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Hippolyte's Island

Hippolyte's Island by Barbara Hodgson, ISBN: 9780811828925
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ISBN: 9780811828925
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Published: 23 August, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Links Australian Libraries (Trove)

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Hippolyte's Island

Subtitled An Illustrated Novel, Barbara Hodgson's Hippolyte's Island is a literate adventure/love story brimming with beautiful reproductions of ancient maps and old brass instruments, photos of penguins, and illustrations of whales and kelp. The artifacts all relate to the sea journey of a modern-day traveler from Vancouver, Hippolyte Webb, who seeks to prove the existence of the Aurora Islands in the distant South Atlantic, which have inexplicably disappeared from modern maps. Once the eccentric and likable Webb returns from his rediscovery, he must then navigate the equally dangerous shoals of the New York publishing world and the disbelief of his editor, Marie Simplon at Rumor Press, who has promised to publish his book on the journey. Hippolyte's Island is Hippolyte's book--for long stretches, he is alone on a rented sailboat scanning the horizon for the mysterious Auroras. As he notes in his journal: "Three specks sighted by observant, brave, intrepid, gullible, lying, hallucinating, vainglorious, reckless, spiteful eighteenth-century explorers. About to be rediscovered by an updated version endowed with pretty much the same characteristics." Though at times too factual (and burdened by a slow start), this book can also be a gripping read. Engagingly humorous and occasionally terrifying, it may cause you never to set foot on a boat again, let alone swim in the deeps of the sea. --Mark Frutkin

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