Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Oak Island Mystery: The Secret of the World's Greatest Treasure Hunt - Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe

The Basics: The Oak Island Mystery: The Secret of the World's Greatest Treasure Hunt, Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe, 1995, 221 pages, paperback

How I found it: My dad and I had read a few books about Oak Island when I was a teenager and now that I live less than an hour's drive from Oak Island I thought I would pick up one of the many books about it.

What's it about?: On an island in Mahone Bay, on the south shore of Nova Scotia, two boys discovered a refilled shaft in 1795. Ever since various teams of treasure hunters have excavated parts of the island searching for some sort of treasure they believe is buried there. In the course of their excavations they have uncovered a complicated tunnel system that seems to flood any shaft that is dug to get at the suspected treasure. This book details what has been found so far, which groups of treasure hunters have operated on the island, and then goes into some of the authors far-fetched ideas about how the treasure came to be on Oak Island.

Did I like it?: For such an interesting topic, this book is pretty boring. It refreshed my memory about the ingenious tunnel system that exists on Oak Island, but other than that I didn't find it to be very credible. I skimmed the last third of the book since it dealt with the author's strange theories about the owner of the treasure. These range from pirates, to Sir Francis Bacon, to marauding Celts, to the Knights Templar and several others. I don't find much merit to any of these conspiracy theories. As well, the author intersperses details about these theories throughout the first part of the text, but then doesn't explain them until the end, which makes for a confusing read. Apparently the author is a British science fiction writer which might help explain why his writing style sucks!

Will you like it?: If you don't know anything about Oak Island this might be an okay place to start. While I can't recommend anything specifically, I can tell you that there are tons of other Oak Island books out there and perhaps you should start with something else. Or you can just check out this wikipedia article - it has the basic information.

But don't take my word for it: Most of the readers on Amazon.ca agreed with me (and were even more harsh) but it seems that the few reviewers on that site who liked the book are personal friends of the authors' (how lame).

1 comment:

  1. Mid Summer 2005 First Nations Keith Ranville set out from his Vancouver home to investigate a at the time a Oak Island's diminishing place of interest. But a new Oak Island beginning emerged through Keith's traveling research studies a simple unencrypted solution was generated to resolve this elaborate now 213 year-old treasure mystery. The close examination of Oak Island clues proclaimed a interesting triangle theory' in-which was instrumental in locating the core to understanding and reviving the Oak Island treasure mystery.