands by the rest of the squadron, it was a welcome surprise when 30 sailors landed in Brazil and were returned home to England.

Six months later another six survivors turned up in Chili. Both groups told unbelievable stories of great hardship including starvation, cannibalism, lack of water and incredible seamanship in vessels built from the remains of their original ships and boats. While their stories appear to be fiction, the sailors' journals and verbal accounts confirm the truth.

An incredible read for those who enjoy true stories of adventure and survival.
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lamour | 73 reseñas más. | Jul 7, 2024 |

Grann’s new book is quite readable! I was very lucky to find a new copy, dust-jacket and all, in a little free library. It is a more straightforward story than that of Killers of the Flower Moon, and the thesis seems a little less pointed, but a quality read nonetheless.

Much of Grann’s writing goes about recounting the differing perspectives of the survivors of the Wager shipwreck. The castaways, as they struggle with lack of food, shelter, and all the other needs, gradually break into factions and nearly lose their humanity. Grann explores, somewhat lightly, how quickly the bonds of brotherhood dissolve. He does not take much time to explore the things humans will do in these perilous situations. There are only a few passing references to cannibalism, for example.

I am not sure what Grann intended his thesis to be. Is it an exploration of the trials and tribulations of the crew? The personalities involved? That’s accomplished quite well. However, in the final chapter, Grann writes this:

“After M___ returned to England, he published a forty-eight-page narrative, adding to the ever-growing library of accounts about the *Wager* affair. The authors rarely depicted themselves or their companions as the agents of an imperialist system. They were consumed with their own daily struggles and ambitions—with working the ship, with gaining promotions and securing money for their families, and, ultimately, with survival. But it is precisely such unthinking complicity that allows empires to endure. Indeed, these imperial structures require it: thousands and thousands of ordinary people, innocent or not, serving—and even sacrificing themselves for—a system many of them rarely question.”

I struggle to find Grann’s point. The narratives of the people who survived a gruesome shipwreck, mutiny, months of hunger and strife are occupied in their writing with their survival, not the political thought of Empire? Wow, no shit. I also feel that Grann is looking at these folks quite clearly removed from time and space. The officers in this setting would have an *interest* in propagating empire, not curtailing it. Many of the officers would go on to be active players in developing the largest empire ever to straddle the Earth. Is that “unthinking complicity” ? No. It is, if anything, thoughtful abetting.

Grann clearly feels a need to address some elements that come up in the castaways’ accounts, but I don’t know if it works seamlessly. Grann frequently mentions that the written accounts come from Europeans with a European view, and that is a good and proper note. However, there is a relatively shallow examination of these contexts. I think there is a little more written about the press gangs at the start of the book than there is about the Kawésqar people later on. Perhaps in the paragraph I quoted above, what Grann seeks is not writing from the survivors on these topics, but from others. I don’t know, and I don’t know if he knows. I would have appreciated these things be better integrated throughout the story, rather than appearing in Chapter 26 and feeling somewhat tacked on — especially the paragraph above, which I feel has no precursor anywhere in the book. Perhaps the themes best captured across the full page count are hubris, social order in times of social collapse, and the time-tested want of militaries to engage in boondoggles.

This probably sounds negative, but I really liked the book! It does feel less congealed than Killers of the Flower Moon, and less capital-I “Important.” It was an engaging and itneresting shipwreck read though!

P.S.: I accidentally deleted the last two paragraphs of my review and they were so good. Please accept this hasty substitute. Shame on me for trusting the goodreads editor.
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ThomasEB | 73 reseñas más. | Jul 4, 2024 |
The Wager was a British Naval ship in the 1740s that was part of a fleet on a secret mission to intercept and plunder a Spanish galleon. Instead, high seas and rough weather caused the Wager to lose sight of its fleet and become shipwrecked. Isolated and starving, mutiny and murder soon followed suit for the desperate crew. Shockingly, there were survivors who made it back to England 5 years later to face court-martial. Painstaking research lends vivid detail to this doomed and desperate voyage.
lillibrary | 73 reseñas más. | Jun 29, 2024 |



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