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A Pattern of Islands
 
 

A Pattern of Islands [Kindle Edition]

Arthur Grimble
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Product Description

Product Description

Arthur Grimble was sent to the Gilbert and Ellice islands as a colonial administrator in the twilight of the Edwardian era. He lived there for the next twenty-five years and developed a rare passion for the language, life and landscape of the place. Fortunately his island neighbours, a fascinating cast of fishermen, sorcerers, poets and fighters, began to trust this charming, happy and energetic young man, and shared with him their treasury of stories from the days when warfare was endemic and magic an essential part of everyday life. A Pattern of Islands is a rich and complex cultural history of the dances and legends, rituals, spells and way of life of the islands. It is also a riproaring adventure story. Grimble learns to spear hungry sharks, to negotiate fearsome reefs and, on one terrifying day, is used as human bait to catch a giant squid.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 706 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Eland Publishing (1 Dec 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B9CO50Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rob 13 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
I learned about the book "A Pattern of Islands" from an elderly friend who wanted to replace her worn out copy but can't get round to 2nd hand shops. The book is out of print. I got her a copy on the internet.

I broused it before giving it to her and thought it looked interesting.

It is a delightful, easy but good read, well written in good early 20th Century English but an Oxbridge educated man. Arthur Grimble was sent to the Pacific Islands in about 1914 as a British administrator. He is a lovely, generous man who writes of his experiences amongst the islanders.

This is a heart warming, sometimes very funny, but always interesting book. I found revelations of the islanders own religion thought provoking.

This is a worthwhile read, easy but satisfying.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic from another world 7 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book which I read many years ago, and bought as a gift. Grimble went to the South Pacific in 1913, and met some interesting situations and difficult decisions as an administrator in the Gilbert Islands. Today nowhere is untouched by modern consumer society, but it is still possible to experience a different world through the eyes of a sensitive writer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 22 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover
A Pattern of Islands (which was also made into a film `Pacific Destiny' in 1956 starring Denholm Elliott, Michael Horndern and Gordon Jackson) is a mad ramble through Colonial life on the Ellice and Gilbert Islands. A true raconteur, the stories came to life first a series of BBC talks (after his retirement) and then later as this book. It's a gem of a read, and probably among the last of its kind. Not so easy to find these days, but well worth seeking out!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 22 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover
A Pattern of Islands (which was also made into a film `Pacific Destiny' in 1956 starring Denholm Elliott, Michael Horndern and Gordon Jackson) is a mad ramble through Colonial life on the Ellice and Gilbert Islands. A true raconteur, the stories came to life first a series of BBC talks (after his retirement) and then later as this book. It's a gem of a read, and probably among the last of its kind. Not so easy to find these days, but well worth seeking out!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary English diplomatic couple 25 Feb 2011
By gossak
Format:Hardcover
This book is about as charming & wonderfull as it gets,reading about far off cultures & people.It gives a facinating insight into the power of 'Magic' not always benign & sometimes breath taking in it's power to summon the forces of nature but always offset by the charm & innocence of the Gilbert islanders.
If you are interested in Humans in a, sadly, bygone age, you will love this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and another point of view 17 April 2013
Format:Paperback
If you want to learn how to kill a man-eating shark with just a wooden hook, when you're in the water with the shark, this is the book for you! Also valuable lessons on how to deal with giant octopus.

It is interesting to learn that as far back as this, half a century before the empire unravelled, there were people going into the imperial service who couldn't abide the whole Kiplingesque, dominion over palm and pine stuff - and that they found their duties were nothing of the kind. It is another view on the British Empire, at least parts of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pattern of Islands 5 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd been looking for this book for ages. Had enjoyed it enormously when it was a set book @ school. Very English gentle humour. Entertaining and a glimpse of "empire" England and therefore rather unPC, but delightful nonetheless.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book 9 Mar 2008
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book for 10 pence in a library sale. I had never heard of it before. It is now one of my favourite books.
It describes the adventures of a British diplomat sent to govern a pacific island in the pre-second world war days. Mr Grimble is a very human, compassionate man, with a gentle sense of humour. The world he describes no longer exists, but is nonetheless absorbing. From having to earn the respect of the islanders by catching an octopus by hand, to introducing the rival villages to cricket as a means of settling disputes (which failed when the villagers turn the cricket match into tribal warfare), Mr Grimble's descriptions of island life are wonderful. I lend my copy to everyone I can. Read this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read.
A real joy to read.I first came across this book many many years ago,and decided to reread it.I was not disappointed in those
memories and this delightful story of the many... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mrs. Carolyn Arno
5.0 out of 5 stars I particularly like the shark-catching episode - it should make your...
A glimpse into a distant past and hugely interesting and amusing, this book is so well written you won't want to put it down. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mrs. H. V. Minor
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare glimpse into a forgotten past
This is a delightful book. I read it may years ago and it has lost nothing at all in a re-reading. Sir Arthur has the light touch and elegant command of the English language that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian Ashton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great book
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Michael C. Gibbs
4.0 out of 5 stars I love it.
It helps if you read this when you were little - and I did. It's a kind of Coral Island for the civil servants of a time long long gone. No, it's betterr than that. I love it.
Published 2 months ago by The South Seas cruiser
5.0 out of 5 stars My English teacher, Dave Wilson, used this book ...
My English teacher, Dave Wilson, used this book over many years (decades) as a classroom reader. So when i saw it i thought, i will read that again, 40 years on. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. N. P. Tompkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Colourful, exotic and deeply respectful tales of Pacific islanders in...
A great and easy read - perfect for bed-time! These true tales from the fringe of empire are told by an official who was both deeply honourable and radically respectful of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pelagius
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I read this for my exams many years ago, it was great then & is still great now, I even got my son to read it & he loves it to.
Published 9 months ago by Lilliane Mullin
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia
This book brought back my pacific travels when younger, also it is excellently illustrated from the author 's own records
Published 11 months ago by bettinaanteater
5.0 out of 5 stars compulsary reading
excellent prose,and fantastic memoirs of the british empire in the south pacific.a mostly gentle clash of cultures. of a forgotten age.
Published 12 months ago by david
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