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Islomania is a rare affliction of spirit. There are people who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are in a little world surrounded by sea fills them with an indescribable intoxication. Lawrence Durrell
The Book Of Islands is an exhilarating journey to some of the most extraordinary and isolated places on earth. From tropical paradises such as Mauritius and Bali, to prison islands like Alcatraz and Robben Island, from the far-flung - snowy Kerguelen in Antarctica and Tierra del Fuego at the tip of Latin America - to islands in the middle of cities - the Ile St-Louis in Paris and Manhattan - and those that are cities in their own right, like Venice and Singapore - each island has a unique and very distinct character. Included here are places of refuge, escape, exile and mystery - the unblinking primitive statues of Easter Island and the dragons of Komodo; islands that have been sanctuaries and monasteries; the homes of hermits, mutineers, emperors and artists; the sites of battles, vendettas and revolutions. Some of the islands featured are under desperate threat from the forces of global warming: rising sea levels and an increase in severe weather conditions. Unless things change dramatically, many of these unique and diverse mini-cultures will simply disappear. The Book of Islands presents what could be a last chance to celebrate these diverse and extraordinary places.