Jan 22, 2020
A Pattern Of Islands
Posted by Arthur Grimble

The funny, charming, and self deprecating adventure story of a young man in the Pacific Living for thirty years in the Gilbert Ellis Islands, Grimble was ultimately initiated and tattooed according to local tradition, but not before he was severely tested, as when he was used as human bait for a giant octopus Beyond the hilarious and frightening adventure stories,The funny, charming, and self deprecating adventure story of a young man in the Pacific Living for thirty years in the Gilbert Ellis Islands, Grimble was ultimately initiated and tattooed according to local tradition, but not before he was severely tested, as when he was used as human bait for a giant octopus Beyond the hilarious and frightening adventure stories, A Pattern of Islands is also a true testament to the life of these Pacific islanders Grimble collected stories from the last generation who could remember the full glory of the old pagan ways This is anthropology with its hair down.

  • Title: A Pattern Of Islands
  • Author: Arthur Grimble
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 333
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Pattern Of Islands The funny charming and self deprecating adventure story of a young man in the Pacific Living for thirty years in the Gilbert Ellis Islands Grimble was ultimately initiated and tattooed according to

    Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    Some of you will be wondering how I could choose a memoir by an actual colonial officer as my world challenge book for Kiribati The answer is that the country s literary presence seems limited to white men s expat memoirs Within that category, this appears to be the book based on the greatest experience of the islands and their people Arthur Grimble worked as a British colonial officer in what were then known as the Gilbert Islands for about 20 years, the first six 1914 1920 of which are covered [...]


    This is a great book, funny and very well written, by a British civil servant who lived in the Gilbert Islands now Kiribati for nineteen years, from 1914 to 1933 Written in 1952, it recounts events a century old, so it definitely is dated, but it s worth reading nonetheless If you want to understand about today s tragic situation in the Republic of Kiribati, consider reading this long article by Jeffrey Goldberg bloomberg news articleFor a longer review in Italian, please read the post on my bl [...]


    Arthur Grimble clearly cherished his years spent as a colonial official in the Gilbert and Ellis Islands He started his tenure as a young man with a new wife in 1914 and remained in the islands until 1933, although this book only relates his tale up to 1919 Grimble is honest about his naivete and inexperience and gives much credit to the native islanders who were both helpful and amused by his lack of knowledge His adventures dealing with storms, unusual food, native customs, Pacific flora and f [...]

    Bob Newman

    Neophyte Nabob s Narrations of Natives NatureBack in 1914 a young colonial officer went off with his wife on his first assignment to the Gilbert Islands in the central Pacific These islands and their inhabitants had been under British rule for only 22 years at the time But unlike the stereotype of a pukka sahib, the aloof colonial officer, Arthur Grimble developed a love of the islands and their people He writes about them with interest and sympathy, telling all kinds of tales against himself an [...]


    My Dad told us that burping after a meal was considered polite in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands It is not in the UK He was a very gentle father who did not like having to tell us off, but when he did we remembered This is the book where he found that interesting little snippet of information.In 1913 Arthur Grimble went to the Gilbert and Ellice islands as a cadet in the colonial service a junior administrative officer , becoming a District Officer in 1916, based on Tawara and then Abemama and B [...]

    Ariel-lionel -avramlabehalevi

    this is a most amazing book I m fascinated, entertained and gripped by the accounts he gives of the lives and feats of the then Gilbert Islanders and also by his own brilliant achievements, which he writes about with much modesty, but also with humour.I m delighted that not only is there a sequel of his to read written in the 50s, but also a film to see Pacific Destiny based on the 1st book My only criticism of the book is that I d like to have read about his wife Olivia and their children born [...]

    Colin Whittaker

    I clearly remember the story of octopus fishing with human bait from my English classes in school some 30 years ago and decided the pleasant memory was not in too much danger from revisiting the autobiography.How glad I am that I did reread it.This is an end of empire story that is in serious danger of giving colonialism a good name The protagonist, Authur Grimble, tells us of a lost time in the South Pacific and leaves me at least, craving for a time machine and a posting with the UK colonial o [...]


    Well it took me thirty years or to get around to reading this little treasure of a book which had sat on my bookshelves through many moves Once begun I could not put it down Faithfully recalling a life now long gone on the Gilbert and Ellis Islands and by turns funny, tragic, fascinating and challenging Arthur Grimble writes with a candid, nostalgic but confident tone about his time there Now , I suppose this book could be appropriately shelved as anthropology although it was not written with t [...]


