The Wreck of the Batavia & Prosper
In 1629, the ship Batavia, pride of the Dutch East India Company, was wrecked on the edge of a coral archipelago, some fifty miles from the western coast of the Australian continent. Most of the people on board - nearly three hundred men, women and children - escaped from drowning, only to become victims of a visionary psychopath who, with the help of a dozen followers, organised a methodical massacre of this hapless community. Acclaimed sinologist and author Simon Leys travelled to the site of the disaster and learned that, paradoxically, the natural environment of these islands could have afforded the survivors fairly decent living conditions; the massacre therefore appears all the more aberrant. In fact, in its gratuitous absurdity, it seems to present a microcosm of the totalitarian atrocities that are perpetrated by various ideologies seeking to establish Paradise on earth.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - BlinkingSam - LibraryThing
This book contains two fragments - written at various times by Simon Leys (the nom de plume of the distinguished scholar Pierre Ryckmans). The first deals with material he had collected over a number ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - mstrust - LibraryThing
This is a strange little book. Just over a hundred pages, only the first fifty or so are about the famous shipwreck. The rest of the book is about a fishing trip the author took. The author is helpful by recommending a better book about the shipwreck by another author. Read full review