The Collector of Lost Things

The Collector of Lost Things

A Novel

Audiobook CD - 2013
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In 1845, young researcher Eliot Saxby is paid to go on an Arctic expedition to find the remains of the by-now-extinct great auk, a large, flightless bird of mythical status, and is trapped on a hunting ship where the crew and passengers are not what they seem.
Publisher: Ashland, OR : Blackstone Audio, 2013
ISBN: 9781482946857
Characteristics: 10 sound discs (12 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Healy, Michael F.


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Feb 03, 2017

A cautionary tale... There are some things that never change, including greed. Many people still think that resources are here to be used and there is no need to preserve anything.

The image of the Great Auk on the cover of this book caught my attention. There is something about the big white oval on the head, it's shape and stance, that it is flightless, and somehow unknowable that has drawn me to these birds, and I have made several drawings which include them. To find a book about Great Auks, especially fiction, was unexpected.

This book is set in Victorian times, narrated by Saxby, a young naturalist on a trip to the Arctic in search of the Great Auk. The ship is not equipped for passengers, of which there are three. It is a collection ship. The hunts and killings are depicted in great detail. There is no doubt that this was the attitude of ships like this, and that tragedy will ensue when they encounter the Great Auks.

The other two passengers are Bletchley and his cousin Clara, the only woman the ship. The captain, Sykes, and first mate French, are the main protagonists among the crew. The interplay of the characters heightens the tension, as Saxby witnesses what he believes to be wanton killing of defenseless animals. He finds a support in the sensitive soul Clara.

The plot is not complicated, and the ending, apt and satisfying.


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