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David Grann on the brutal truths revealed in The Wager

By Kobo • May 03, 2023Kobo in Conversation Podcast

"One of the reasons I was drawn to this story is that the island becomes a laboratory. It becomes a laboratory testing the human condition under very extreme circumstances. And inevitably it begins to peel back and reveal the hidden nature of each person.

You see acts of selflessness, resilience, heroism, and bravery—and you see acts of shocking brutality, murder, and cannibalism on that island."

We spoke with David Grann, author of non-fiction page-turners including The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon and Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, to say nothing of his many incredible articles about crime and adventure that he’s written over the past twenty years for The New Yorker. And he has a new book, The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder. It’s about seafaring, nautical battles, castaways on the brink of starvation, but it’s also about the very fabric of society.

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann

From the author of Killers of the Flower Moon, a page-turning story of shipwreck, survival, and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth. The powerful narrative reveals the deeper meaning of the events on The Wager, showing that it was not only the captain and crew who ended up on trial, but the very idea of empire.

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