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Island of Secrets (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Power , The Atavist

Kindle Price: CDN$ 2.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

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Product Description

Product Description

If geologist, adventurer and risk-prone eccentric John Lane can prove the existence of the elusive tree kangaroo on the remote Pacific island of New Britain, he just might be able to save one of the last truly wild endangered forests on earth. But first he and his ragtag expedition party—college students, adventure-seeking biologists, disinterested local teenagers—will have to find the rare animal. Award-winning writer Matthew Power plunges into one of the world’s most foreboding jungles alongside Lane. It is a quest that’s equal parts noble, dangerous and wacky, in a place that’s truly off the map.

"In this wonderful piece of modern reportage, tree kangaroos, 'wicked' self-inflicted machete wounds, shot-down WW II pilots, conservation, and eyeball-sucking leeches all converge in one beautiful, terrifying, largely unexplored place. That it took Matthew Power—one of our most hilariously indomitable travel writers—to bring back this story will surprise no one." —Tom Bissell, author of "Extra Lives" and "Chasing the Sea"

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 194 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Publisher: The Atavist (Nov. 2 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0062WBE5K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #552,668 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mad wild Nov. 21 2011
By Jonathan Mooallem - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Island of Secrets is a gripping adventure story about the hunt for an elusive, Gremlin-like species of tiny kangaroo in what has to be one of the least hospitable and yuckiest places on Earth. There man-eating crocodiles and eye-sucking leeches. Slapdash minor surgeries are performed (probably not-so-hygenically) on ripped-open legs, and everyone on the trip seems to develop at least one kind of fantastic rash. It's thrilling, and also unimaginably odd, and Matthew Power captures it all beautifully. But in Power's hands, the story becomes not just about this search for a wild animal in one of the last wild places on Earth, but about a quieter, more complicated wildness: whatever it is inside John Lane -- the reckless, sometimes hilarious environmentalist leading the quest -- that compels him to keep looking.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Herzog film in prose Nov. 18 2011
By hedtk - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Matthew Power travels where most writers fear to tread. In this beautifully written chronicle he goes to the island of New Britain, near Papua New Guinea, searching for a rare tree kangaroo. Beware of resentful spoiler reviews and let Power immerse you in the High Herzogian dreamworld of the Nakanai Mountains.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Nov. 8 2013
By Kathryn Brown - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of a journey into remote Papua New Guinea looking for the elusive tree kangaroo with an adventurous scientist and explorer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story Nov. 18 2015
By Tungsten Hippo - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This story is nominally about a search for a tree kangaroo in New Britain, but really that is just the pretext for both the trip described and the book itself. The book is really a fascinating look at one of the few remaining "off the map" places, and what drives people to explore it. The characters make this book, but the description of the island and its history is also fascinating. The book is a statisfying story on its own, but leaves you wanting to know more about the island.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Excellent Read Nov. 27 2011
By Sarge - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm used to reading Matthew Power's articles in print magazines and travel anthologies and always really liked them. He's had adventures all over the word with everybody from movie stars to MedEvac pilots to Amazon explorers. If you've read other stuff this guy has written you know how well he combines the story of his adventure and the even stranger story behind it. In "Island of Secrets" you find out why John Lane, a danger-loving, cave-loving, pretty famous geologist and conservationist with an unlikely couple of financial backers is risking his life and his day job to discover what just might be a new kind of tree kangaroo. Since this was the guy's third try at it, you know it's a long shot. Did I mention, he's a geologist? And it rains 24 FEET a year, and there are bats with 5 foot wing spans and leeches looking you in the eye? Really. Right in the eye.

If you read this on your Kindle, which I first did, you're lucky that Power writes such great descriptions - he describes Lane as a guy who has "elevated improvisation into a life philosophy" and one of the plants as "a flesh tearing horror with stems covered in three inch spikes." It's a really excellent read. If you have a choice, however, download the Atavist app for your iPad/pod/phone. I'd never heard of The Atavist before and believe me, it's so worth the extra buck to access the excellent visuals like a video of Power as the herpetologist guy who's with them talks him through sewing up the guys leg. I would have liked some pictures of the swarm of man-eating ants that cannibalized Power after he fell into their nest, but I guess the camera wasn't rolling. Anyway, with the app you don't have to go look up stuff like where New Britain is because you just tap the screen and it brings up a Google map. You can also hear him read the story, but don't listen while you're driving because you'll probably laugh in places where he wasn't laughing at the time, miss your exit, and get lost in some strange new world of your own.

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