By Roger Lovegrove
The distant island has held a permanent position in our gather imaginations, as a spur to our wanderlust and because the proposal for such vintage stories as Robinson Crusoe. Now, during this attractively illustrated volume--filled with various images and an eight-page colour section--Roger Lovegrove has accumulated, for the 1st time, the tales of twenty of the main distant islands on the earth.
Wandering over a large geographical quarter, from the Arctic and the Antarctic to the Atlantic and Pacific, Lovegrove takes us to islands time-honored and unknown, starting from the storm-bound island of South Georgia and the ice-locked island of Wrangel to the wind-swept, wave-lashed islands of Mykines and St Kilda. We shuttle to Halfmoon Island, a haven for penguins close to the Antarctic, to tropical Tuamotu in French Polynesia, to the gorgeous volcanic island of Pico, and to Tristan da Cunha, might be the main distant position in the world. Lovegrove set us down on each one of those distant unique areas, describing the varied flora and fauna and crops to be stumbled on there, and highlighting the impression people have had on their fragile ecosystems. He exhibits how the presence of people has been felt in various methods, from the exploitation of birds for nutrition to the removal of local crops for vegetation, and he issues to Guam is an severe example--perhaps the severe example--of the dreadful results that we will be able to have on an oceanic island. as soon as a tropical paradise, smooth Guam is, he writes, "defined by way of the silence of the birds."
Throughout, Lovegrove finds that regardless of the nature of islands--distant, offshore, inhabited, uninhabited, tropical, or polar--their mystique and magnetism is impossible to resist. His Islands past the Horizon often is the ideal get away for armchair tourists who yearn to go to far-flung unique locales.
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