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The Curse of Oak Island

The Story of the World's Longest Treasure Hunt
Written by: Randall Sullivan
Narrated by: Braden Wright
Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From longtime Rolling Stone contributing editor and journalist Randall Sullivan, The Curse of Oak Island explores the curious history of Oak Island and the generations of individuals who have tried and failed to unlock its secrets.

In 1795, a teenager discovered a mysterious circular depression in the ground on Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and ignited rumors of buried treasure. Early excavators uncovered a clay-lined shaft containing layers of soil interspersed with wooden platforms, but when they reached a depth of ninety feet, water poured into the shaft and made further digging impossible. 

Since then the mystery of Oak Island’s “Money Pit” has enthralled generations of treasure hunters, including a Boston insurance salesman whose obsession ruined him; young Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and film star Errol Flynn. Perplexing discoveries have ignited explorers’ imaginations: a flat stone inscribed in code; a flood tunnel draining from a man-made beach; a torn scrap of parchment; stone markers forming a huge cross. Swaths of the island were bulldozed looking for answers; excavation attempts have claimed two lives. Theories abound as to what’s hidden on Oak Island - pirates’ treasure, Marie Antoinette’s lost jewels, the Holy Grail, proof that Sir Francis Bacon was the true author of Shakespeare’s plays - yet to this day, the Money Pit remains an enigma. 

The Curse of Oak Island is a fascinating account of the strange, rich history of the island and the intrepid treasure hunters who have driven themselves to financial ruin, psychotic breakdowns, and even death in pursuit of answers. And as Michigan brothers Marty and Rick Lagina become the latest to attempt to solve the mystery, as documented on the History Channel’s television show The Curse of Oak Island, Sullivan takes listeners along to follow their quest firsthand. 

©2018 Randall Sullivan (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant writing, in-depth research, fascinating

By far the best of the 20-odd nonfiction Audiobooks I have listened to over the past nine months. As a 30-year veteran journalist, I can appreciate the effort that goes into a work such as this. The only drawback: too much space is devoted to what the treasure might be and who might have left it. Unless a detailed ancient map can be turned up, it makes far more sense to just look for the treasure, and once it's found, it will be much easier to figure out who left it there. The "spookiness" of the island is fascinating. One worker said he was dowsing (holding dowsing sticks, a primitive form of searching for water) on the island when he was overtaken by an ominous force, then possessed by the spirit of a long-dead slave. The event was witnessed by others and resulted in a hospital stay. Treasure aside, this island is a perfect candidate for research into the paranormal. Start by inviting people to camp out on Oak Island overnight, and/or to use dowsing rods, then record what they hear and see.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Captivating

Enjoyed his well researched story, sticking to facts, and putting many other “flight of fancy versions”, (some of which I always though were based on factual events) to rest.
I couldn’t put it down !

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Long anticlimactic listen

Good overall effort. Story could have been told in 1/4 of the length. Would skip unless absolutely fascinated by the possibility of treasure.

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  • tjcrewsbooks
  • 2019-03-24

Captivating, entertaining, and informative.

The amount of research that went into the writing of this book is astonishing--but not dry. The book becomes a living, breathing, ongoing tale of searches for treasure and solutions to mystery. Randall Sullivan writes frequently in the first person throughout this book to offer his own insight and observations--which kept me engaged and very interested.
Those of us who are familiar with the TV show, The Curse of Oak Island, realize that the show gives us only the tip of the iceberg regarding the history of the search for Oak Island treasure.
This book also goes into detail about the rivalry between Dan Blankenship and Fred Nolan--which is significant if we want to understand the animosity they held for each other most of their adult lives.
The quality of the reader/narrator can't be understated. A bad narrator can ruin a great book. A great narrator can make a great book even greater. Brandon Wright does a fantastic job as narrator of this book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-27

The ultimate Osk Island show add on

If you can't get enough of the History Channels "The Curse of Oak Island" or you simply want to know more about the island itself, then this book is a must! Braden Wright does an excellent job narrating the book, and that's something coming from me. He isn't dull or boring and truly sounds as if he's actually enjoying the book himself.
Right off the bat, you can tell Randall has a serious interest in the island and whether he wants to admit it or not, he has been hooked by the mystery since day one. Yet, unlike most, Randall takes a very senseable and reasonable look at the island through the eyes of history and does an outstanding job investigating the many theories that have popped up over the centuries.
I highly recommend this book for any Oak Island lover or anyone interested in lost treasure. My only wish is that there could be other books like this, which focus on different lost treasures from around the world!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Stricker
  • 2019-03-26

Long but worthwhile

I “read” the audio book on a long two day drive. Although the the book was quite long and a bit boring during some of the theory descriptions, I found it very informative and it made the tv series much more interesting. The Nolan Blankenship conflict was explained evenhandedly and all the TV characters were given much more depth. The most notable benefit of the read was understanding all the prior efforts to unearth whatever lies underground and the extent of the drilling and excavations that have accumulated over the years.
Anyone with at least a moderate interest in Oak Island should find this read rewarding.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sammy R
  • 2019-03-21

The Curse Of Oak Island

I really liked this book and story. There was plenty of information giving that I didn't know about. I would recommend this book to all.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 2019-04-08

In depth and entertaining

I am a big fan of the show and have had an interest in the Oak Island mystery since childhood - I would say this book by Mr Sullivan is the most comprehensive of any that I have read on the subject. I really appreciated how even handed the author was in examining such a wide range of theories and ideas. In many ways his pragmatic approach debunked a number of the more fringe theories, yet throughout the book he concedes that many remain as potentially viable answers. The destruction of the original money pit area while in pursuit of the treasure may ultimately prevent finding out a definitive answer. I was very surprised at how many tunnels and shafts were attempted in the over 200 year pursuit. Was there ever a treasure, what was the treasure, is it still there and who actually was responsible for the original work - all questions that may never be answered. The content was fascinating, the narration was exceptional. Well worth the credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SANTOS
  • 2019-03-29

Very Informative

Excellent Story, goes into detail of the theories of what’s believed to be buried on the island. I’m a huge fan of the show.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-27

Information galore

Very well written, and the performance was pretty good, I love the TV series but this had so much more information included. Many theories and facts that were never brought up in the show. The Author clearly did his homework and then some. Definitely worth your time.

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  • Phillip
  • 2019-06-17

Great content, but long winded!

The content of this book is truly interesting ... but I found it very boring at stages. I think this book is great for people that loves learning about history etc. This is my first documentary book, and my last. Not by the fault of this book but purely on the premise that I am not a fan of history.

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  • justmyopinion
  • 2019-06-03

Too much bacon...

You would think this book was about Francis Bacon. Sure, include him as one of many possible theories, but good grief!
I give kudos to the narrator...how he could wade through this one is a real testimonial to his talents as a narrator.
This book started out OK, but then the author discusses Bacon to death. We almost gave up listening to it!!!

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  • Natan
  • 2019-06-03

Fascinating story that's still going on

Good stuff! Well paced, researched, and presented. Fun for armchair archeologists and treasure seekers alike.