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The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime (2000)

de Miles Harvey

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1,740447,331 (3.56)65
"The Island of Lost Maps" 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, the most prolific American map thief in history.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 44 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Off to a fine start, interesting to me with my love of libraries, and book and map collecting. Really fell short when discussing librarians themselves and the quest to find out more about the "thief" himself. In the end, rather long, losing steam with insights.
  15minutes | Mar 18, 2021 |
I am still shaking my head about Miles Harvey's "The Island of Lost Maps" -- what a wasted opportunity for an interesting book. I decided to read this one after reading Michael Blandings' excellent and far superior book "The Map Thief" and I just shouldn't have bothered.

The book is supposed to be about map thief Gilbert Bland Jr., who ripped maps out of library books and made a pretty good living at it until he got caught. Harvey clearly doesn't have enough material on Bland for a full-length book so he includes lots of junk that has no bearing on the story. It's like writing a story about a famous doctor and saying, "I had some cashews for breakfast and that takes me back to the main character of my story, because he was nuts." Harvery frequently inserts himself into the story in bizarre ways.

The point of no return for me was when Harvey begins describing how the ghost of a dead librarian felt about Bland's thefts. I'm sure this was based on extensive interviews with the ghost of the library. Hello, this isn't supposed to be a fiction! It was impossible to take anything Harvey said seriously after that chapter.

Skip this book and read "The Map Thief" instead... you'll get much more out of it. ( )
1 vota amerynth | Oct 14, 2017 |
I found this book fascinating. I love history, true crime, and maps myself. I live near the ocean so I understand that siren call of the sea. I am a librarian so I understand the outrage about what Bland did. And I like well written books, this was one. Harvey takes the reader on a strange journey through time from the beginning of map making to the most modern methods to mapping the sea floor. The thief Gilbert Bland is not really important to the story. He is why it was started, he did steal from students, researches, and the tax payers, but he is not really important. I felt that was just like his life. Bland was there but not really important. That has caused pain to his family but Bland does not really care about that either. Harvey is much more interesting than Bland. Bland hid from everyone, Harvey goes to meet new people to learn more about maps from. Bland did not care about the maps or map making. Harvey finds insiders who are willing to give him some of their time so that he can understand. Bland is very boring. Harvey is moving, learning, and all in all much more interesting. Read this book for Harvey, the maps, and history because just like in his life Gilbert Bland is just not there.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library. ( )
1 vota lrainey | May 25, 2016 |
Explores the motivations and events of Gilbert Bland, a prolific thief of rare maps from academic libraries. Provides background of cartography history, the map dealing scene, and the historic desires to discover and map the world.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This is an absolutely fascinating true crime account of the cartomaniac who stole hundreds of priceless maps from the stacks of such illustrious libraries as The Peabody (at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore). The aptly named Gilbert Bland Jr used several aliases and was never questioned by security or librarians. He gave every appearance of being a mild-mannered scholar. But he sliced maps out of ancient books, and then sold them to collectors.

Harvey crafts the story like the best true-crime writers. The reader knows the crime and the criminal pretty much at the outset, but it’s the hunt for why? that propels the narrative. Along the way Harvey includes considerable information about map-making and the human fascination with maps since ancient times. I was captivated from the opening lines.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Harvey, Milesautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Chueca, FabiánTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Made, Aafke van derTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Of what use is eternity without the past?
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

"The Island of Lost Maps" 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, the most prolific American map thief in history.

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