Epub construyamos.co » The Island of Lost Maps A True Story of Cartographic Crime

Now in paperback this USA Today Best Book of 2000 tells the story of a curious crime spree the theft of scores of valuable centuries old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada When all was said and done Gilbert Joseph Bland Jr had become the Al Capone of cartography 20 illustrations throughout


10 thoughts on “The Island of Lost Maps A True Story of Cartographic Crime

  1. says:

    Nothing ruins a good book than an author confusing his uest to find the story with the storyThis book is best when Harvey is relating actual events He includes several true stories about map thefts or about cartographers that I found interesting because 1 their effect on historical events is obvious and 2 the stories are generally unknown to the average reader There are some great stories in the first half of this bookBut there is far too much philosophizing in this book especially toward the end when there is really nothing left to tell about Gilbert Bland or the maps he stole Harvey admits there was nothing left to tell In light of this it would seem that the book should have come to an end But that is not what happens Instead the plot shifts to Harvey's journey to find to tell And so we are left to read about all the parallels he draws between himself and Gilbert Bland; his uest and that of another early explorer or cartographerand another; and then another; and then probably a few ; his uest and that of Gilbert Bland; the psychological profiles of past thieves and Gilbert Bland; the results of his mother's childhood trauma and that of Gilbert Bland really? do I need to keep going?It seems in the second half of the book that Harvey found meaning in everything He needed to tell us about his unplanned 100 miles out of the way trek to a town called Eldorado The map told him to go I don't get it either And even though the trek failed to garner any new information about the story he was researching it had some sort of romantic meaning to him so we get to read about it in the book SnooooooooreIn relating all of these events Harvey kept taking this circuitous route whereby he interrupted the current flow of the text to go off and describe the meaning he found from the fill in the blank I'm all for some of that But it was overdone and often fruitless because it rarely advanced the story I didn't even know what he was talking about by the end Birds had meaning Rockets had meaning Satellites had meaning I just couldn't stomach it any The book was suddenly about everything I just wanted it to endYou might think that the moral of this book would be don't steal maps But the real moral of the story is this a story that doesn't end the way you want won't become any interesting by inserting yourself as the main character


  2. says:

    As a cartomaniac a librarian and a history lover myself this book seemed to be just the ticket for me I loved the digressions into the science of maps notable historic maps mapmakers historic map thieves explorers map collectors and the map trade However I found the story of the map thief to be about as bland as the thief's own name In fact the author takes pains to illustrate that thief is a personification of his own name His is a story not worthy of telling except as a cautionary tale for all archivists librarians collectors and the like who might fall prey to low life vandals such as Bland His story becomes even tedious by the end and then turns into a sentimental author's introspective I grew tired of the way the author always tries to tie the story of maps into the story of the map thief as if everything about maps is somehow analogous to this repugnant protagnist I also thought that the author's attempt to make the entire story applicable to himself even to the point of drawing an analogy between his own life and that of the thief as if his whole experience of researching the story of the map thief was actually a journey of self disovery was pretty weak and contrived I think I would have rather read this book as two separate works one a collection of newspaper clippings detailing the arrest of Mr Bland and the subseuent crime investigation and another as a brief history of all the varied aspects of the world of maps including map crimes of which this map thief's story would merely figure in as one egregious example rather than as the focus of the entire work


  3. says:

    In June 2002 I arrived in Worcester Massachusetts where the courteous natives felt impelled to tell me that it was pronounced Wooster as though it would be anything else We Australians know and use the English pronunciation of such placesThere I entered the Goddard Library to get my paws on Robert Goddard's papers and I was given firm instructions as to how I would sit in relation to the librarian's desk So I said brightly You've read 'The Island of Lost Maps' haven't you?The librarian confirmed that he had I indicated that I had also done so and undertook not to behave in any manner that would in any way approach the concealing actions used by Gilbert Bland or any of the others described there in order that he the librarian could be a little comfortableI get furious enough when I see prints that are obviously taken from old books to be framed on sale on market stalls The idea of anybody stealing scholarship is even anathematic to me It makes my blood run coldStill people who go into libraries need to know how the Blands of this world operate if only so that they can flush them out And librarians MUST read itOne need not set a thief to catch a thief but one needs to set somebody who is versed in the ways of thieves This book prepares us well


  4. says:

    This book had been languishing on my I've started so I'll finish shelf since forever with the bookmark on page 289The first part had been really interesting the part that had been all about the map thief Gilbert Bland and his eventual arrest But then the author who had become uite obsessed went off on a uest of his own and the rest of the book turned into a rambling messWhen I finally picked it up again last night I discovered that of the ca 120 pages left only 60 pages were text The rest were acknowledgements notes that I hadn't even known were there — they weren't marked in the text which makes them rather pointless in my view and an index I skimmed the rest of the text and am very relieved that I can now remove it from my shelvesFor a much better worded review and one I heartily agree with see the one by Lori


