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Along the way, Tayman introduces us to famous writers who visited Molokai: Mark Twain, Jack London, and Robert Louis Stevenson. These and other first-hand insights make Tayman's account convincing and accurate.
Patrick Lawlor reads well, perfectly matching Tayman's pacing, bringing the despair and the heroism of this account fully to life.
This is a dirty history of our country, of medicine, and of government. But in the end, it was a lesson well learned, one that has helped to avoid the same mistakes with other contagious diseases such as AIDS. Everyone should listen to this book for the very reason this type of history is taught: so that it does not repeat itself.
John Tayman tells the fantastic saga of this horrible and hopeful place, at one time the most famous community in the world, and of the individuals involved. The narrative is peopled by presidents and kings, cruel lawmen and pioneering doctors, and brave souls who literally gave their lives to help. A stunning cast includes the martyred Father Damien, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt, John Wayne, and more. The result is a searing tale of survival and bravery, and a testament to the power of faith, compassion, and heroism.
"Drawing on contemporary sources and eyewitness accounts of the still surviving members of the colony, Tayman has created a fitting monument to the strength and character of the castoffs in particular, and human beings as a whole." (Publishers Weekly)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Matt on 10-31-06
I liked this book quite a bit. Perhaps my positive assessment is bolstered by the fact that I "read" it while on my way to the island of Molokai. Having heard the story prior to gazing down upon that remote peninsula from 2,000 feet above is quite an experience. I also have a positive opinion of the reader, but he admittedly may be an acquired taste. Still, the book is shocking and engaging. The reader is left in the position of learning about the disease along with the real-life characters. It felt very real. I highly recommend the book.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By R,ickyeeeeeeeeeee on 05-22-06
Bad history lesson
I love a good historical novel, but this book is like the worst, most boring history lesson you ever had to endure. It throws dates, names, and events at you in a rushed, often disorganized manner, and devotes little to the character of the people it tells of. If you like to read facts and dates, you will probably like this one. But, if you want to feel history come alive, pass this one up.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful