• by Simon Winchester
  • Narrated by Simon Winchester
  • 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Simon Winchester, struck by a sudden need to discover exactly what was left of the British Empire, set out across the globe to visit the far-flung islands that are all that remains of what once made Britain great. He traveled 100,000 miles back and forth, from Antarctica to the Caribbean, from the Mediterranean to the Far East, to capture a last glint of imperial glory. His adventures in these distant and forgotten ends of the earth make compelling, often funny listening and tell a story most of us had thought was over: a tale of the last outposts in Britain's imperial career and those who keep the flag flying.


Audible Editor Reviews

Simon Winchester travels to the far reaches of the British Empire. Winchester reads his own sometimes oddball tales. He tells of a cricket match on St. Helena in which a fielder falls off the edge and thus is "retired, dead." On Ascension Island, an island so small it was considered a ship - the H. Ascension - any baby born was considered born at sea. Winchester's nicely modulated voice is perfect for narrating this history/travelogue. He is engaging while narrating the history and perpetually amused at the quirks of keeping the Empire alive no matter the discomfort. The production concludes with an interview in which Winchester discusses his delight at discovering that readers share his fascination with geology.


What the Critics Say

"Funny, masterly, fine....Superbly written." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nice Travelogue

I've enjoyed many of Winchester's narrative histories (and am currently listenting to "A Crack at the Edge of the World"), but found this travelogue an equally diverting listen, if a little short on truly useful information, as I doubt I'll ever have the time or money to visit these remote remnants of the British Empire. My one regret is that the book is only available on audio in abridged format (the author explains why this choice was made and how he elected which chapters to eliminate). The narration is excellent.
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- J. S. Koehler

colorful stories about distant rocks

Winchester does it again! He brings his colorful descriptions of the history and geology of Great Britain's distant appendages. Author's interview at the end of the book is extra special.
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- Andy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2005
  • Publisher: HarperAudio