    Grimble was an British govt administrator in Kiribati kir ee bas Gilbert Islands before and during WW2 His work is only matched or close to H E Maude A great non US Pacific read.


    Well written book about how life was supposed to be on the British Overseas Territories back in the days Mr Grimble has a good sense of humor and doesn t take himself seriously, which are 2 very important things for me If you want to read a story about those days, buy it and read it Enjoy

    Tim Newey

    Personally Don t Bother , actually But, Your Deal for The Author s, Sake Coffee Shop


    I liked Arthur Grimble and his book He s humble and self deprecating in a way that feels true and unforced he s appropriately respectful of the culture he s portraying and he seems to have made every effort to assimilate into that culture as much as possible He was adopted by an elder on the island where he lived, taught to recite his new family s lineage in the oral tradition of their ancestors, and was permitted to be ritually tattooed as part of his initiation into I Kiribati society.Grimble [...]

    Daniel Foster

    A charming book which gives an insight into island life on the Gilbert islands I became interested in the islands from my mother who was born there and spent some time there as a teenager My grandfather was the captain of a merchant ship in the pacific At this time duriing the 50s the islands were part of the british empire My mother has allways talked fondly of the gilbertise people and the islands This book is written on the experiances of a young colonial official in the early twentieth centu [...]

    Les Dangerfield

    A fascinating read about a six year British Colonial Office posting in the South Pacific between 1913 and 1919 A posting which makes the ones I ve had seem very tame The book is a mix of social anthropology and anecdotes, often amusing, about his time in the Gilbert Islands The lack of narrative flow sometimes makes the book less motivating than it might otherwise be However, I enjoyed it and it is a good book to finish on World Books Day


    Grimble writes of his experience living in the Gilbert Islands Although he wrote the book in 1952, his family had gone there in 1914 and left in 1933 The Gilbert Islands are a stone s throw from the Carolina Islands where I lived for 4 years 1966 1970 This made Grimble s stories very visual to me He told of his family s experiences with charm never sparing the errors he made living in a culture so different from the one he grew up in.


    Yet another book we were forced to read at school at a tender age and found incomprehensible It was old fashioned, even in the 70s and, as a mature adult, I discovered a copy in a second hand shop I tried, I really tried but I couldn t make it past chapter one I think this won a national literature award when it was first published, hence it s place on the syllabus but it even put us committed readers off.

    Gerry Campbell

    life in the Gilbert islsnds in the early 1900 sa unique account of life in the remote Gilbert Ellice islands as a colonial officer Grimble had an anthropological interest about the islanders must have been the epitome of an enlightened colonial administer, writing of his experiences with humour and humility.


    This was an English literature designated book for my Cambridge school certificate it tells of Sir Arthur Grimble s experiences as a British colonial administrator on the Gilbert Islands, a desolate atoll in the South Pacific His lucid and witty style makes this book unforgettable after almost half a century A must re read.

    Kirsty Carslaw

    Read whilst at school, I still cherish it after nearly 50 years and hope one day to visit these magical islands Political correctness be damned, this is a charming book of great charm, innocence and love.


    Having lived in New Zealand, the Pacific theme and references are all too familiar Grimble s charmingly self deprecating style makes this book difficult to put down At times, it s a bit dense, but Grimble is a captivating story teller.


    Arthur Grimble paints a picture of a society and way of life that is now all but gone His sympathy and understanding of the Gilbert s culture and myths shows the best of the colonial administration.

    Mark Thuell

    Charming snapshots of a bygone colonial era and a newly discovered people,illuminating the rather haphazard fashion that the empire was run by enthusiastic amateurs in a somewhat benign fashion


    Fascinating true tales from the Gilbert Islands during the 1930 1940 s, definitely worth a read




    Interesting but of its time with some memorable events in the live of Colonial governorship of the Gilbert and Ellis Islands.


    I read this for my O Level English Lit exam at school Charming story of a time long past when the English held sway over many parts of the world.

    Andrew Smith

    Fantastic book, one of my all time favourites It speaks volumes to my fantasy life in the south sea islands which I know are now mostly ruined by over population and pollution plastic rubbish.

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