Interesting read--lots of info on maps, on research, and on human nature. A journey into the actions, though not the mind, of a thief. There's no great resolution to this book, but you will come away with a better appreciation for maps and why they exist.
"...In The Island of Lost Maps, a wonderfully rich excursion into ...what might be called cartographomania, Harvey follows Bland's tracks from library to library, reconstructing the crimes of the man he deems the Al Capone of map theft...
Along the way, Harvey examines the history of cartography generally, and the ravenous market for old maps-once the quiet province of a few knowing collectors, now invaded by speculators. These maps are just another corner of the overpriced status-symbol commodity market--and one that richly rewarded Bland's nefarious work.
Harvey's winding narrative, full of learned detours, adds up to a superbly rendered tale of true crime...one that will appeal to book lovers and mystery buffs in equal measure.
Gregory McNamee amazon
The story moves forward - embellished often by interesting sidepaths. The author enjoys giving his opinion about all sorts of subjects.
Great fun! The author's original quest was to write about one particularly successful and active map thief, Gilbert Bland; but there's much, much more. He takes us on his journey of discovery, learning about the history of maps and their development, the history-changing power of maps, map crime, the weird world of map collecting (where the thief could sell his ill-gotten goods)... all written in an accessible style and laced with refreshing, humorous phrasing. Highly recommended for anyone interested in maps, books, history, libraries, and offbeat nonviolent crime.
I really enjoyed this story. Mixes the story of the map stealer with the history of cartography.
Intriguing, especially for bibliophiles, about how those those who cross to the dark side handle their materials. Be wary of obsessions.
fascinating look into antique maps