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An island to myself [Unknown Binding]

Tom Neale
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (1968)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007F0MVA
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,560,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. 24 Jun 2007
By heidi
I have never read a book that has made me feel so many different emotions as this one.I cried with laughter and with sadness. what an amazing man. this book is about an adventure that secretly we would all love to attempt, but maybe only dream about.i could not put this down and pulled a sickie to stay in bed and read this lol. this man and his story changed my life.one day i will do all the things i have dreamed about thanks to Tom Neale. whenever i feel down i pick up this book and read. i will treasure this little book forever.............But of course that is just my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 14 Sep 2013
By Zobware
I remember reading this book whilst on holiday as a child around 1983 aged ten. One of those books you find in reception! Always had memories of the book but never able to find it again. Now managed to find it 30 years later and absolutely love it, once you have this book you will not be able to put it down. Shame it is so expensive, I am sure if it were cheaper it would sell many thousands of copies, we all have a secret dream of doing what Tom did! This should be made available on Kindle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an island to oneself 16 Jan 2013
By Big G
I love this book, I have a copy I bought online from New Zealand about 10 years ago.
I read it about once every year, I wish it was on kindle E books.
A great read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  63 reviews
76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story of a real "Survivor" 20 Feb 2006
By S. Starke - Published on Amazon.com
No video cameras and immunity for Tom Neale, he did the real deal all by himself for years on a deserted atoll.

A fascinating story of what it takes to survive and a great character study of the type of person who can/would do it.

Tom lived the lazy island life but wasn't satisfied and finally went out to pull a Robinson Crusoe (at the age of 50!). And this was in the 50s. He had no satellite phone to get him out in an emergency, no doppler weather reports, no Honda(tm) generator.

On top of that, he had no safety net. Off the regular shipping channels, he had no scheduled visits, just some random people who happened to pass by and say hi. It was just his skill, determination and a great knowledge of island living that allowed him to survive and thrive.

His daily struggles (from pesky hermit crabs up to life threatening injuries) are a fascinating peek into a life most people will never experience.

After you finish it, be sure check out Wikipedia and the web for more information (and pics) on his life after this book.

An amazing read that ends much too quickly.
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suvarov sounds like a beautiful place 25 July 2006
By B. Willis - Published on Amazon.com
First of all there were 28 reviews on this book before mine, 27 of them were 5 star ratings - that tells you people really love this book. I thought it was very good & I along with most of the other reviewers would love to find a place like this to get away to. I am glad that Tom Neale took the time to write about his adventures because beautiful tropical uninhabited islands are something that don't really exist anymore. The events in this book took place just a generation or so ago & the isolation Tom Neale found there is mostly gone nowadays. In the early 1960's Tom would go up to 14 months without even seeing another human being. Compare that to 2006 - online I can see that at this current moment there are 16 sailboats anchored at Suvarov Atoll.

I thought the best moments in the book are when Tom is describing his friend the duck or his cats...or just his total happiness.

I have a couple minor negative points to add: The book was written in 1966 & the newest edition available was printed in 1990. The "postscript" in my 1990 edition says that Tom left Suvarov in December 1963 for a variety of circumstances & was going to live out his days on Rarotonga rather than die a lonely death on an isolated island.

I was very suprised to find out via the internet that he went back in 1967 & lived there until 1977. I think a postscript in a book written in 1990 should have this information in it.

I also thought it was strange that when you read the book Tom describes his life between 1954 & 1960 as a terrible time where daily he tried to find a way to get back to Suvarov , worked in a dreary store & after work would go home every day & work on a boat he was building. He mentions a few friends and not much else. When I looked up his history after reading the book I see that in this time he got married & 2 years after this became a father. I think it just shows that Tom was a very private person by not even mentioning this in his book.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take me away! 20 Oct 2001
By S. Brand - Published on Amazon.com
Like other reviewers, reading this book made me envious of Tom Neale's fulfilled fantasy of living and surviving alone on a beautiful tropical island. Actually, it took him an incredible amount of hard work to get to that point, and even more work, determination, and creativity to provide for all his needs from the limited stores he brought with him and what the island itself offered. He ingeniously found ways to build, cook, raise animals, hunt, and eat. Tom enjoyed the challenge of survival, yet his physical toughness was sometimes severely tested in battling the elements. I lived every beautiful and frustrating moment with him (in my imagination, of course). One reviewer mentioned that Tom must have married and had two kids because the reviewer had just ordered one of his books about his sailing adventures, but that is a different Tom Neale that is currently living. The Tom Neale of An Island to Myself passed away quite a few years ago, and I'm pretty sure he remained a bachelor. Fun book!
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neat read, but better options out there. 8 Dec 2009
By Mr. Scrubbins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was an interesting book, although I didn't think quite as highly of it as the other reviewers. The author does provide an honest and articulate account of his self-imposed exile on a desert island. Unfortunately, there is little drama or adventure and the greatest hardships appear to be the author's lack of company and his longing for luxury items like cigarettes and meat (no joke)! While Tom shows ingenuity and creates a comfortable little setup for himself on the island, his starting point was a sturdy cabin left behind by the island's previous inhabitants...and this was stocked with a laundry list of supplies that he specially ordered and shipped there from his jumping off point (ie. this is no Alexander Selkirk story). Perhaps the book's greatest asset is its insight into the psyche of someone who would try something like this and the underlying theme (although Tom tries to deny this throughout much of the book) that humans are social beings and that we really do need to be around others. For those in search of a truly fascinating and gripping non-fiction read about human triumph over adversity (with adventure, travel, culture and nature mixed in), a much better option is "PADDLE TO THE AMAZON" by Don Starkell.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar Book; A Real Investment 12 Jan 2006
By Joel Platt - Published on Amazon.com
Tom's "Island to Oneself" is a must read. It is a story that one can connect with regardless of background, social, economic or otherwise.

Being a great fan of the south pacific I now have an even greater drive to remain a fan of that bright, hot and so alive place.

My dream is to move to an island one day, maybe not in such remote and isolated conditions as Mr. Neale, but to `My Island' nonetheless.

I was sad when Tom's story closed but have been motivated to seek other literary routes to islands south while I remain here temporarily `stranded' in my desert!

God bless Mr. Neale's soul and may Tom forever rest in peace

I also recommend the following Great Island Stories (to name a few):

"Island of Desire" Robert Dean Frisbie

"Man on His Island" James S. Rockefeller Jr.

"Lost Island" James Normal Hall

"Rascals in Paradise" James A. Michener & A. Grove Day

"Robinson Crusoe" Daniel Defoe

"Kon-Tiki" Thor Heyerdahl

"Tales of the South Pacific" James A. Michener
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