Saturday, October 28, 2006

Flash book

Rotto Bloggo knows what the best Rottnest book is.
But the second-best? It's a question that has dogged the finest minds and caused controversy.
Rotto Bloggo has reached a decision, however.
The second-best book ever on or about the island is All The News in a Flash.
The author is John Moynihan, and it was published in 1988.
Put simply, the book is a wonder. It documents communications between Rotto and the mainland from 1829 to 150 years later.
Flags, fire, boats and the heliograph were used before the first underwater phone cable was laid in 1900.
John's book is endlessly interesting, with many fascinating asides and incidental details about the island and people who have been on it.
And John is still with us: he retired in 1992, but spoke to Rotto Bloggo today.
He said when ATNIAF was published, some people said it was quite good up to 1935, but after that wasn't so good.
Rubbish! The book is good all the way through.
As John pointed out, up to 1935 communication was mainly about people - after 1935 it was mainly about technology.
We picked up our copy of John's book from an Elizabeth's for $12.
That was a tremendous bargain, considering how over-priced Elizabeth's can be, and what copies go for on Bookfinder: today the cheapest copy is $37.84.
Hopefully we'll run a few stories from ATNIAF on this blog in future.

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