Spotlight on: The Wager by David Grann

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David Grann, photo credit David Grann

“I came across an 18th-century eyewitness account of the expedition by John Byron, who had been a 16-year-old midshipman on the Wager when the voyage began. Though the account was written in archaic English, and the lettering was faded and hard to decipher, it instantly sparked my curiosity. Here was one of the most extraordinary sagas I had ever heard of: a crew battling typhoons, tidal waves and scurvy; a shipwreck on a desolate island off the Chilean coast of Patagonia, where the castaways slowly descended into a real-life Lord of the Flies, with warring factions, murders, mutiny and cannibalism.

And that was only part of the saga.” ―David Grann, Interview, BookPage

The Wager by David Grann

What booksellers are saying about The Wager

  • Grann is a wonderful history storyteller. This little known story of The Wager, a warship in in the late 1700’s, shipwrecked around Cape Horn. This most unusual story of mutiny and survival is mesmerizing. And the surprising twist at the end kept me enthralled. A must read!
      ―Stephanie Crowe from Page & Palette in Fairhope, Alabama | Buy from Page and Palette

  • Few authors are able to write nonfiction history that reads like a page turning adventure novel, but David Grann is one of them. The gripping story of The Wager’s shipwreck and the survivors’ divergent tales of the events that followed kept me on the edge of my seat as I devoured this book. And Martin Scorsese has already acquired the film rights!
      ―Josh Niesse from Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia | Buy from Underground Books

  • The Wager is a tense historic tale that was forgotten until recently thanks to David Grann. It’s filled with the most questionable aspects of human nature when order breaks down, but it’s also a nod to the strength of spirit as it pertains to survival. Additionally, Grann delves into the casualties of British colonialism and the dangers that come along with ego. This book is dramatic, well-researched, and it is perfect for history buffs looking for nonfiction that reads like fiction.
      ―Stuart McCommon from Novel in Memphis, Tennessee | Buy from Novel
  • When The Wager, a British warship, wrecked off the coast of Chile in 1741, death seemed certain for all on board. But, astonishingly, a small number survived. David Grann’s account of The Wager’s ill-fated voyage and its aftermath – including murder and mutiny – is rich with vivid detail and utterly compelling.
      ―Jude Burke-Lewis from Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi | Buy from Square Books

About David Grann

David Grann is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z. Killers of the Flower Moon was a finalist for the National Book Award and won an Edgar Allan Poe Award. He is also the author of The White Darkness and the collection The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. Grann’s investigative reporting has garnered several honors, including a George Polk Award. He lives with his wife and children in New York.

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