  5. says:

    I bought the book for a few reasons I liked the cover I like Islands I like maps I like some true stories It seemed totally randomHighly recommended because even if you like none of the above reasons you will still love reading it Yay cartography


  6. says:

    This was certainly an interesting take on a cartographic criminal namely one who steals maps from libraries I have to admit I became a bit riled upon reading that rare books were destroyed in the guilty one's greed so I didn't have much sympathy for him But the author kept my attention by taking paths into the days of Columbus and Magellan and the great explorers thus illuminating the constant crimes in search of rare mapsLibrarians do not come off well here They allowed their books to be torn apart and then either didn't know about it or were too embarrassed to admit it The author is mildly kind to them but his frustration shows and I like his emotion coming through the pages We rarely reach our destinations at least not the ones we set out to findBook Season Year Round


  7. says:

    view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler


  8. says:

    Awful Just awfulI love old maps and have many framed in my collection so this seemed like a natural for me Ah well The author couldn’t follow a sharpie drawn on an interstate to the next town This is a ridiculous meandering hokum filled book Allegedly the tale of a map thief you know True Crime Sadly our author can’t trace a line from one incident to the next without a nauseating excess of crap He seemed to need to follow every available dirt road to its end to see if there might be dirt thereYou know the pity you feel for soap opera actors telenovela types who we assume might not be as terrible at what they do if they had perhaps rehearsed? They must have been denied the opportunity to absorb feel out the silly melodramatic plots right? No one is that pathetic if they’re gainfully employed? What if a cross dresser in a Christmas panto thought it was real theater?I began with that overly kind approach probably because the paper this book is printed on feels so smooth and yummy But by the time i had forced my way through half of this tiresome ramble no mercy remained It is so overwritten pages of imagined facial expressions emotions and motivations of a ghost? Details of details of nonsense psychobabble? It reminded me of the writing in The Three Faces of Eve the authors of which i diagnosed with testicularia appreciate that the author spent a long time in his research but do we really need to know the librarian’s assistant’s mother’s age of menarche? And maybe if any other human in history related to maps in any way had anything in common with her? I’m sure his work was exhaustive but a good writer shouldn't use that excuse to exhaust us What if there was a book that wanted to tell a story but every word was followed by its complete etymology? Yeah like that


  9. says:

    I can’t believe I finally finished reading this book I never thought I’d make it Even Jake said he felt relieved when I was finally done So I suppose it’s not hard to guess that I thought this book was pretty boring and way longer than it needed to be I would repeatedly find myself at the bottom of a paragraph and realize I had no clue what I had just read Or I would suddenly come to with a jolt and a major crick in my neck OyThe author took what was a mildly interesting case a man who stole hundreds of valuable old maps from rare book rooms at libraries around the nation and researched it to death He spent 4 years interviewing anyone even remotely connected to the case or rare maps collecting he gathered all kinds of court documents police records military records etc and he dumped all of that information into this book The info wasn’t well organized to begin with but then he intersperses it with all kinds of tidbits on the history of maps the history of map collecting the history of explorers and it was mostly a jumbled messIt starts to get weird when he author admits that he became obsessed with this case and the criminal involved Gilbert Bland He continually delved into Bland’s psyche trying to get to the bottom of his motivations in committing this type of crime He constantly wrestled with his obsession trying to figure out throughout the book why he was so obsessed with this case and doing such extensive research into it While I appreciated his candor and typically enjoy trying to get to the psychological heart of things it got awkward to sit there and read about his inner struggle At one point the author even talks about how he was beginning to take on traits of the map thief He even compares his search for Gilbert Bland to that of Stanely’s immortal search for Dr Livingstone and then goes on to remind us of what kind of a person Stanley turned into he ended up working as a Belgian mercenary and was involved in the oppression and torture of thousands of people in the CongoEven after all that I won’t say that this book was totally worthless As I mentioned the case itself was mildly interesting and as with any non fiction work there was information to be gleaned that I can take away with me Whether I like or dislike a book is not the most important thing to me I care whether a book provides food for thought and for interesting discussion If it provides me an outlet for expressing my strong opinions in a fairly safe and neutral forum I think this book has done those things for me and I look forward to the discussion at book club Thanks for hanging in there with me if you’ve made it this far If you feel so inclined leave a comment so I can give you due gratitude


  10. says:

    Very interesting story of a branch of literary theft specializing in taking maps sometimes cutting desirable maps out of special collection edition books As well as the hunters who track these thieves down Interestingly the thieves appear addicted to their pursuits unable to stop even when they know they are close to being caught