Curse of Oak Island : The Story of the World’s Longest Treasure Hunt
by Sullivan, Randall

A longtime Rolling Stone contributing editor and journalist investigates the "curse" of Oak Island-a place where rumors of buried riches have lured treasure hunters for years.

RANDALL SULLIVAN was a contributing editor to Rolling Stone for over twenty years. His writing has also appeared in Esquire, Wired, Outside, Men's Journal, The Washington Post, and the Guardian. Sullivan is the author of The Price of Experience; LAbyrinth, which is the basis for the forthcoming feature film City of Lies; The Miracle Detective, the book that inspired the television show The Miracle Detectives, which Sullivan co-hosted and which premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in January 2011; and Untouchable. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

A mile-long speck in Nova Scotia's Mahone Bay, Oak Island has been the focus of treasure hunts for the past two centuries and is currently the subject of a History Channel reality show. Sullivan begins his history in 1795, when three boys excavated a wooden platform; eventually, several were found at descending intervals. The questions of who built them and why have motivated many digs, accompanied by ever more elaborate theories about the builder's identity and motivation. The first candidate was celebrity pirate William Kidd; other proposed sources of booty have been Francis Drake, Spanish treasure ships, and Incas in flight from conquistadors. Alas, naught but a few coins have ever been unearthed, inspiring, relates Sullivan, ever wilder theories casting Oak Island as a repository for Shakespeare manuscripts "really" written by Francis Bacon, the Holy Grail, and the Ark of the Covenant. That such outré ideas have propelled people to invest money and life-at least six have died-reveals much about gullibility and obsession. For his part, Sullivan writes with open-minded balance, rendering the Oak Island story into a weirdly fascinating mystery. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A companion volume to the DIY treasure-hunting History Channel series.Is there anyone who doesn't like a good yarn of hidden treasure and long-lost gold? No, and that's why Robert Louis Stephenson remains so popular today. Unfortunately, this book is no Treasure Island but instead a sometimes-tedious, overly detailed account of the many treasure-hunting expeditions to a woody Canadian island and the theories about the treasure hidden underground. Former Rolling Stone contributing editor and true-crime specialist Sullivan (Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson, 2012, etc.) explores a tale focusing on the efforts of brothers Marty and Rick Lagina to wrest the secrets of a scrubby, tiny spot of land off the Nova Scotia coast. And what might they find? Red herrings, maybe, including "a giant insulating sponge spread out for a length of 145 feet along the shoreline between the high and low tide marks." Also, deep pits, tunnels, and hidden chambers, to s ay nothing of "five large granite stones that were spread in different directions in the vicinity of…Joudrey's Cove." What else? Well, Oak Island could hide Spanish doubloons from ships blown off course by Caribbean hurricanes or maybe some of Captain Kidd's ill-gotten loot. Then there are more Dan Brown-esque possibilities, all of which the Lagina brothers merrily entertain on their show and Sullivan dutifully rehearses: the Holy Grail and Ark of the Covenant, for example, spirited away from their lairs in Cathar France to Scotland "and then, of course, to Oak Island." Maybe there is something planted by the Knights Templar or a secret left behind by Francis Bacon, the English scientist and all-around oddball, "a theory tethered—at some points, at least—to historical evidence," as Sullivan credulously but unconvincingly writes. A middling account for those with an unquenchable jones for yarns of lost codices, Nicholas Cage movies, Edgar Cayce prophecies, a n d the like. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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