Weekend Book Review: “The Other Side Continent”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

the other side continent michail vavarousis

The Other Side Continent

by Michail Varvarousis

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478772408


A book that under a logical procedure examines the case of ancient sea voyages on the world’s great oceans, including all those components that give light to an ancient effort to explore the Atlantic Ocean and probably even the American continent. A 20 year’s effort researching ancient texts, maps, visiting libraries, archaeological sites, discussing with different kind of specialists (archaeologists, traditional shipbuilders, sailors with experience in ocean voyages), studying some of the ancient astronomical mechanisms, and living by the spirit of sailing in the open sea. The book includes 133 photographs, drawings and watercolor paintings that help illustrate the results of this study.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com


Profusely illustrated throughout with 133 photographs, drawings, and watercolor painting illustrating how seafarers lived and works, and how their ships looked and functioned, “The Other Side Continent” is a compilation of the incredible histories and mythologies of ancient voyages of exploration. Michail Varvarousis has supplemented his own study of primary sources by interviewing archaeologists, traditional shipbuilders, and sailors with experience in ocean voyages and ocean weather conditions, and himself sailing the open sea, many times pushing his boat and crew to the limits to better understand what those explorers of yesteryear experienced.

Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, “The Other Side Continent” is an impressively informed and informative study that is very highly recommended, especially for community and academic library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that “The Other Side Continent” is also available in a Kindle format ($9.00).

reviewed on the World History Shelf of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

The author tries to research the possibility of Transatlantic crossing during the Pre-Columbian era focusing in Minoan, Pre-Minoan and Cycladic periods. In his enterprising work he gleans clues from ancient Greek and Egyptian literature and makes a diligent study based on a variety of well documented archaeological findings from Minoan and Cycladic civilization, along with philosophical references, historic documents and maps mainly from Classical antiquity and Medieval period. A 20 years delving into rare bibliographic references along with data collected through several contacts with archaeological authorities and field based research, resulted in a very comprehensive and intuitive study. To my knowledge there is no similar research until recently so this book could fill the gap for such a kind of textbook. On the other hand it could be approached as a popular reading. Dates used sparingly mainly on documentation purpose, figures and shapes are of very good quality, carefully and aptly selected.

Conclusively it is a very interesting work that does not aim only at history affiliates but at anyone who is interested in a pretty controversial and not very adequately enough investigated topic.


Let me first say that I get many requests for reviews daily and I politely say no. To agree to write a review of this book was a first for me.

This book is FASCINATING! This book is not just for ancient history buffs. It is for history class slackers like me. As a chemistry major, I barely paid attention in history class. All I remember is a map of the ancient world that had a notation where the Atlantic Ocean was, with the words “Beyond here, there be dragons!” For those who still believe Christopher Columbus discovered the “new world”, this is also for you.

This author, a Greek physician, has spent 20 years compiling information, visiting ancient lands, and talking to scholars to amass this treasure trove of information on ancient maritime history. I was reintroduced to Homer and others who wrote of the exploration of the Atlantic. I was unaware of the religious beliefs of the time that inspired, no, compelled the explorers to seek answers to what lay beyond the horizon where the sun went every evening.

The pictures and maps are likewise fascinating, showing details of the world as the ancients understood it to be. Also amazing, are the pictures of the boats, engineering marvels for their time, that took the explorers into the unknown.

Spoiler alert: Very ancient civilizations discovered the continent on the other side of the Atlantic long before Christopher Columbus. Read here about how they did this, and most interesting, why they went in search for it.

– Amazon Reviewer Carol Lynn


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