- Hardcover: 255 pages
- Publisher: Ox Bow Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0918024765
- ISBN-13: 978-0918024763
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 79 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Island to Oneself Reprint Edition
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Thomas Francis "Tom" Neale (November 6, 1902 – November 27, 1977) was a New Zealander bushcraft and survival enthusiast who spent much of his life in the Cook Islands and 16 years in three sessions living alone on the island of Anchorage in the Suwarrow atoll, which was the basis of this autobiography.
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I wish the book was 1,000 pages longer--the visit to Anchorage Island just wasn't long enough. I think that Mr Neale mixed a perfect amount of detail and reverie into the story. One person (the only person) who gave the book 1 star complained that the book was not philosophical enough. I get that--but when you see what comsumed Tom's day, fishing, farming, protecting from the elements, cleaning, machining various fixes, navigating between the various motus, etc., you get a feel for the truth of this existence more than you would if he had taken frequent litereary trips. And you get enough of his "philosophy" when he explains his various longings, losses, and dashed hopes.
It is remarkable that this story is being passed down through the decades with virtually 0 publicity or corporate push. This is testament to the innate wanderer in all of us. As a fellow reader we now have a sort of kinship.
By the way--someone produced this short video retrospective that you may enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q4HIvEqwNA