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Reviews of Beyond the Coral Sea
Beyond the Coral Sea:Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific
ISBN 0002261707 HarperCollinsPublishers, London 2003
ISBN 0006552358 Flamingo 2004


Short-listed for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award 2004

‘A big book, filled with tales of wonder, sadness and extraordinary behaviour… there is no faulting his research, his integrity, or his ability to transport us to a very different and wonderful part of the globe.’
Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times

‘Recounts the adventures of a host of historical characters, ranging from a distinguished Polish anthropologist who was fascinated by the sex lives of natives to a young Errol Flynn who enthusiastically joined in. Moran’s work has all the ingredients of a fine travelogue… His research is meticulous… Everything you wanted to know about cannibalism but were afraid to ask is here.’
Gavin Bell, Daily Telegraph

‘If you’ve room for only one book in your baggage this year, take this one. Elegantly and powerfully written, evoking steaming jungle gorges, enervating heat, idyllic coral beaches, wrecked ships, deserted towns and people caught in limbo between the savage past and hopeless future, it is the work of a true traveller…….a meditation on the nature of humanity itself.’ Celia Brayfield, The Times

‘A beguiling account, both romantic and fascinatingly horrible, of an abrupt transition from the Stone Age to the present era of high technology in the islands collectively called Papua New Guinea… [Moran] is a reporter with a painterly eye, a tape-recorder ear and a dry sense of humour that enliven all his encounters… Reading this picturesque book may be as good as visiting Papua New Guinea, perhaps better.’
Patrick Skene Catling, Irish Times and Irish Independent

‘…this is not a quick flip around the islands, but rather a cultural history and a philosophical meditation on the nature of human existence where ‘primitive societies’ come into abrupt and painful collision with ‘modern civilisation’……..his studied, detached but sympathetic calm is the dominant mood and style throughout this impressive and serious-minded book.’
The Times Literary Supplement

‘Moran’s fascination with the social habits of the region, his enthusiasm for his subject, his thorough research and his energetic travels have provided him with a richness of material so often lacking in travel books.’
Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times from ‘Travel Books: The Class of 2004 - Who will win the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award this year?’

‘He evokes not only the steaming rainforest and white-sand beaches, but the imperatives of an ancient people who are slipping from the grip of capitalism and Christianity……….Moran’s depiction makes you question the real nature of humanity.’
New Statesman – Recommended Christmas Books 2004

‘BEYOND THE CORAL SEA is a captivating book. Written in the tradition of the great Victorian travel narratives, it provides a glorious insight into one of the world’s most unknown quarters. Michael Moran has proved himself as a writer of astonishing ability and is a master of the most magical prose.’

‘Even iron-clad stomachs will reel at the accounts……left me questioning the sanctity of my own cultural perceptions. Moran’s description of his journey through these remote islands broadens horizons, in more ways than one.’
Wanderlust Travel Magazine

Translation Rights

Polish translation rights sold to PIW’, the oldest formerly state-owned publishing house in Poland. This was in response to the Malinowski anthropological material concerning the Trobriand Islands.

Czech Republic translation rights sold to the distinguished art publishers BB/Art
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